Using the same Z mount as the full-35mm Z 6 and Z 7 bodies, Nikon’s new ‘APS-C’ mirrorless camera system kicks off with the Z 50 body and two zooms. The Z50 will, of course, accept all Nikon’s ‘DX’ format D-SLR lenses via the existing FTZ mount adaptor. The arrival of the Nikon ‘APS-C’ mirrorless camera system provides some extra competition for Canon, Fujifilm, Leica and Sony, which are all active in this category.

Photo: Nikon

Similar in styling to its full-35mm cousins but both smaller and lighter, the Z 50 – yes, the space between prefix and model number is retained – has a weather-sealed magnesium alloy bodyshell with a tilt-adjustable 8.1 cm LCD monitor screen, an OLED-type EVF and a built-in flash. The monitor has a resolution of 1.04 megadots – and provides touchscreen controls – while the EVF’s is 2.36 megadots. There’s a single memory card slot for SD format devices and it supports the UHS-II data transfer speed.

Photo: Nikon.

On the inside, the Z 50 has a 21.9 megapixels (total) backside-illuminated CMOS sensor which is mated with Nikon’s ‘Expeed 6’ generation processor. The effective pixel count is 20.9 million which gives a maximum image size of 5568x3712 pixels. The sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO to 100 to 51,200 with extensions up to ISO 204,800. Unlike the Z 6 and Z 7, the Z 50 doesn’t have in-body image stabilisation and will rely on Nikon’s VR-equipped lenses to provide correction for camera shake (which both new Nikkor Z DX models have). The shutter speed range is 30-1/4000 second with flash sync up to 1/200 second.

The maximum continuous shooting speed is 11 fps which is maintained with full AF and AE adjustment when using the camera’s sensor-based shutter. Autofocusing is via phase-difference detection pixels on the sensor, giving 209 focusing points which provide 87 percent frame coverage horizontally and 85 percent vertically. The Z 50 becomes the first Nikon ‘DX’ format camera to have eye-detection AF.

Photo: Nikon.

On the video side, the Z 50 can shoot 4K UHD video (3840x2160 pixels) at 24, 25 or 30 fps in the MOV format with MPEG-4/AVC H.264 compression and Full HD clips at 60, 50, 30, 25 or 24 fps. Additionally, the faster 120 and 100 fps frame rates are available for creating slow-mo effects. Time-lapse video sequences are recordable via the camera’s intervalometer. Sound is recorded by built-in stereo microphones with the option of using an external mic via the camera’s 3.5 mm audio input (but there’s no stereo audio output). Both WiFi and Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity are provided.

The new Z DX lenses are a collapsible 16-50mm f3.5-6.3 VR standard zoom (equivalent to 24-75mm) and a 50-250mm f4.5-6.3 VR telezoom (equivalent to 75-375mm). The 16-50mm’s ‘Vibration Reduction’ optical stabilisation gives up to 4.5 stops of correction for camera shake while the 50-250mm’s extends to 5.0 stops. Curiously, neither Z DX lens has weather sealing.

Local availability and pricing has yet to be confirmed, but in the USA, on-sale will be some time in November with the Z 50 body priced at US$859, or US$999 when packaged with the Z DX 16-50mm f3.5-6.3 VR zoom. A twin lens kit will also be available in the USA, priced at US$1349. For more information visit http://www.Nikon.com.au