Cameras

Nikon Z50 Review

With the release of the Nikon Z6, an all-around camera that now holds the number one spot on our list of the best cameras, Nikon made a spectacular entrance into the world of mirrorless full-frame cameras. And now it’s aiming to pull the same trick with APS-C cameras with the Nikon Z50, a smaller and more user-friendly DSLR camera for amateur photographers.

What exactly are these “APS-C” cameras? This sensor format was the industry standard in the early days of digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs), and it is used in cameras that are less expensive than full-frame versions. These sensors are smaller than full-frame and are referred to as DX format by Nikon. They are available in more compact bodies, are affordable, and are perfect for traveling.

It’s not that the Nikon Z50 is a small camera for the APS-C format. Nikon has stressed handling in the form of a substantial grip at the sacrifice of a very tiny body, which is the hallmark of cameras like the Fujifilm X-T30. This may be because Nikon may have been thinking about individuals migrating away from its DSLRs.

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The Z50 uses the same Z-mount first introduced in the Z7 and Z6. This is one of the most critical aspects of the Z50. Because of this, by using an extra adapter, you can utilize all of the lenses previously announced for the Z series, in addition to current F-mount (DSLR) lenses. On the other hand, two lenses have already been developed specifically for the DX format, and it is anticipated that many more will join them in the coming years.

Nikon Z50 Features

The sensor of the Z50 has a resolution of 20.9 megapixels, and it is paired with an Expeed 6 processor, the same kind of engine found in the Nikon Z6 and Z7. We have been informed that this does not utilize the same sensor as the Nikon D500 DSLR, even though it has the exact pixel count.

The Expeed engine is responsible for helping to make features like the recording of 4K video and the native ISO range possible. The native ISO range begins at ISO 50 and goes up to ISO 25600.

The exact hybrid autofocusing mechanism found in the Z6 is carried over to the Z7. This system has 209 on-sensor AF points that cover about 90% of the frame and promises to produce sharpness that extends to the frame’s edges.

There is a promise of sensitivity down to -4EV for low-light shooting, and there is also Eye-Detection AF, which might be helpful when photographing people. However, unlike Sony’s models with identical specifications, this camera has no Animal Eye AF.

You can use either a 0.39-inch electronic viewfinder with 2360k dots (which is significantly smaller and has a lesser resolution than the viewfinder on the Z6 and Z7) or a 3.2-inch tilting TFT LCD that is touch-sensitive. Both may be used to compose your photographs. It is possible to tilt this to face forward from the bottom hinge, which makes it ideal for taking selfies but less helpful in connecting the camera to a tripod. This feature differentiates it from the Z6 and Z7 models.

Nikon Z50 Build Quality

When you put the Z50 in the same room as its full-frame brothers and sisters, the Z6 and Z7, you can tell that they come from the same family. The layout, position of the viewfinder, and button arrangement are all the same; the only difference is that the camera’s body is more petite.

It is not exactly pocket-friendly, but it slips much more neatly into smaller bags than a full-frame counterpart when used with the camera and the new Nikkor 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ‘pancake’ lens. The combination of these two makes for an overall compact package.

However, to preserve space, specific controls have been eliminated. The camera does not come with a top-plate LCD, nor does the rear of the device have a joystick. We didn’t miss the former much, but having a joystick to adjust where the AF point was would have been quite helpful.

This can considerably slow the picking of the optimal AF point, as you have to work with the much slower directional buttons; nonetheless, this is not the end of the world. Unlike other competing cameras, you cannot continue to utilize the touchscreen while working with the viewfinder.

Nikon Z50 Performance

The autofocus mechanism of the Nikon Z50 is identical to the one found in the Z6. It features an outstanding array of 209 points that provide coverage of 90% of the frame.

When left in the Auto-area AF mode, the camera can rapidly and easily lock onto targets in most scenarios, and it does so very infrequently when it chooses the incorrect subject to close onto.

When you switch to Single-point AF, you’ll have the ability to choose your AF point. Only when the lighting is incredibly dim is some searching before the system locks on to the target. However, it is common for a false confirmation of focus to be presented.

You may change your autofocus mode to AF-C and allow a continuous frame rate to photograph moving subjects. As we’ve seen with the Z6 and Z7, while the camera is a good performer when the issue is pretty predictable, being able to follow something which isn’t moving too erratically, it’s not on the same level as what Sony has achieved with cameras like the A9 and even the Sony A6500 from its APS-C range. This is something that we’ve seen with both of those models.

Nikon Z50 Image Quality

Even though it has a less extensive sensor and a lower resolution than the Z6 and the Z7, the Nikon Z50 can produce photographs with a fantastic overall sense of detail. You could notice that the point isn’t nearly as delicate as it is on the 45.7-megapixel Nikon Z7 when pixel-peeping at 100%, but for the price and level, you wouldn’t expect that to be the case. Additionally, not many enthusiasts and hobbyists will analyze their photographs that closely.

The all-purpose metering setting does an excellent job of judging exposures to produce balanced results in various shooting conditions, which contributes to the sensor’s ability to create amazing colors that have a realistic appearance while also having a good amount of vibrancy and saturation.

In a similar vein, the automated white balance option performs admirably in a variety of lighting environments. Still, when exposed to artificial light sources, it produces images with somewhat more yellowish tones.

Nikon Z50 Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution5568 x 3712
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels21 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors22 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-51200 (expands to 204,800)
Boosted ISO (maximum)204800
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (NEF, 12/14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points209
Lens mountNikon Z
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.02× (0.68× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Scene modes“Autumn ColorsBeach / SnowBlossomCandlelightChildClose-upDusk/DawnFoodLandscapeNight LandscapeNight PortraitParty/IndoorPet PortraitPortraitSportsSunsetSpecial Effect Modes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range7.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingleLow-speed continuousHigh-speed continuousSelf-timer
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported)
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL25 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)320
Weight (inc. batteries)450 g (0.99 lb / 15.87 oz)
Dimensions127 x 94 x 60 mm (5 x 3.7 x 2.36″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Nikon Z50 Verdict

The Nikon Z50 is an excellent way for the firm to break into the competitive APS-C mirrorless camera industry with its first offering. It is the perfect camera to take on vacation, and it is also an excellent choice for anyone who wants to upgrade from a Nikon DSLR or adores the brand.

Even if it falls a little bit short in a few different areas, the Z50 has a lot going for it, including superb handling, exceptional value, and appealing features. Despite this, there is a lot to appreciate about the Z50.

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