Home Health Nikon Z Fc, proof of the digital camera that looks like an analog

Nikon Z Fc, proof of the digital camera that looks like an analog

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In the range entry level of the photographic market, the one between 900 and 1500 euros, manufacturers have to contend with the cutthroat competition from high-end smartphones. The optical advantage over the devices we always carry in our pockets, guaranteed by larger sensors and lenses, convinces the photographic enthusiast or professional who needs a small and handy alternative to professional cameras to the maximum. To go beyond this increasingly restricted user base, original ideas and slightly more daring products are needed, which differ with functions suitable for the creator audience, or with a style that makes them objects of design, beautiful and desirable even without the primary function.

That’s exactly what Nikon is trying to do with the Z Fc, a new Aps-C mirrorless camera that inherits the functions of the entry level Z 50, adds new ones, and marries it all with a nostalgic (but not cloying) design inspired by the most famous analog cameras of the Fm and Fe series. We tried it for just over a month together with the new Nikkor Z 28mm F / 2.8 Se compact lens, discovering that yes, in the era of smartphones and computational photography it still makes sense to buy a camera at this price and with these features.

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Nikon Z Fc, the main features
The analog Nikon-inspired design of the past is the first thing you notice when holding a Z Fc. It is a camera that does not go unnoticed: during our test in Berlin it was there asked over and over which analog camera we were using. Which reveals two things: Berlin is teeming with analogue photography enthusiasts, and Nikon’s style operation is perfectly successful.

Nikon Z Fc is not only beautiful, it is also a camera with great features for the price it sells. The CMOS sensor is the same 20.9 Mp sensor as the Z50, the other entry level mirrorless in Nikon’s Z series, and the burst reaches 11 Fps (9 in 14-bit Raw). The ability to shoot movies up to 4K 30p without crop on the sensor and the fully articulated screen also make it suitable for creators. The dials on the top in turn contribute to the vintage look of the camera, but they are also and above all a great addition that facilitates manual shooting and makes the Z FC a perfect choice for those approaching the world of photography and wanting to learn about it. technical bases.

Among the other main features that differentiate the Z Fc from the Nikon Z50 we point out the presence of the automatic focus with detection of the subject’s eye (Full Time Eye Af) even in video mode and the possibility of recharging the battery directly via the Usb socket. -C. Finally, the presence of a jack input for external microphones should be noted. Instead, the built-in flash (which seems to us an advantage: much better to have the sled connection for external ones) and the headphone jack output, a feature to consider if you plan to use the Z Fc often to make videos.

The road test
Nikon Z Fc, especially when combined with the new Nikkor Z 28mm F / 2.8 lens, is the perfect camera for street photography. Thanks to the construction of magnesium alloy it is very light and can be forgotten all day over the shoulder. It does not have a lateral grip like the Z50 (would have affected the vintage design), but the handling is not compromised. Quite the contrary: the grip is comfortable, the body is compact, but not too small and the position of the rings and controls, although a little unusual for the Nikonist, is well designed.

You may feel the absence of the joystick to control the functions on the screen, but the different control dials allow you to quickly change the shooting parameters. In the first few days we struggled a bit to get used to the position of the tiny display that indicates the lens aperture and the wheel assigned by default to this function is a bit too sensitive. Returns a very digital and very little analog feedback, but it does its job and you just have to get used to it by adapting the pressure of the thumb.

Good quality of the electronic viewfinder (with 2.36 million dot OLED display), which we have always preferred to the rear screen. The LCD display (1.04 million dots) has acceptable quality, but lacks dynamic range and contrast. It can be used without any problems to compose the photo or framing and we really liked the fact that it can be rotated completely (a feature that is lacking on the same-range Fuji X-T30, while it is present in the Fuji X-S10). . However in the photo review stage expect it tones that do not do justice to the excellent image quality taken from Z Fc.

By subsequently processing the shots in Adobe Lightroom we were able to appreciate the excellent rendering of the Raw and above all the high quality of the JPEG compressed directly from the machine. The increase in the average image quality in mirrorless cameras of this range, on which the innovations tested in recent years on more expensive models, it is a trend that we have noticed for all manufacturers. Nikon is no exception, and many of the shots taken with the Z FC have a semi-professional or professional level of detail and color rendition. In other words, even the professional photographer will be able to obtain quality shots that are well workable in post production, while the amateur will have in their hands an affordable camera with which to create always satisfying images.

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What we liked

  • Great quality of the image both in Raw and in Jpeg

  • Speed ​​and performance autofocus: works well even in low light conditions

  • The design: it is a beautiful object that recalls the cameras of the past without falling into nostalgia for its own sake

  • the ferrules for manual control

  • Ergonomics, lightness and handling

  • The brings Usb-C which enables direct battery charging

  • Vintage 28mm F / 2.8 (Se) Lens: Perfect for street photography and you can buy it in kit with the car at a very attractive price

What can be improved

  • The absence of the joystick for the control of the functions it makes itself felt

  • The dynamic range of the display and the electronic viewfinder does not do justice to the quality of the photos

  • The camera body is not stabilized

  • The selection of lenses Aps-C with Z mount is somewhat limited

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In conclusion
The design of the Nikon Z Fc should not be misleading: it is a camera that is not only beautiful, but also very capable. With this model, Nikon has found a excellent balance between photographic quality and style, an important differentiator in this market segment. If you are looking for a camera with a good quality / price ratio, perfect for advancing the knowledge of photographic technique and even making some videos in 4K, Nikon Z Fc should absolutely be taken into consideration.

The main competition here is represented by two Fuji: the X-T30, with a design always oriented to the analogs of the past, e the X-S10, which has comparable video quality and characteristics, a slightly larger fleet of lenses, but it is surpassed by the Z Fc in terms of autofocus performance, handling and style.

Price, availability and colors
The Nikon Z Fc is available in standard color in various configurations

  • Solo camera body, con Sd card da 64 Gb (Lexar 667 Pro): 1049 euro

  • With Nikkor Z Dz 16-50 VR Silver lens, plus SD card: 1189 euros

  • With Nikkor Z 28mm F / 2.8 Se and SD Card lens: 1299 euros

From October 15, exclusively on the Nikon online store, the Z Fc is also available in some special colors: white, turquoise, gray / silver, beige, leather brown and pink, which each cost 100 euros more than the prices of the camera body and standard kits.

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