Nikon recently announced a new Z series camera, as well as some additional Z lenses (albeit not the 100-400mm that Nikon users were hoping for).
Although, this release isn’t groundbreaking, it is promising that Nikon is finally doing something. It’s great that this announcement followed up the new macro lenses so quickly too. Nikon could be back to full steam ahead.
I don’t think that 100-400mm we all want is that far off, and I think some powerful new bodies are on the horizon too (hint: Z9).
Here’s what Nikon’s recent release included:
- Nikon Z fc Z Series Camera
- Nikon 28mm f/2.8
- Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR (Development Announcement)
It’s no secret that Nikon is struggling. They have had layoffs, struggled with production issues, and now face stronger competition than ever with Sony and Canon. Nikon realizes this – that’s why we’re getting this APS-C retro ‘Z fc’ camera.
Those of us willing to pay up for a pro-grade full-frame body, like the Z6 II or Z7 II, are actually the minority when it comes to the larger market. There’s a huge segment of people interested in entry-level and lower priced APS-C models. Nikon is trying to capture that with the Z fc, and it does look like a pretty cool camera.
It’ll be interesting to see if Nikon’s strategy works. I think Nikon makes fantastic products, but I think their R&D has taken a hit, which is trouble when you look at what Sony and Canon are doing.
We will cover a preview of the Z fc and new 28mm f/2.8 in this article.
Nikon Z fc Mirrorless Digital Camera
- 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
- EXPEED 6 Image Processor
- UHD 4K and Full HD Video Recording
- 2.36m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- 3″ 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
- ISO 100-51200, Up to 11 fps Shooting
- 209-Point Hybrid AF, Eye Detection AF
- Up to 11 FPS burst shooting
- Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- USB Type-C Connectivity
The Nikon Z fc looks like a really cool camera. It’s molded after one of Nikon’s all-time greats, the Nikon FM2 film SLR. On paper though, it’s very similar to the Nikon Z50 and priced $100 more. It features a 20.9 MP APS-C sensor, has the latest EXPEED 6 processor, and can shoot 4K video up to 30p.
What’s the biggest difference verse the Z50?
The looks and design, obviously. The Z fc is a stylish camera. It also has dedicated setting dials on top, similar to a Fuji XT body.
The Z fc does have a fully articulating LCD too (Nikon please bring this to future full-frame Z cameras). That’s a super useful add-on for anyone using the video features of this camera.
The Z fc does have a superior AF system too. It can focus in low-light better and it has a Eye-AF mode.
Is all of that worth $100 over the Z50. I personally think it is.
I think the Z fc is going to be a very good seller for Nikon. It will produce excellent images and video for a APS-C camera. It should do very well against cameras in this range from other manufactures.
The only puzzling thing to me is why – it such a similar camera to the Z50 outside of the looks and a few other features. It even retails at almost the exact same price. Nikon probably knows something I don’t, and it could save them, or give them more to work with in the professional Z realm – who knows.
I just know that Nikon needs more pro-grade Z bodies and lenses ASAP. Hoping this summer will bring a lot of new releases.
I should also mention that there are different color variations available for the Z fc, but they can only be purchased directly through Nikon.
Nikon 28mm f/2.8 NIKKOR Z Lens
- Z-Mount Lens/FX Format
- Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/16
- Dual Stepping Motor AF System
- Super Integrated Lens Coating
- Minimum Focus Distance: 7.56″
- Programmable Control Ring
- Dust- and Moisture- Sealed Construction
- Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm
Although the Z fc is a APS-C body, Nikon did release a new full-frame (FX) lens alongside it – the 28mm f/2.8. I think this is a nice release from Nikon and will be a popular one among travel photographers.
It’s super-fast, features a good focal length for a lot of scenarios, it’s inexpensive, and it takes up literally no space (just look at the pictures).
Nikon is actually marketing this lens as a great companion with the new Z fc. Just remember that this lens will be 42mm on the DX Z fc due to the crop fact of the sensor.
Sadly, we most likely won’t see this lens shipping until early fall.
Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Lens
- Z-Mount Lens/DX Format
- 27-210mm (35mm Equivalent)
- VR Image Stabilization
Nikon also announced development of the DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 Z series lens. They didn’t release much information outside of one photo.
This should be a great addition the DX Z line. It should slot in nicely with the current 16-50mm and 50-250mm. The new 18-140mm should appeal to many because of its great range, covering 27-210mm (35mm equivalent). We have a video discussing why the FX 24-200mm is such a great lens (https://youtu.be/jmkd3ihMNyE) and this 18-140mm should be an absolute workhorse for the DX Z Series cameras.
Stay tuned and we will update you when we have more information on the release.
Matt Meisenheimer is a photographer based in Wisconsin. His artistry revolves around finding unique compositions and exploring locations that few have seen. He strives to capture those brief moments of dramatic light and weather, which make our grand landscapes so special. Matt loves the process of photography – from planning trips and scouting locations, taking the shot in-field, to post-processing the final image. Matt is an active adventurer and wildlife enthusiast as well. He graduated with a degree in wildlife ecology and worked in Denali National Park and Mount Rainier National Park as a biologist. He also spent 6 months working in the deserts of Namibia before finding his path in photography. Matt’s passion for the wilderness has taken him to many beautiful places around the world. As a former university teaching assistant, Matt is passionate about instruction. It is his goal to give his students the technical and creative knowledge they need to achieve their own photographic vision. He truly enjoys working with photographers on a personal level and helping them reach their goals. You can see Matt’s work and portfolio on his webpage at www.meisphotography.com
Don’t miss the next session of BCJ Live!
Image Review: Wildlife
with Russell Graves
Tuesday, August 10th, 2021
11 am – 12 pm Mountain Time