Tuesday, 5 November 2013

twisty dial cameras

Nikon Df
An intriguing development on the photographic scene in the very month when I've decided (just experimentally) to take most of my photos using an iPhone.

Yes, Nikon have just introduced a new digital camera that looks very much like...an old film camera.

This Df unit looks very much like a last century Nikon Fx film camera, albeit with some fancy electronics inside. It will be interesting to see how this gets reviewed against the rest of the DSLR cameras, seeing how comprehensively it breaks the normal DSLR mould.

I've wondered whether digital cameras could get away from complicated layered menus and back to simpler twisty dials. This seems to be a reasonable attempt to do just that. I've only seen pictures of this Df and I've a feeling that it might be lighter in the hand than expected and also missing things like split screen focus.

It's also rather expensive in its current guise, apparently costing more than Nikon's fancy D800. It also seems to come with a new 'retro lens' as the only option - albeit one without an aperture ring, which I find somewhat curious. Something of a half-way house.

Whether it is the start of a new camera line, or the end of proper mirrors in the next generation of conventional Nikon DSLRs remains to be seen.

It will also be interesting to see whether, in design terms, the old-school look really does stand up in the 21st century or if its simply a market testing experiment. I'm wondering if the next 2014-ish conventional Nikon DSLRs will start to use the dials again too?

Nikon's recent raft of announcements somehow reminds me of London buses, where there can be a long gap and then a whole load come along in one go.

Of course, it's not the first camera to go along this analogue look route; my Fuji X100 does it as a kind of 'alternative to rangefinder' camera, admittedly with some early teething troubles that took a while to fix.

My little Olympus OM-D is another camera that has taken the more twisty dials route, seen here with a few of its old-timer friends.
Spot the OM-D

11 comments:

RFM said...

I like a twisty dial camera as much as the next person, but that Nikon looks a little… East German

Doris said...

Just today I came across a telephoto lens attachment to go on to an android. Most bizarre.

rashbre said...

RFM Yes, I can see a sort of Zenit E look about the camera.

Maybe channeling a T34 tank? Curiously, it looks more retro from the front than the back. Intrigued to see if there's a modular design that will pop up in their more conventional range.

Doris I noticed some of those gizmos too, although it seems to be a slippery slope to start gathering extras for a slim designed pocketable phone.

Pat said...

I'm wondering if my old Sony Cyber shot is up to my Fjord trip.
I'd like a larger view finder.

vladography said...

I'd be disappointed that I couldn't open the back to load some film.

--Debra

vladography said...

I'd be disappointed that I couldn't open the back to load some film.

--Debra

vladography said...

I'd be disappointed that I couldn't open the back to load some film.

--Debra

Doris said...

BTW with the new digital cameras I am glad not to have to pay a tenner a time to get film developed.

On the other hand, there is nothing like the amazing film quality one can get from black and white film.

rashbre said...

Pat Difficult to know what to suggest nowadays. I also prefer a camera with a proper viewfinder but many don't have them at all.

rashbre said...

Vladography I sort of guessed that it would be the case. I suppose the old trick of sticking a film box end over the LCD screen would still create some of the illusion.

rashbre said...

Doris I sometimes take B&W on my digital cameras. Most of them have a setting or two.