2019-10-10

Nikon Z50 First Look

The new Nikon Z50
Nikon have announced the brand new Z50, Nikon's first DX format mirrorless camera. We had the chance to go hands on with the camera at a special event put on by Nikon and see how it feels.


Expanding the Nikon Mirrorless Offering

You may already be familiar with Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Z7 and the Z6 and with the new Z50, Nikon are expanding into the crop sensor mirrorless market as well. Going with the DX format allows the Z50 to be compact and lightweight while still feeling great in the hands.

Taken on the new Nikon Z50

If going mirrorless is partly about downsizing then the Z50 takes that a step further. At just 395g, it’s super light and with the new Z DX format lenses, you could easily pop them in your bag to head out without a second thought.

Taken on the new Nikon Z50

We tried it out with the new DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 which makes the whole system incredibly small but due to the nice, deep grip, it still feels comfortable to hold and great in the hands.

Image Quality and Autofocus

The Z50 has Nikon's first DX-format sensor with PDAF. With 20.88 megapixels, you’re going to have nice, detailed images and Nikon have put a lot of work into the low light performance of the Z50. With an ISO range of 100 - 51,200 and High ISO modes with an equivalent of ISO 204,800, the main takeaway here was just how well the Z50 can handle higher ISO values.

The new Nikon Z50

The Z50 inherits the phase detect autofocus from Z6 with 209 AF points and approximately 90% frame coverage. The autofocus is snappy and reliable and works even in darker conditions.

The new Nikon Z50

The eye detection AF also seems to work really well with face and eye detection selectable in the menus and systems in place for multi person portraits. I can’t wait to try that out more thoroughly when we can get some more hands on time.

Hybrid System

The Z50 is definitely designed as a hybrid system for stills and video with great specs for both. For filmmakers and videographers, this is going to make for a fantastic option and for anyone already owning something like a Z6, this would be a perfect B camera.

Taken on the new Nikon Z50

With 4K at up to 30 frames per second and FullHD 1080p at up to 120 frames per second, you’ve got some great creative options for shooting video.

Taken on the new Nikon Z50

Intuitive Design

Like I mentioned earlier, the Z50 feels good in the hands. This is largely down to the comfortable, deep grip but it’s also the controls; everything is laid out very well and easily within reach. Nikon have managed to create a system that is small, compact and lightweight while still feeling like a great camera.

The new Nikon Z50 next to the Nikon D500 for size comparison

The Z50 would be perfect for anyone looking to get seriously into photography or videography and upgrade from something like a smartphone or lower end camera; but it would also make for a great second camera for anyone who already owns something like a Z6 or Z7. The size and weight make it perfect for everyday photography and for times when you don’t want to take a larger, full frame camera and collection of lenses.

Taken on the new Nikon Z50

You can check out the full spec, information and price of the new Z50 here.

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