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This, That, or That Other Thing: Sony A7r vs. Nikon Df


This is the battle that we’ve all been waiting for, more anticipated than Pacquiáo-Holyfield! In this corner, the svelte Sony A7r, the smallest mirrorless full frame camera this side of an Olympus XA. Sporting 36 megapickles of full frame goodness, the A7 (along with it’s half brother A7) has been giving much of the camera world…how shall we put this…a strange feeling in their pants.

And in this corner, the Nikon Df, the next chapter in full-frame retro and a camera that’s singlehandedly sparked a renewed interest in bushy mustaches and chest hair. It’s got a paltry 16 megapickles in comparison, but it’s got a secret weapon—a flappy mirror that swings too and fro like a politician on the take.

So here we are, one of the biggest consumer electronics companies in the world going head-to-head against one of the biggest, most storied camera makers in the world in a mano-a-mano, no-holds-barred full-frame hyphen-filled smack down! Let’s get ready to rumble!!!!!!!


Best Camera to Put in a Time Capsule

Let’s say that someone’s going to burying a time capsule that won’t be opened up for 100 years. They want a camera to represent our snap-happy age. And they want a good one too, so that people of the future—most likely using cameras shooting 100 zillion megapickles images from a camera embedded in their foreheads and storing them on 7,000 Petabyte memory cards the size of a grain of sand—won’t giggle too much at our primitive technology.

The Df is tempting, but there’s one problem…it will confuse the heck out of the people of the future. They’ll look at the time capsule and think to themselves, “I thought this time capsule was buried in 2014, not 1976.”

The Sony A7r, on the other hand, not only looks more era-appropriate, but it’s also smaller, so that more copies of Justin Bieber’s CDs can be squeezed into the time capsule.

Winner: Sony A7r

Losers: People of the future with more copies of Justin Bieber’s CDs


Best Camera to Put in a Time Capsule if You Want to Confues the People of the Future.

Winner: Nikon Df, for all the reasons above.


Best Camera for Shooting Canaries in a Coal Mine

This is the ultimate low-light AF challenge, so popular that there’s an annual competition. For some reason, Sony’s chosen to use the fast-focusing PDAF pickles on the cheaper A7 only, which puts the A7r at a distinct disadvantage here. Nikon, on the other hand, has had decades to hone it’s AF game. Not only that, but the only camera that comes close to the Df’s low light ability is the Hubble Telescope, and you’re not taking that into a coal mine anytime soon.

Winner: Nikon Df in a walk.

Added bonus—it’ll be so dark in the coal mine that people won’t see the Df!


Best Camera for Shooting Video

It’s hard to deny that we live in a video-centric age. Yes, photos of cute cats are nice, but videos of cute cats riding skateboards are even nicer. And like cats and dogs in certain households, they can coexist.

Ha ha Nikon, you left video off the Df, so you lose this category. You must unaware of the enormous influence that NCN has on consumer buying habits.

Winner: Sony A7r, easy.


Best Camera to Bring to Camera Club

The answer to this question is always the same—the newest one. This gives you the greatest chance of being first on the block with the new gear, and give you time to bask in everyone else’s envy.

Winner: Nikon Df, by a couple of weeks.

Just hope that someone does come to the same meeting with the Fuji X-T1.


Best Camera to Sneak into a Concert Venue

This one’s tough. The Sony’s smaller, and with a small prime you might convince the bouncer that it’s not a pro camera. Add a Hello Kitty sticker to it, and your chances go up to 80%. The Df, on the other hand, has killer low light performance but is bigger and thus harder to sneak in, even with a Hello Kitty sticker. But in either case, if the camera-savvy bouncer rejects you, you’ll have to leave “Precious” in the car or if you didn’t drive, miss the concert.

Winner: iPhone 5.

You’re not going to publish the photos anyway, so who cares if they’re noisy. That, and you want to make your friends jealous that you’re at the concert while they’re stuck home reading NCN. STAT.


Best Camera to Deposit a Check With

Online banking is booming, letting consumers conduct transactions while still in their underwear, and giving bank tellers more time to gossip. Truth told, using either of these full frame cameras is overkill for snapping the front and back of a bank check, even a really big one. And neither can run apps.

Winner: iPhone 5


Best Camera to Post on Facebook With

Let’s face it—the whole world is on Facebook posting selfies, babies, kitties, and foodies. Problem is, the Facebook JPG compression is crap, like someone there set the image quality setting to 20 and went home. With that in mind, any image quality difference between the A7r and Df are washed away in a sea of compression artifacts.

Winner: iPhone 5


Best Camera to Take on a First Date

Dude, if you bring your camera to a first date, NCN predicts that you’re going to be having a lot of first dates. If you met on eHarmony or Match.com, your tech savvy date may be ok with you Instagramming your entree, but we’d wait at least until dessert, or never, if you want a chance at a second date.

Winner: iPhone 5

We can tell you one thing—it’s certainly not you. You can’t make calls or send texts with the A7r or Df telling your date that you’re running 5 minutes late. So the victory is clear.




Wow, we didn’t expect that! The Apple iPhone 5 comes out of nowhere and wins, 4 points to the Nikon Df’s 3. Sony brings up the rear with a paltry 2 points, making the iPhone 5 twice as good as the Sony!


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