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Nikon Z f Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.12.1
Reviewed Nov 27, 2023 at 02:07 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Jan 29, 2024 at 09:10 am
Nikon Z f Picture
7.7
Travel Photography
8.1
Landscape Photography
8.7
Sport & Wildlife Photography
8.6
Raw Photo Performance
7.4
Vlogging
8.6
Studio Video
5.7
Action Video

The Nikon Z f is a full-frame mirrorless camera with a vintage-inspired design. Made to look like it's ripped straight out of the past, this digital mirrorless camera has more up its sleeve than just good looks, including some of Nikon's latest tech, from deep learning AI processing to a sophisticated autofocus system to Nikon's most effective in-body image stabilization yet. Like the APS-C Nikon Z fc before it, the Z f is a stylish addition to Nikon's lineup for those who want a modern digital camera with vintage aesthetics.

Our Verdict

7.7 Travel Photography

The Nikon Z f is good for travel. It's relatively compact and portable for a full-frame model, though it can feel heavy and somewhat imbalanced. It captures fantastic image quality and includes a dedicated B&W mode that's well-suited to street photos and makes it fun to play around with. IBIS can help you capture steady shots at slower shutter speeds in dimmer conditions, and the camera has an excellent overall autofocus system that works well in busier settings. Unfortunately, battery life isn't amazing, and its ergonomics leave a lot to be desired, though its physical dials give you a bit more hands-on control over settings.

Pros
  • Well-built, weather-sealed body.
  • Stylish vintage-inspired design with dedicated dials.
  • In-body image stabilization.
Cons
  • Ergonomics aren't great.
  • Battery life isn't amazing.
8.1 Landscape Photography

The Nikon Z f is great for landscape photography. Its sensor captures fantastic image quality, with a very wide dynamic range that's ideal for high-contrast scenes and landscapes. It also performs well in low light, with fairly minimal noise. IBIS is great for those who prefer to shoot without a tripod, and it has a high-resolution screen and EVF for a clear view of your images. It also feels well-built, with weather-sealing to protect against dust and moisture. Its ergonomics aren't the best, and its battery life is a bit underwhelming.

Pros
  • Well-built, weather-sealed body.
  • Stylish vintage-inspired design with dedicated dials.
  • In-body image stabilization.
Cons
  • Ergonomics aren't great.
  • Battery life isn't amazing.
8.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Nikon Z f is excellent for sports and wildlife photography. It has a wide range of burst shooting options, with a very quick max burst rate, and includes a 'Pre-Release Capture' option that lets you pre-buffer images while half-pressing the shutter and then saves the final moments of the capture after fully pressing the shutter. This is great for trying to anticipate a particular subject's movement so you don't miss the critical moment. Its autofocus system is very effective overall, with a wide range of subject detection options, helped by its deep learning AI processor. However, its ergonomics leave a lot to be desired, particularly for sports and wildlife shooting, with little in the way of a handgrip and a viewfinder that isn't the most comfortable to shoot with.

Pros
  • Well-built, weather-sealed body.
  • Stylish vintage-inspired design with dedicated dials.
  • Quick max burst rate.
  • Pre-burst option for high-speed burst shooting.
Cons
  • Ergonomics aren't great.
  • Battery life isn't amazing.
8.6 Raw Photo Performance

The Nikon Z f has excellent RAW photo performance. Its dynamic range is fantastic, so it can capture high-contrast scenes with a wide range of shadow and highlight detail. Images are sharp and detailed, and the camera has great noise handling in low light.

Pros
  • Incredible dynamic range.
  • Great noise handling.
Cons
7.4 Vlogging

The Nikon Z f is decent for vlogging, though this isn't its main intended use. It has a fully articulated screen that makes it easy to monitor yourself while recording. It also has a very effective autofocus system to ensure you stay in focus. Plus, it can record 4k video at up to 60 fps, though 60 fps incurs a significant crop. Video quality is fantastic, and it has a very effective in-body image stabilization system to help reduce camera shake when shooting handheld.

