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Tag Archives: Full-frame digital SLR

Nikon df a new camera that looks old

I just don’t understand the quest for retro looking cameras. When the market for cameras is now firmly the digital natives, those who grew up after film had been committed to distant memory, why make a camera that harks back. Most people under the age of about 35 expect to navigate menus to access information and make settings so why create a camera that eschews that stylish minimalism and puts the major functions on controls that require manual operation. I think the clue is possibly in the price, the body and standard lens, a 50mm f1.8, will sell at about $3,000. This means it will appeal to those who have money and of course many digital natives are still trying to get theirs. You may correctly say that I am a cynic but I would counter, let’s have a rotary dial on the next iphone, yes I am curmudgeonly  but I do not live in a land that instinctively believes old is better.

OK rant over, this is a full frame digital camera, really good news; it only has a 16mp sensor, pretty bad news; it doesn’t offer video, really good news. I could probably gone on in this vein but you probably want to facts. DP Review is the place to go as usual

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After being leaked almost as thoroughly as the NSA’s surveillance programs (right?), the Nikon Df is now officially here. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, the Df is a 16MP, full-frame DSLR with the sensor and processing guts of the company’s flagship D4, and an AF system borrowed from the D610, all packaged up inside a body inspired by a much earlier generation of film cameras. In fact, from the front the Df looks like an oversized Nikon FM (and not dissimilar to Canon’s F1N).
For those of us raised on film SLRs the effect is rather intriguing. We understand that the Df has been at least four years in the making, and the glee of its creators is almost palpable in the many specific design cues obviously taken from earlier SLRs including the FM/2 and the long-lived professional-targeted Nikon F3.

Nikon Df key features

16 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor (same as D4)
ISO 100-25,600 (expandable to ISO 50 – 204,800 equiv)
Maximum 5.5 fps continuous shooting
39-point AF system with 9 cross-type AF points (same as D610)
3.2-inch, 921k-dot LCD screen
Physical shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation dials
Compatible with virtually all Nikon F-mount lenses (including pre-Ai standard)
Single SD card slot
EN-EL14a battery (quoted endurance of ~1400 exposures)
According to Nikon, the ‘F’ in Df stands for ‘fusion’ – specifically, fusion of the old and the new. We know all about the old: the ‘retro’ styling – after all, the Df was widely leaked before its announcement and Nikon has been teasing it to death since the Photo Plus Expo show last month. Which leaves us with the ‘D’.

The ‘D’ is of course for ‘Digital’. The Nikon Df boasts a full-frame sensor, 39-point AF system and a maximum shooting rate of 5.5 fps. The LCD on the rear of the camera is a 3.2″, 921k-dot display and, despite its ‘fully manual’ pretensions, the Df boasts front and rear control dials alongside the dedicated physical dials on the top-plate. It’s a thoroughly modern DSLR in fact, but with one major difference. 

Read the rest of the DP Review here

You may assume that my reason for championing DP Review is that in general they agree with my views (notice the switch there, note to self beware of hubris) so imagine my joy when I read their first impressions conclusion

I’ve had to type the word ‘retro’ so much in the past couple of years that I shudder every time someone says it, but the fact is that retro is ‘in’ at the moment. Pretty well all of the major camera manufacturers have something in their lineup which sports self-consciously old-fashioned design accents, whether they be chunky metal dials for exposure compensation, rangefinder-style optical finder windows, or even just accessory leather cases.

As far as I can see there are no unequivocally good reasons, either from an engineering or ergonomic point of view, for the Nikon Df to look like an oversized F3. The camera’s appearance is a self-conscious flourish intended to appeal on an emotional, as much as technical level. A lot of people will be interested in the Df not because of its ISO span or resolution, but because it because it looks… well, it looks really cool. There is nothing wrong with this – car and clothing manufacturers (among many others) know the monetary value of nostalgia, and companies like Fujifilm are literally banking on it….

The danger is that the design gets in the way of usability. When ‘traditional’ ergonomics work really well, as in the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and X100S, the effect is luxurious. ‘Hands-on’ manual control coupled with hybrid viewfinders and a boatload of features – plus, of course, excellent lens quality – make using those cameras a lot of fun to shoot with. My worry about the Df is that Nikon might have gone too far backwards for the sake of cosmetic appeal, without really adding any practical benefit to the shooting experience.

