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Author Topic: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?  (Read 15518 times)

PhotoEcosse

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Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« on: November 05, 2013, 04:59:20 am »

Despite the predictions of the pundits, I suspect not. But it could make a bit of a dent in the Leica market, especially for the "street photographer".

Now that the Df has been announced, some of those same pundits are complaining about it "only" having the sensor of the D4 and about it having no movie mode. Also, of course, the price.

But how many of us ever use movie mode? (5% perhaps?). And who have you heard complaining about the image quality from the D4? And, although the Nikon launch price may seem high compared to their D800 (which is a very different beast anyway), it is a damn sight cheaper than a Leics M (also a different beast but for comparable purposes).

I'll not make any predictions but it could be interesting. (And, what will it do to the Sony 7R?)
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 05:54:13 am »

Its a totally different camera than the Leica. A bit of Retro User Interface doesn't change that.

TMARK

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 07:04:30 am »

No.
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JV

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 07:43:24 am »

Not even close.

People shoot the M for a variety of reasons some of which are the rangefinder experience, the lenses, the simplicity of the system, the prestigious brand name, etc.

None of these is being challenged by the Nikon Df.
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nemophoto

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 10:35:04 am »

I think the Df is the answer for guy (like me), who are tired of paying additional premiums for new cameras that have video incorporated, even if I/they have no interest in doing video. I'm a Canon guy, and I'd dearly love a 1Dx WITHOUT video. The so-called melding of still and video is, I believe, overhyped. Sure, many pro photographers may have a secret hankering to be the next great film director, but at this stage, I'm not one. (I actually started my semi-professional life more than 30-years ago as a cinematographer and morphed into still -- and was happier. I even won an Honorable Mention in Kodak's Amateur Film contest many, many moons ago.)

I think there's a strong market out there for still, and still only. Kudos to Nikon.

Nemo
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Chairman Bill

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 10:40:43 am »

I think the Df is the answer for guy (like me), who are tired of paying additional premiums for new cameras that have video incorporated

Trouble is, with the Df you're paying a premium to not have video. Get a D600 for substantially less money, and just don't use the video option. Now, if it was priced less than the D600/610, or even at the same price point, I'd seriously look at it. Herein the UK, the price is ridiculous, considerably more than for a D800.

jrsforums

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 10:57:02 am »

I think the Df is the answer for guy (like me), who are tired of paying additional premiums for new cameras that have video incorporated, even if I/they have no interest in doing video. I'm a Canon guy, and I'd dearly love a 1Dx WITHOUT video. The so-called melding of still and video is, I believe, overhyped. Sure, many pro photographers may have a secret hankering to be the next great film director, but at this stage, I'm not one. (I actually started my semi-professional life more than 30-years ago as a cinematographer and morphed into still -- and was happier. I even won an Honorable Mention in Kodak's Amateur Film contest many, many moons ago.)

I think there's a strong market out there for still, and still only. Kudos to Nikon.

Nemo

Hardware-wise, video comes for free when LiveView is implemented.

Obviously, there is development expense for the firmware and testing.

John
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John

BJL

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Disabling the inherent video capabilities is a pretentious marketing gimmick
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 11:24:38 am »

Having no video on the Df is a  pretentious, pseudo-retro "less is more" marketing gimmick; it has live view (which is silent video) and uses the same sensor and processing chip as the video-capable D4. Indeed, developing and manufacturing a special CMOS sensor without video capability would be a major additional cost. The only extra costs needed to add video would be (a) adding a fifth position the mode dial after M, A, S, and P (the shutter release could be used to activate video) and (b) a microphone (or perhaps even that could be omitted, offering retro-purists the chic of only making silent movies).

How much would this have added to the cost? Since cheap compact digital cameras costing a tiny fraction as much as the Df have video, clearly not a significant amount. It might actually reduce the retail price, by adding a few customers lost by the lack of video, and thus improving the economies of scale.
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TMARK

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I agree with you, but for some reason there are guys (and I assume they are guys) who are OFFENDED with video in a still camera.  I don't get the objection to the IDEA of video capability, especially since, physically, video adds only a mode switch position and a red LV button.

Having no video on the Df is a  pretentious, pseudo-retro "less is more" marketing gimmick; it has live view (which is silent video) and uses the same sensor and processing chip as the video-capable D4. Indeed, developing and manufacturing a special CMOS sensor without video capability would be a major additional cost. The only extra costs needed to add video would be (a) adding a fifth position the mode dial after M, A, S, and P (the shutter release could be used to activate video) and (b) a microphone (or perhaps even that could be omitted, offering retro-purists the chic of only making silent movies).

How much would this have added to the cost? Since cheap compact digital cameras costing a tiny fraction as much as the Df have video, clearly not a significant amount. It might actually reduce the retail price, by adding a few customers lost by the lack of video, and thus improving the economies of scale.
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AFairley

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 11:33:07 am »

Absolutely, just like the Nikon F killed the Leica M3.   :D
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Misirlou

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 11:39:54 am »

Absolutely, just like the Nikon F killed the Leica M3.   :D

Excellent point
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Misirlou

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 11:45:35 am »

DPR is suggesting that one reason for not including video, aside from the retrogrouch appeal, is that the battery is too small to support video. Or, it could be the other way around ("Since we aren't including video, let's use a smaller battery, which allows the grip to be smaller and more F like.").

