If using the Nikon Z8 has taught me anything, it’s that a bigger camera isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And if using the Leica SL2s as my main camera has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t mind using a heavier combo as long as I’ve got the right strap. This is partially why I hope that the Nikon Zf is a hit. And with that said, I want it to feel like a brick compared to all the otherwise soulless cameras currently out there on the market.
According to Nikon Rumors, there is a chance that it’s going to be similar to the Nikon ZFc in terms of layout and design. But they say nothing about the feeling of it. Digital Camera World, however, talks about it being a brick. And in my mind, that’s a great thing. This is what Nikon needs. More importantly, this is what photographers need — a camera that reminds them that a company actually cares about them and not necessarily the content creators who are here for just right now and not to stay.
The Nikon ZFc is a beautiful camera, but it disappointed me so much. It felt cheap. And that’s not what I want. In fact, some of the reports state that it’s going to be under $2,000. I think that’s too low. I want a premium-feeling camera that’s metal, built to last, and that can keep up with the demands of a working photographer. I’m willing to pay for it, and I’m positive several other photographers are too!
The reports state that it’s something between the Nikon Z7 II and the Z8. And honestly, I’d be alright with that. What I care about the most is the fact that it’s a holistically beautiful camera. No modern digital camera brings back the full sensual pleasure that film cameras do. They lack the beautiful, heavy shutters that many of them had. They don’t feel like the vintage cameras that photographers have known and used for decades. Instead, they feel like soulless objects trying to fill various voids but only just so.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not expect the Nikon Zf to suddenly transport me back to my 20s (which wasn’t all that long ago as I’m 36) where I’m shooting with film again. It’s never going to bring back the smells of the Lomography store in Manhattan. And it’s surely never going to bring back the smell of Polaroid chemicals from the impossible project. But the feeling, sound, and other sensory stimuli are sorely missing from photography these days.
More importantly, they should probably keep video modes in there just in case. But I don’t really care for it. In fact, no one in the market makes anything I’d want to use for video. The closest options are those from Canon and Panasonic. So I truly wouldn’t use it for shooting video, but instead for shooting photos that are important to my memories.
I’ve been asking about the Nikon Zf for well over a year now. And I hope that it hits stores soon. More importantly, I hope that it hits all the right places in my heart as cameras become more of a weird thing and AI tries to take over in every single way.
Please Nikon, give us the camera that photographers want.