Nikon Shows Off Retro-Styled Zf Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera09/20/2023
Nikon married the old and the new this week with the announcement of an addition to the Z-series lineup, the Nikon Zf. The Zf has a retro-inspired look reminiscent of the Nikon FM2 but with all the modern convenience of the Z6 II, and then some.
The Zf features a 24.5 MP full-frame sensor, just like the Z6 II, but with the EXPEED 7 chip that you find in the Z8 and Z9. This upgraded processing power gives the Zf the boost it needs to perform pre-release burst (a boon for action or wildlife photographers), improved autofocus, and continuous shooting of 30 fps in JPEG and 14 fps in raw. The camera’s increased processing power and advanced image stabilization also allow Nikon to implement pixel-shift technology for the first time ever, letting the Zf procure high-resolution images. The improved IS will even adjust depending on your chosen focus point, for extra clear subject matter.
Thanks to the improved processing, the Zf offers superior video options, such as H.256 10-bit internal log and UHD 4K up to 60p for 125 minutes. When recording 4K up to 30p the camera will down-sample from the full 6K image area for more detail and less noise. Nikon has also included a fully articulating screen for the first time in a Z-series camera.
The Zf has 299 Automatic AF zones, a considerable increase over the Z6 II’s 81 AF zones. It also borrows the Z8 and Z9’s algorithm for subject detection and 3D tracking, giving it the ability to recognize a subject in the frame, (whether it is a human, animal, or vehicle) and focus automatically. Even if the subject is moving quickly or erratically, 3D tracking ensures the camera will be able to predict and maintain focus.
The Zf also has better low-light performance with a higher maximum ISO (100-64,000), and focus point vibration reduction that prioritizes blur suppression around the focal point, regardless of whether it’s in the center or the edge of the frame. It also has an impressive eight stops of vibration reduction, a new benchmark for Nikon. This will help you record sharp video and photos, whether you are holding the camera by hand or using a tripod, expanding its potential applications.
With the Zf, Nikon jumped on the black-and-white bandwagon, including a nifty monochrome toggle that allows you to switch seamlessly between color and two monochrome color options. This is a clever feature for anyone trying to immerse themselves in a vintage camera experience.
One controversial design move was Nikon’s decision to include dual card slots. The primary card slot is UHS-II compatible, but the second slot can only accept a microSD card. Some may balk at a microSD; however, it did help Nikon keep down the overall size and cost of the camera while providing backup storage.
One of the lens bundles offered has a special edition NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 prime lens, similar to the special edition NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 lens that was released alongside the Zfc in 2021. The other bundle has a classic 24-70mm f/4.
All in all, the Zf is the perfect combination of style and power.
Borrowing the vintage look of the FM2 which is also mimicked by the Zfc, but with a full-frame sensor and processing power from Nikon’s other pro-grade cameras, the Zf doesn’t just look good but has the technology it needs to perform. From fast autofocus, to burst shooting, to better buffering, and increased video performance, the Zf is a fantastic option for travel, street, or everyday photography. It’s small enough to carry with you everywhere but rugged enough to withstand daily use, making this camera an excellent addition to the Z-series lineup.
Will you be adding the Zf to your kit? Let us know in the Comments section, below. For additional information, be sure to click through to the individual product pages.