Welcome to the dark side, Mark. I was a Canon shooter when I first started using Photolab and joined the community here. I tired of Canon’s cripple hammer on video (5D III, M6, 5DSR) and didn’t like shooting two brands.
After trying this and that, I brought in a Nikon Z6 for testing. I liked it so much that eventually I sold all of my Canon and Sony gear and went entirely Nikon. The ISO invariant shadows for most of Nikon’s line (not the D4 and especially not the D5 but the D750, D810, Z6, D850, Z7, Z50, etc) are a real blessing to retain highlights and raise shadows. High ISO noise is much better with Nikon cameras. This is important for photographers using any RAW development tool except for DxO Photolab ironically. Photolab does such a great job on Canon high ISO chroma noise (at least two stops) that the difference in high ISO noise (at least one stop) is largely neutralised (Photolab gives roughly one stop back to Nikon RAW images as the noise is less chroma and more luminance).
Still miss Canon menus and skin tones just a bit (Nikon is much better than Sony but Canon handles caucasian skin tones best with just the right amount of cherry in the cheeks without turning anyone orange or purple) but otherwise the Nikon experience has been great. Nikon auto-focus is a bit better than Canon except when shooting something dark backlit. Canon did this better. Once a photographer knows about this weakness, it’s a rare shot and there’s any number of ways to work around it (most easily by focusing on something lighter at the same focal plane).
What’s particularly nice about shooting Nikon is they are focused on high quality affordable lenses which high end amateur photographers would want to use. Instead of €3000 f1.2 prime lenses which weigh 2kg, Nikon releases €600 f1.8 lenses which weigh 500gr.
Of course with both Canon and Nikon, there are so many great used lenses out there it’s possible to build a very decent bag at great prices. My new favourite Nikon lens is the venerable Nikon F 35-70mm f2.8 at 660gr which preceded the 24-70mm f2.8 VR at 1060gr.
If I owned the second I’d rarely take it out, whereas the 35-70mm works as a walkaround lens. Thanks for sharing your experience with equipment as a photographer getting older. I’m following the same path but twenty years behind you. The Nikon D850 with grip and 300mm f2.8 is hard on the elbows but the results are often worth it.
I also own a Z50 which is very similar to the Z fc, using the same sensor. Like you I’m sometimes astonished at the quality of images which come off of this little APS-C sensor. I’m fairly certain that it would be possible to successfully edit Z fc RAW images in Photolab if the EXIF information were changed to declare that the images came from a Z50. Unlike some of the other masquerading where there will be a real difference and there’s a risk of permanent confusion with one’s RAW images by declaring one set of files to be shot with a different device, in this case there would be little if any harm done.
I have a draft post mostly ready for our weblog with some detailed and simple information on using EXIF tool for batch work (which is what slowed me down last time). I’ll finish it and let you know.