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Nikon Df review: New low light champion?

By Kevin Carter - Monday December 09 2013

Sensor Review
Introduction | Nikon Df sensor performance: Best Low-Light ISO score | Nikon Df Versus Nikon D4: Competitive Edge? | Nikon Df Versus Nikon D800: Complementary performance | Nikon Df Versus Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Conclusion

At $2750 the Df is competing with the Canon EOS 5D Mk III, a camera with a higher specification, particularly with regard the AF system and a sensor with 22-Mpix.

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The difference in DxOMark score between the two models reveals the Df has around a +2/3 of stop improvement in IQ overall at base ISO (ISO 100). The Nikon has around +1/3 stop better color to begin with and this difference only improves with higher sensitivities, to around +1 stop from ISO 800 onwards. At base ISO, DR is wider by 1.5 Evs and the Nikon has around a ½ stop advantage in ISO over the Canon.

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The Nikon Df sensor has a very good dynamic range, especially between ISO 100 to ISO 800 where it drops only 1 Ev to 12 Evs, which is still wider than the Canon at base. However, at ISO 1600 the DR narrows considerably but the Df still has a round a +1/2 stop advantage over the EOS 5D Mk III. Although the Canon has several advantages over the Nikon (including a superior AF system, arguably superior handling and a higher resolution sensor, not to mention the video capabilities) the Df is serious challenger, especially if low light capability is important.

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