Nikon has expanded its range of mirrorless cameras: The new Nikon Z FC is aimed at all photographers who love the elegant retro design but do not want to forego the convenience of a DSLM.
The new Nikon Z FC exudes a lot of retro flairs: the housing is made of elegant black and silver, the electronic viewfinder is in a typical pentaprism structure and the Nikon logo is engraved. The DSLM is reminiscent of the legendary Nikon FM2 from the 80s, one of the most popular analogue SLR cameras from that time. The inner workings, on the other hand, come largely from the Nikon Z50, the mirrorless system camera from Nikon with an APS-C sensor.
Chic retro design with well-thought-out ergonomics
The analog Nikon FM2 already had a dial for the shutter speed. With the Nikon Z FC, you can also choose ISO and exposure compensation directly.
In terms of ergonomics, the Nikon designers have also based themselves on the larger analog model: The Nikon Z FC is equipped with a dial on the top that can be used to set the shutter speed. Taking photos with manual settings is much more direct and pleasantly familiar for veterans. A second wheel is used to set the ISO value, locking buttons prevent accidental changes to the exposure parameters. Right next to the shutter release and main switch is another cog for exposure correction and the separate video shutter release. In between, there is a small LC display that provides information about the set aperture of the lens. Speaking of which: if desired, the focus ring of the lens can be used to control the aperture.
Ideal for selfies and vlogging: the large 3.0-inch touch display with 1.04 million pixels can be folded forward 180 degrees thanks to its side suspension, which means it can be used to check images when taking self-portraits. Directly above it sits the large, electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million pixels, including a proximity sensor and a classic, round eyecup.
Solid resolution and fast autofocus
Well protected: The movable display can not only be folded completely forward but it can also be closed completely.
From a technical point of view, the Nikon Z FC has many parallels with its sister model, the Nikon Z50: First and foremost with the APS-C sensor with a resolution of 20.9 megapixels, which enables serial pictures to be taken at 11 frames per second and high-resolution video in UHD resolution. In FullHD even smooth slow-motion sequences with up to 120 fps are possible. The DSLM is the first camera in the Z series to support manual exposure correction in AUTO mode, which is useful for subjects with large differences in brightness.
The hybrid autofocus with phase and contrast detection covers almost the entire sensor. During a brief preliminary test during a press conference, the automatic focusing of the Nikon Z fc responded quickly and accurately; including eye recognition for humans and animals. The camera keeps the eye focus even when there are several people in the frame. Interesting for vloggers and filmmakers is the 3.5 mm jack socket for an external microphone, the HDMI connection and the USB-C port, which can also be used to charge the camera during operation.
Kit offers an inexpensive alternative
Colour-coordinated with the Nikon Z FC, the manufacturer supplies the Nikkor Z DX 16–50 mm f / 3.5–6.3 VR and the new Nikkor Z 28 mm f / 2.8 in a “Silver Edition”. The set with the handy standard zoom is available for around 1,050 euros, the set with the high-speed fixed focal length is for 1,150 euros. If you already have Nikon F lenses, you can connect them to the Nikon Z FC using an FTZ adapter, which is available in a set with the camera body for around 1,150 euros. In addition, there are now a large number of native Z-lenses for the mirrorless cameras from Nikon, which of course also fit here.
We report how the beautiful Nikon Z FC compares to other system cameras with APS-C sensors as soon as a test device has gone through the entire standardized course of the CHIP test laboratory. You can read how the “previous model” Nikon Z 50 was rated by our experts in this detailed review. This camera is now available for around 650 euros. If the retro design is not so important to you, you can get a real bargain here.