There was something about todays Nikon Z fc announcement that took me back first with fondness, forward with frustration (marketing), and finally a favourable conclusion.
So why the marketing? Well the FM2 and then FM2n were and remain fine cameras. One I would say epitomise what a ‘real’ photographers camera is. Manual focus, manual exposure, truly at home in the hands of any person who has really got to grips with the fundamentals of photography, all the way to those who have ‘mastered’ those capabilities.
And while there are of course many situations where AF and rapid machine gun capture are obviously a benefit, the majority of images captured on the planet today or any other, need no such response. Anyone who has achieved a level of photography that excels will usually tell you it was down to taking some time and using ‘their’ acquired skills. Not overly the kit they use. More to my argument, but space is limited.
Billed as a tribute to the FM2/n models this is a lovely camera, but far from the spirit of those models. In fact, it is more like the Nikon FA of 1983, a multi mode camera, not a manual exposure only one. In many companies today there seems to be a ‘sales’ and marketing at any cost approach, no matter how tangible claims are.
In addition, the marketing of a ‘Z’ mount model rather than a ‘F’ mount version seems to say a lot about the companies priority. I believe the ‘F’ mount Df is no longer available in the UK which seems an even stronger argument for replacing it? Although I can see it is ‘clever’ marketing in the sense of persuading ‘F’ mount Nikon owners to try the new mount. .
But do not take the above as a dislike. Far from it, I like this camera. It is not a FM2, but a classic looking camera. Packed under the bonnet with many of the high tech cutting edge features of other contemporary cameras. So the beginner, unlike with an FM2 can get some great shots from the off with little or no knowledge.
‘Hang it from your shoulder and prepare for admiring glances from passers-by’ is part of the on line marketing promotion. This ties in for the novice that likes ‘the look’ but needs the technology. But it is also really appealing to many who previously used classic ‘F’ mount models, appealing.
Much of the modern stuff can be switched off, leaving you and your skills once more to enjoy a traditional approach in so many ways. And a DX format? Not a problem as I know you can do a lot with a 21mp DX sensor camera.
The Z fc is similar to the Z50 in many ways. That camera impressed when I used it, some quality imagery certainly, but it puzzles me that they are possibly competing for the same customers in some ways. An update to the Z50 makes sense to give some separation possibly?
The Z fc will sell substantially at least initially. Described as the ‘first’ of the ‘Z’ mount ‘heritage’ design sounds good for the future also.
And I have for a very long time now, both on this site and elsewhere, been championing once more, the control of dials and traditional top plate ergonomics.
I can not see a lot to dislike. Although those with larger hands may well want to budget for the optional Extension Grip R1 as it is smaller and lighter than, for example, the famous camera its creation was inspired by.
Here are the official launch details.
Nikon releases the Z fc DX-format mirrorless camera
June 29, 2021. A heritage-design model that further enhances the joy of shooting and ownership.
Sales Start: 28th July 2021
Z fc body only – £899.00 UK | €1,049.00 ROI
Z fc + Z 28mm f/2.8 SE kit – £1,129.00 UK | €1,299.00 ROI
Z fc + Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 kit – £1,039.00 UK | €1,199.00 ROI
Z fc + Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 + Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 kit – £1,249.00 UK | €1,439.00 ROI
Z fc Vlogger kit – £1,189.00 UK | €1,349.00 ROI
Z 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR SL – £329.00 UK | €369.00 ROI
TOKYO – Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce the release of the APS-C size (Nikon DX- format) Nikon Z fc mirrorless camera, as well as two lenses: a silver-color variation of the standard zoom NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens, and the prime NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE) special edition lens for which a heritage design that matches the Z fc body has been adopted.
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.
Its compact, lightweight body is highly portable but packs superb operability and rendering capability, making it easy to handle even for first-time mirrorless camera users.
The Z fc’s exterior adopts a heritage design inspired by the iconic Nikon FM2 SLR film camera released in 1982. It features a Nikon logo from the 1970-80s as well as a body size and dial positions that are similar to the FM2. It also incorporates a circular eyepiece, and three dials and a display panel on the top body: the passion of this heritage design is present everywhere.
