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New Nikon Df SLR goes back to future

Nikon Australia has announced the Nikon Df, a new full-frame digital SLR reminiscent of the manually-operated FM series of film SLRs, accompanying the new camera with a 50mm prime lens, the classic combination from the film SLR era.

Df_silverThe Nikon Df is the smallest of Nikon’s SLRs and features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor (as used in the Nikon D4), with mechanical dials for shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, and exposure and release modes.

The Nikon Df has an ISO range of 100-12,800 (expandable from 50 to 204,800), continuous shooting at approximately 5.5 frames per second, and is compatible with the full range of Nikon lenses back to the Ai range.

What the camera doesn’t do is shoot video – it’s a stills-only model.

DF_topThe pentaprism and top cover are constructed of durable, lightweight magnesium alloy. The top of the camera features mechanical controls for settings, such as a click stop for shutter speed adjustment. Additional dedicated dials also control ISO, exposure compensation, release mode and exposure mode.

Rertro styling continues with a leather-textured top and grip, along with a body-mounted shutter button with a threaded release port.

Key features:
– 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors, and seven AF points capable of working down to f8. Users can choose from 9-point, 21-point, 39-point, 39-point with 3D tracking and ‘Auto Area AF’;
– 2016-Pixel 3D matrix metering and scene recognition system;
– 3.2-inch LCD display and glass pentaprism viewfinder: The LCD screen has 921K-dot resolution and Live View;
– Optional WU-1a wireless mobile adapter for downloading images or remotely firing the camera from a smartphone, et al;
– Customisation of colour, saturation and tone. The Df also features built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR), and two to five-frame auto-bracketing;
Capture in JPEG, TIFF or RAW file formats;
– ‘Legacy’ lens compatibility: Compatible with all current AF, AF-S, DX and AF-D NIKKOR lenses, as well as Ai and non-Ai Nikkor lenses.

The camera will be available in late November in silver/black or black. Nikon Australia advises media to ‘consult local authorised resellers for local pricing’. Digital Camera Warehouse has the camera up at $3149 for body-only and $3449 with the 50mm f1.8 lens – including GST.

The Nikon US press release states the US suggested price is US$2799 body only. (Actually it states the body only price as US$279 – but we assume this is a tyop). With the new AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens, the US price is US$2999. So Aussie pricing does not attract buyers to Adorama or B&H, especially given added shipping and GST charges.

AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens
Nikon also announced a new wide-aperture prime lens with the Df, the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.8. It has Nikkor Ai lens styling, with an aluminum mounting ring compatible with the style of the Df:  
–  Aperture range from f1.8 to f16;
– 7-blade diaphagm;
– 11 elements in 9 groups.

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