Nikon Zf review: modern classic

The Nikon Zf doubles down on retro charm, but now with the build quality to back it up

Nikon Zf camera held up to a face
(Image: © Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Nikon Zf will immediately win over any vintage camera enthusiast, as soon as I picked up this camera, it gave me the nostalgic feelings for shooting film that I have missed. Nikon teased what could be with the Z fc, but the Zf is here to make progress on that camera's shortcomings. The body is an improvement over the Nikon Z fc, with more solid brass dials and a weighty heft to it that feels much more akin to the Nikon FM2 that inspired it. However, prioritizing looks is a double-edged sword, the camera is severely impeded by its lack of grip, as well as being heavy, which makes the Zf very uncomfortable to hold. Luckily images are hugely impressive with the combination of the Z6 II sensor and Expeed 7 processor, low light performance gets a bump, autofocus is faster with better tracking, and 4K video is excellent.


  • +

    Stunning retro design and build quality

  • +

    Manual dials

  • +

    Full frame sensor

  • +

    Autofocus smarts from the flagship Z9


  • -

    Lack of matching lenses

  • -

    Very Shallow grip

  • -

    Articulating screen and hinge are not flush with the body

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The Nikon Zf isn't the manufacturer's first attempt at reviving the style of film cameras for the digital age. The Nikon Df came along in 2013, but failed to take off enough to garner any sequels. Nikon dipped its toe in the water again in 2021 with the release of the Nikon Z fc and, luckily, got a very different reaction from buyers. 

Nikon has repeated several times that the demand for the Z fc has far exceeded its expectations, clearly showing that there is a serious appetite for cameras with a vintage aesthetic. 

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SensorNikon FX
Effective megapixels24.5MP
Autofocus299 points, 89% x 96% coverage, -10EV
ISO50 - 64,000 (204,800)
Burst shooting7.8fps RAW/JPEG, 30fps JPEG
Video4K60p, 4K30p, FHD 120p
Image stabilizationUp to 8 stops
Screen3.2-in 2100k-dot vari-angle TFT touch-sensitive LCD
EVF3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED
Storage1x SD UHS-II, 1x Micro SD
Weight710 g (1.57 lb)
Size144 x 103 x 49 mm (5.67 x 4.06 x 1.93 in)
Fujifilm X-T5

If you want a camera that offers the same classic retro styling and excellent build quality as the Nikon Zf then look no further than the Fujifilm X-T5. Both cameras are built around the same concept of manual dials, however, Fujifilm one-ups Nikon with its wider selection of lenses with matching classic styling and manual aperture dials. The Fujifilm X-T5 does only have an APS-C sensor, but at 40MP, it bests the Zf’s for resolution. 

Nikon Z fc

The Nikon Z fc might not have the same build quality as the larger Zf, but it still looks pretty much the same with its pretty vintage design. The important difference however is the Z fc can be had at significantly cheaper. You will miss out on some of the very best technology offered by the Zf, but if you aren't planning on using this as a professional camera then the Z fc will be perfect for your needs.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.