Pros
  • In-body image stabilization.
  • Fully articulated touchscreen.
  • Fantastic video quality.
Cons
  • Ergonomics aren't great.
  • Not the most portable camera for vlogging.
8.6 Studio Video

The Nikon Z f is excellent for studio video. It can record 4k video at up to 60 fps, albeit with an APS-C crop at 60 fps. Video quality is fantastic overall, and it supports 10-bit 4:2:0 Log recording internally, with 10-bit 4:2:2 output to a compatible external recorder via HDMI. Unfortunately, there's significant rolling shutter effect when panning in 4k. While it has all the inputs you need for videography peripherals like a mic, headphones, or external monitor, its design and ergonomics aren't tailored toward video work.

Pros
  • In-body image stabilization.
  • Fantastic video quality.
  • Captures 10-bit Log footage internally.
Cons
  • Ergonomics aren't great.
  • Limited to 4:2:0 chroma sampling internally.
5.7 Action Video

The Nikon Z f isn't designed for action video, though it can get the job done if you record the action from the sidelines. It can record 4k video at up to 60 fps and has a slow-motion mode in 1080p that records at 120 fps. IBIS helps reduce camera shake. However, it has significant rolling shutter distortion in 4k. It isn't meant to be used with action video rigs and mounts and isn't rugged or waterproof.

Pros
  • Well-built, weather-sealed body.
  • In-body image stabilization.
Cons
  • Not designed for action video mounts.
  • Not rugged or waterproof.
  • 7.7 Travel Photography
  • 8.1 Landscape Photography
  • 8.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 8.6 Raw Photo Performance
  • 7.4 Vlogging
  • 8.6 Studio Video
  • 5.7 Action Video
  1. Updated Jan 29, 2024: Added text to 'Raw Photo Performance' verdict box.
  2. Updated Jan 29, 2024: Converted to Test Bench 0.12.1.
  3. Updated Nov 27, 2023: Review published.
  4. Updated Nov 20, 2023: Early access published.
  5. Updated Nov 10, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  6. Updated Nov 08, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  7. Updated Sep 28, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

At most retailers, you can only get the Nikon Z f in a classic all-black color scheme. If you buy directly from Nikon, however, you can choose from six additional color options for the leatherette around the body: Indigo Blue, Stone Grey, Bordeaux Red, Sepia Brown, Sunset Orange, or Moss Green.

You can buy the camera body on its own without a lens or bundled with a lens like the special edition Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 lens that's designed to match the vintage style of the camera or a different lens like the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens, depending on the retailer.

Let us know if you come across a different variant, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Cameras

The Nikon Z f is a style-forward, full-frame mirrorless camera. While looks are subjective, its sleek retro design makes it stand out from the competition and will surely please the nostalgic crowd. Beyond its exterior, it's also a very technologically advanced and versatile camera with a sophisticated autofocus system, quick burst shooting, and advanced video features. That said, its ergonomics won't be to everyone's taste.

For more options, look at our recommendations for the best cameras for street photography, the best full-frame mirrorless cameras, or the best cameras we've tested overall.

Fujifilm X-T5

The Nikon Z f and Fujifilm X-T5 are both great cameras with vintage-inspired designs. However, they use different-sized sensors. The Fujifilm uses a higher-resolution APS-C sensor. It's more portable and features a tilting screen that some may prefer. Overall, it has slightly better ergonomics and a longer battery life. On the other hand, the Nikon has a fully articulated screen, which some may prefer over the tilting screen on the X-T5, and its PSAM control scheme, with additional dials for ISO and shutter speed, may be more familiar to some shooters. Ultimately, the Fujifilm is better if you prefer an APS-C sensor and lenses, but if you prefer full-frame, the Nikon is better.

Sony α7C II

The Nikon Z f and Sony α7C II are both excellent full-frame cameras. They both capture fantastic image quality and feature advanced video specs. The Sony is significantly more portable and has better overall ergonomics. However, the Nikon has a larger, higher-resolution viewfinder and quicker burst shooting.

