Ooooh… Nikon's next camera could have a high-res pixel shift mode

Nikon Zf mockup

It sounds like the Nikon Zf, the company's imminently anticipated new camera, is going to be the first ever Nikon to feature a high-resolution shooting mode. 

There's little doubt that the Big N is about to launch the Nikon Zf (particularly after the Nikon Japan website accidentally listed it last week), though there is plenty of conflicting information on the exact specs of the camera, which will be a full-frame version of the retro-styled Nikon Z fc

• Check out more of the best retro cameras like the Zf and Z fc

It had previously been reported that the Zf would have the same 45.7MP sensor as either the Nikon Z7 II or the Nikon Z8 / Z9 – though with the also-previously-reported price of $1,999, this seemed a little too good to be true. 

We speculated that the sensor confusion could be down to a misconstrued comment from a Nikon PR… but now it appears that a very different kind of sensor and technology will be appearing in the camera.  

The latest information is that the Nikon Zf will feature a sensor with around 25MP of resolution – perhaps a modified version of the one in the entry-level Nikon Z5, which would make a lot of sense (with the Zf potentially being an upgraded version of the Z5 in the same way that the Z fc was an upgraded version of the Nikon Z50). 

Most excitingly, though, is the report from Nikon Rumors that the Zf will feature "some kind of a new high-res mode" – which will almost certainly be achieved via pixel-shift technology, which uses a camera's image stabilization system to take multiple exposures while shifting the sensor, creating a higher-resolution image. 

Incidentally, this would also imply that the Nikon Zf will have an in-body image stabilization system – which again tracks with it sharing similar (if not largely identical) technology to the Z5. 

As noted, this would be the first time that Nikon has implemented the technology – which has been around for over ten years at this point, having been pioneered by Olympus. All the other major manufacturers have featured the technology, which as standard quadruples the native resolution of a camera. 

The 20.4MP OM System OM-1 thus shoots 80MP images, the 61MP Sony A7R V shoots 240MP images, the 102MP Fujifilm GFX 100S shoots 400MP images and so on. By this maths, if it does indeed have a 25MP sensor, the Nikon Zf would be capable of capturing 100MP images. 

While it comes with a few provisos (namely that it requires a completely still subject or scene), this is an enormously exciting feature – and one that would make the Zf an even more enticing proposition than the style factor alone.

You can find out more about the best Nikon cameras, along with the best Nikon lenses – and specifically the best Nikon Z lenses designed for its mirrorless system. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.