Nikon's Z fc mirrorless camera is inspired by a classic film camera from the 80s

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,441   +132
Staff member
Bottom line: Nikon has announced a new Z-series camera that blends retro styling with modern functionality. If you're a fan of classically-styled film cameras (or what Nikon calls a heritage design), then you'll almost certainly like what Nikon has done with its new Z fc mirrorless shooter.

The Nikon Z fc is a mirrorless digital camera featuring a 20.9-megapixel, DX-format sensor stuffed inside a compact, lightweight body (5.3 inches x 3.7 inches x 1.8 inches, 390g / 14 ounces) that’s inspired by the iconic Nikon FM2 SLR film camera from 1982. Nikon even dug into its archives to find a period-correct logo to affix to the camera system, and positioned the various control dials to match what was on the FM2.

Around back, it’s more of a modern affair with a 0.39-inch, 2.36m (XGA) OLED electronic viewfinder and a 3.0-inch Vari-angle TFT LCD touchscreen that can flip out to face forward for selfie duties.

Delving back into the specifications for a moment, we see that the body boasts an ISO range of 100 – 51,200 and is capable of capturing up to 11 frames per second at full resolution. A 209-point hybrid phase-detection / contrast autofocus system is also in play, and it uses the Nikon Z mount system.

If video capture is your jam, note that the Z fc can record 4K quality at up to 30 frames per second or full HD at up to 120 fps.

Nikon is now accepting pre-orders for the Z fc starting at $959.95 for the body only. Kits including a 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 lens are offered in your choice of black, white, brown, gray, beige, pink and green color schemes start at $1,099.95.

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madboyv1

Posts: 1,714   +632
I got my feet wet with film on the FM2 and later N90, so this body style appeals to me. Too bad I haven't purchased any new camera gear in almost 10 years, rarely using my D700 kit. I'd have to buy new lenses or buy an FTZ mount which would be at odds with the aesthetic of the Z fc. The kit lens sounds gross too, f/3.5-6.3. XD
 
I used a Pentax K1000 back in the '90s and I miss the simplicity of the the design. If all my lenses weren't Canon I'd be all over this. I don't know the Nikon terms so I can't tell what size sensor this has or anything about the lens mount. I hope the functional retro trend continues. I particularly miss the aperture ring on the lens from the Pentax. It was so quick to get the exposure just how I wanted it. I guess it's less needed now but I still miss that.
 

HotToz

Posts: 35   +55
I feel the camera industry is stuck in 16 to 24MP. I bought a camera with 16MP 10years ago and they keep pushing those same MP after 10 years. Prices don't drop and performance the same after a decade. For me it is a slow dying industry
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 484   +372
I got my feet wet with film on the FM2 and later N90, so this body style appeals to me. Too bad I haven't purchased any new camera gear in almost 10 years, rarely using my D700 kit. I'd have to buy new lenses or buy an FTZ mount which would be at odds with the aesthetic of the Z fc. The kit lens sounds gross too, f/3.5-6.3. XD


Very similar - I started off with a F 801 what you call a N8008
I then got the F90 your N90 ( I believe a few differences due to US patents )
And a FM2 - -Got the last 2 mainly for a self drive trip Southern Africa game parks - You need at less 2 bodies . I got the FM2 is a beautiful camera - with fast mechanical stutter , auto exposure and mainly the ability to take a photo from a distance with a shutter release cord - couldn't afford HQ long lens so had a sigma 400/5.6 - but I did have the Nikon 80-200/2.8 . Currently have D600/D750- would of loved my to have my current equipment including lenses then - But I did like Velvia , Provia, Ektachrome, Sensia
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,218   +5,974
I feel the camera industry is stuck in 16 to 24MP. I bought a camera with 16MP 10years ago and they keep pushing those same MP after 10 years. Prices don't drop and performance the same after a decade. For me it is a slow dying industry
That's pretty much bullsh!t. They're not going to pump higher pixel counts into the DX format. The noise levels in DX sensors have dropped to the point where ISO 800 is about as good as 200 ISO film, and 25,000 produces acceptable,results.

Full frame bodies run up to 50 or 60 MP. 24 megs not enough for you? Save up and buy one of those, or stick with your iPhone.

The following 1920 wallpaper , probably about 1/3 frame on a D-7200. (24 MP * 40%).Osprey & Fish.jpg
 
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kiwigraeme

Posts: 484   +372
I feel the camera industry is stuck in 16 to 24MP. I bought a camera with 16MP 10years ago and they keep pushing those same MP after 10 years. Prices don't drop and performance the same after a decade. For me it is a slow dying industry

Interesting fact :
Something that isn’t super well known is that ARRI’s much-loved ALEXA and ALEXA Mini – which continue to be industry staples ( Hollywood ) – do not actually record in 4K resolution

I watch a YT channel once - the Tuber was gushing how beautiful the resulting imagine - was it show a train going by in slow motion - the filmic look was indeed grand - yet 4K video recorders have been out for along time - I know certain white canon lenses were well sort after by Indie film makers awhile ago

The Nikon D5 came out in 2016 only 20Mp - didn't matter nice large sensor , low noise - every pixel mean something - think D4 was only 16MP - is plenty to get a great shots for publication
Sure most Models are shot at higher MP cameras - the top canon/nikon flagship cameras are monster workhorses rain or shine - .
MP are good - but sensor size, AF speed, correct AE , ISO levels, Low light ability - shots per second , writing to 2 cards simultaneously , internal processing speed , functions/settings , ease of use are more important now
Plus now the resolving power of new lenses is now really good- so makes sense to up MP
 

Watzupken

Posts: 318   +303
I feel the camera industry is stuck in 16 to 24MP. I bought a camera with 16MP 10years ago and they keep pushing those same MP after 10 years. Prices don't drop and performance the same after a decade. For me it is a slow dying industry
Megapixels don't really matter to most people in my opinion. Look at the mobile phones spotting ridiculous megapixels, does it really matter? Any improvements in picture quality always comes from bigger sensors, better quality lens and computation heavy work to improve the image. And you need to consider the amount of space a shot (especially RAW) it takes as megapixels creeps up that will easily burn through your 256/ 512GB of SD card space.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 318   +303
Anyway, I think this looks great. I recall playing with my dad's old camera when I was a kid, and this looks just like it.
 

dangh

Posts: 259   +342
It does kinda looks like Fujifilm cameras anyway. X-t3 od very modern but with many manual dials which are very helpful.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,218   +5,974
I don't know the Nikon terms so I can't tell what size sensor this has or anything about the lens mount. I hope the functional retro trend continues.
When you're dealing with Nikon "F" mount, (SLR / DSLR only), the lens mount has remained unchanged for more than 50 years! Thus, with certain exceptions, and lack of A/F, you can use any lens from over that entire time span
I particularly miss the aperture ring on the lens from the Pentax. It was so quick to get the exposure just how I wanted it. I guess it's less needed now but I still miss that.
With Nikon auto exposure & auto focus, the lens diaphragm has to be locked fully stopped down anyway.
The "Command dial" on the front of the camera, (in Aperture priority auto, my favorite and only auto mode), is right under you right index or middle finger. A quick flick and spin,dials up the aperture of your choice., There's no taking the camera away from your eye. or moving your finger off the trigger.

Nikon "G" suffix lens have no aperture ring.
\
And trust me.......You'd never miss it
 
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