Don’t get me wrong – personally, in my brief time with the camera, I enjoyed the experience of holding and using the Df. But even with the Kool Aid within reach, I certainly wouldn’t try to convince anyone that its control logic – which heavily promotes the use of dedicated, lockable mechanical dials – is any better than a camera like the D610. 

PS. This is what Nikon say

“[The impetus was to] create a camera that celebrates Nikon’s engineering capability, a camera that will be a pleasure to own and use and that will be considered a future classic,” said Jeremy Gilbert, Nikon UK’s group marketing manager, at a launch event on 04 November. “It’s the camera that makes you think about the picture you’re about to take.”

 The new Df full-frame camera is said to seat “in a class of its own” in Nikon’s line-up of digital SLRs, appealing to photography enthusiasts, advanced amateurs and professional photographers. “The concept for this camera was based on the emotion of photography and will appeal to passionate photographers who enjoy pure photography and cherish their cameras, as well as their images, old and new,” says Hiro Sebata, product manager at Nikon UK, in a prepared statement.
No don’t get me started

Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2304913/nikon-aspires-to-create-a-future-classic-with-the-full-frame-df-retro-dslr#ixzz2jtAc8dOJ
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Photokina 2012: Hasselblad to launch mirrorless compact camera and full-frame digital SLR

From the BJP we learn:

Hasselblad has announced it is developing a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera to be released in early 2013.

Hasselblad plans to use a partnership with Sony to enter each photographic segment with new digital SLRs and compact cameras, as well as tripods and mirrorless cameras.

“For us, the plan is to move very quickly over the next few months,” says Hasselblad’s chairman and CEO, Larry Hansen. “Our expectation is to show and launch cameras in every sector of the photographic market, while offering the best image quality available in each segment, relying on our collaboration with Sony.”

He adds: “We want to go back to our customers. Fifteen years ago, 65 percent of our customers were not professional photographers. Today almost 100 percent are professional. My goal is to make Hasselblad cameras accessible to all serious customers.”

As a result, Hasselblad will release, within the next year, a full-frame DSLR, a range of digital compact cameras, tripods and luxury accessories, as well as an interchangeable lens camera – the Lunar. “It’s a rather aggressive plan,” says Hansen.

Nikon D600 Released September 18th

New cameras come along at an alarming rate, is it true that we are expected to buy a new camera every three years, I am sure I read that somewhere. There is no doubt that as technology improves daily it is very tempting to want the latest and best, not because it is the latest but because we can produce better images under more difficult conditions. One thing I don’t particularly like about the march of technology is the way that the camera manufacturers always seem to want to wrest control from us, the photographers, and have us use their, the cameras, automatic functions more. The idea seems to be that the camera knows best and can make better judgements about the picture we are about to take. WRONG. A camera that delivers better quality, images with smoother tone, less noise, better colour, able to handle subject brightness range better, all the things that make an image just better are to be applauded but e.g. some auto focus gizmo that means it is harder for me to focus where I want is not a help, it is a hindrance.

There is a new Nikon camera that will no doubt have many salivating. It is a full frame dslr 24 megapixel with HD video, sounds like a competitor for the Canon 5D.

Here is a bit from a Nikon website The D600 is a new model added to the Nikon FX-format digital SLR lineup with a smaller size and lighter weight–approx. 141 (W) x 113 (H) x 82 (D) mm, 760 g*1 for excellent portability, yet offers the superior image quality and rendering performance, operation, and durability of high-end FX-format D-SLRs. The D600 is a compact and lightweight camera that offers excellent cost performance. In addition to a new FX-format CMOS image sensor with an effective pixel count of 24.3-million pixels and the same EXPEED 3 image-processing engine built into high-end models, the D600 inherits a number of advanced features from its high-end cousins, including an optical viewfinder with frame coverage of 100%*2, a large and clear, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with a wide viewing angle for superior visibility, and the same dust- and water-resistance as the D800

