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post #11536 of 12598

I would have been interested if it had a simple, direct layout and traditional camera sizing. Currently, it is bigger than the F3 that it sort of mimics, has a smaller viewfinder, somehow wields retro schtick but remains massive and keeps or adds buttons all over the place. If it weren't such a normal digital body with a top/front retro skin I'd jump. Too big, too many buttons, too much trying to hold onto everything and add the feel from the past. 

post #11537 of 12598
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
 

I would have been interested if it had a simple, direct layout and traditional camera sizing. Currently, it is bigger than the F3 that it sort of mimics, has a smaller viewfinder, somehow wields retro schtick but remains massive and keeps or adds buttons all over the place. If it weren't such a normal digital body with a top/front retro skin I'd jump. Too big, too many buttons, too much trying to hold onto everything and add the feel from the past.


wait. isn't that what the DF is all about though? :tongue_smile:

a retro styled camera slapped with modern day technology

 

it could be useful in street photography, keeping it innocent in the front

...but little do they know about the back side...

post #11538 of 12598

The problem I have with it is that it is too much a compromise to keep everything the same while just adding manual controls. A camera that really looks like that is much smaller and much simpler. Nikon could have simplified or "purified" the shooting experience rather than shoe-horning in 'manual' controls (which can be overridden) into a LARGE body. 

 

I'm not sure there was a point to this design. Why make it look like a classic camera and give it a lower eye point? Why not vastly improve the viewfinder? Why not make the design thinner and smaller, like a traditional SLR so that it works for classic lenses? Why add 'manual' controls while keeping all the digital ones?

 

Why not just make a D610 with a D4 sensor?

 

The camera looks like it is meant as a traditional shooter. it absolutely isn't. The only thing I would be glad for (as a still life shooter) over and above the D800 is this camera's lockable exposure setting. The D800 in M mode is a disaster on a tripod with and without gloves because its shutter speed changes with the smallest (and often unnoticed) bump. 

 

I'm using Anakchan's Leica M9 now. Amazing. So damn simple. Has all that is necessary (unless you need AF). The shutter speed dial has half-steps and goes all the way down to 8S and is located in a safe spot for tripod / glove use. But then again, I'm not the typical Nikon shooter. Or maybe I'm the traditional Nikon shooter. Like many, I grew up on Nikon's FE series cameras with automatic exposure. Same thing: no way to mess up shutter speed, very simple controls, great easy-to-learn layout, and a big, bright viewfinder. 

 

Nikon made too many compromises. If they want to keep all the auto bells and whistles, the Df isn't the body for it. If they want to attract people who have manual lenses and have simple needs, the Df is waaaaaaaaaaaaay overkill, way large, has a poor viewfinder, and simply bristles with buttons and stuff that is in NO WAY AT ALL 'retro' or whatever it is supposed to be in order to attract a certain crowd. 

 

I'm sure it is a fine picture taking machine, but it is hampered by too many design boners.

post #11539 of 12598
Quote:
Originally Posted by airo View Post
 


wait. isn't that what the DF is all about though? :tongue_smile:

a retro styled camera slapped with modern day technology

 

it could be useful in street photography, keeping it innocent in the front

...but little do they know about the back side...

 

I've been taking street photographs here and kids tend to want to look at all the photos, but given there's a chance some of the crowd could have been the distraction part of mugger/snatcher schemes, a retro-looking digital cam is really useful. I never realized that until I got my E-P2, and people ask why I'm using film. No need to struggle with the dilemma of being nice to the kids or losing the camera - say it's film, don't check your shots, and you're good. (also means you have to be confident enough with getting the exposure right, even with Aperture Priority you have to know the right metering, where to focus, etc)

 

I actually saw a leather case on eBay that also covers the backside, so there's no way anyone will see an LCD; if I decide to switch to an X-E2 and 18/2, or better yet the X100S and WCL-X100 (since it'll have that window up front and looks even more convincing as a film cam), I'll get that case.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 11/14/13 at 6:35pm
post #11540 of 12598

The Df is as large or larger than most Nikon digital cameras out there (which makes it massive). Here is it compared to an FM2, which was not one of the smallest SLRs. 

 

 

The photo is from ThreeGuysWithCameras. They have a very nice blog concerning the goods and bars of the Df.

post #11541 of 12598
Quote:

Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

 

 

I'm using Anakchan's Leica M9 now. Amazing. So damn simple. Has all that is necessary (unless you need AF). The shutter speed dial has half-steps and goes all the way down to 8S and is located in a safe spot for tripod / glove use.

 

Haha, maybe you're just spoiled with the M9 with their dead gorgeous lenses :wink_face:.

