Overview of the mirrorless camera Nikon Z50: younger brother
2018 year was a breakthrough for mirrorless cameras — several manufacturers have released their full-frame professional buttercake, and I think even the skeptics are ready to accept the fact that these cameras are the future. Model Nikon Z7 and Z6 have received good reviews from professionals and, it is expected that this year the company decided to expand the range of cameras Z by releasing a camera of an Amateur class. But it was not the “youngest” full-frame camera, and the model DX-format
Nikon Z50 — essentially a “little brother” Z7 and Z6, camera with similar concepts, similar principles of design and management. Some of the functionality of full-frame models trimmed for the sake of compactness and lower price. The latter is very well highlighted at the moment, the novelty is almost two times cheaper than the Z6 model.
Changed almost all the basic features: smaller display, less resolution viewfinder, smaller focus points, longer minimum shutter speed, no in-camera stabilization. But first and foremost, of course, Z50 — a “kapota” camera, as I mentioned above. Here a new matrix APS-C format with an effective resolution of 20.9 megapixels. By modern standards the resolution does not seem very large, but in practice, to notice a difference in images taken on cameras with sensors of similar size, but different resolution, not so easy. The race of megapixels, fortunately, in the past, and is now much more relevant question — how well will the camera cope with shooting in low light. And in this sense Z50 promises good prospects, because the new sensor, apparently made on the basis of the sensor Nikon D500, the proven low-noise operation.
The camera uses the same mount Z-mount, as in the older models. Thus, Nikon Z50 compatible with all lenses made for full-frame besserglik series Z. Also already released two lens for it. And with the adapter becomes available for the use of optics Nikon F-mount — and it is worth noting that the adapter included in the basic package camera, offer in a variant body (without lens). Nikon is quite clearly aware that today optics issued for the Z-mount, not enough, and can count on a huge Park of lenses, the classic mount.
However fresh lenses for Z-mount face regularly. In particular, to the announcement Z50 timed release of two lenses specifically for this camera, DX-format NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR DX Z 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3. The first of these is offered as a complete in kit version of the camera. Both new lenses have built-in image stabilizer, technology VCM lens shift using linear motors.
Two other lens with which I tested Z50, full – frame. Z is a NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8 Z and S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8 S.
|Nikon Z50||Nikon Z6||Fujifilm X-T30||Sony α6400||Canon EOS Mark II M6|
|Image sensor||The 23.5 × 15.7 mm (APS-C) CMOS||36 × 24 mm (full frame)||The 23.6 × 15.6 mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS IV||The 23.5 × 15.6 mm (APS-C) Exmor CMOS||The 22.3 × 14.9 mm (APS-C) CMOS|
|Effective sensor resolution||20.9 megapixels||24.5 megapixels||26.1 megapixels||24.2 MP||32.5 megapixels|
|Built-in image stabilizer||No||5-axis||No||No||No|
|Mount||Z Nikon||Z Nikon||Fujifilm X-mount||Sony E-mount||Canon EF-M|
|Photo format||JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (NEF)||JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (NEF)||JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW||JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.31), RAW 14-bit||JPEG (EXIF 2.30), 14 bits RAW, C-RAW|
|Video format||MOV, MP4||MOV, MP4||MPEG 4||XAVC S, AVCHD, MP4||MP4|
|Frame size||To 5568 × 3712 pixels||Up to 6048 x 4024 pixels||To 6240 × 4160||Up to 6000 × 4000||To 6960 × 4640|
|Video resolution||Up to 3840 × 2160, 30p||Up to 3840 × 2160, 30p||Up to 4096 × 2160, 30p||Up to 3840 × 2160, 30p||Up to 3840 × 2160 (30fps)|
|Sensitivity||ISO 100-51 200 expandable to 204 800||ISO 100-51 200, expandable to 50-204 800||ISO 200-12800, expandable to ISO 80-51200||ISO 200-12800, expandable to ISO 80-51200||ISO 100-25600 expandable to ISO 51200|
|Shutter||Mechanical shutter: 1/4000 -30;
long (Bulb); silent mode
|Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 -30;
|Mechanical shutter: 1/4000 -30;
electronic shutter: 1/32000 -30;
long (Bulb); silent mode
|1/4000—30 c; silent mode||Mechanical shutter: 1/4000 -30;
electronic shutter up to 1/16000;
long (Bulb); silent mode
