Nikon Zf Review: Fusion Of Vintage Elegance and Cutting-edge Technology

Nikon has long been a stalwart in the world of photography, and with the introduction of the Nikon Zf, they have seamlessly blended vintage aesthetics with cutting-edge digital technology. In this review, we delve into the detailed advantages and disadvantages, specifications, features, and overall performance of the Nikon Zf, particularly in the realm of nature and wildlife photography.

Introducing the Nikon Z f FX-format Mirrorless Camera

Nikon recently introduced the full-frame sensor version of the Z fc, named the Z f. This body is essentially the spiritual successor to the Df DSLR camera, yet it’s different. And fortunately, it is. While I had no issues with the classic design of the Df – as it was a great camera technically – somehow it didn’t excite me as much as Nikon’s mirrorless modern classic, the Z fc. For those who want to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the film, analog era, the true love can be found in the Z f equipped with a 36 x 24 millimeter sensor.

Vintage Elegance Meets Modern Precision

A fusion of timeless design and cutting-edge technology. Powered by Nikon’s new EXPEED 7 Processor and Deep Learning technology, this camera boasts an advanced autofocus system capable of tracking up to nine subjects simultaneously. Coupled with its 24.5MP BSI full-frame sensor, the Nikon Z f delivers exceptional image quality, even in challenging low-light conditions. Its tactile dials allow for intuitive control over all settings, while a dedicated switch seamlessly transitions between color and monochrome modes. With a 3.2″ vari-angle touchscreen featuring Nikon’s Touch Fn, photographers can navigate settings with ease in real-time. Notably, the Nikon Z f introduces the world’s first focus point image stabilization, ensuring sharper images in any shooting scenario. From street to portrait photography, this camera is a worthy companion for those who value both nostalgic, classic design and uncompromising image quality.

Advanced Subject Recognition with 3D Tracking

The Nikon Z f sets a new standard in autofocus technology with its advanced subject recognition capabilities. Leveraging 3D Tracking, this camera’s autofocus system can intelligently identify and lock onto nine different subjects simultaneously, ensuring precise focus and tracking even in dynamic shooting scenarios. Whether you’re photographing fast-moving wildlife or capturing action-packed moments in nature, the Nikon Z f’s ability to recognize and track multiple subjects with accuracy empowers photographers to achieve stunning results with ease and confidence.

Precision Eye-Detection AF for Photos and Videos

Achieving sharp, well-focused portraits is effortless with the Nikon Z f’s precision Eye-Detection AF feature, available for both photos and videos. This cutting-edge technology accurately detects and focuses on subjects’ eyes, whether they’re humans or animals, ensuring that critical details are captured with clarity and precision. Whether you’re capturing intimate moments in nature or documenting wildlife behavior, the Eye-Detection AF of the Nikon Z f ensures that every shot is tack-sharp and visually compelling.

Extensive ISO Range Setting New Standards

The Nikon Z f offers unparalleled versatility with its extensive ISO range, setting new standards for low-light performance in the Z series lineup. From bright daylight to dimly lit environments, this camera delivers exceptional image quality with minimal noise across a broad spectrum of lighting conditions. With the ability to achieve clean and detailed images even in challenging lighting situations, photographers can confidently explore diverse shooting environments and capture stunning nature and wildlife scenes with confidence.

Groundbreaking 8.0 Stops of 5-Axis VR Image Stabilization

With 8.0 stops of 5-axis VR image stabilization, the Nikon Z f redefines handheld shooting, allowing photographers to push the boundaries of their creativity with confidence. This groundbreaking technology compensates for camera shake and movement, enabling shutter speeds up to 8.0 stops slower than usual without sacrificing image sharpness. Whether you’re capturing distant wildlife or handheld close-up shots of intricate natural details, the Nikon Z f’s image stabilization ensures that every frame is tack-sharp and blur-free, unleashing new possibilities for expressive and dynamic photography.

Pioneer in Focus-Point Stabilization Technology

Taking innovation to the next level, the Nikon Z f introduces the world’s first focus-point stabilization, revolutionizing the way photographers capture and compose their shots. This groundbreaking feature ensures that the selected focus point remains stable even as the camera moves, providing unmatched precision and clarity in every frame. Whether you’re tracking fast-moving wildlife or capturing fleeting moments in nature, the focus-point stabilization of the Nikon Z f ensures that your subjects are always sharp and perfectly framed, allowing you to focus on the artistry of your photography without compromise.

Pros and Cons


  1. Aesthetics and Build Quality: The retro-inspired design not only appeals to nostalgia but also boasts a robust build, ensuring durability in the field.
  2. Tactile Controls: The physical dials and controls provide a hands-on, analog feel, allowing photographers to connect with their craft in a way that digital interfaces often lack.
  3. Mirrorless Versatility: Despite its vintage appearance, the Zf harnesses the power of modern mirrorless technology, offering a compact and lightweight form factor for on-the-go shooting.


  1. Limited Customization: While the physical controls enhance the shooting experience, some users may find the customization options lacking compared to other contemporary mirrorless models.
  2. Price Point: The blend of vintage aesthetics and modern technology comes at a premium, making the Nikon Zf a considerable investment.