The best go to site for camera reviews DP Review only has a preview so far but anything they have to say is always worth reading, you can find that here

Nikon D600: Key Specifications

  • 24.3MP Full-frame CMOS sensor (10.5MP DX-format crop mode)
  • ISO 100-6400 (expandable to ISO 50-25,600 equivalent)
  • Maximum 5.5fps continuous shooting
  • 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type AF points
  • 3.2in 921k-dot LCD screen
  • 1080p30 full HD video mode with stereo sound recording
  • Headphone jack for audio monitoring in movie mode
  • Uncompressed video recording via HDMI
  • Single-axis electronic level in viewfinder, duel-axis (pitch and roll) in live view
  • Dimensions: 141mm x 113mm x 82mm (5.5 × 4.4 × 3.2 in).
  • Weight: 760 g (1.6 lbs) (camera body only, no battery)
  • Calumet here in the UK say the camera will be released on September 18th the price listed in the US is about $2100 so expect to pay about the same in pounds here

Hands On with the New 16.2MP Full-Frame Nikon D4 Professional DSLR

Things just got interesting again. Yes, as has been rumored and leaked for several weeks (months?) now, Nikon just officially unveiled its new flagship professional digital SLR: the Nikon D4, which uses a 16.2-megapixel FX-format (aka full-frame) CMOS sensor that can shoot at up to 11 frames per second and capture full 1080p HD video.

“The D4, which is the successor to the 12.1MP D3s announced back in 2009, will start shipping in late February 2012 for $5999.95. So start counting your pennies now!

The announcement of the new Nikon D4 comes several months after Canon also announced a new flagship professional DSLR, the 18MP Full-Frame EOS-1D X. Though the 12-frames-per-second shooting, 1080p-capable Canon 1D X was announced back in October, it won’t start shipping until March 2012 and will sell for quite a bit more than the Nikon D4: $6,800.

The Nikon D4 will makes its debut at the CES show in Las Vegas next week.” By Dan Havlik..………..MORE

Nikon D4 Specs

• 16.2MP Full-Frame (FX-format) sensor, sized at 36 x 23.9mm

• 91,000-pixel sensor dedicated for 3D Color Matrix metering to assist with autofocus and scene recognition

• EXPEED 3 image processor

• Back-illuminated buttons

• 51-point AF System which is same as in previous model but with new cross-type sensors

• ISO range from 50 to 204,800

• 10 frames per second still shooting for up to 200 JPEGs; 11 fps shooting but focus and exposure are locked at the first frame

• Full 1080p HD video at 30p; 720p shooting at 60p for slow motion

• 0.012 second start time; shutter lag rate at 0.0042 second (same as previous model)

• Two memory card slots: one for CompactFlash cards, the other for new XQD memory cards

• 3.2-inch 921,000-dot LCD screen on back

Six of the best portrait lenses – British Journal of Photography

A lot is spoken of when considering a portrait lens, that is a lens specifically designed for portraiture rather than a lens that could suitably be used for portrait photography. The tradition is for a portrait lens (when used on a 35mm film camera or on a full frame digital slr Canon 5DMk2 Nikon D700 etc.) to have a focal length between 85mm and 105mm. Naturally though you can use a lens of any focal length to take portraits if you wish. Portrait lenses also have a wide maximum aperture e.g. the Canon 85mm is F1.2. This article from BJP describes and reviews 6 lenses that are designed for the purpose.

If you do not have a full frame digital camera, say a Canon 500D or a Nikon D3000 you can still benefit from a portrait lens and do so while spending little money. Most non-full frame digital cameras have a smaller image capture chip and so any lens used offers a higher focal length than that stated on the lens itself. Generally a coefficient of about 1.6 is applied, so a standard 50mm F1.8 lens is actually a 80mm F1.8 lens, almost perfect for the job. The Canon 50mm F1.8 is only £90, the Nikon version is about £125. These lenses are not featured in this review but well worth checking out, there will also be F1.4 and maybe F1.2 versions available also but for much more money. The other thing you can do to improve your portrait photography is to take our Portrait Course which starts 27th of this month

Six of the best portrait lenses – British Journal of Photography.