Nikon has gone for the retro aesthetic with its latest Z-series mirrorless camera. The company says the new Z FC, officially called the “Z fc”, was specially designed to recall their FM2 film SLR camera from the 1980s, with special dials for settings like shutter speed, exposure compensation, and ISO.
The approach is similar to the Nikon DF, a retro-style full frame DSLR released by Nikon in 2013. But the DF was much bigger than the movie cameras that inspired it. The Z FC has a 20.9 megapixel APS-C sensor (and no SLR mirror and prism, of course), which means the resulting camera is much more compact and much closer to an FM2.
Beyond its looks, the Z FC is a modern camera with largely similar specifications to the the Z50. There’s an adjustable touchscreen, OLED electronic viewfinder, USB-C charging, SnapBridge wireless connectivity, and of course the now-required ability to use it as a webcam. While the camera can be shot in fully manual mode using the dials, there is also a switch for PASM operation, and you can check the aperture settings with a tiny LCD on the top plate.
The native ISO range is between 100 and 51,200 and there is a hybrid AF system with 209 points over 87 percent of the image. The Z FC doesn’t really focus on videos, unsurprisingly, but it can record at up to 4K / 30fps.
As a Z-mount camera, the Z FC can use all of the full-frame lenses that are native to cameras like the Z6 and Z7, but Nikon’s range of DX / APS-C lenses that make the most of the Z FC’s small size still missing. However, Nikon today announced a new prime lens – a 28mm (42mm equivalent) f / 2.8 that will be available in a special edition with styling that makes it look like an older Nikkor D lens. Nikon will also be releasing a silver version of its 16-50mm pancake zoom alongside the Z FC and says a DX 18-140mm travel zoom will be available sometime this year.
The ZFC is only $ 959.95, $ 1,099.95 with the silver 16-50mm lens and $ 1,199.95 with the 28mm lens. All three options will appear in black and silver at the end of July. Nikon is also releasing six additional color options that are sold exclusively through its own website.