Furthermore, two lenses that match the Z fc’s heritage style will also be released.
The letter “f” in the Z fc’s name is a reference to models with symbolic importance in Nikon’s history, while also being inspired by the word “fusion,” representing the coming together of tactile precision mechanics and high image quality. The letter “c”, meanwhile, conveys Nikon’s wish for this camera, with all its inherited tradition, to be used by anyone, anywhere, “casually”.
Nikon will continue to pursue a new dimension in optical performance while meeting users’ needs, contributing to the development of imaging culture, with the hope of expanding possibilities for imaging expression.
- A heritage design inspired by the iconic Nikon FM2 camera
The Z fc’s pentaprism design and body size, as well as the balance between the black and silver- color elements on the Z fc’s body, are inspired by Nikon’s legendary FM2 SLR film camera. Furthermore, a circular eyepiece has been adopted for the electronic viewfinder (EVF), in addition to details such as the design of the dials and the inscribed Nikon logo bearing similarities to the FM2’s. The Z fc simultaneously achieves reliable robustness by employing magnesium alloy.
In addition, users can choose to customize the color of their Z fc body from the six Premium Exterior color options*, enabling users to personalize their camera to further match their individual style.
- Depends on region.
Simple operation that enables the crafting of the intended image
The top of Z fc’s body features three dials and a small window that displays the aperture. The dials control shutter speed, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity, allowing setting changes with simple operation. Together with the small window that displays the aperture, users are able to confirm the four basic settings for image-making at a glance and adjust them easily. Also, the i button and i menu support efficient shooting, by allowing quick adjustment of a variety of settings with the press of a button.
For the first time in a Nikon Z series camera, the Z fc supports exposure compensation during AUTO mode, enabling users to achieve their desired expression by increasing brightness, enhancing silhouettes, etc. even while using AUTO mode.
The camera also features 20 Creative Picture Control options that deliver unique expressions. By selecting themes with different parameters such as hue, toning and saturation, anyone can express a diverse variety of atmospheres, while confirming the final image in real time through the monitor or electronic
Expandable up to ISO 204800. The maximum standard sensitivity for video recording is ISO 25600.
Support for the SnapBridge app, featuring two automatic connection modes
The SnapBridge app can be used to transfer photos and videos recorded with the camera to a
smart device*, making it easy for users to share them on social media. The latest camera firmware
can also be obtained through the app. The latest Snapbridge Ver. 2.8 supports two automatic
connection modes: foreground mode and background mode. The foreground mode connects with
the camera only when the app is used, reducing camera battery consumption. The background
mode features a constant connection, transferring images automatically even when the smart
device is in sleep mode, and is similar to the conventional Snapbridge function.
- iPhone®, iPad®, and AndroidTM devices to which the SnapBridge app has been installed can be used. The SnapBridge app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store® and Google PlayTM. See Nikon’s website for further information.
A natural view with minimum aberration is achieved with the electronic viewfinder (EVF) that employs an organic EL panel
Video recording supporting 4K UHD without crop using the DX-based movie image area Supports Full-time AF (AF-F) dedicated for video recording
Slow-motion video shooting is made easy by simply selecting an image size and frame rate Supports Webcam Utility, software that enables the Z fc to be used as a web camera Product package and accompanying camera strap that match the Z fc’s heritage style Supports USB power delivery with the camera turned on as well as USB charging
Kit lenses: NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE)
The silver-color variation of the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR is a standard zoom lens that is based on the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR, but features a silver-color exterior design to match the Z fc’s body. The lens is compact and lightweight, with a total length of approx. 32 mm and total weight of approx. 135 g. It is a convenient lens to carry around, while delivering high resolution throughout the zoom range. The NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR can be utilized for a variety of everyday scenes, from landscapes and snapshots to portraits and tabletop photos.
The NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE) is a compact and lightweight lens that is ideal for portraits and still-life photography, providing the smooth bokeh that is unique to prime lenses. The lens features a heritage design inspired by NIKKOR lenses from around the time the FM2 was released, and ideally matches the Z fc’s design.