Zf, F1, and GX
Instruction Set, 2023/9/22
Welcome back to Multicore. This is Instruction Set for the week of Friday, September 22nd.
It was a whirlwind week in tech news — one that was frankly timed very badly for me. My sister is in town and we were at the Japanese Grand Prix this past weekend, which turned out to be an intense and exhausting four-day experience. It’s taken a minute to catch up.
Formula 1 in person is a heck of a thing. I’ve been an F1 fan since I was a kid rooting for anyone but Schumacher, but I’d never made it out to Silverstone or Suzuka before this weekend.
It is objectively not a great way to watch a race in its totality, since you’re pegged to a single sector of the track. But just seeing first-hand how Max Verstappen increased his lead lap by lap, not to mention his incredible qualifying times, gave me a new appreciation for his dominance. Even if I was more invested in all-time GOAT Lewis Hamilton (yes) managing to secure a majestic P5, I’ll always appreciate being in the presence of undeniable greatness as it’s happening.
This was all the more impressive considering the nightmare weekend from Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez, who drives the exact same car but took out two other drivers and returned to the race dozens of laps behind the pace purely to serve a five-second penalty. It’s a sobering reminder that machinery isn’t everything.
Unless you’re reading Multicore, that is. Let’s get into the week’s hardware.
For once, we’ll start with cameras. September is often a busy month for the camera industry with announcements centred around the biennial Photokina show in Cologne, Germany. The show has yet to return following its COVID-induced cancellation in 2020, but camera makers have stuck to the general cadence of news.
Nikon stole the non-existent show with the announcement of the Zf, a full-frame mirrorless camera that evokes the design of the company’s earlier 35mm film SLRs, in particular the classic FM2. The Zf follows the Z fc, a smaller model with an APS-C sensor, and more notably the Df, an attempt to do the same thing a decade ago with a full-frame DSLR.
I still own a Df and I keep meaning to write about it. It’s kind of a mess of a camera, but I love it all the same; it’s the last DSLR I’ll ever need to own and there isn’t another model I’d want to fill that role. While it has its usability quirks, I still much prefer to control cameras with physical dials and rings.
That said, the Zf looks like a considerably better thought out camera. Even though the Df was and is the smallest full-frame DSLR ever made, it didn’t come close to the size profile of the film SLRs that were supposedly its inspiration. Freed from the need for a viewfinder prism and with more straightforward controls, the all-electronic Zf is a much more authentic reproduction.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Multicore to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.