Nikon releases retro D-SLR camera
If a camera can be judged on its looks alone, then the Nikon Df is a thing of beauty.
But beneath the retro design is a very able lightweight D-SLR that will appeal equally to professionals and style-conscious enthusiasts.
Continuing the trend of embracing old-school looks in order to package the latest imaging technology, the Df looks like 35 mm film SLR cameras of the 1960s and ‘70s, complete with manual dials, moulded leather-textured plastics and silver metal alloys.
But of course, this is 2013 so those alloys are lightweight magnesium and they house a raft of features and technologies that will be familiar to anyone already lucky enough to own one of Nikon's flagship pro D4 D-SLR cameras, yet shrunk down into a smaller, lighter package.
As such it could be the digital camera for those remaining enthusiasts who refuse to let go of their old film cameras because modern pro cameras look so daunting. In terms of specifications, it boasts a 16.2-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor (despite its diminutive size) and an ISO range of 100-204,800.
But thanks to Nikon's EXPEED 3 image processing engine, the combination of such a huge virtual film speed, plus image sensor and processing means that the camera can be set up to meet even the most demanding of uses with nothing more than natural light passing through the aperture, with no fear of noise or other forms of digital interference in the final image.
Very few photographers will ever need to crank up the ISO to 204,800 -- though all owners will definitely give it a go -- but all will appreciate the Df's 39-point auto focusing system and its built-in scene recognition and metering features, plus the fact that it retains a proper pentaprism and therefore viewfinder rather than just pushing the image to a rear-mounted screen.
In terms of accessories, as well as being compatible with all existing AF, AF-S, DX and AF-D NIKKOR lenses, the Df will also launch alongside a tailor-made AF-S NIKKOR 50 mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens.
The Nikon Df will be available in late November 2013 and will be offered in a slightly more modern all black finish as well as in its retro guise and will cost $2 999.95 as a kit complete with the AF-S NIKKOR 50 mm f/1.8G lens.