Nikon's Df DSLR Is a Retro-Inspired Blast From The Past

There's no need to squint, and there's no need to check your calendar: you're living in 2013, but this camera looks like it built in an era that many have forgotten about. Out of left field, the Nikon Df has arrived. The company has thrived on selling huge, high-end DSLRs to professionals, but it struck out with lackluster interchangeable lens options. Now, the Df aims to strike a balance between the two worlds: it's small in terms of being a full-format camera, but it's versatile enough to woo those are serious about imaging.

The Df is a full-frame (FX) camera, and amazingly, it ships with the same image sensor as the flagship Nikon D4. The camera also provides a system that allows users to focus on shooting with the security that comes from visual confirmation of ISO sensitivity, shutter speed, and exposure compensation values, as well as the convenience of direct adjustment of settings at any time, even when the camera is turned off. Naturally, it's also dressed up in a sleek, retro-inspired motif that'll no doubt catch some eyes.

There's a 16.2MP sensor within, an EXPEED 3 image engine, an ISO range of 100-12800, and it can use the same lenses that work on high-end DSLRs like the D3, D800, and D4. In fact, Nikon promises "D4-like image quality" from a body that's far more compact and way cheaper. To boot, it's introducing a limited edition 50mm lens that "maximizes the portability of the Df."

The camera + 50mm lens will cost you $3000 when it ships later this month, while the body alone will sell for $2750. It's a pretty amazing feat of engineering; the question isn't whether you'll want one, but whether or not you'll convince Santa to spring for one.
Tags:  Nikon, DSLR, camera