How Are Df Sales Doing?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dan_brown|4, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Curious if they are selling for Nikon, and if they might do a revision of it sometime?
    The only hint I could find was production of the 50/1.8G-Df lens, which is 28,022 according to Roland Vink. A suppose there is some correlation, and guess there are more Df cameras than Df lenses. I wonder how that compares to the D800, for example?
     
  2. The D800 was manufactured initially at a rate of 30000 cameras per month. That's quite a lot but the demand for that camera was unusually high.
    I read that (some) Df users have been asked in a questionnaire by Nikon about what they feel about various aspects of the Df's design so I assume they are going to make a replacement at some point, and are considering the feedback.
     
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    For whatever it is worth, my wife and I went hiking at Point Lobos State Park in the Monterey area in California over Christmas, 2013. That was about a week or two since Nikon started shipping the Df, and I saw someone using a Df and talked to him a bit about his new camera.
    However, interestingly, now a little more than a year later, so far that was also the only time I saw someone using a Df "in the field."
    In any case, any sales data has to be proprietary information and will not be shared in public. Obviously Nikon has such information and people like Henry Posner may have info on B&H sales, but they are not going to comment on that here.
    About a year ago, Amazon DSLR (including mirrorless) sales ranking showed the Df to be in the 80 to 90 range among the top 100. See my post on February 18 last year: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00cOKM
    To be fair, the data for the Df is divided into four entries: black and silver body only and black and silver with kit lens. But Amazon rankings is divided for other popular DSLRs such as some Canon Rebel with different kit lens configurations. In comparison, the D810's sales ranking was as high as #3 in Amazon 2, 3 months after its introduction.
    I think it is safe to say that the Df is a niche product and is not selling in large numbers, but I wouldn't expect any further, reliable details.
     
  4. Thanks for the info. It's interesting to see the lens production numbers, particularly how few of some lenses are made. I suppose camera sales information is more critical for the manufacturers.
    And likewise, I have not seen but a couple Df's out in the "real world".
     
  5. I was wondering about the number sold also. I bought mine last year, but have only seen one other one and that was in a camera store in Tampa, FL. I have had a lot of comments about the camera. Some have commented that they like the old film cameras and were surprised when I showed them the back of the camera. It has taken some time to get used to the controls and other settings, but I love the camera.
     
  6. I am very happy to to be an owner of a DF, the southernmost in the world maybe (Punta Arenas, Patagonia). The controls are very fast and handy and I love the thread for cable release on the ON button, with Mirror up to take low speed photos on the spot without the hassle of cables and others (All cameras should have that thread back). And also great to work with old AIS lenses.
     
  7. On Flickr, the DF is ranked No. 33 out of 181 Nikon cameras according to upload activity. That places it in the top sixth, after a relatively short time.
     
  8. My guess is the Df were selling better than Nikon expected but still a very small number because Nikon expected it to be a small number. Right now I think the Df isn't selling any more as anyone who wanted one already has one. I don't think they will introduce the Df-2 as I don't think it will sell as well as the Df even if it's an improvement.
    I think right now Nikon would stop making the Df. Keep the Df in their line up. Once they sell almost all of the ones they have they would discontinue it. I don't think they would drop the price in an attempt to sell off the stock either. They just keep the price the same and sell slowly but eventually sold out then discontinue.
     
  9. I've got my eye open for a second Df on the used market at a good price, but haven't found one yet. The Df prices certainly aren't dropping like the D800 prices.
    Also, I would probably buy a Df-2 as long as they wrap the flagship sensor technology in an even more downsized and classic frame (more metal please).
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Prices for the D800 has dropped significantly, far more than what I would expect, mainly because it has been superseded by the D810. Additionally, the value of the yen has dropped quite a bit since the D800 was introduced three years ago.
    Df is a totally different product altogether. Its main selling point is its retro styling, not having the latest technology. As far as technology goes, the Df has never been the latest even when it was introduced. It is always a low-volume, niche product. Like BeBu, I kind of doubt that Nikon will ever update it, as a version 2 is going to have an even-narrower appeal.
     
  11. I try not to confuse added bells and whistles with the core sensor technology. At the time of the Df introduction, the D4 was the Nikon flagship model, and the Df had the same sensor as that model. That is what I would like to see in a Df 2, and a superlative viewfinder.
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan, the D4 (and D4S) use a 16MP sensor mainly because it needs to do 10 fps. That is a lot of data to process in the small computer inside a camera. Likewise, Canon's 1DX and 7D2 are 18MP for the same reason. Otherwise, mainstream FX sensors have migrated to 21/22MP (Canon 1DS3, 5D2, and 5D3), 24MP and 36MP for Nikon a few years ago. As electronics continue to improve and Nikon moves to EXPEED 4 and 5 in the future, more processing power means future sports/action DSLRs can move up to 24MP (or maybe more) also.
    The Df clearly has none of the D4's speed. My explanation that the Df needs a relatively low pixel count is to accommodate old lenses that cannot resolve 24/36MP. Using the D4's 16MP is a matter of convenience for the Df. Otherwise, developing yet another sensor for a low-volume DSLR is not economical. Those old lenses aren't exactly going to get better optically over time, so I don't see Nikon improving the sensor on the Df.
    To me, the Df is kind of like the F6. Nikon may produce a bunch of them, put them in storage, and sell them slowly. Or they may have a bunch of parts available so that they can continue to assemble them as necessary. I wouldn't count on the price going down significantly. The D4S already uses an improved sensor from the D4. Most likely they will introduce the D5 in the 2nd half of 2015 or early 2016 way ahead of the Rio Olympics. Those 16MP sensors will probably be out of production in the near future.
     
