The Elephant in the Room - Nikon Zf vs Olympus OM-1 - TDS Photo Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #929, Jan. 9, 2024. Today's theme is "The Elephant in the Room - Nikon Zf vs Olympus OM-1." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Typically, Micro Four Thirds photographers aren't concerned by new full-frame camera announcements. They know what they have, and they like it. But the Nikon Zf seems to have upset the apple cart a bit. I've been getting mail citing reviews, defections, and the relevance of MFT photography in light of all this. So let's talk about it. Let's go head to head with the Olympus OM-1 and Nikon Zf. Today's top story on the TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 929

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The Elephant in the Room - Nikon Zf vs Olympus OM-1


Let's set the stage a bit for this comparison. The OM System OM-1 was released in March 2022. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor and is currently selling for $1,999.

The Nikon Zf started shipping in October 2023, employs a full-frame sensor, and is currently available for $1,996.

Even though the two cameras use completely different sensors, they are competitors. They cost about the same, appeal to serious enthusiasts, have appealing body designs, and are packed with the latest that imaging technology has to offer.

But they are very different cameras in many ways too. So let's take a look at their respective strengths and compare them.

OM System OM-1 Strengths

  • Telephoto Muscle - Anything over 105mm usually means the OM-1. My favorite combination is the 40-150mm f/2.8 with or without the 1.4X teleconverter.
  • Macro Photography - The Micro Four Thirds System is just so good at close-up photography. I have both the 60mm and 30mm macros.
  • Inclement Weather - I'm comfortable shooting with the OM-1 in just about any environment. It's a robust companion during outdoor adventures.
  • Long Days - If I'm going to be on my feet with gear for the bulk of the day, I want the OM System.
  • Carry-On Air Travel - I can put together a kit for an entire trip in a bag about the size of a kid's lunchbox - and have everything I need.
  • Clever Technology - Live ND, Live Time, Live Composite, in-camera focus stacking, are all examples of the cool tech OM System includes in their cameras.
  • More Lenses - Not only does the Micro Four Thirds lens catalog feature practically any optic that I could need, it also usually has multiple versions of it in different sizes and maximum apertures.

Nikon Zf Strengths

  • Street Photography - I know it sounds weird, but I prefer the Zf for street photography and urban exploration. With the pancake 26mm f/2.8 and the compact 24-50mm zoom, the camera has a nice balance and can work just about any angle.
  • Low Light Situations - I've never had a camera where I could increase the ISO to 25,600 without a second thought about quality.
  • Vintage Lenses - Nothing comes close to the Zf for vintage lens work. With the FTZ II adapter, I can use my Steve McCurry 105mm f/2.5 tele one moment, and the wonderful Nikkor G 24-85mm zoom the next. With no crop factor to contend with, the lens I put on there is the lens I get.
  • Portrait Assignments - I had been using the Nikon D610 for portrait work, a camera that I still very much like, but the Zf is an entirely different planet. Features like built-in Skin Softening and Portrait Enhancement make the job so much easier.
  • Aestetics - In my opinion, only the Olympus PEN-F rivals the handsome looks of the Nikon Zf.

Why Switching Doesn't Make Sense

I could never imagine a scenario when I would sell all of my Olympus gear to bulk up the Nikon Z system. For me, it would be like saying that I'm going to sell my pliers to buy a screwdriver.

But depending on what type of photographer you are, you may feel that you need a little bit of both. I realize that this is a total luxury. But as long as I'm traveling for photography workshops, covering events, and working in the unpredictable outdoors, I will be using my OM-1 system.

At the same time, I loved shooting with the Nikon Zf in San Francisco, capturing portraits with it for a recent article, and walking into a darkened haunted house, then emerging with incredible shots for the customer.

I wouldn't recommend investing in pricy, hefty full-frame telephotos for the Z System. Compact wide angles and short zooms are a better fit. When it's time to go to Safari West this coming Autumn for a workshop, I'll be packing the OM-1 with 40-150mm f/2.8 zoom, and the 1.4X teleconverter.

Now, I think OM System can quiet a lot of this chatter by releasing a great camera (or two) in 2024. In the meantime, if you own an OM-1 and are happy with it, ignore the switchers. And if your budget allows for another camera, I think the Zf would be a lovely complement to your existing system.

Basic Lens Kit for Each Camera

For the OM-1, I have a super-compact kit that includes the 14-42mm EZ Olympus zoom, Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II, 45mm f/1.8 Olympus prime, and the 35-100mm Panasonic zoom.

For the Nikon Zf I'm packing the 26mm f/2.8 pancake, 40mm f/2.0 SE, 24-50mm compact zoom, and the Nikon G 24-85mm zoom with the FTZ II adapter.

How To Turn Your Apple Watch Into A Camera Remote And Timer

You can read the entire article on

How many times do you use your iPhone camera in a day? If you're a photography enthusiast, content creator, or just someone who loves collecting snapshots of their favorite memories, you've probably answered "a lot." It's no surprise, though, considering the quality of the output and the many nifty photo editing features built into the iPhone. However, if you're using your iPhone camera a lot, then you're probably also familiar with the all too frustrating problem of wanting to pose a few meters away but being unable to run back and forth to set up your iPhone's camera timer´┐Żover and over. It can be quite a chore no doubt, especially when you're out and about and don't have the luxury of bringing a tripod with a remote.

Fortunately, the Apple Watch has your back. This versatile device on your wrist can actually double as a camera remote and timer for your iPhone, so you won't have to waste a good photo or video opportunity ever again. Here's a quick guide on how to use it as such.

Spring in Sedona Photography Workshop

April 16-19, 2024 - TDS photographers return to the greater Sedona, AZ area, but this time during the Spring to view the landscape in a whole new way. We will explore iconic locations, picturesque landscapes, mysterious vortexes, and towns frozen in time from the mining days. What a great way to kick off our 2024 workshop season!

You can learn more and reserve your spot by clicking here. Hope to see you in April!

Follow Up to My Escape to San Francisco

During last week's podcast I discussed how I had come down with a serious case of cabin fever, and my plan to overcome it. I'm happy to report that the therapy treatment in San Francisco solved the problem.

If you want to read about my adventure, and see all the pictures, check out this free link to my article titled, 26mm and Be There.

It's amazing how therapeutic a photo shoot can be.

Virtual Camera Club News

The Nimble Photographer Newsletter is now publishing every Thursday. Readers will enjoy a variety of content spanning from short photo essays, to commentary on weekly events, to reviews of the latest and coolest photo gear.

TDS Workshops! - You can sign up for available workshops by visiting The Nimble Photographer. Inner Circle Members receive a 10-percent discount on all events.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! We are having a blast at our new Inner Circle hangout, the private group I've set up at DerrickStoryOnline. We'd love it if you join us. You can become an Inner Circle Member by signing up at our Patreon site. You will automatically be added to the new hangout.

Great Photography Articles on Live View - If you check out our publication and appreciate what you see, be sure to follow us and clap for those authors. You can find us at

If you're interested in writing for Live View, drop me a line at

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras - If you've discovered a film camera that's no longer being used, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

Red River Paper - And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.