|The burst speed||Up to 11 frames per second||Up to 12 frames per second||Up to 8 frames per second up to 20 frames per second with electronic shutter; with the extra 1.25 x crop – up to 30 frames per second||11 frames per second||Up to 14 frames per second with frame focus; up to 30 frames per second with the focus at the first frame|
|Autofocus||Hybrid (contrast + phase), 209 points||Hybrid (contrast + phase), 273 points||Hybrid (contrast + phase), 425 points||Hybrid (contrast + phase), 425 points||Hybrid, Dual Pixel CMOS, 143 points|
|Metering modes||TTL-sensor: matrix, center-weighted, spot, for bright areas||TTL-sensor: matrix, center-weighted, spot, for bright areas||TTL-metering in 256 points: multipoint, center-weighted average, spot||1200-zone evaluative: multi-segment, center-weighted, spot, spot for standard/large plot, averaged for the entire screen, in the brightest region||TTL-metering at 384 zones, evaluative/partial/center-weighted/spot|
|Compensation||±5.0 EV (1/3 EV steps or 1/2 EV steps)||±5.0 EV (1/3 EV steps or 1/2 EV steps)||±5 EV in 1/3-step increments||±5.0 EV (1/3 EV steps or 1/2 EV steps)||±5 EV in 1/3-step increments|
|Built-in flash||Built-in, 7,7 guide number (ISO 100)||No, X-sync
|Built-in, guide number 7 (ISO 200)||Built-in, sync 1/160 sec, guide number 6 (ISO 100)||Built-in, guide number of approximately 4.6 (ISO 100)|
|Self-timer||2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5; 1; 2 or 3||2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5; 1; 2 or 3||2/10 with||2/10 with||2/10 with|
|Memory card||Single slot SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)||One slot for XQD/CF-Express||Single slot SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)||Single slot Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo; SD/SDHC/SDXC up to UHS-I||Single slot SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II)|
|Display||Touch tilting LCD, 3.2-inch, resolution of 1.04 million points||Touch tilting LCD, 3.2 inches, a resolution of 2.1 million points||3 inch, 1 040 thousand points of inclined||LCD, 3 inch, resolution 921 thousand pixels, touch, tilt||LCD, 3 inch, 1 040 thousand points, touch, swivel|
|Viewfinder||Electronic (OLED 2.36 million dots)||Electronic (OLEDs, of 3.69 million dots)||Electronic (OLED 2.36 million dots)||Electronic (OLED 2.36 million dots)||No, only optional|
|Interfaces||microUSB (USB 3.0), HDMI type D, 3.5 mm Jack for microphone||USB Type-C (USB 3.0), HDMI type C, 3.5 mm headphone Jack, 3.5 mm microphone connector, connector for remote control||HDMI, USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2.5 mm for external microphone/remote control||microUSB, misroDMI, 3.5 mm Jack for microphone||USB Type-C, microHDMI, an external microphone port for remote control|
|Wireless modules||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (SnapBridge)||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (SnapBridge)||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
|Food||Li-ion battery EN-EL25, 8.5 W·h (1120 mAh, 7)||Li-ion battery EN-EL15b, 14 WH (1900 mAh, 7)||Li-ion battery NP-W126S with a capacity of 8.7 WH (1200 mAh, 7.2 V)||Li-ion battery NP-FW50, 7,3 WH (1020 mAh, 7.2 V)||Li-ion battery LP-E17 with a capacity of 7,5 W·h (1040 mAh, 7.2 V)|
|Dimensions||126,5 × 93,5 × 60 mm||134 × 101 × 68 mm||Of 118.4 × 82,8 × 46,8 mm||120 × 67 × 60 mm||At 119.6 × 70 × 49,2 mm|
|Weight||450 grams (with battery and memory card)||675 grams (with battery and memory card)||383 grams (with battery and memory card)||403 grams (with battery and memory card)||408 grams (with battery and memory card)|
|Current price||69 990 rubles for the version without lens (body) and adapter mount FTZ, 69 990 rubles (kit with lens 16-50mm f/3,5-6,3 (kit)||112 500 rubles for the version without lens (body), 159 990 rubles (kit lens with the 24-70 f/4 (kit)||59 990 rubles for the version without lens (body), 65 000 rubles for the version with a complete lens XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4||65 000 rubles for the version without lens (body), 74 990 rubles for the version with a complete lens E 16-50mm||65 990 rubles for the version body (without lens), 82 990 rubles for the version kit (with lens 15-45 mm)|
Design and ergonomics
Nikon Z50 looks very much like the older models Z7 and Z6 — when it comes to overall design and location of controls. The sizes are thus significantly reduced and the amount of 126.5 × 93,5 × 60 mm, weighing approximately 450 grams with battery and memory card. Complete zoom lens Z NIKKOR DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 is also very compact and weighs only 135 grams. Accordingly, a bunch of “camera lens” easily fits in a small bag — and this burden is not heavy.
