Photography News 92 Newsletter

Big test

Nikon Z fc

PRICE: £899 


Nikon has taken a long look in the rear-view mirror to design its latest model – and the resulting mix of old and new gives the Z fc a special charm

SPECS ›  Prices Body £899, Z fc 28mm SE kit £1129, Z fc + 16-50mm VR silver edition kit £1039, Z fc + 16-50mm VR and 50-250mm VR kit £1249, Z fc vlogging kit £1039 › S ensor CMOS, 20.9 megapixels ›  Sensor format APS-C, DX format. 23.5x15.7mm, 5568x3712 pixels ›  Lens mount Nikon Z › ISO range 100-51,200, expandable to 102,400 and 204,800 ›  Shutter range 30secs to 1/4000sec, expandable to 900secs in manual mode, B, T, flash sync 1/200sec ›  Drive modes Up to 11fps ›  Exposure system Auto, PASM ›  Exposure compensation +/-3EV in 0.3EV steps. +/-5 when exposure compensation dial set to C › Monitor Vari-angle touch monitor 3in TFT, approx 1040K dots › Viewfinder 1cm, 2360K-dot OLED › Focusing Hybrid phase/contrast detect with AF assist. Detection range -4.5 to +19EV, without low light AF -3 to +19EV. AF-S, AF-C, AF-A, full-time AF in video mode, predictive focusing, manual ›  Focus points 209. Pinpoint AF, single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, wide-area AF (S), wide-area AF (L), wide-area AF (L-people), wide-area AF (L-animals), auto-area AF, auto-area AF (people), auto-area AF (animals) › Image stabiliser None in-body › V ideo 3840x2160 (4K UHD) 24p/25p/30p › C onnectivity USB-C, Type-D HDMI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, stereo 3.5mm audio › Other key features 20 in-camera Creative Picture Controls, in-body USB-C charging, USB-C power › B attery One EN-EL25 Li-ion › S torage media One SD slot › D imensions (wxhxd) 134.5x93.5x43.5mm › Body weight 445g with battery and SD card › Contact

HEY, GOOD LOOKING The Z fc’s appearance is a throwback to a bygone age – but inside, it’s totally up-to-date

adjustments. There is no lock on this compensation dial, and while it is firmly click-stopped and inset a little way from the body’s edge, I still managed to rotate it inadvertently a couple of times when I pulled the camera out of a bag. If I owned a Z fc, I’d be tempted to use C and apply some gaffer tape to stop it moving. There is another little innovation on the top-plate – and I mean little. With the two large ISO and shutter speed dials, Nikon aims to keep you informed with a glance down at the top-plate. But what about that other member of the exposure trinity, the aperture? Well, there is no aperture ring on Nikon Z lenses, so on the Z fc

auto ISO and this overrides the setting on the ISO dial. The shutter speed knob is traditional; speeds are click-stopped in 1EV steps from 1/4000sec down to 4secs, with positions for T, B and X for flash sync at 1/200sec. The unusual setting on this control is 1/3 step, and using this means you can set fractional speeds in manual or shutter-priority AE modes with an input dial. The third control on this retro- themed top-plate is the exposure compensation dial. It has a +/-3EV in 0.3EV steps range, and if you prefer, setting C increases this to +/-5EV; the rear input wheel is used to make

could appeal to users who prefer actual dials to menus. The body itself feels robust for a camera at this price level, although it is not weather-proofed. I did get caught out in the rain once with the Z fc, but it carried on performing just fine. The only issue with the body is its shape, which is not especially ergonomic, with no handgrip or protruding thumb ridge. On the left, there’s a large ISO dial with a full speed range in 0.3EV steps. It can only be adjusted when the central spring-loaded locking button is depressed – and there’s a PASM mode control around its base. Interestingly, ISO setting can’t be assigned to any function button, nor can it be brought into the ‘i’ menu. Indeed, the actual ISO can’t be set in the menu, either, but you do have the option of using auto ISO, where a limit can be set at the top end, as can the minimum shutter speed. Engage


THE Z FC is Nikon’s seventh model in the range, the second DX-format (APS-C) camera, and the first that’s pushed the Z design envelope. For inspiration, they have wound back the clock and looked at the FM2, an iconic film camera that came out in 1982 and was much-loved for being fully mechanical. So the 20.9-megapixel Z fc looks very different from existing Z models, specifically the camera’s top-plate with the influence of its ancestor. That’s purely cosmetic, but its design


42 Photography News | Issue 92

Powered by