November 4th, 2013

Nikon Unveils Retro-Style Nikon Df Full-Frame DSLR with No Video Capture Mode (Hands-On Preview)

Nikon-Df_SL_50_1.8_SE_frttopA few days after the U.S. “fell back” and ended Daylights Saving Time for the year, Nikon turned back the clock in its own way with a new camera announcement: the distinctly retro, 16.2-megapixel, full-frame Nikon Df, which looks more like a classic Nikon film SLR than any digital SLR we’ve seen so far. The camera, which has been widely leaked in the last few days, uses the same FX-format (35mm-sized) sensor as Nikon’s flagship professional D4 DSLR but resembles a Nikon FM or FE film SLR from the 1970s or 80s.

I got some hands-on time with the new Nikon Df at a press briefing, under NDA, during PhotoPlus Expo last month, and found the camera to be an intriguing but slightly befuddling new DSLR for professional photographers and enthusiasts. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take photos of the Nikon Df cameras shown to me during the briefing, so all the product images included here have been provided by Nikon.

Read more of my hands-on preview of the new Nikon Df here.

October 8th, 2013

Nikon D610 Full-Frame DSLR Announced

D610_24_85_front34rNikon just announced the full-frame, 24 megapixel D610—an evolutionary update to the D600. Naturally, the first thing some people will want to know is whether the D600’s dust/oil issues have been resolved. The direct answer is, we don’t know. When asked, Nikon gave the same response as it did earlier this year, which is essentially that a certain amount of dust is to be expected with any interchangeable lens camera and that if you can’t remove the debris, then send it to Nikon for service. However—and this may be the big news—the D610 is equipped with a new shutter mechanism which allows the camera to capture images at up to 6 frames-per-second (versus the D600’s 5.5fps frame rate). While Nikon says that the new shutter was implemented to gain the faster frame rate, if the online user reports of a correlation between the D600’s shutter and the accumulation of sensor dust and oil are correct then, yes, that issue may well be a thing of the past. And that’s good news all around because we think the D600 was—and is—a great camera.

The D610 uses the same sensor and offers the same features as the D600 but there have been a few enhancements in addition to the faster frame rate. For one, Nikon has updated the white balance algorithm for improved AWB performance. Although the D600 has a quiet mode, the D610 now has a quiet continuous mode, which will help wedding photographers, for example, stay on the good side of the officiate, as well as the bride and groom. We think the quiet continuous mode will also be useful when photographing performances and other events where you need some speed but want to maintain a low noise profile.

Otherwise the D610 is pretty much the same as the D600. That is, an affordable, full-frame camera with plenty of features, good performance. And we expect the D610 to deliver the same top level image quality as well.

The D610 should be available late October and is priced about $100 less than the D600 was when it was announced. For more information, visit: www.nikonusa.com.

Price:

Body only: $2000

With AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm lens: $2600