But I see, you have point there. Nevertheless it's still interesting to see a big brand like Nikon pushing out something different or experimental perhaps than the others. I doubt the DF series is going to end here, but it certainly is an interesting start.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

I've been taking street photographs here and kids tend to want to look at all the photos, but given there's a chance some of the crowd could have been the distraction part of mugger/snatcher schemes, a retro-looking digital cam is really useful. I never realized that until I got my E-P2, and people ask why I'm using film. No need to struggle with the dilemma of being nice to the kids or losing the camera - say it's film, don't check your shots, and you're good. (also means you have to be confident enough with getting the exposure right, even with Aperture Priority you have to know the right metering, where to focus, etc)

 

I actually saw a leather case on eBay that also covers the backside, so there's no way anyone will see an LCD; if I decide to switch to an X-E2 and 18/2, or better yet the X100S and WCL-X100 (since it'll have that window up front and looks even more convincing as a film cam), I'll get that case.

 

Well a quarter of my shots are deleted being told so by the subject. I blame this on bringing the 5Dii out on the streets. Imagine a chunky black camera with a huge piece of mounted glass stuck in front of your face. Not the best when you're trying to be invisible and get away with candids.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
 

The Df is as large or larger than most Nikon digital cameras out there (which makes it massive). Here is it compared to an FM2, which was not one of the smallest SLRs.

 

 

The photo is from ThreeGuysWithCameras. They have a very nice blog concerning the goods and bars of the Df.

 

Whao, I never thought it would be this big? That is at least double the thickness


Edited by airo - 11/14/13 at 7:07pm
post #11542 of 12598
Quote:
Originally Posted by airo View Post
 

 

Haha, maybe you're just spoiled with the M9 with their dead gorgeous lenses :wink_face:.

But I see, you have point there. Nevertheless it's still interesting to see a big brand like Nikon pushing out something different or experimental perhaps than the others. I doubt the DF series is going to end here, but it certainly is an interesting start.

 

 

Well a quarter of my shots are deleted being told so by the subject. I blame this on bringing the 5Dii out on the streets. Imagine a chunky black camera with a huge piece of mounted glass stuck in front of your face. Not the best when you're trying to be invisible and get away with candids.

 

 

Whao, I never thought it would be this big? That is at least double the thickness

I hope that Nikon didn't just go crazy. I hope that they can deliver a FM2 styled simple camera. The M9 is great. I think it would be better in magnesium (to be lighter) and I'd love a 1:1 finder. But it is simply amazing to use. I own Leica lenses in LTM and M and have for years. They are a joy. Mine are the small ones with 39mm threads. Anak's are the 1,4 lenses that are as heavy (but smaller) than SLR lenses. 

 

It is in another league of utility. Leica know how to design for their market. It is just so damn simple. Never needed to check anything. The only thing I don't know (and don't care about since I won't use it in the studio) is how to manually sync WB to a grey card.

 

=

5DMKII is the same size as the Df. This is the reason I'm so anti Df. There is no reason. It is a massive digital camera in every way. All it has is a semi-retro (but massively complicated) skin put on part of it. I have used other 5D style cameras out on the streets when I was into street photography and never, ever, had any problems. I even used a 24-70 2,8 zoom for a while before settling on a 50mm or 28mm Ai prime. No difference. It really depends on how you interact with your environment. In fact, a Canon P from 1957 or something got more problems for me because it was no longer a tourist camera, it was a specialised camera that drew stares. 

 

The pen cameras look like point and shoot film cameras or small digital cameras. No one cares. As soon as you are specialised in any way shape or form out of the norm, you will draw stares. 

 

=

Finally... yes. huge. And remember, the FM2 isn't a small SLR. It is about the size of an M9, which is larger than a lot of compact SLRs, not to mention the original Pen series (though half frame). 

 

The Df has no specialised market. It seems made more for looks than any digital camera ever was. There is no rhyme or reason to it. It doesn't serve people that love digital controls as well. It doesn't serve those that love analogue controls. It is as big as a digital SLR, much heavier than an FE/FM/FA. Even heavier than the F3 professional camera that was way better made and had lots of interchangeable functionality. 

 

It's a monster. I'm sure it will sell well, but frack, WTH were Nikon thinking by keeping everything? 

post #11543 of 12598

I'm sure the leica is on another league.

Although never had the chance to experience the M9 in person, the pictures I've seen that it took are indeed something special.

Congrats on owning one I must say, I cant even imagine how I will justify its price and not to mention their bloody expensive glass

The M9 looks as if it was only designed to take pictures. Pure pictures. Hopefully someday I'll have the chance to press its shutter button a couple of times.

post #11544 of 12598

airo: the M9 isn't mine. I'm borrowing it from Anak. I must give it back late this month or early next. I don't like the sensor noise on it, but everything else (besides weight) is amazing. The construction quality is miles and miles ahead and the precision in every dial movement and placement of every button is day/night next to something like a Nikon, which throws in everything in every which way, ergonomics, utility, everything be damned. But the design in congruencies are very much the best essay about German VS. Japanese design ethics. I could go on and on and on about Japanese design problems in everything from toilets to houses and to cameras. But looking at how Leica design around simplicity and photo-taking vs how Nikon design around complexity and packing in features is the best essay and it really does span the globe and product lines.

post #11545 of 12598
Hard to beat a solid peice of German engineering.

