Nikon Zf Comparison Review
The Nikon Zf is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in September 2023 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 24.3 megapixel.
Is the Nikon Zf a good camera? The Zf has a Camera Elo of 3127. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The Zf ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the Zf also ranks among the top 10 percent.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Nikon Z mount lenses|
|24.3 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 64 000 (50 - 204 800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)|
|3.2 LCD, 2100k dots|
|14 shutter flaps per second|
|380 shots per battery charge|
|144 x 103 x 49 mm, 710 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Nikon Zf vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon Zf alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon Zf||144 mm||103 mm||49 mm||710 g||380||Y||Sep 2023||1,999||amazon.com|
|2.||Nikon Z5||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||470||Y||Jul 2020||1,399||amazon.com|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||420||Y||Oct 2020||2,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Nikon Z6 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||410||Y||Oct 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|5.||Nikon Z6||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999||ebay.com|
|6.||OM System OM-1||135 mm||92 mm||73 mm||599 g||520||Y||Feb 2022||2,199||amazon.com|
|7.||Panasonic S5 II||134 mm||102 mm||90 mm||740 g||370||Y||Jan 2023||1,999||amazon.com|
|8.||Panasonic G9 II||134 mm||102 mm||90 mm||658 g||390||Y||Sep 2023||1,899||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic GH6||138 mm||100 mm||100 mm||823 g||360||Y||Feb 2022||2,199||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||727 g||400||Y||May 2021||1,699||amazon.com|
|11.||Pentax K-3 III||135 mm||104 mm||74 mm||820 g||800||Y||Mar 2021||1,999||amazon.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon Zf was launched in the US market at a price of $1,999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Nikon Zf features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon Zf among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.
|1.||Nikon Zf||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/60p||25.4||14.7||3243||96|
|2.||Nikon Z5||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||2929||95|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/60p||26.3||14.7||2841||100|
|4.||Nikon Z6 II||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/60p||25.0||14.4||3303||94|
|5.||Nikon Z6||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||3299||95|
|6.||OM System OM-1||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.4||13.4||1553||77|
|7.||Panasonic S5 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||6K/30p||25.4||14.6||3158||96|
|8.||Panasonic G9 II||Four Thirds||25.0||5776||4336||5.7K/60p||23.4||13.5||1710||78|
|9.||Panasonic GH6||Four Thirds||25.0||5776||4336||5.7K/60p||23.4||13.4||1555||77|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.7||13.1||1136||79|
|11.||Pentax K-3 III||APS-C||25.6||6192||4128||4K/30p||24.2||13.7||2083||85|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The Zf indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Zf can use is 4K/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Zf has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3690k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.80x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon Zf and comparable cameras.
|1.||Nikon Zf||3690||n||3.2 / 2100||swivel||Y||1/8000s||14.0/s||n||Y|
|2.||Nikon Z5||3690||n||3.2 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||4.5/s||n||Y|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|4.||Nikon Z6 II||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||14.0/s||n||Y|
|5.||Nikon Z6||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|6.||OM System OM-1||5760||n||3.0 / 1640||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|7.||Panasonic S5 II||3680||n||3.0 / 1840||swivel||Y||1/8000s||9.0/s||n||Y|
|8.||Panasonic G9 II||3680||n||3.0 / 1840||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|9.||Panasonic GH6||3680||n||3.0 / 1840||full-flex||Y||1/8000s||14.0/s||n||Y|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||3680||n||3.0 / 1840||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|11.||Pentax K-3 III||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The LCD screen on the Nikon Zf is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.
One feature that differentiates the Zf from many older cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The Zf reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while cameras without IBIS have to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Zf and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon Zf||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Nikon Z5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Nikon Z6 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Nikon Z6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|6.||OM System OM-1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Panasonic S5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Panasonic G9 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Panasonic GH6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|11.||Pentax K-3 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
It is notable that the Zf has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Zf. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Nikon Zf||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2023||1,999||amazon.com|
|2.||Nikon Z5||4/5||..||4/5||89/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jul 2020||1,399||amazon.com|
|3.||Nikon Z7 II||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2020||2,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Nikon Z6 II||4.5/5||..||4/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|5.||Nikon Z6||5/5||..||5/5||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||1,999||ebay.com|
|6.||OM System OM-1||5/5||..||..||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2022||2,199||amazon.com|
|7.||Panasonic S5 II||4.5/5||+ +||5/5||..||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2023||1,999||amazon.com|
|8.||Panasonic G9 II||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2023||1,899||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic GH6||5/5||+ +||5/5||87/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2022||2,199||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2021||1,699||amazon.com|
|11.||Pentax K-3 III||4/5||..||3/5||..||4.5/5||..||Mar 2021||1,999||amazon.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Nikon Zf FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Zf.
What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the Nikon Zf?
The camera is build around a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used in the Nikon Zf to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Nikon equipped the Zf with the EXPEED 7 image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Nikon Zf?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 64000, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800.
Does the Nikon Zf have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the Zf is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon Zf?
Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the Zf. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the Zf over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Nikon Zf?
The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences with the Nikon Zf?
No, the Nikon Zf has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Nikon Zf?
The Zf offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Nikon Zf feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with the Nikon Zf for flash photography?
The Zf's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.
Does the Nikon Zf support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s) in its first slot, and UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s) in its second slot.
Which battery does the Nikon Zf use?
The camera gets its power from the EN-EL15c, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
|Camera Model||Nikon Zf|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon Z mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2023|
|Launch Price||USD 1 999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||858 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.3 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6 048 x 4 024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.84 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 64 000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 204 800 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 7|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||2100k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen|
|V-logging Friendliness||Front-flip possible|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||14 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||Single UHS-II|
|USB Connector||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL15c power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
144 x 103 x 49 mm
(5.7 x 4.1 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||710 g (25.0 oz)|
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