The Z f’s native range is ISO 100 to 64,000, with all these settings available on the ISO dial. If preferred, set C and the full range is via the menu or ‘i’ menu. For this test, a low-light scene was photographed with high-ISO noise reduction off. The exposure for the ISO 100 shot was 1sec at f/8, with Raw processing performed in Adobe Lightroom with no noise reduction. Images are clean at ISO 1600 and 3200 and even checking the files at 200% on-screen reveals little graining and minimal impact on fine detail. Noise ramps up slightly at ISO 6400 but grain only gets more obvious at ISO 12,800 and 25,600, but it doesn’t detract from the image because it’s neutral and very filmic. I put the ISO 51,200 Raw through Lightroom’s Denoise with an amount of 50 and the result was stunning, with noise levels comparable to the untreated ISO 1600 Raw. It’s awesome, there’s really no other word to use. The Z f’s high-ISO noise performance is up there with the best.
“FOR THE FASTEST SHOOTING SPEED, GO TO C30 IN THE DRIVE MENU WHERE YOU GET 90 SHOTS AT 30FPS USING THE ELECTRONIC SHUTTER”
Changing to Raws saved using the high-efficiency (high) algorithm, capacity increased greatly – 111 shots with the microSD and the maximum 200 frame burst with the SD. These speeds were achieved with the electronic front-curtain shutter. Sacrifice maximum shooting rate and you get even more shots (I got 244) at 9fps using the electronic shutter; this is accessed by selecting silent mode in the set-up menu, not in the shutter type menu. For the Z f’s fastest shooting speed, go to C30 in the drive menu where you get 90 shots at 30fps using the electronic shutter, but the files are JPEG only. In continuous high,
the mechanical shutter gives JPEGs at 14fps. The electronic shutter also works in specialist modes including pre-release capture, focus shift and pixel shift shooting. For this test, the Z f was partnered by the Z 24-120mm f/4 optic. I loved seeing where I stood at a glance – the F window excepted – but I did miss the focus joystick and being a left-eye shooter, the touch AF feature didn’t suit. I also missed having custom or user modes too, although this was offset a little by the editable ‘i’ menu where 12 items can be selected. GO DARK Stunning black & white shots are available at the turn of a dial
The Z f is the first camera to accept SD and microSD cards side by side, and provides the usual recording options so can be set as backup or for recording separately. High-capacity microSD cards are available at keen prices and can be used in any SD device via an adapter. For this test, I used a Prograde 128GB 250MB/s write card and the closest microSD card speed-wise I had was a Lexar 256GB 1000x. Shooting lossless Raws, I got 70 frames at 12fps with the microSD card before the camera started buffering and took 20 seconds to clear. The SD card gave 85 frames and the buffer cleared in 12 seconds.
22 Photography News | Issue 112
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