Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Gariz Half Case For Nikon Df

I've really been seeing the benefit of l-brackets and half cases lately.  I originally got my first half case for the Olympus PEN-F, reviewed on this site previously.    Then, after getting the Nikon Z6, I needed a little more vertical grip and bottom protection so snagged a Smallrig l-bracket for it.  Review of that setup can be found here on this site soon.

I did try a half case, the Kinokoo brand from Amazon for the Z6 but it fell short of expectations.  A full review of that can be found here on this site, coming soon.

I saw the reviews and sample images of the Gariz, but wasn't sure if the $114 retail cost was going to be worth it.   The PEN-F case for $14 was an incredible value and the Smallrig l-bracket was $70 and the Kinokoo was $20.

I did a little hunting around the web and found that the Gariz half case for the Nikon Df was available used from Adorama.  Total cost, shipped was $50.

I noticed that there was some brassing of the bottom plate on the Df, so I wanted to get something to protect it.  I did not have a grip issue on the Df, so that was not a major consideration.
How will the Gariz half case fair?  Is it worth the $114 price tag at full retail?

First Impression/Unboxing

Being used, the Gariz did not come in the original packaging that I;very heard described elsewhere.  Adorama did package the half case in 2 layers of bubble wrap and shrink wrapped plastic.

Removing it from the packaging, the leather on the it looked in perfect condition as does the interior felt like material.  The only sign of use was some small scratches and imperfections on the bottom aluminum plate.

The build quality seemed top notch upon first inspection.


This is a very simple operation.  Just line up the tripod mount hole at the bottom of the camera with the half case and screw in.  No special tools needed because the connecting bolt has a connected handle for tightening it down.  Just in front of the connecting bolt is another 3/8" screw hole for connecting to a tripod or other such accessories.

Feel In Hand

The fit and finish are just great.  The case slides on and is snug around all connects points.

The feel of the case is solid and natural in the hand.

The issue I had with the Kinokoo case on the Nikon Z6 was the grip area.  It protruded out too much.  Made holding the camera feel weird.  The Gariz case does nothing have that issue on the Df.  It enhances the feel of the camera and that is a welcome thing.

The bottom is similar to the Minico half case for the Olympus PEN-F.  There is a door at the bottom that allows access to the battery compartment and SD card.

It is a little more difficult to extract the memory card, but not the battery.

Final Thoughts

I definitely appreciate the protection and feel that the Gariz half case provides.  If we look at the question posed from the beginning, which was "is the case worth $114USD?"  Well, this is one of the best half cases I've come across.  I'm not sure that you could find a better one for the Df.  I didn't really want an l-bracket for it.

I think the MSRP is probably double what I would want to pay new.  $75 seems more right to me.
I'm glad I found this half case at the used price I did.   If a half case is what you want, I can highly recommend this one.  I'll leave it up to you to decide if the price is worth it to you.

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