To be honest, I wasn't sure how I'd find it, as I thought it might be a bit style over substance, and I've read mixed reports on the photos it takes. Still, as I am planning to get a full frame camera in the near-ish (hopefully less of the ish) future, it was useful for me to have a play with this one to see what I thought.
The Df is about the same size as my D7000, maybe a bit taller and flatter, and seems to me to be about the same weight. (Which, btw, I NEVER would have thought was important until I started using DSLRs and found the earlier models I tried were too heavy to hold properly in one hand.) There is less of a bulge-y bit on the front right hand side (I can only presume this has a technical name but I've no idea what it is!) so it was a bit harder to pick up, which did make me a bit nervous.
And the clunky old-style dials were a bit strange to use at first, and they are very close together, but I actually got used to them very quickly and could soon change things without having to look. I actually really liked the manual dials, as it forced me to think about my settings that little bit more, whereas I can be a bit lazy with my D7000, setting everything else up, roughly guessing the shutter speed and then adjusting it according to whatever the metre tells me.But what about the photos? Well, my initial thoughts were "they're AMAZING!". The screen on the Df is much better than on my D7000, so when I first looked back at them I was pretty chuffed. They really looked amazing. When they were on the computer, though, they didn't look quite as good (damn!) but still were really awesome (erm, thanks to the camera and not just me, you understand, ha). They look a lot more 3D to me, and there is more detail in the shadows. The dark bits are smoother too, and the ISO is better, in that it handles low light really well, than on my D7000 (wah!) which is already pretty good as far as I am concerned for my first not-exactly-super-cheap camera. This actually made me edit them a little differently, lifting up the shadows a bit to soften the blacks and show all of that detail off, as they weren't noisy. I really liked this, although it felt pretty different for me and my usual bright white light thing. They are kind of dirtier, and make things look more distant, time wise.
Hmm, I think it suits me, right? Also, I am going to get one hell of a wrinkly face from doing that however many times a day. Erm, something to think about. Or not! However, one thing is I think is that it is less flattering for faces. I can't put my finger on why; it's not that it's too sharp or too contrasty. It just seems to be less kind, somehow, to any tiny lumps and bumps on a face, or maybe it's because there is a murky green-ish tone, rather than the oranges and yellows I'm used to with the D7000. (Oh, what if it's just reality?! Could well be..!) I don't know. Maybe I just needed more time to get used to what it liked to to and how to work with that.
That said, I LOVED this camera. Loved it. Maybe it was just because it was my first full frame – I'd obviously need to have a go with more to get proper comparisons – but I would have happily kept this one, although in the silver finish. (If I'm going to start caring how my camera looks – to be honest, at the moment I wouldn't care if it was held together by scuffed gaffer tape if the photos were good – I want it all please thank you!) I loved the manual feel of those dials and the hearty click sound of the shutter. I also got used to, very quickly, the different kinds of photos it took. Oh and focus wise it was AWESOME. Quick and crisp every time. I did have to manually set the focus (my eyesight isn't good enough for me to do this often) for the pic at the start of the post, because it was all quite dark, but most of the time the auto focus was good.