In order to bring the lens in working condition, it is necessary to rotate the zooming ring, which leads to a hidden extension forwards of the lens and, therefore, lengthens it. Initially, this mechanism seems unusual, but the camera carefully reminds the user about it each time before starting work.
A regular lens was also missing the lever to switch from auto focus to manual is to change it will have with the menu. Obviously, this step was also made in favor of compactness.
The camera body is made of magnesium alloy and has protection from the weather — for me this is a big plus, and in this sense, Nikon Z50 bypasses many competitors in the class who have no such protection. Most of the exterior is covered with a rubberized material, so the camera does not slip in your hands. Thus, despite the compactness, on the body and the impressive bulge for the grip with the right hand, and a lug on the rear surface of the thumb. Maybe photographers with large hands will not be so comfortable, but, in my opinion, the creators of the camera successfully calculated the balance between compactness and convenience.
The camera’s design does not differ some special refined, shows that the manufacturer relies on the functionality and reliability. Let’s see how located on the Z50 controls.
On the left-hand edge of the camera under two rubber covers are the connector for microphone and HDMI type D and micro USB. Rubber plugs to reveal the interfaces done not too well — takes time to provide them a snug fit to the body.
On the right edge of any element is missing.
In the front we see the release button, lens mount Z-mount, two programmable buttons, the indicator of the AF-assist illuminator and on the exposed part of one of the wheel control. Just note that the programmable buttons front — infrequent and interesting idea, but I slightly regrown nails to work with them was not too comfortable. Men should be easier, but there may already be a problem due to the large finger — space between lugs to grip and lens not so much.
The top panel is the hot Shoe in conjunction with built-in flash. The last opens with a lever on the left. To the right of the “Shoe”, we see the dial to select shooting modes, combined with the shift lever photo modes and video (a good solution, in my opinion, even more comfortable than the older models where the lever was located on the rear panel), control wheel and, on the ledge, the shutter button, combined with lever on-off switch of the camera. Also there is a movie record button, selecting ISO and exposure compensation input.
From below we see the battery compartment and memory card and tripod socket. What is especially nice, they are on appreciable distance from each other — thus, tripod floor does not overlap the compartment, allowing you to change the memory card or the battery without any problems. For cameras small size is a rare bonus. To Nikon Z50 uses standard SD cards, with a maximum speed class UHS-I. Alas, not the ultimate.
Located on the rear panel button to switch between the viewfinder and screen, the viewfinder with rubber Eyecup and a diopter correction knob, button, lock exposure/focus, joystick navigation button confirm selection on the center, call button quick menu, main menu, playback and delete images. A large part of the rear surface is an LCD screen, and it also appeared a touch of a button — zoom in/zoom out images, display options. The decision of the original — and I thought it was quite good. Touch buttons use was not less convenient, than analog while working with the camera with his bare hands. In the cold, with gloves, to interact with them is impossible — there is applied a capacitive touch surface.
A little more info on the screen Nikon Z50. This touch display with a diagonal of 3.2 inches with a resolution amounting to 1 040 000 dots, a 170° viewing angle and is almost one hundred percent frame coverage. Available brightness adjustment 11 levels. The screen has a tilt mechanism: it can be turned perpendicular to the camera plane, as well as 180 degrees down. The last decision is quite unusual, I have never met such a mechanism. The purpose is obvious — taking a selfie/the vlogging. Usually used for this purpose turn sideways from the camera, sometimes the top, but the Nikon engineers took a different path. Honestly, to me it is incomprehensible. It is not only that all the new default is unusual, but that when such a rotation mechanism of the camera cannot be put on a tripod (or, for example, on the table) for the self-portrait shooting. It will have to restrict photography of hands, and that means only shooting on wide angle (and, as a consequence, optical distortion).
Despite the fact that the screen resolution is almost twice less, than full frame of besserglik Z-series comfortable to work with — the picture is quite clear, sharp, detailed. When shooting against the sun (for example, sunset views) the picture becomes difficult to see, and then easier to build a scene through the viewfinder.
