NEW YORK – Nikon and Olympus recently made a couple of interesting late-year upscale camera introductions, including Nikon’s first retro-look full-frame DSLR and Olympus’ advanced Stylus point-and shoot.
Nikon’s Df full-frame DSLR takes aim at the company’s rich tradition and history, offering an advanced digital camera in a retro-styled body reminiscent of the company’s popular film-based SLRs of the past.
The Df, which carries a $2,999 suggested retail for a kit with a new 50mm f1.8 lens, is offered in a choice of a retro silver-and-black or an all-black body, both of which are designed to easily accept Nikon’s old (pre-1977 era) non-AI (automatic maximum aperture indexing) lenses.
The camera also features a host of mode dials and controls reminiscent of Nikon’s advanced film cameras of the past, but offering Nikon’s latest automatic picture setting technology as well as manual controls.
In addition to non-AI lenses, the camera will accept all of Nikon’s more advanced F-mount lenses, including AF-S, AF-D and AF Nikkor models in types G, E and D (restrictions apply to PC lenses), DX (using DX image area), AI-P Nikkor and non- CPU AI lenses (A and M modes only).
Also, like Nikon’s cameras of old, the Df does not support video. But it can support Wi-Fi connectivity for image sharing and remote camera control using an optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter and a free iOS or Android smartphone utility app.
The camera is equipped with the Expeed 3 processor used in the D4, affording more low-light flexibility than some later offerings.
Along with the Df, Nikon is reissuing a 50mm f1.8 lens (made of aluminum) to be sold in a kit with the camera body.
Other camera features include: a 39-point wide-area AF system that quickly locks onto the subject using 9 cross-type sensors and an unique 3D-tracking system. For Live View, the camera uses a fast contrast-detect AF system that displays images up to 19x for accurate focus confirmation.
The Df’s scene recognition system allows concentrating on shot composition, using onboard intelligence that analyzes the situation, compares it to an onboard database, and chooses the best exposure, white balance and autofocus settings.
The camera will handle up to 5.5 fps continuous shooting, and offers a wide ISO range from 100 to 12800, expandable down to 50 and up to 204,800.
Keeping modern, the Df packs a 3.2- inch TFT-LCD monitor.
Meanwhile, Olympus showed it was still in the point-and-shoot game by revealing the Stylus 1 targeted at advanced and semi-pro photographers.
The all-in-one camera, which ships in December at a $700 suggested retail, includes an i.Zuiko 10.7x (28-300mm equivalent) F2.8 lens with VCM image stabilization mechanism and macro focusing; a 12-megapixel, 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS sensor; and TruePic VI image processor.
Other features include a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) and Wi-Fi.
The sensor and TruePicVI image processor offer advanced light sensitivity for high-quality, low-noise, low-light shooting.
The Stylus 1 also includes the Fast Touch AF system from Olympus’ Pen series of compact system cameras, and a tilting LCD touchscreen monitor.
An eye sensor automatically switches the camera from live view display on the 3-inch, 1.04 million-dot LCD touchscreen, to the EVF monitor when the photographer raises the camera to the eye.
The EVF screen displays camera settings, including exposure and color.
The camera includes a built-in flash and a hot shoe for various accessories, a side zoom lever with variable speeds, and two customizable function buttons for easy access to commonly used settings.
The Stylus 1 captures up to seven still frames per second in full resolution.
The camera’s video capabilities include FullHD 1080p with stereo sound and high-speed movie recording of up to 120 fps and 240 fps, for slow-motion playback.
Users can also capture RAW image data for post-processing.