Nikon Z 6II

The Nikon Z f is a bit better overall than the Nikon Z 6II, with an upgraded processor, new autofocus implementation, and more advanced video specs, including features like internal 10-bit Log recording. That being said, the cameras use the same sensor, so image quality is comparable, and some people may prefer the larger handgrip and ergonomics of the Z 6II.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
4.3
Design
Portability
Height
4.0" (10.2 cm)
Width
5.9" (15.1 cm)
Depth
2.3" (5.9 cm)
Volume
55.5 in³ (908.7 cm³)
Weight
1.58 lbs (0.72 kg)

The Nikon Z f is fairly portable for a full-frame camera, though it's still bigger than most crop sensor cameras. It's on the heavier side and can feel a bit imbalanced, but the weight gives it a solid feel.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Nikon Z f feels well-built overall. It has a magnesium alloy frame and a weather-sealed exterior. The buttons and dials all feel sturdy and offer enough resistance to make adjustments without accidentally overshooting or turning anything. The shutter button is threaded, which is a nice touch if you prefer a mechanical cable release. The fully articulated screen mechanism also feels solid. That said, the battery compartment door feels a bit flimsy, and the inputs on the side of the camera are only covered by rubber flaps, though they are gasketed and seal the inputs pretty well. Overall, the materials look and feel nice, though some people may find the shiny finish of the top plate a little cheap-looking.

Design
Body
Body Type
SLR-Style
Water Resistance
Weather-Sealed
Mirrorless
Yes
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
2
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
Z Mount
Built-In Flash
No
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/8,000 s
Design
In The Box

  • Nikon Z f camera body (not pictured)
  • Sensor cap
  • Hot shoe cover
  • Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 SE lens
  • Lens cap
  • Rear lens cover
  • 1x Nikon EN-EL15C battery and cap
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Shoulder strap
  • User manual and documentation

6.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
No
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No

The camera's ergonomics are just okay. A small bump on the side of the camera acts as a grip, but it isn't very substantial and mostly just gets in the way, particularly if you have larger hands. That said, you can also buy a compatible SmallRig grip at additional cost if you prefer a more substantial hand grip. The texture around the body is somewhat grippy, but overall, the camera doesn't feel particularly secure in the hand.

The dials, including a dedicated shutter speed and ISO dial in addition to a PSAM mode dial, give you a bit more hands-on control over settings. However, in practice, the setup isn't entirely intuitive, as the mode dial will dictate which of the dials are in play or not. In contrast, Fujifilm's dial system includes 'Auto' settings built into each dial. Here, on the other hand, you'll still have to dive into the menu to set ISO to auto, for example. That said, it's still a nice option to have these dedicated dials in addition to the front and back command dials for those who prefer a more tactile shooting experience.

Another nice touch is the aperture screen on the top plate that lets you quickly see your current aperture setting, as seen here. There's also a dedicated switch to toggle between video, photo, and the camera's dedicated black and white mode, which is a fun touch that makes it easy to quickly go from color to black and white photography. Overall, there are plenty of great ergonomic details here, but the overall experience is lacking.

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
3.69 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.8

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a 3.69 million dot resolution, which offers a nice crisp and detailed view. The viewfinder is similar in size and magnification to the one found on the Nikon Z 6II, though the rounded eyecup isn't the most comfortable to shoot with.

9.6
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Fully-Articulated
Screen Max Brightness
827 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
2.10 million dots
Size
3.1" (8.0 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes

The Nikon Z f is the first full-frame Z-series Nikon to feature a fully articulated touchscreen. You can flip it around for videos and vlogs or tilt it for photos from different angles. It has a very high resolution, giving you a clear and detailed image when using the monitor, and it gets quite bright. You can use touch navigation to scroll the menu and adjust settings, select autofocus points, and actuate the shutter.

9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Nikon SnapBridge

The user interface is fantastic. It's well-organized and easy to navigate, though some settings, like video assistants, can be hard to find. The menu also remembers where you left off, which is a nice touch that makes it easy to jump back in and adjust settings on the fly. It also has a quick menu, or 'i' menu, to access commonly used settings, and there are plenty of customization options. If you want more info about a menu item or setting, a help function explains what certain settings do.

You can use Nikon's SnapBridge app to operate some of the camera's functions through your phone, as well as transferring files directly to your phone. However, the settings included in the app are limited, and once connected, you can't change anything on the camera itself.

not tested
Design
Built-In Lens
Maximum Aperture
No built-in lens
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Minimum Focal Length
N/A
Maximum Focal Length
N/A
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Optical Image Stabilization
No
Luminance
N/A
Light Falloff
N/A
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
BSI CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
24.5 MP
Sensor Size
Full Frame
Processor
EXPEED 7
Extended ISO Minimum
50
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
100
Native ISO Maximum
64,000
Tested Firmware
1.00

The Nikon Z f uses the same backside-illuminated 24.5-megapixel full-frame sensor found in the Nikon Z 6II but adds the latest EXPEED 7 processor found in the Nikon Z 8 and Nikon Z 9. It's advertised to offer significantly faster processing speeds than older generations and uses 'Deep Learning' technology, according to Nikon. With that comes more sophisticated subject detection in autofocus, the same '3D Tracking' mode found on the Z 9 and Z 8, and an expanded ISO range, with a 64,000 native max ISO and 204,800 extended ISO, along with more efficient image processing.

