Nikon is taking a trip back to its glory days of 35mm film photography with its second Z-series APS-C (DX) mirrorless camera, the Z FC. Designed to evoke the company’s famous FM2 SLR from the ’80s, it offers generous manual controls, including dedicated dials for shutter speed, exposure compensation and ISO. The decidedly retro look might also appeal to folks looking at stylish models from Fujifilm and others.
Unlike Fujifilm’s models, however, the Z FC has a standalone mode dial, so you won’t set modes by combining settings from the ISO, shutter or aperture dials. It has a d-pad type control at the back, but (like the Z50) lacks a dedicated joystick.
The Z FC (presumably the FC stands for film camera?) isn’t just about the looks and handling, though. It uses Nikon’s Z mount system and shares the 20.9-megapixel sensor, Expeed 6 processor and other features with Nikon’s Z50.
However, it adds a fully-articulating OLED (rather than LCD) display, and a significantly faster USB-C socket for transfers, charging and director power. Other physical features include a 2.36 million-dot electronic viewfinder, single SD card slot, microphone port (no headphone port) and an EN-EL25 battery that delivers up to 300 shots on a charge.
Like the Z50, it can shoot at 11 fps with autofocus and auto-exposure enabled, with object, face and eye-tracking. However, it now lets you combine face and eye-tracking with a wide focus mode, expanding where the camera looks for a subject.
You can shoot oversampled 4K video using the full sensor width, and the Z FC introduces full-time eye autofocus mode while shooting video. That, combined with the fully-articulating sensor, will make the Z FC much more useful for vlogging and shooting selfies than the Z50.
To best take advantage of the small size and retro looks, Nikon also introduced the Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE). It’s relatively small and has a good field of view for tourist or street photography, and also offers a pleasantly retro look.
The Z FC arrives in late July at $960 for the body only, $1,100 with the DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR kit lens or $1,200 with the new 28mm F.2.8 (SE) lens. The latter will also be sold separately for $300, but it won’t arrive until the fall.
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