While the Z fc is anchored firmly in the world of digital photography, the “heritage design,” as Nikon calls it, hearkens back to Nikon’s film cameras – specifically the FM2, an “iconic…SLR film camera released in 1982.”
Nikon explains, “The Z fc is the first Z-series camera to adopt a heritage design, while simultaneously supporting various advanced features. In addition to the enjoyment of shooting great stills and videos, it is designed with particular attention paid to delivering the pride and joy of ownership.”
This isn’t a first for Nikon; back in 2013, Nikon launched the Df, a high-end, full-frame DSLR with a film-inspired design. But unlike the Nikon Df, the Z fc isn’t aimed at advanced enthusiasts. Instead, the Z fc will slot into Nikon’s “entry-level” category, despite its impressive capabilities and a near-$1000 USD price tag.
In fact, the Nikon Z fc closely mirrors Nikon’s current (and only) entry-level mirrorless camera, the Z50. Like the Z50, the Z fc packs a 21 MP APS-C sensor, which strikes a nice balance between resolution and low-light shooting (the Z fc’s sensor likely comes straight from the Z50). The Z fc also features the Z50’s respectable 11 frames-per-second continuous shooting, a decent 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder, and 4K/30p video.
But the Z fc and the Z50 differ in several important ways. For one, the Z fc includes a fully articulating screen – one that flips out to the side – while the Z50 screen tilts but doesn’t flip. This is a big deal for vloggers; you can mount the Z fc on a tripod, flip out the screen, and monitor the video as you record.
There’s also the retro design, which promises Z fc users an engaged, down-to-earth shooting process. Instead of adjusting shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation via your camera’s LCD screen and back dials, you’ll be able to make adjustments via three dedicated top dials. No, it’s not for everyone, but if you’ve shot film and liked the feeling, or if you’re a fan of Fujifilm mirrorless cameras, then the Z fc is certainly worth a look.
The Z fc is remarkably compact, making it a perfect option for travel photography, casual walkaround photography, on-the-go photography, and more. At just 14 oz (390 g), you can carry it in a backpack, camera bag, or around your neck for hours on end – especially when used alongside Nikon’s just-announced kit lenses, the 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and the 28mm f/2.8.
So while the Z fc isn’t the most conventional camera on the market, it should certainly appeal to many photographers. If you’re after a lightweight, compact camera and you appreciate (or don’t mind) the retro design, check out the Z fc. You can currently preorder the body for around $950 USD; expect shipping to begin at the end of July.
Now over to you:
What do you think of the Nikon Z fc? Do you like it? Will you buy it? Were you hoping for a more groundbreaking new camera? Share your thoughts in the comments below!