8.1
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Nikon EN-EL15C
USB Charging
Yes
Power Delivery While Recording
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
360 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
114 min

The Nikon Z f has great overall battery performance, although its CIPA-rated battery life isn't particularly impressive. At 360 shots through the EVF and 430 shots using the display, it's decent but still falls short of comparable full-frame mirrorless cameras. That said, CIPA ratings tend to be somewhat conservative, and your actual mileage will vary depending on how you use your camera and what settings you choose. Also, while the camera comes with a Nikon EN‑EL15c battery, it's also compatible with EN‑EL15a and EN‑EL15b battery types.

On the video side, the camera performs impressively well. The battery lasted for almost two hours of continuous video recording in 4k. If you need to extend its battery life even further, you can also use external power delivery via USB-C. However, the battery won't actively charge when the camera's turned on.

Photo General
9.0
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
1 fps
High Speed Continuous
15 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
30 fps
Raw Buffer Size
200 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
200 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
0 s

The Nikon Z f has a range of continuous shooting options. In its 'Continuous L' drive mode, you can choose from between 1 fps and 7 fps. There's also a 'Continuous H' and 'Continuous H (extended)' option, but the speeds you get using each will vary depending on your settings. According to Nikon, you'll get the following approximate speeds:

ModeFormatMech. ShutterEFC ShutterE. Shutter
Cont. HRAW7 fps8.2 fps6.5 fps
Cont. HJPEG/HEIF7.8 fps9.4 fps10 fps
Cont. H (ext)RAW11 fps11 fps8.3 fps
Cont. H (ext)JPEG/HEIF14 fps14 fps15 fps

In addition, there's a 'High-Speed Frame Capture', or 'C30', mode that captures high-speed 30 fps bursts. However, this mode is restricted to JPEG format in 'Large' size image quality, with shutter speed options limited to between 1/60 to 1/8000. When using C30 mode, there's an option for 'Pre-Release Capture', which will buffer frames with a half-press of the shutter button and then save a selected number of those frames once you press the shutter all the way. This is useful if tracking unpredictable subjects, allowing you to pre-buffer shots in anticipation. You can adjust how many frames the camera saves, as well as how long the camera will continue to shoot after pressing the shutter, up to a maximum of four seconds.

Regardless of your shooting mode, the camera has a max buffer depth of 200 frames, after which it stops shooting. Having a definite cap can limit the number of frames you'll have to sift through after the fact when shooting at very fast speeds. The various options here ultimately make this a very versatile camera for action and burst photography.

8.0
Photo General
Photo AF-C Tracking
Autofocus Tracking Shots
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
70%
Usable Focus Hit Rate
79%

The Nikon Z f has an excellent autofocus system. The Z f uses the same subject detection algorithms as the Nikon Z 9 and Nikon Z 8, advertised to use 'Deep Learning' AI. You can even use the camera's subject recognition to help with manual focus by punching in directly to your subject's face or eye, and then once you acquire focus, the focus box around the detected subject will turn green.

Like the Z 9, it implements what Nikon calls '3D Tracking', which carries over from its DSLR cameras and replaces the subject tracking system on the Nikon Z 6II. 3D Tracking works by tracking a selected subject behind the focus point with a half-press of the shutter button. This mode is great if you have a more precise subject you want to track. Otherwise, you can set the area mode to 'Auto-area AF', which will automatically detect any subjects within the entire frame. You can then switch between detected subjects with the D-pad.

The camera's continuous AF tracking ability is great. It stays with subjects quite well using the 'Auto-area AF' mode, although it can sometimes get tripped up in busier settings with multiple subjects in the frame.

