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Nikon Zf rumors suggest the retro camera will be more powerful than expected

Nikon Zf rumors suggest the retro camera will be more powerful than expected

The Nikon Zf may have missed its previously rumored launch date of August 2, but the retro camera is still gearing up to launch – and some new rumors suggest it’ll be more pro-oriented than expected.

A new post from Nikon Rumors claims that the full-frame mirrorless camera, which will sit alongside the more hobbyist-friendly Nikon Z fc, will have “two memory card slots”, rather than the single slot that was previously rumored.

That might sound like a minor difference, but memory card slots are usually a good indicator of how advanced a camera is and who they’re aimed at. Cameras with single card slots are typically aimed at amateurs or advanced shooters who need a second camera, while dual card slots are essential for pros who need a backup as they shoot.

Backing up the theory that the Nikon Zf won’t just be a retro throwback or Z fc clone is the separate rumor that it’ll have “some kind of new high-res mode” that will appear “for the first time on a Nikon camera”.

High-res modes typically either use pixel-shift technology (as seen on the Sony A7R V and Panasonic Lumix S5 II) or multi-shot processing to let you shoot very high-resolution photos, if you either want to crop your photos or make very large prints.

Nikon has been slow to adopt high-res modes, which have been around for years on Olympus and Panasonic cameras. But while those modes do come with big limitations – like the fact that your scenes can’t contain any real movement – it’ll likely be a welcome addition to the Zf, considering it’s rumored to have a 25MP sensor.

So when is this exciting retro camera, which should again be based on the Nikon FM2 film camera from 1982, expected to finally launch? Nikon Rumors now says there’ll be an announcement in the “August-September” timeframe, so the wait shouldn’t be much longer.  

A spiritual successor to the FM2?

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Photos of the Nikon FM2 camera in its manual

Photos of the Nikon FM2 from its 1983 manual. The Nikon Zf will likely share some of its design traits, including those dials.. (Image credit: Nikon)
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Photos of the Nikon FM2 camera in its manual

(Image credit: Nikon)
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Photos of the Nikon FM2 camera in its manual

(Image credit: Nikon)

While we loved the Nikon Z fc’s design (and price tag) when it landed in July 2021, the camera was underpowered in a few key areas – including the fact that it lacked support for faster UHS-II cards.

Fortunately, Nikon seems to be making the Zf a different breed entirely and more like a retro alternative to its Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II cameras. Nikon Rumors claims that the Zf will have superior autofocus to both of those cameras, plus some other more ‘pro’ features including a top-plate LCD screen for checking settings.

But fortunately, it also sounds like Nikon will be boosting the Zf’s design in the spirit of the old Nikon FM2 (above), which was famously almost indestructible. The Zf may not be quite as bomb-proof as that camera, but rumors have hinted at better build quality than the Z fc and a small grip for longer lenses.

Of course, now that Nikon’s Z system has had another two years to mature, the Zf will also benefit from a pretty impressive range of mirrorless lenses. Naturally, the Zf’s price is expected to be on the higher side (with rumors predicting $1,999, which converts to £1,570 / AU$3,060), but the rumors so far suggest it could be well worth it.

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