Specifications and Features

Let’s break down the key specifications and features that make the Nikon Zf a formidable contender in the realm of nature and wildlife photography:

Sensor:24.3MP Full-frame CMOS
ISO Range:100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800)
Autofocus:273-point Hybrid AF System
Viewfinder:3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
Continuous Shooting:Up to 5.5 fps
Weather Sealing:Yes
Full Frame Resolution24.5MP BSI full-frame sensor with EXPEED 7 processing power
Subject Recognition with 3D TrackingAF system recognizes nine different subjects for focus and tracking
Video Recording4K/30p oversampled from 6K, up to 4K UHD/60p video recording and 1080/120p slow motion. The range of options includes internal 10-bit H.265 in SDR/N-Log/HLG
Pixel-Shift Shooting TechnologyCreate 96MP stills for the highest resolution, lowest noise, and lowest false color (moire) stills ever produced in a Nikon camera
2-in. Vari-angle TouchscreenNow featuring the new Touch Fn which allows you to simultaneously use the Z ffs touchscreen to move focus points, select a subject to track, toggle between display modes, and more
8 Stops of 5-Axis Image StabilizationSlow your shutter speed an amazing 8.0 slower than would be otherwise possible without causing image blur
World’s First Focus-Point StabilizationEnsures stable focus point even as the camera moves, providing unmatched precision and clarity in every shot


In the competitive landscape of mirrorless cameras, the Nikon Z f faces formidable rivals within its range, each offering unique features and strengths tailored to different photography needs.

One of its closest competitors is the Sony Alpha series, particularly the Sony A7 III. Renowned for its exceptional low-light performance, fast autofocus system, and robust video capabilities, the Sony A7 III has gained popularity among photographers and videographers alike. With a similar full-frame sensor and advanced autofocus technology, the A7 III presents a compelling option for nature and wildlife photographers who prioritize versatility and high-speed performance.

Another strong contender is the Canon EOS R6. Equipped with a 20.1MP full-frame sensor and Canon’s renowned Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system, the EOS R6 offers lightning-fast autofocus performance and impressive low-light capabilities. Additionally, its advanced image stabilization technology and robust weather sealing make it well-suited for outdoor photography in challenging conditions. Canon’s extensive lineup of RF lenses further enhances the EOS R6’s appeal, providing photographers with a wide range of options for capturing nature and wildlife scenes with precision and clarity.

For photographers seeking a blend of performance and portability, the Fujifilm X-T4 presents an enticing alternative. With its APS-C sensor and innovative in-body image stabilization system, the X-T4 delivers impressive image quality and stability in a compact form factor. Fujifilm’s renowned film simulation modes and extensive lineup of XF lenses further enhance the X-T4’s appeal, offering photographers a versatile tool for capturing stunning nature and wildlife imagery with a unique aesthetic.

Adventage of Nikon Zf

While each of these competitors brings its own strengths to the table, the Nikon Z f distinguishes itself with its vintage-inspired design, tactile controls, and innovative features such as focus-point stabilization and pixel-shift shooting technology. By combining nostalgic charm with cutting-edge performance, the Nikon Z f offers photographers a unique blend of style and functionality, making it a compelling choice for those who appreciate both form and function in their photographic tools.

Lens Recommendation for Bird and Wildlife Photography

The Nikon Z f FX-format Mirrorless Camera can certainly be used for nature and wildlife photography, thanks to its advanced autofocus system, high-resolution sensor, and image stabilization capabilities. When it comes to bird and wildlife photography, having the right lens is crucial for capturing distant subjects with clarity and detail.

One highly recommended lens for bird and wildlife photography with the Nikon Z f is the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S lens. This lens offers a versatile zoom range, allowing photographers to capture subjects both near and far. The fast f/2.8 aperture is ideal for low-light conditions and achieving beautiful background blur, while the built-in Vibration Reduction (VR) helps to stabilize images, particularly when shooting handheld.

Additionally, for even longer reach and closer shots of distant wildlife, pairing the Nikon Z f with the NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens can provide excellent results. This lens offers a longer telephoto reach while maintaining optical performance and image stabilization, making it suitable for capturing wildlife from a distance.

Pairing the Nikon Zf with the NIKKOR Z 500mm f/5.6 PF ED VR lens proves to be a formidable combination for capturing distant wildlife with sharpness and clarity. The lens’s compact design complements the Zf’s portability without compromising on image quality.

All of these lenses are compatible with the Nikon Z f’s Z-mount system, ensuring seamless integration and optimal performance for nature and wildlife photography.

Overall Summary of Nikon Zf

The Nikon Zf stands as a testament to Nikon’s commitment to blending the best of both worlds: vintage aesthetics and modern technology. While it comes with a premium price tag and some limitations in customization, its tactile shooting experience, full-frame sensor, and advanced autofocus make it a strong contender for nature and wildlife photographers who seek a unique blend of style and performance. Consider the Nikon Zf if you appreciate the marriage of nostalgia and innovation in your photographic journey.

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1 thought on “Nikon Zf Review: Fusion Of Vintage Elegance and Cutting-edge Technology”

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