9.3
Photo General
Photo AF-C Center Point
Autofocus Center Point Shots
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
91%
Usable Focus Hit Rate
97%

If you prefer to use a single focus point, the AF is very reliable overall. So long as you keep your subject under the focus point, you'll have little trouble keeping them in focus. That said, it can sometimes overshoot or undershoot with a moving subject and not perfectly nail the focus. We tested AF using the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens.

8.8
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/6 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
Yes

The Nikon Z f has in-body image stabilization; Nikon advertises it to have up to eight stops of stabilization compensation, which is the brand's most effective IBIS system. Overall, it does an amazing job, allowing you to capture steady shots at very slow shutter speeds. We tested stabilization using the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S, which doesn't have optical stabilization. Note that stabilization performance can vary depending not only on the lens but also factors like focal length and how steady your hands are.

The camera also has a feature called 'Focus Point Stabilization', which uses the IBIS system to stabilize the frame based on the focus point, whether it's in the center of the frame or not. This lets you ensure your subject is clear, no matter where they are in the shot.

Photo Image Quality
9.2
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
11.4 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
9.8 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
8.6 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
7.5 f-stops

The camera's RAW dynamic range is fantastic. It retains a very wide range of shadow and highlight detail, so you don't lose detail in high-contrast scenes or in trickier lighting.

8.5
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Sharpness
Vertical Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
2,201 LW/PH
Horizontal Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
1,862 LW/PH

The camera's high-resolution sensor captures an impressive level of detail and sharpness. Though it can't resolve fine detail as well as higher-resolution sensors, that's most noticeable when punching in or cropping heavily.

8.0
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
SNR 18% At 1/8 Exposure Time (125 ms)
34.5dB
SNR 18% At 1/30 Exposure Time (33 ms)
32.7 dB
SNR 18% At 1/125 Exposure Time (8 ms)
29.0 dB
SNR 18% At 1/500 Exposure Time (2 ms)
23.9dB

The Nikon Z f has great RAW noise performance. It's on par with comparable full-frame cameras like the Nikon Z 6II or the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, and overall, noise is minimal in low light.

Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture Download

Besides our usual sample gallery images, we played around with the camera's B&W mode. You can see some sample photos below:

Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
4:2:2
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
10 bits
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
No

Though it isn't primarily pitched as a video-centric camera, the Nikon Z f has some impressive video specs and features under the hood. It supports 10-bit 4:2:2 video output via HDMI, as well as Log recording in N-Log to capture footage with a wider dynamic and tonal range. 4k video capture up to 30 fps is oversampled from 6k, though 4k 60p isn't. Unlike older Z series cameras, the Z f also has waveform functionality, as seen here, allowing you to better monitor exposure levels in video. You can also use the camera as a webcam, but unfortunately, you'll need to download Nikon's Webcam Utility app to use webcam functionality.

Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
Yes
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
No

4k videos are only recorded using the H.265/HEVC codec; H.264 is only available in MP4 FHD recording at up to 60 fps. While the camera doesn't support All-Intra recording, it does support Long GOP inter-frame compression.

4k Video
9.0
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
4k Crop At Max Available fps
1.5 x

The Nikon Z f can shoot 4k video at up to 60 fps, though there's a significant APS-C crop when shooting at 60 fps. Still, this is great for those who want to capture clear motion and action footage or create slow-motion clips. However, the camera can't capture 4k slow-motion in-camera, as its slow-motion mode, added with firmware version 1.1, is only available in FHD.

8.8
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
326 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
148 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
10 Bit
Record Time Limit In 4k
125 min
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
1

The camera's internal recording capability is excellent. Unlike the Nikon Z 6 or Nikon Z 6II, the Nikon Z f can capture Log footage internally, which is great and accounts for the higher max bit rates possible with this model. In regular recording, the max bit rate in 4k is 295 Mbps, which is still well above what older models are capable of. In addition, it can also record 10-bit footage internally, but it's limited to 4:2:0 chroma sampling, so you won't be able to push your colors quite as much as competitors that can do 4:2:2, but the 10-bit is still better than 8-bit. While video recording isn't unlimited, it has a longer 125-minute recording time limit, which is still plenty of time for longer takes or livestreaming, for example. There's an 'Auto Temperature Cutout' setting for heat management, which you can set to either 'Standard' or 'High' if you need to prolong recording times. With the 'Standard' setting enabled, the camera overheated once after about 75 minutes of continuous video recording.

