Well, the rumor mill seems to have gone a little wrong. It wasn’t Canon announce a new camera today, but Nikon. Nikon has now officially announced its latest addition to its mirrorless Z range that is retro FM-inspired Nikon Z fc. It has an APS-C size 20.9 megapixel sensor paired with an EXPEED 6 processor for fast performance and 4K UHD video.
It also appears that Nikon has finally figured out how to build a decent vlogging camera. Almost. It offers full-time eye-detection autofocus, a fold-out LCD, a built-in stereo microphone, a 3.5mm jack for an external microphone, and built-in live streaming, though it doesn’t offer IBIS, which could be a deal breaker for some vloggers.
While the Nikon Z fc has a flashy new exterior, if you look at the specs, it essentially seems like one Nikon Z50 in a new housing – but with a much more usable, if somewhat smaller, flippy-out LCD. And if you look at them side by side, they’re pretty close. The LCD is a bit smaller and the AF sensitivity is half a notch lower, but otherwise … Yeah, pretty much.
|Nikon Z fc||Nikon Z50|
|Assemble||Nikon Z||Nikon Z|
|format||DX (1.5x APS-C)||DX (1.5x APS-C)|
|resolution||5,568 x 3,712||5,568 x 3,712|
|Mechanical lock||1/4000 to 30 sec.||1/4000 to 30 sec.|
|Flash synchronization||1/200, AutoFP High Speed Sync supported||1/200, AutoFP High Speed Sync supported|
|Focus type||Hybrid phase detection / contrast AF with AF assistant||Hybrid phase detection / contrast AF with AF assistant|
|Focus modes||Single servo AF (AF-S), continuous servo AF (AF-C), automatic AF mode switching (AF-A; only available in photo mode), continuous AF (AF-F; only available in film ) Mode); Predictive focus tracking, manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used||Single servo AF (AF-S), continuous servo AF (AF-C), automatic AF mode switching (AF-A; only available in photo mode), continuous AF (AF-F; only available in film ) Mode); Predictive focus tracking, manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used|
|AF points||209||209 (single point AF, photo mode, DX image area)|
|AF sensitivity||-4.5 to +19 EV (measured in photo mode at ISO 100 and a temperature of 20 ° C / 68 ° F with single-servo AF (AF-S) and a lens with a maximum aperture of f / 1.8.
), without low-light AF: -3 to +19 EV
|-4 to +19 EV (-2 to +19 EV without low-light AF, single-servo AF, photo mode, ISO 100, f / 2.0 lens, 20 ° C / 68 ° F)|
|Viewfinder||1.0 cm / 0.39 in. Approx. Electronic OLED viewfinder with 2360,000 pixels (XGA) with color adjustment and automatic and 7-level manual brightness control||0.99 cm / 0.39 in. Approx. Electronic OLED viewfinder with 2360,000 pixels (XGA) with color adjustment and automatic and 7-level manual brightness control|
|LCD||Touch-sensitive TFT-LCD with 7.5 cm (3.0 inch) diagonal and 170 ° viewing angle, approx. 100% image coverage, color balance and 11-level manual brightness control, 1040k points||8 cm (3.2 in) diagonal; Tiltable, touch-sensitive TFT-LCD with 170 ° viewing angle, approx. 100% image coverage and 11-level manual brightness control; Approx. 1040k points|
|Internal video||H.264 / MPEG-4 advanced video coding||H.264 / MPEG-4 advanced video coding|
|External video||Unknown||4: 2: 2 8-bit 4K UHD & 1080p HD|
|Memory card slots||SD, SDHC (UHS-I compliant), SDXC (UHS-I compliant)||SD, SDHC (UHS-I compliant), SDXC (UHS-I compliant)|
|Connectivity||802.11b / g / n 2.4 GHz WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2 BLE B||WLAN, bluetooth|
|Dimensions||Approx. 134.5 x 93.5 x 43.5 mm (5.3 x 3.7 x 1.8 in)||Approx. 126.5 x 93.5 x 60 mm (5 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)|
|Weight||Unknown||Approx. 450 g (15.9 oz.) With battery and memory card, but without housing cover; approx. 395 g / 14 oz. (camera body only)|
The Nikon Z fc internally records 4K UHD video to an SD card, although there is still no information about its video output capabilities to an external recorder. But I wouldn’t give you too much hope. The Nikon Z50 offers 8-bit 4: 2: 2, so I wouldn’t expect more from the Z fc.
Overall aesthetics aside, the big selling point for the Z fc over the Z50 is the funky LCD. It’s a first for the mirrorless Nikon Z, and we’ve only seen it at Nikons with the D5x00 series of DSLRs – that makes them great for vlogging (along with the 3.5mm mic jack). I’ve used a D5300 for vlogging for several years and like the Z fc, the D5300 doesn’t have an IBIS.
The Nikon F-mount had this small, lightweight 18-55mm kit lens with VR that gives you pretty stable handheld shots. The Nikon Z-Mount range has the even smaller 16-50 mm with a slightly wider viewing angle. The 16-50mm also has VR and there is even a kit contains this retro version of the lens with the Z-fc body. And it’s only $ 100 more than that Z50 with the 16-50mm kit.
Is it worth the extra $ 100 over the Z50 for the retro styling and flip-out LCD? Personally, I tend to say … well, it absolutely is! For me, it’s the first Nikon Z mirrorless camera that actually convinced me to maybe replace some of my DSLRs. Even though I don’t plan on using it as a vlogging camera (Panasonic already lured me in while waiting for Nikon to work together) it looks like it will be a great walkabout camera and will be a fold-out LCD useful for much more than just vlogging.
Hopefully now they will also start adding this funky LCD to some of their full frame bodies, even if they don’t give them the same retro styling.