A conservation photographer goes retro with the Df

Tuesday September 23, 2014
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On first appearance, the Nikon Df looks like the old FM2 film camera. In fact, everyone thought it was film camera. The old-school retro finish looks great. It really seems to stand out from other cameras and is a real conversation starter.

The Df has a full-frame sensor, and large viewfinder, and its alloy frame and weather sealing contribute to the camera’s solid weight and feel, which is perfect to compose and shoot an image at a low shutter speed. These are all desirable features to have, and there can be little complaint about the way Nikon put the Df together.

This camera will withstand years, if not decades, of abuse, and any scuffs or bumps it accumulates along the way are likely to just add to its old-fashioned charm.

 Enough about the looks

As a conservation photographer, the quiet shutter is perfect for my line of work. I spent a couple of hours photographing birds around the garden. The shutter priority setting made life easy, and all I needed to do was set the high shutter speed and compose the shot.

The camera automatically selected the aperture for the right exposure. I was impressed with the quick auto focus given the circumstances, shooting in high contrasting light and the birds weaving in and out of the branches. While it’s not really well-known for Wildlife photography, the Df performed well, capable of shooting at a speed of 5.5fps. 

Also a great feature that stood out was the exposure compensation dial, on the left-hand side, above the ISO dial, as I always like to overexpose images for better saturation. This feature was used in many analog cameras. My dial was always set to two-thirds over.

 The ISO expansion was amazing in low light and changing the number without going into the menu was a huge plus for me.

To find out more about Nikon Df