  13. What I'd like to see is a "DX Df." What I have in mind is a very small camera, maybe the size of D5500, and a set of excellent but small lenses. I very nearly bought a Fuji XT1 last summer, and still haven't ruled it out. Nikon could make a killer travel camera & system if they wanted to. I have zero interest in the Df--too big. I would rather just buy & use an F3HP or FM2n.
    Kent in SD
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am afraid that a DX Df wouldn't make sense. Df is about retro and using old AI/AI-S lenses and even pre-AI lenses; none of those lenses is DX. Once there is a "crop factor," the appeal for using those lenses is mostly gone.
    The D3000 and D5000 series cameras are pretty small. If you want smaller, you need to remove the mirror. Personally, that would be too small for my comfort, as the controls will be very cramp. And I still don't like EVF at this point. However, clearly plenty of people like them.
    But I think part of Nikon's motivation to gradually make lenses E is for convenient adaptation to future mirrorless cameras as they will no longer have the mechanical linkage for aperture control.
     
  15. Is there any reason a mirrorless camera cannot have mechanical aperture linkage, though? Why not a mirrorless F mount? Think D3000 without the mirror, and with a viewfinder you can zoom for fine manual focusing. I don't see why they couldn't fit a full frame sensor in one, with an F mount and meter coupling. Daydreaming is cheap.
     
  16. A big part of the attraction of mirrorless for me is the ability to use my Leica lenses.
    Kent in SD
     
  17. A big part of the attraction of mirrorless for me is the ability to use my Leica lenses.​
    As it was for me - unfortunately, a lot of them don't work all that well on my Sony A7. And on a cropped sensor I had the issue that Shun mentioned above - the appeal is mostly gone. Don't count on any Leica lens with focal lengths of 35mm and below to work on (full frame) mirrorless without issues.
     
  18. Kind of sounds like the Fuji XT-1 to me, and what would be the problem with that, too retro looking? Actually, to me, the XT-1 is looking very interesting. I'm curious over the viewfinder, and how it reacts to movement.
     
  19. I tend to agree with Shun's comments about the DF. I have had mine for more than a year and can't complain about the camera, the user interfaces, and the sensor. I agree that Nikon picked the D4 sensor because they knew that many buyers would be using older lenses and that this sensor behaves extremely well with older F lenses. I also don't think that Nikon will make another DF, and if they do, it will basically be the same camera with only a few changes. The D4 sensor will be used again for the reasons that I and Shun mentioned. I think that Nikon will make more accessories for the DF, like the handle that they just recently introduced. The next version, if any, might offer for example, interchangeable screens.
    As for making a smaller DF with an APS-C sensor, what would be the point if you can't use older lenses the way they were intended to be used, without the crop factor? Nikon would also have to introduce a whole new line of retro aperture dialed lenses for APS-C format. Turning the DF into a mirrorless camera like the Fuji XT-1 is highly improbable mainly because this would require a whole new set of lenses designed for a camera with a different register between lenses and the sensor.
    The DF is a niche product designed for guys like me that enjoy using dials like in the old days. It's not a hipster camera as mentioned by many when it first came out. These people simply misunderstand the appeal that this camera has for older photographers like me. Will they make an upgrade? I don't think they have to. Most DF owners like the camera and don't need any substantial changes.
     
  20. I sure would still like a Df, though I can't really justify it. I like a lot of older lenses, though I find that some of the ones I like are finding their second life in DX format rather better than before. The 35/2.8 PC, which was limited in FX, becomes a sharp normal lens in DX, and the 28/3.5, which was a ho hum performer on film, is a very nice and sharp wide normal on DX. But I miss the wider angles, and would love to get back to the 24 and 20 of old film days.
    But in the "why not" daydreaming category, is there any reason a new DX could not be made with a denser newer sensor that can be downsampled as needed for lenses that prefer it? Most cameras give you lower density choices in JPG. Is there any good reason they could not include a choice in Raw as well? Then you could use old and new FX lenses and still have plenty of room to crop when you need the reach we've gotten used to in DX.
     
  21. The Df is too big but I don't want Nikon to make it smaller by going DX and mirrorless. Any way to reduce the flange distance new lens mount must be introduced. Even if you reduce the sensor and remove the mirror the space still have to be there although it would be empty space. Nikon could follow the Leica lead buy removing the LCD but allow a remote LCD via Wifi or some source of wireless connection. But any way it would make the market even smaller.
     