I'm not a Nikon guy, but if Canon had a similar camera, I might have considered it. Not for any serious reason, but just because I think it looks fun.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2013, 11:54:32 am »

If only there were a pink Swarovski version ....

nemophoto

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 12:09:29 pm »

Hardware-wise, video comes for free when LiveView is implemented.

Obviously, there is development expense for the firmware and testing.

John

Actually, not true. My 1Ds Mark III has perfectly capabale LiveView... but no video. There'a a lot more to incorporating video than just have LiveView and firmware. Would I pay a "premium" for a 1Dx without video? Would pay, say $5000 for a near bullet proof camera, rather than the $6700 I shelled out? Absolutely. I can do a lot with that "extra" $1700. Could they give me the same for even $4500 or $4000? Most likely. Adding pro video capabilities to a camera body adds to the cost. I still like the idea of the Df - retro look or not. It has a premium focus system and premium chip.
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TMARK

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2013, 12:21:41 pm »

In regards to the sIII, it was released before they started with video in the 5d2.  I don't know if there are added costs for video in a LV DSLR, and if so how much, but I suspect it is a rounding error in terms of cost unless there is a hardware difference.

Actually, not true. My 1Ds Mark III has perfectly capabale LiveView... but no video. There'a a lot more to incorporating video than just have LiveView and firmware. Would I pay a "premium" for a 1Dx without video? Would pay, say $5000 for a near bullet proof camera, rather than the $6700 I shelled out? Absolutely. I can do a lot with that "extra" $1700. Could they give me the same for even $4500 or $4000? Most likely. Adding pro video capabilities to a camera body adds to the cost. I still like the idea of the Df - retro look or not. It has a premium focus system and premium chip.
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uaiomex

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 01:56:37 pm »

I think once the LV and video codecs for a particular sensor are written in the processor, the only thing to add in a new camera is the video button.
Funny enough, not having video in the Df is a gimmick. Or kind of silly as Fstoppers said it.
The tactile controls are always nice to have if done right. In the Df they don't look well implemented.
I find the chrome version extremely bright and colorless and without a patina to be hideous.

Sorry Nikon, nice try but missed it.
Eduardo


In regards to the sIII, it was released before they started with video in the 5d2.  I don't know if there are added costs for video in a LV DSLR, and if so how much, but I suspect it is a rounding error in terms of cost unless there is a hardware difference.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 08:58:39 pm by uaiomex »
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jrsforums

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 01:56:47 pm »

Actually, not true. My 1Ds Mark III has perfectly capabale LiveView... but no video. There'a a lot more to incorporating video than just have LiveView and firmware. Would I pay a "premium" for a 1Dx without video? Would pay, say $5000 for a near bullet proof camera, rather than the $6700 I shelled out? Absolutely. I can do a lot with that "extra" $1700. Could they give me the same for even $4500 or $4000? Most likely. Adding pro video capabilities to a camera body adds to the cost. I still like the idea of the Df - retro look or not. It has a premium focus system and premium chip.

Excepting audio , please help me understand what else would be needed besides firmware and testing?

(Just because the 1Ds3 did not have it is not proof that it could not have been done.)
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John

larkis

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2013, 02:03:13 pm »

I guess there is no value to nikon (and others) to simply make a minimalist camera (no video, only the knobs and menus you need) that has a modern design which represents evolution based on the things learned over the years. I find the retro styled cameras targeted more at hipsters than anyone else. I do appreciate old design that works, but it needs to be something that's can't be improved upon in a meaningful way.

I would not be surprised if nikon included a leather jacket, scarf and matching hat sold as the limited edition "hipster kit" with this camera.

BJL

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There was no SLR video firmware in 2007; there is now
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2013, 02:12:12 pm »

My 1Ds Mark III has perfectly capabale LiveView... but no video. There'a a lot more to incorporating video than just have LiveView and firmware.
The firmware and such had not been developed for video in the 1DsIII back when it was announced back in August 2007, or for any other DSLR: the D90 was the first DSLR with video, a year later.

But the firmware for video support has now been developed, and specifically it exists for the sensor and processor combination in the Df, because both are the same as in the D4.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 02:20:43 pm by BJL »
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TMARK

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Re: Does the Nikon Df sound the death knell of the Leica M?
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 02:24:47 pm »

A word on marketing and Hipsters:  The target market is not "Hipsters".  In fact, there is no clearly delineated market for "Hipster".  The reality is that "Hipster" covers lots of ground: age group 16 - 70, income $0 - Unlimited, ethnicity ALL, gender ALL.  If your neighbor recycles s/he may be a Hipster.  If you vote Social Democratic you may very well be a Hipster.  If you wear a 20's costume EVERYDAY you are a Hipster.  Steve Jobs was a Hipster.  So is the bartender who dresses like an extra from Boardwalk Empire.  Its more a set of attitudes than anything else.  Now that I'm done with my rant, I feel better. 

Its too busy to be retro.  Its busier than an F4.  The top LCD looks like it was dropped there with no concern to what is around it.  The multiple stacked dials are too big.  The viewfinder is too small and no split prism.  I thought I knew who this camera is for, but now I don't. 

I guess there is no value to nikon (and others) to simply make a minimalist camera (no video, only the knobs and menus you need) that has a modern design which represents evolution based on the things learned over the years. I find the retro styled cameras targeted more at hipsters than anyone else. I do appreciate old design that works, but it needs to be something that's can't be improved upon in a meaningful way.

I would not be surprised if nikon included a leather jacket, scarf and matching hat sold as the limited edition "hipster kit" with this camera.
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