Many Nikon D700 owners are probably wondering how the Nikon Df differs from their beloved cameras in terms of features and image quality. As we have said several times in different posts, the Nikon Df could be considered the D700 replacement, depending on one’s needs. While sports and wildlife photographers (or anyone else that relies on fast fps and high-end AF) will certainly disagree, portrait photographers have been longing for a camera with the D4 sensor for a while now. In this article, I will compare the new Nikon Df to the D700 not only in terms of specifications, but also in terms of image quality / ISO performance. Of most interest, our readers might find high ISO comparisons between the two, especially above ISO 800.
I am working on a couple of articles related to the new Nikon Df camera (see the announcement / overview and pre-order options) and I decided to post a size comparison between Nikon’s most current line of full-frame DSLR cameras. Starting from the left, we have the flagship Nikon D4, then the Nikon D800, followed by the Nikon D610 and finally, the new Nikon Df (click on the image for a much larger version):
As you can see, the Nikon Df has a similar size as the Nikon D600 / D610 in terms of height. When looked at the top, it is thinner due to a smaller grip and less protruding pentaprism / flash area. Weight-wise, it is about 50 grams lighter.
With the release of the Nikon Df, 7 sample images from the camera by Takeshi Fukazawa and Jeremy Walker have been posted at Nikon Imaging. The below images are all copyright of Nikon and all EXIF data is retained in photographs. Our quick notes on the image quality are posted below. Please keep in mind that the images are taken in RAW and simply converted to JPEG via Capture NX 2. No other editing has been done, including sharpening.
Click here to download a full high-resolution JPEG version of the above image. Exposure Info: 1/400, f/8, ISO 3200.
Without a doubt, Nikon has created a lot of hype around the upcoming Nikon Df camera. With five teaser videos that talk about “pure photography”, Nikon has spiked interest among the photography community, including our team at Photography Life. Many of us, especially those that shoot event, wedding and portrait photography have been desperately waiting for a true Nikon D700 replacement. Something with a good number of pixels, but not too many (yes, those D800 files are huge!). Something that can produce very low noise images at high ISOs. Something that is fast with a solid build, but does not come with a huge price tag and a heavy body. Nikon finally answered those calls with the Nikon Df. Read on to find out what we think about this remarkable camera.
What makes the Nikon Df remarkable? I have used this word a few times already, because I think the Nikon Df will be even a bigger hit than the Nikon D800. If you remember from February of 2012, we covered the Nikon D800 release extensively. From what we saw, being world’s first 36 MP full-frame camera, the Nikon D800 created a lot of interest – mostly from landscape, architecture and studio photographers that needed more than the 12 or 16 MP that Nikon was traditionally using on its DSLRs. However, many portrait photographers, especially pros that come back from events with thousands of images felt that the D800 was too much of a camera for them (yes, the D800 files are huge!). From Nikon’s new product positioning, it was pretty clear that the D700 was a mistake never to be repeated again – Nikon did not want to compromise the sales of its high-end line in the future (and the D700 did lower D3 sales significantly). But Nikon knew very well that it left a gap in its high-end DSLR line. Instead of coming up with yet another DSLR, Nikon decided to take a very different route. Why not take the much wanted Nikon D4 sensor, put it in a retro body to appeal portrait photographers (especially the group that loves shooting film), strip it down to a bare minimum without bells and whistles like video that are of no interest to most photographers, and market it as a fusion of DSLR and early SLR/rangefinder Nikon cameras? That’s how the Nikon Df was born.
This is an review of the classic Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S by one of our readers, Christian Duguay from Montreal, Canada. A quick note from Nasim: while I was going through testing some of the older manual focus lenses (including the 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S), Christian contacted me via email and sent some of his thoughts on the lens. After a couple of emails back and forth, I requested him to write a review of the lens, so that we could share it with our readers. Christian accepted the challenge and we both agreed that it could be a good idea if we both worked on it – I would provide all optical test results, while he would write the text and provide sample images. So in a way, this is a collaborative effort between the two of us. Enjoy!
1) Overview and Specifications
When I read a few weeks ago at Photography Life that Nasim wanted to review some of the Nikkor Ai-S manual focus lenses, I was really pleased by the idea. In fact, I was longing for that since the summer of 2012. At that time, I was looking for a 28mm prime and although Nikon had launched a new 28mm f/1.8G in April of that year, I opted for an all-manual f/2.8 Ai-S lens. The reviews I read about it were interesting and convincing, so I decided to order one new from the US, because it was not available in Canada. When I received the lens, I was totally amazed by its high quality, intrinsic beauty and special craftsmanship. This was my first contact with these old Nikkor Ai-S lenses.
Earlier this week, when I wrote about my experience at the 2013 Photo Plus Show, I pointed out that I found a product that I have been searching for the past 4 years. It was something that I found on the last day at the conference, while going through the smaller, less popular booths towards the end of the exhibit hall. I first hesitated about what I saw, but as soon as I realized that it was exactly what I had been looking for, I got very excited and bought one for myself immediately (and pretty much forced Tom to buy one as well). You might be wondering what it was – well, as weird as it may sound, it was a Sensor Gel Stick!
Don’t mind the name – I came up with that, because it describes the function of this tool pretty well in my opinion. The actual product name is “Eyelead” :)
A lot of people wonder what to buy as their first Nikon lens. Most people new to digital photography and DSLRs don’t bother reading about cameras and lenses as much since there is too much information and too many recommendations. They end up purchasing a kit lens that they use for a year or two, only to realize that they want something better. Yes, kit lenses are a good deal but are they worth the purchase? While it makes sense for some people to buy kit lenses with cameras, I personally stay away from cheap entry-level zooms and prefer solid all-purpose prime lenses instead. Read on to find out more about my personal recommendations, aimed at someone who is just getting into photography.
Last week was a very busy week for us at Photography Life, since we participated in the PDN Photo Plus Expo in New York and took part in a number of activities related to the event. This was the first time that I took part in a photography event of this magnitude and it was quite an overwhelming experience. My good friend and our team member Tom Redd was able to join me and we both flew from Denver to New York to take part in a four day conference. In this article, I will go over some of the highlights of the event and talk about the upcoming products and some hands-on information, accompanied by photos. I was planning to cover the event at the conference on a daily basis, but I was not able to do it due to my hectic schedule. In summary, it was a great event that will hopefully benefit our site greatly going forward (more on that later).
The B&H Photo Video mega store is definitely one of the must-see attractions of New York. If you have never been there before, I highly recommend to check it out, because it is one of those unique places that you will not experience anywhere else in the world. Last week, our team member Tom Redd and I had a chance to visit the PDN PhotoPlus Expo in New York (summary of the conference to be posted today). Since it has been a while since I visited New York and I have never been to the B&H store before, I requested a quick tour of the store and asked for permission to take some pictures for our website. B&H kindly agreed to do it for us and we had a great experience that I would like to share with our readers.
What if you took an old Nikon FM2-like film camera body, replaced the film back with the amazing low-noise sensor from the Nikon D4, beefed it up with the latest Nikon’s image processing pipeline and firmware for amazing image quality and best features, slapped a high resolution 3.2″ LCD on the back and made it a standard Nikon F mount – all at half the weight and the price of the D4? A fusion of old and new technologies in a single camera body? Well, that’s exactly what Nikon is doing with its upcoming Nikon Df camera, which stands for “Nikon Digital Fusion”. The news has been circulating at Nikon Rumors for the last couple of weeks, which was the first (as usual) to cover the rumor on the Internet.