Well make the most out of your half month affair with the M9. Just know you are the envy of airo at the moment.

Oh well, back to fiddling with some of my old film cams
post #11546 of 12598

Japanese engineers are equally capable. I think the reason they are held back is that their management (or their understanding of what is necessary) get in the way. That and a lot more time is spent on packing things in. It is the number 1 reason the M series feels more solid and vibrates with a life of its own. It has been tweaked and tweaked and tweaked for more than sixty years. Rather than redesign and add and redesign and add, it has been distilled. 

 

If Japanese firms could:

 

1. focus

2. tweak

3. distill

4. rely on quality not quantity to sell

 

They could come up with something as lust-worthy, as classic. But that will probably never happen. Nikon is where it is at because it followed the modern Japanese tradition of cheapening something ad then adding. Rather than building its brand image by making something unique and lasting, Nikon focused on making cheaper and cheaper products with excellent price/performance. In the end, they have a cheap brand name. It's like Toyota: dependable, but of no aesthetic or market value beyond $$$. If a new Toyota didn't have sticker on it you wouldn't be able to tell it from a new Honda or Mazda or other brand. 

 

Japanese companies cannot focus. I have no idea why. They just churn stuff out and hope something sells. Eventually the world will tire of it and Japan will have to start working on quality and brand image and lasting appeal- they will have to return to their roots as mechanical artisans and journeymen. It is sad how much of their roots they have forgotten or erased.

post #11547 of 12598
Well think of it this way, I would argue every huge manufacturer is driven by income and revenue. Sure you can establish your company with loyalty and class. But that's not what Nikon or Sony or Toyota is aiming to be. They want to be the biggest providers in the industry and in order to pursuit that goal, they constantly need change and innovation to push products out to consumers, especially nowadays where technology updates rapidly.

It's like the iPhone. I'm sure engineers at apple could just keep tweaking the iPhone until its perfect. But does the mass majority of consumers want what's basically the same thing over and over with the exceptions of a few tweaks?

Companies like Leica and such has found a niche where its buyers are loyal to the company. They are more about being true to thier products than being the leading industry. However that's just a small market and with the exception of them, there needs to be a mass market provider that reaches out to millions of consumers. So this is when big companies come in.

Yes people CAN stay true to thier designs and products, but why should they when they have billions of dollars in front of them to earn?

Japanese audio companies are actually pretty true to themselves. Don't mind sony, but final audio design, stax, fitear all have a pretty common uniqueness to their products and I guess it's what make them stand out than the majority
Edited by airo - 11/14/13 at 9:25pm
post #11548 of 12598

The only problem with the Sony/Nikon analogy is that neither company are doing well with the products they push. Both companies financials for cameras is dire. Why? Because they are trying to hit everyone. They don't even know their own market. And this is after decades in the market. That happens when you do your best to do everything. You simply can't. If you make the best ever point and shoot, perfect it, make sure it is always the best for the market you intend it for. Don't dawdle in other markets just because there is market there.

 

Japanese companies are failing because of that. Apple are the closest thing the West has to a Sony, but even apple are far more focused. They make a product that is very definitely made by Apple, that follows a specific design goal (across the entire range) and if it deviates from that, often it is drawn back. Like Apple or hate them, they don't even eat at the same chaotic table that Sony and Nikon eat at. 

 

I don't think there will be a return to roots. I think Japanese companies will be overtaken by Korean and Chinese companies that can produce cheaper and because there are fewer strictures on their production and practices at home, can compete better on the grounds originally set by Japanese companies. This market was created by Japan and will be the death of Japan.

post #11549 of 12598
Don't worry, there's still a long time before the Chinese takes over. They are getting better at manufacturing processes. But the lack of original ideas is a killer. Counterfeits is an example.

Still to be honest, I'd much rather have my product "made and designed in Japan" then anywhere else regarding electronics. It almost has that mystical feeling to it.
post #11550 of 12598

Haha. Japan began and continued its rise to market dominance by openly copying designs from everywhere from cars to cameras to other manufacturing materials. It's a reversal of positions. Japanese companies are actually complaining now of copying! Haha. Nikon/Canon/Minolta/Toyota and on and on began by completely copying German products. 

 

You are right though, Japanese electronics are by far the most reliable. That is their competitive advantage. That said, they have no stimulation for perfecting anything. One generation is different to the next and problems are only compounded. Japanese companies would be wise to learn how to apply the German manufacturing/design ethic to electronic designs so they can make stuff that is worth it in the long run and finally make real brands. 

 

I like what I use from Japan, but only as it applies to work. There is not a single Japanese product outside of Ocharaku earphone that really speaks to my soul.

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