For those of you following us on this blog, you probably didn’t miss the last article I wrote about the Nikon mirorrless full-frame mirrorless camera using the new Nikon Z mount. Today, we are going to talk about another range of cameras proposed by Nikon, the APS-C mirrorless cameras – or at least should I say, the camera. Indeed, at the time of writing this page, Nikon is currently offering only one APS-C mirrorless camera using the new Z-mount, the Z50, with the same mount as the FF mirrorless of the brand. This article will obviously be updated when Nikon will offer other mirrorless APS-C cameras. If you are still hesitating for your purchase, I invite you to have a look at the page listing all the Nikon Z lenses available (both for APS-C and FF).
In fall 2018, Nikon followed suit these new full frame cameras (Nikon Z6 & Z7) and offered a new camera with a more modest sensor size, using the new Z-mount: the Z50. Unlike the Z6 & Z7 which are equipped with a full-frame sensor, this entry-level camera uses an APS-C sensor. Nikon is keen to expand its new mirrorless camera ecosystem with this APS-C camera using Z-mount lenses (although the choice of lenses dedicated to the APS-C is more than limited at the moment). As you probably already know, I am not in the habit of detailing in depth every technical feature of a body. But let’s see together what the Z50 offers and the differences with the other mirrorless cameras of the brand, as well as what Nikon rather skipped over to be able to offer a camera with a good quality/price ratio. The Z50 is now in such a position it can challenge its competitors that have already been in place for some time, such as Fujifilm’s XT-30 or the Canon EOS M6 Mark II.
Here’s a quick tour of the Z50’s technical specifications. While Nikon has offered some interesting video features on the Z6 and Z7 cameras, the Z50 is clearly more photo oriented. The first interesting thing to point out is the fact that this camera is built without a low-pass filter, like the Z7/Z7 II – favorite full-frame mirrorless cameras for photography at Nikon. I won’t explain again the importance of the low pass filter, as you can refer to the dedicated paragraph in my article on Nikon mirrorless full-frame cameras. However, note that this is the only Nikon Z mirrorless camera without a stabilized sensor. This may discourage some people, but we do understand that Nikon wanted to do without certain technologies to be able to offer an affordable camera. This body is noted as tropicalized, therefore weatherproof.
Regarding photographic characteristics, this camera features a 20.9mpx sensor, an ISO sensitivity ranging from 100 to 51200 ISO, a burst rate allowing to shoot 11 frames per second in RAW, a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 and 209 focusing points. Nikon has chosen to place a single SD UHS-I port under the camera. For connectors, there is a microphone jack, a micro USB and micro HDMI jack. No USB-C here, nor even a headphone jack. The autonomy of this camera is almost identical to the Nikon Z6, which is about 300 shots. As for video, the Z50 offers 4K/UHD limited to 30p. For speeds up to 120i/s, you’ll have to turn to FHD.
In addition to a very reasonable price, the Z50 is compact and lightweight (395g) compared to the Z6 and Z7. Its autofocus is also considered to be very responsive, it has a good burst rate, no low-pass filter and the same sensor as the Z6/Z7 (and Mark II), the BSI CMOS. Note that it also has a built-in flash.
Of course, it is not in the same range as full-frame mirrorless Nikon cameras. The resolution of the sensor appears a little low (only 20.9MP), it is not stabilized, the viewfinder resolution is smaller (2.36MP against 3.6MP for the Z6/Z7), a single slot positioned under the camera body, a maximum shutter speed limited to 1/4000 and a smaller number of AF points. Also note the impossibility of placing a grip, an LCD screen resolution twice as low as the Z6/Z7 and the non-detection of eyes in video. Also, another important thing to note in my opinion: the choice of lenses dedicated to APS-C sensors is currently more than limited in Z-mount. But this will surely evolve very quickly.
Here are the main characteristics summarized in the table below.
|Camera||ISO Range||Weight (g)||Size||Range||Focusing points||Burst rate (fps)||Shots||Wifi (BT)||Video||MP||Low-pass filter||Image processor||Battery grip|
|Nikon Z50||100-51200 (204800)||450 g||127 x 94 x 60 mm||Amateur||209||11.0 fps||320||yes (yes)||4K 30p||20,9 MP||NO||EXPEED 6||NO|
We don’t even need to ask because, as mentioned in the introduction, there is for the moment only this Z50. Then, who is it intended for? I would tend to say: to the amateurs of beautiful pictures who don’t necessarily have the financial means to switch to full frame, but also to semi-professionals who are already equipped with a full frame camera, whether it’s a mirrorless or a DSLR, and who are looking for a compact, lightweight camera with good photographic features. Admittedly, this camera is not stabilized, offers a limited maximum shutter speed (but not very annoying in real life), a single SD port and an overall quality of construction a little below than what is done in the full-frame range. But if we can overlook these points, the Z50 might be ideal for beginners or for your own use. By the way, no camera is perfect, each one has its own flaws and qualities. The most important thing is to find a body that meets your expectations, your needs and of course your budget.
I’m coming to the end of this page on Nikon APS-C mirrorless cameras. I hope you have learned a bit more anyway. If you are considering buying a Nikon mirrorless camera, you can also have a look at the article about Nikon full-frame mirrorless cameras.
This page will of course be updated as the new APS-C releases of the brand come out.
Don’t hesitate to tell me what you think of this camera in comment.