Ming Thein on the Nikon Df

While not a good writeup as test reports go, Ming's report is as mordant as it is crisp. His main concerns are are with the camera's ham-fisted ergonomics:

The problem is, there’s a lot of bad, too. Most of it is a comfort/ ergonomic problem: the vestigial grip is simply too small to be useful in supporting the camera, and too large to allow you a flat-fingered grip in the same way you’d use a mechanical Nikon. (Not having a film winding lever to nestle your thumb in on the back doesn’t help, either.) The camera itself is too physically large to be gripped in this way; the shutter position is too high/ flat and uncomfortable to use for any period of time except with the very smallest (think pancake, or 50/1.8) of lenses. The shape of the grip just makes my hands cramp into a claw, and various protrusions dig painfully into my digits – I may well have odd-shaped hands, but given how ‘right’ previous Nikons felt to me, I was surprised by how physically uncomfortable it was to use. On top of that, the strap lugs are poorly positioned: the right side one digs into your fingers. And here I was thinking only Olympus made this mistake.
— http://blog.mingthein.com/2013/12/24/review-2013-nikon-df/

And I tend to agree. On the surface, the Df pulls at heart strings. On the surface it looks like an older Nikon camera. But it is all on the surface. Older Nikons were lighter and much smaller. They had great viewfinders. The Df is merely the smallest full frame 35mm digital camera that Nikon make. Volume-wise, it is nearly twice the size of a Nikon FE or FM. Despite this, it sports an F3-sized grip and a chintzy viewfinder.

Complaints regarding haptics and ergonomics are real. The Sony ILCE-7r, which is no my go-to digital camera for still life, is designed for the young photographer who never has experienced cameras with good ergonomics, controls, and immediate feedback. But such is life when modern photography is driven not by photographic purpose but by market share. Outside of larger format backs, specialised cameras do NOT exist today. Each one has to pack all the goodies in. And, when the driving force behind pricing and construction is cost/performance ratios, specialised cameras may not return. 

Here's to hoping that things will change.