  22. I don't think there will be a Df-2 but there could be a Ds (Do) I don't know but there could be a Nikon digital rangefinder. And then it could be mirrorless and using the same Nikkor rangefinder lenses.
     
  23. I don't think that there are enough Nikon rangefinder lenses around for this to happen. F mount lenses are out there in the millions.
     
  24. At the time of the Df introduction, the D4 was the Nikon flagship model, and the Df had the same sensor as that model.​
    Nikon has form for moving the sensor manufactured for the high-end sports body into another body just before upgrading the high end. The D3s appeared just after the D700. The D4s appeared just after the Df. My suspicion is that they have either a lot of these sensors lying around, or they have a contract for manufacture that encourages putting them in something else. I'd not be surprised to see the D4s sensor turn up in another body when the "D5" is launched, but whether that body looks like the Df or whether it's something completely different (maybe a more direct D700 replacement than the D750) I wouldn't like to speculate.
    As for making a smaller DF with an APS-C sensor, what would be the point if you can't use older lenses the way they were intended to be used, without the crop factor?​
    Well, a fair number of people seem to use FX lenses on DX. And Leica managed to see the M8 for a while.
    Most cameras give you lower density choices in JPG. Is there any good reason they could not include a choice in Raw as well?​
    Binning techniques in raw files are a little awkward, and require some input from the raw converter. There are patent issues unless you want to deal with some awkward overlapping sample points, although that patent falls into the "well, duh" category for me (I LOVE patents). Binning tends to give you a quarter of the pixel count, which is really not much from a 24MP sensor, and barely much from a 36MP one. This is why approaches such as Nikon's small raw and Canon's SRAW options aren't really raw, and aren't really binning (among other objections). Still, if the D810 had a 9MP truly binned raw mode, I'd use it - I have no intention of touching the current small raw implementation. It's much easier to do different sampling in JPEG, where you're already processing the pixels.
    As it was for me - unfortunately, a lot of them don't work all that well on my Sony A7. And on a cropped sensor I had the issue that Shun mentioned above - the appeal is mostly gone. Don't count on any Leica lens with focal lengths of 35mm and below to work on (full frame) mirrorless without issues.​
    Lensrentals recently did a blog post on replacing the sensor cover with a thinner one, which apparently helps for wider lenses that aren't designed for the current thickness (like old Leicas). Might be worth a look when the company doing it goes commercial, if they haven't yet.
     
  25. I almost forget to use my D3s and D4. The image quality is superb, and I like to use it most of the time if I need to shoot with one camera only. Since I get the Df, from the first batch, I using it happily most of the time. The only problem I haw from the beginning, the bottom memory card placement and the unavailable proper same style of extended grip. ( no buttons, duplicate control required. Just a pure, physical extension.) It is to small body to hold steady with a bigger telephoto or zoom lens. Fortunately, most of the time, I never need to goo with a longer lens then the very nice, small and sharp 200mm f/4 AI-S. A small canvas shoulder bag, 18mm f/4, 28-50mm f/3.5, 105mm f/2.5 and the 200mm f/4 all AI-S and the camera, fit all easily in the small bag. In the side packet the charger , spare battery, never needed, and the lovely small but powerful SB-400 flash.
     
  26. the D4 (and D4S) use a 16MP sensor mainly because it needs to do 10 fps.​
    Not sure I agree with that at all (though quicker processing may have been a side benefit). The D4 (and therefore DF sensor) were issued simultaneously with the d800, so it's the same generation technology as the d800. The D4 and DF are of course optimised for low light and general performance, whereas the D800/D810 are rather aimed at studio use and similar usage where a high pixel count in good lighting conditions is the priority. I've heard from friends who own the D800/810 at least that performance in low light is relatively disappointing, which would figure.

    For example at the moment, according to these very recent tests the DF is the best performing DSLR in low light available, with a slight edge even on the D4:
    http://www.adorama.com/alc/0012810/article/15-Low-Light-High-ISO-All-Stars
    So for professional use at least, there are good grounds for considering the DF ahead of the likes of the D810 on the grounds of sensor performance alone. It may not be what the DF is really about, but it's a bit misleading to dismiss the sensor as old technology. Not the very latest sensor perhaps (as the D810 is supposed to have been a slight upgrade on the D800), but still the arguably the best available for low light at least.
     
  27. I think the DF should be upgraded and continued for only one reason.
    When Forum members complain about Hybrid Cameras, I can continue to tell them to get a DF.
    I now shoot so few stills that a 8MP "frame grab" from a 4k Video is "good enough". Besides, nearly all "Video" Cameras now shoot stills too.
    What I want Nikon to do is produce a FullFrame Mirrorless Camera optimized for Video with an improved 12MP A7s Sensor with an Expeed 5 processor and with FullTime AutoFocus like the V1. Although not crazy about the DF Rangefinder style, it would not matter on a TriPod. A short flange could be used if an F mount adapter were included. And Nikon could introduce a new Cine Line of lens.
     
  28. I don't see any reason to think Nikon has such a camera in the pipeline. Just get an A7S and an F mount adapter.
    --
     
  29. <!--
    Get an A7S. Stupid autocorrect.
    -->
     

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