The Nikon Z fc is a mirrorless DX crop-sensor camera built to the dimensions and style of the iconic Nikon FM2 film camera from the early 1980s.
This very nice little camera has launched with a tasty 21 megapixel sensor and full AF tracking capability you would expect from a modern Nikon digital camera including Eye and Animal AF tracking for stills and video.
The top cover of the Nikon Z fc has three control dials on the top cover for direct access to exposure compensation, shutter speed and ISO. There is also a display for the aperture read-out and some nifty switches such as on/off, stills / video and an M / A / S / P / Auto selector.
With this array of direct access controls on the top cover and a pedantic mind-set, we reached for some analogue Nikon tech and would contend that the design resembles more a Nikon FE which had exposure compensation and ISO on a separate dial to shutter speed. Have a look at the pictures below and let us know what you think in the comments.
Video as well as stills
Despite its heritage look, the Nikon Z fc is a thoroughly modern camera inside with 4k no-crop video recording (the sensor is already a DX crop for stills), higher frame rates for slow-motion, and a wide ISO range of 100-51,200 (extendable to higher levels if needed). There is also a constant focus mode AF-F just for video for smooth tracking of moving subjects during recording.
Lenses and compatibility
All Z series Nikkor lenses are compatible with the Nikon Z fc. Nikon launched two lenses with the Nikon Z fc with some silver retro styling a dedicated DX 16-50mm and a special edition full frame FX 28mm f/2.8 prime lens.
In addition all G series F-mount Nikkor lenses can be used with the Nikon FTZ mount adaptor. The DX cropped sensor may give different results if you are used to shooting full-frame FX format. Full frame lenses on a DX body have a 1.5x crop factor so a 35mm lens will give an angle of view of a 52.5mm lens.
Pre-G lenses such as Nikkor AF-D and manual AF-I lenses are not compatible with the FTZ adaptor.
Vari-angle Rear TFT monitor
The Rear TFT monitor can be set in multiple positions for waist-level, overhead and selfie shooting. It can also be folded to face inwards taking the rear monitor out of the equation for some authentic, distraction free analogue-esque camera operating (it also keeps the screen safe from scratches).
When the screen is set to faces in the same direction as the lens the camera will automatically enter “self-portrait mode” this gives touch control on the screen for shooting or starting / stopping recording.
The Nikon Z fc is compatible with SnapBridge v2.8 which allows direct transfer of images to the SnapBridge app on Apple and Android devices. There are two SnapBridge options:
• Foreground transfer where images are only transferred while the app is in use
• Background transfer which constantly backs up images and video to a connected device
For anyone starting out in photography this camera will give you all you need and more. With the accessible, tactile controls for the key settings in photography, the Nikon Z fc may get you out of auto mode faster than starting in other models.
The Nikon Z fc fits a lot of great functions into an attractive, compact design, at a great price. A Nikon digital camera that feels like an FM2 in size will have a huge appeal. We have seen many Nikon analogue cameras through our doors for repairs and servicing and know that the FM2 and FE cameras are well loved by the film community. Analogue style controls are popular already in Nikon with the DSLR Df and outside of Nikon in the popular Fujifilm X system.
A possible drawback is that the camera only sports a DX sensor not the full-frame FX. Lovers of wide-angle photography will have to reach for even wider lenses than they usually would to achieve the angle of view they expect. However DX sensors give an advantage to sport and wildlife photographers who gain extra reach from their long lenses thanks to the crop.
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Nikon Z fc Prices and Kits
- Nikon Z fc body only – £899
- Nikon Z fc kit with Z 28mm f/2.8 SE – £1,129
- Nikon Z fc with Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 kit – £1,039