No matter if you’re a content creator or photography enthusiast, a camera is your gateway to capturing your vision. Those who enjoy a vintage, stylish aesthetic to pair with their top-of-the-line photography experience, need to look no further than Nikon’s Z fc.
Nikon’s Z fc is an APS-C mirrorless camera. It’s the second crop-sensor camera from Nikon using the company’s Z mount. Though Nikon serves up contemporary specs with its latest offering, the camera’s design evokes an older era of photography.
The look of the Z fc feels very much inspired by the camera company’s 35mm FE series. Complete with that same late-70s aesthetic, Nikon’s Z fc allows users to tweak an assortment of settings to get a real ownership over how a video or photo turns out. While offering a durable design made up of magnesium alloy, aluminum dials and leather, the Nikon Z fc is suitable for on-the-go vlogging. It can also make for a great stationary camera for streaming in-studio content creation.
We took a look at the Nikon Z fc to get a feel for what the camera offers. As mentioned, the camera features an APS-C image sensor backed by Nikon’s EXPEED 6 processor. This allows the camera to produce professional-looking videos and stills in various environments, even in low-light settings. The camera offers a 20-megapixel resolution with 11 fps @ 12-bit RAW and 9 fps @ 14-bit.
Admittedly, I’ve grown accustomed to point-and-click or plug-and-play cameras over the years. Whether it’s the onboard camera of an iPhone or a USB Elgato cam, the physical act of tuning dials and perfecting a shot has long been lost for me. However, Nikon emphasizes the ownership of setting up frames or videos across the many mechanical controls. The Z fc supports a shutter speed and ISO dials, with each having a satisfying click to it. While the Nikon Z fc does support a 3-inch 1.04m-dot screen, the viewfinder provides a much more authentic experience. However, this is Nikon’s first Z-mount camera with a fully articulated screen. The Vari-angle screen can help users take photos or videos at low angles without compromising the shot.
The sheer amount of options available is great for someone to dip their toes back into photography, and is also a dream for those that enjoy obsessing over the perfect shot. The Z fc’s ISO sensitivity ranges all the way up to 51,200, though it’s expandable to 204,800. Users can reliably take compellingly composed shots even under low-light environments. Nikon also provides 20 Creative Picture Controls. These “filters” are visible in real-time, so creators never have to guess what the shot will look like.
These options are paired with the elegant design of the camera. Nikon currently offers the Z fc in six colours on top of the classic Silver and Black. These range from ‘White,’ ‘Natural Gray,’ ‘Sand Beige,’ ‘Coral Pink,’ ‘Mint Green,’ and an all-Black option.
The Nikon Z fc offers uncropped 4K video @ 30fps. Users can gain access up to 120 fps high-speed video recordings with 1080p resolution. This makes for a great video solution for content creators shooting within a home studio for livestreaming, podcasting, etc. Maximum recording time is set for 29 minutes, 59 seconds. There’s also a dedicated video setting on the camera, allowing users to swap between photo and video modes. Additionally, creators can take advantage of several baked-in photography and video settings, along with perks such as audio level control, shutter speed lock and exposure adjustments.
Like other cameras in Nikon’s Z series, the Z fc can be used to broadcast and live stream content. Using the HDMI input, the Z fc can be connected to a video capture device like the Elgato Camlink 4K. Creators can then set up the Z fc as a live-streaming camera source. Alternatively, the camera is capable of acting as a webcam during video conferences, podcasts, etc. The Z fc’s USB-C port also acts as a charger when plugged into a compatible USB source. The USB-C Power Delivery feature enables the camera to be used extensively when streaming without worrying about a loss in battery life.
While maintaining a familiar, retro design, the Nikon Z fc is fairly lightweight at just short of 1lb. It measures 5.3 x 3.7 x 1.7-inches. This makes for a great on-the-go camera kit if you’re vlogging out of the studio. Creators are able to rotate the camera’s screen for selfie shots and videos. Plus, the Z fc integrates a really neat Eye AutoFocus function. This feature locks onto the eyes of the subject in the shot so it follows them when recording videos and taking selfies. Adding a further piece of mind, Nikon says the Z fc offers dust and moisture resistance.
The Z fc includes a micro HDMI, a USB-C, and microphone ports. The USB-C is a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Superspeed sport, which enables faster data transfers. This should delight content creators who intend to shoot longer videos in 4K. The inclusion of a 3.5mm microphone port is also a solid addition as users can plug their preferred audio equipment into the camera. However, do note that it does not have a headphone jack so audio playback must be monitored via the built-in speaker.
As far as the battery is concerned, CIPA estimates the One EN-EL25 rechargeable Li-ion battery can retain a life spanning 300 shots. This equates to roughly 75 minutes of video recording. The battery can be easily fixed to its wall charger. Alternatively, the USB-C port can be used to charge the device as well. However, depending on the shoot and the project, it may be wise to carry a spare battery.
The Nikon Z fc provides a ton of flexible options and manual control over shots and video. For a vlogger on the run or someone hunkered in a studio or office, the Z fc melds retro style with premium professionalism.
The Nikon Z fc is now available at a starting price of $1,299.
Image credit: Nikon
The story is sponsored by Nikon.
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