|The Fujifilm X-T1|
Fujifilm has announced the X-T1, the camera the Nikon Df could have been if Nikon had thought about it for more than 10 minutes (the Df was 4 years in the making, believe it or not). How far the X-system has come in such little time...
Yes, people call it a "retro" design, but in my book it's functional rather than a superficial throwback. Where the Nikon Df's top plate is purely cosmetic, the X-T1's features sensible controls and markings like an ISO dial with 'auto' and no mode dial. Like on the other Fuji X-series cameras, aperture priority can be activated by setting the aperture ring to A, shutter priority by setting the shutter speed dial to A.
|Top plates (and lots of dials) of the Nikon Df and Fujifilm X-T1|
This is all eminently sensible, design sense that was so clearly ignored by Nikon.
|Contax RTS III (Source: Wikimedia Commons)|
Is it retro? Well, it's certainly not radical, but I wouldn't call it "retro". Oxford defines 'retro' as "imitative of a style or fashion from the recent past". There's a certain dose of superficiality in that definition that I don't think Fuji has used in the X-T1's design.
The X-T1's goal is not imitative, it is to create a practical and usable camera, although it has a passing resemblance to the SLRs of yore; its high front 'pentaprism' recalls Kyocera's Contax 35mm SLR line. The X-T1's design is far more reflective of its function, the Nikon Df is not.
I know which camera I'd prefer in my hand. Full frame or not, Nikon can go jump.