The camera uses OLED viewfinder with a diagonal of 0.39 inches, a resolution of 2 360 000 pixels (XGA), adjusting color balance, auto and manual (7 levels) brightness adjustment. Of their choice the user can see a natural image as in the optical viewfinder digital SLR camera, or image what it will be after pressing the shutter release. Range of diopter adjustment ranges from -3 to +3. If desired, you can enable automatic switch to shooting through the viewfinder when approaching the eye, but for me it is not convenient because sometimes the switching happens by chance proximity to a foreign object. The image in the viewfinder is very clear, bright and detailed, it was nice.
The main menu is invoked by pressing the respective button on the rear panel. It is organized vertically and contains seven main sections, each of which from one to a few pages with settings. Settings every option open in a new window. Menu completely Russified, navigate it like you can with the analog controls, and touch. The menu is quite extensive, and those users who are not familiar with the Nikon cameras, you may need time to settle and remember where the right functions, but the plus is that it is intuitively quite clear.
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The overall impression of the ergonomics of the camera as a forethought, control and convenience. The producer clearly sought to make the camera as compact as possible and at the same time, and easy to use. Controls large enough relative to the size of the camera and responsive, a combination of touch and analog control allows not to overload the chamber surface. The user can very flexibly set Z50 for themselves, by setting of the key functions that are relevant for him. In this case, one and the same button can perform different functions in photo and video modes, and the switching between these modes is done in one motion with the upper arm. This is a very modern and convenient way to save time. For me the main controversial decision in terms of ergonomics became a turning mechanism of the screen. Also I was awkward to run with custom buttons on the front of the case, and there is a small problem with touch icons at the right side of the display unit — they do not respond to the touch of the hand in the glove.
Like any modern camera, the Nikon Z50 you have the option of connecting to a mobile device via a Bluetooth pairing and Wi-Fi. The data exchange must be installed on your smartphone free app SnapBridge. The app is very intuitive and convenient, it will not use even for a beginner. It can be used to view pictures from the camera to the screen of the mobile device can be configured to automatically upload files in the background with the camera on the smartphone, as well as to perform remote shooting via Wi-Fi, changing all the settings directly on the smartphone.
Autofocus, continuous shooting, buffer
Nikon Z50 has 209 focus points (they cover 90 % of the frame), and used as the phase sensors positioned directly on the sensor and contrast method auto focus. In time-lapse mode focus, the user can select one of the following options: spot focus (the focus can be set using the touchscreen or analog control, the focus area is denoted by a small square), the “step” movement points is very small (in fact it turns out more 209 items); single-point focus (somewhat confusing system language in Russian version of the menu, the move can not understand the difference, but once is enough to compare in practice — here the focus box is already significantly more than in the first case); wide-area AF (S) also the square area in which the camera holds sharpness; wide-area AF (L) in the same rectangular area; auto-area autofocus — in this case, the objects in the field are highlighted, typically one or more squares/rectangles.
The camera has the face detection and eyes that really makes focusing easier when shooting portraiture. In order for it to be activated, you must enable it in the menu section and set auto-area focus. Ability to set priority left or right eye is impossible, but, in my experience, it is often unnecessary option, as the model is constantly moving while shooting, and can be trusted with the determination of the eyes to focus automatically. You also cannot set the priority of specific individuals, but still this option is for more advanced class of camera. Nikon Z50 instantly identifies the face in the frame and securely “holds” it while moving like the model and the photographer. All kinds of visual barriers — for example, night lighting and the bright lights in the foreground — not sent to automation misconception: the person was identified as quickly as in daylight shooting.
A certain percentage of failures is still inevitable — some of the pictures taken with an open aperture (for the most part it small plans), not perfectly focused on the eyes. But overall impressions of the performance were positive.
Another mandatory test continuous shooting on the move. The model runs towards the camera, shooting is mode AI servo AF with auto area selection. I was able to remove a series of 30 frames (in H+, with the quality settings RAW+JPEG Fine) and most shots were focused correctly. Several times the camera couldn’t follow the model, and the sharpness on the face disappeared, but the very next shot, she again was on the spot.
Maximum burst speed Nikon Z50 — 11 frames per second. It is a good modern figure, for most shooting situations is more than enough. The buffer size is not the biggest 17 frames when shooting RAW at maximum speed. By this measure I’m ahead of competitors overlooked the camera.
It is worth saying that the maximum exposure time, which allows you to remove the mechanical shutter Nikon Z50, – 1/4000. This camera is quite adequate to his class. I should add that all the cameras Z have the silent mode (electronic shutter) and auto shutter — the camera can switch from mechanical to electronic shutter depending on the speed. However, faster shutter speeds with the electronic shutter on the Z50 is not available.