Nikon has already given us their first full-frame mirrorless cameras in the form of the Z6 and the Z7, however the Z50 heralds their first foray into the APS-C mirrorless format. Happily, this new design still has many elements and features that are familiar to any Nikon user.
The full-frame Z system camera’s menu system and interface have been implemented here and the sensor used by the Z50 is virtually the same as the one used in the D500. The marketing blurb from Nikon suggests that they are pitching this camera at a particular set of users who may not be photographers as such but could use a camera to capture those impromptu moments at a party, or capturing your child’s first bike ride at 11fps.
The large LCD monitor should appeal to those of a cameraphone disposition, with smartphone-style touch controls. It even has a set of 20 in-camera effects that you can use to spice up your stills or video creatively. You can dial the intensity of each effect up or down to get it just how you want it.
Video is catered for with the ability to shoot 4K at 30fps and, in terms of connectivity, the Z50 has a micro HDMI port, a microphone terminal, USB socket and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Image quality is great. Dynamic range is very good with excellent results from the Raw files it generates, although the sensor may be considered a little small in this sector of the market.
Overall this is a great camera and, unlike its full-frame siblings, the Z50 at least is reasonably well priced. The issue that could well be a dealbreaker is lens availability for this model. It can be purchased with a 16-50 VR kit lens and also a 50-250 VR zoom lens, both in the NIKKOR Z DX format, and that’s it for now. You can always buy the FTZ adapter to use existing F-mount lenses, or you are forced to spend out on the expensive NIKKOR Z FX format lenses for the Z6 and Z7.
Specification at a glance
Effective pixels – 20.9MP sensor
Sensor type – CMOS 23.5 mm x 15.7 mm
Mount type – DX format
Continuous shooting – 11 frames per second
Video – 4K / 30fps
Native lenses – RF lens mount
ISO range – 100-51200
Low light AF – Down to -4 EV
Focus points – 209
Flash – Built-in pop-up flash
LCD monitor – 8cm 1.04M vari-angle
Connectivity – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Image processor – Expeed 6
Viewfinder – 0.5 inch 3.69M dot OLED
Dimensions – 126.5 x 93.5 x 60 mm
Viewfinder – 0.39-inch 2,360,000-dot OLED
Price – £849/$857/€949
Ultimately, as good a camera as it is, you may want to think seriously over the lens issue before purchase.