8.7
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
8.5
Face Tracking In 4k
8.5
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes

The Nikon Z f has an amazing autofocus system for video. The camera can detect between humans, cats, dogs, birds, bicycles, motorbikes, cars, aircraft, and trains. Instead of '3D Tracking', however, video mode has a 'Subject-Tracking AF' setting; it works similarly in that it'll track any subject behind the focus point with a half-press of the shutter, but you can also start and stop tracking by pressing the 'Ok' button. While it's an impressive AF system overall, it isn't as seamless or precise as it could be, especially compared to Sony's latest AF system, as seen on the Sony ZV-E1 or Sony α7C II. That said, it still works very well for most uses.

8.8
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
8.5
Test Scene Extract In 4k
9.0

The Nikon Z f captures excellent 4k video quality. It's fantastic in more controlled lighting conditions, with sharply rendered details and pleasing colors. Even in low light, the quality is excellent, with minimal noise. It's worth noting, however, that 4k video up to 30 fps is oversampled from 6k, but 4k 60 fps capture isn't. You can compare the test scene extract above (taken at 30 fps) with the camera's video quality in 4k 60p here, 4k 60p with digital stabilization here, and 4k 30p with digital stabilization here.

Note: The test scene extract that we pulled from our test video appears flatter than it appears when playing the footage in VLC or other media players. You can see how the contrast and colors look when played in VLC in this screenshot, although this isn't representative of the actual resolution and quality of the video.

The lighting in the area where we record low light video quality has changed, so the 'Low Light Capability' sample video isn't as directly comparable with older cameras we've tested.

5.3
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
7.7°

Unfortunately, the camera's sensor readout is quite slow, so there's heavy rolling shutter distortion in 4k. It's most noticeable when panning the camera quickly, but even with slower camera movements, you'll likely see some distracting skewing with vertical lines.

Full HD Video
9.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
Yes
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x

The Nikon Z f can record 1080p video at up to 120 fps, which is great for capturing high-speed action or creating slow-motion footage.

With firmware version 1.1, Nikon also added a dedicated slow-motion recording option in FHD. The camera can only record slow-motion video in MP4 H.264, recorded at 120 fps, with the option to play videos back at 30 fps (4x slow-motion), 25 fps (4.8x slow-motion), or 24 fps (5x slow-motion). There's a three-minute time limit for slow-mo video recording. You can see what the video quality in this mode looks like here.

9.4
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
185 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
23 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
10 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
125 min

In 1080p, the camera's internal recording specs are still superb. As with 4k, it can record 10-bit 4:2:0 video internally, and bit rates are relatively high. There is a time limit on recording, but at 125 minutes, it's plenty of time for longer recording sessions.

8.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
8.5
Face Tracking In FHD
8.0
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes

The AF is still excellent in 1080p. Though it isn't flawless and can sometimes trail a bit, it tracks moving subjects very well overall.

8.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
7.5
Test Scene Extract In FHD
8.5

The camera's 1080p video quality is great overall. It looks particularly good in well-lit conditions, but it's still quite good even in low light. Shooting at 120 fps noticeable degrades the video quality, as you can see in this FHD 120 fps video extract here.

Note: The test scene extract that we pulled from our test video appears flatter than it appears when playing the footage in VLC or other media players. You can see how the contrast and colors look when played in VLC in this screenshot, although this isn't representative of the actual resolution and quality of the video.

The lighting in the area where we record low light video quality has changed, so the 'Low Light Capability' sample video isn't as directly comparable with older cameras we've tested.

7.7
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
2.7°

Thankfully, there's less rolling shutter effect in FHD. There are still some skewed verticals with very quick camera pans, but it isn't nearly as bad as in 4k.

Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-II
Card 2 Slot
microSD Card UHS-I

The Nikon Z f has one UHS-II SD card slot and, unusually, a secondary microSD card slot, rated for UHS-I cards. While dual SD card slots would have been great, given the camera's smaller size, the microSD slot is better than nothing for those who prefer to keep a backup or separate RAW and JPEG files. The slots are somewhat inconveniently placed within the battery compartment, making switching out cards when using a tripod a bit tougher.

9.5
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
Yes
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

The camera uses a USB-C port for charging and file transfer. The camera also has a Micro HDMI port, headphone jack, and mic input.