Nikon Zf leak suggests exciting retro camera could launch within days

The Nikon Zfc camera on a grey background
(Image credit: Nikon)

The Nikon Zf is one of the year's most anticipated mirrorless cameras – and some fresh rumors suggest it could be launched within the next few days.

A Nikon Rumors post states that the full-frame mirrorless camera could land "on or around August 2nd". And while the rumor site adds that it isn't sure completely sure about that launch date, it does say that the Nikon Zf will "most likely" land in the first week of August.

If you're a fan of retro-themed cameras with modern mirrorless specs – think the Fujifilm X-T5 or Leica Q3 – then Nikon's imminent launch is definitely one to watch. That's because the Nikon Zf is expected to be a full-frame version of the Nikon Z fc, which we still rate as one of the best travel cameras around.

The latest Nikon Zf rumors do suggest, though, that it'll be a much more capable, and expensive, camera than the Z fc. Earlier leaks have suggested that the Zf will have the same 45MP full-frame sensor as the Nikon Z7 II, which is still one of the best around for dynamic range and overall image quality.

The good news for wildlife and street shooters is that, according to Nikon Rumors, the Nikon Zf will also have "improved autofocus compared to Z6II/Z7II", plus a small LCD screen on the top for you to quickly check settings.

But the Nikon Zf's design is really its most interesting feature. Like the Nikon Z fc, it's expected to pay homage to the Nikon FM2 (a 30-year-old film camera). But unlike the Z fc, the Zf is expected to have better build quality and a small grip that should make it better balanced with longer lenses. 

Analysis: What made the Nikon FM2 special?

The enduring popularity of film cameras and modern incarnations like the sold-out Fujifilm X100V show that photography fans still pine for retro tools – and the Nikon FM2 (above), which launched in 1982 definitely qualifies as a design classic.

The fully-mechanical FM2 ran without batteries and was known for being virtually indestructible. That isn't a feature that Nikon managed to bring into the modern day with the more flimsy Z fc, so we're keen to see how far it's improved the rumored Nikon Zf's build quality.

The FM2 actually lacked a grip to help differentiate it from the pro SLRs of the day, but it seems Nikon has made the practical choice of adding one to the Zf (according to rumors, at least). That makes sense given the chunky, modern-day lenses photographers would likely want to pair with the Zf.

When we spoke to Nikon about the design of the Nikon Z fc back in August 2021, it told us that it didn't want to make an exact replica of the FM2, and that will likely be the case again with the Zf. 

Nikon designer Shu Suzuki (ID Group, Design Center) told us in 2021: "While the design of the Z fc takes its inspiration from the FM2, the goal was never to reproduce the silhouette exactly, but rather create a new framework which preserves the overall essence of the earlier model."

If Nikon can do that with the Zf while sprinkling it with some of the latest mirrorless tech, we could be looking at one of the best cameras of the year.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.