Testing Out the New Nikon Z FC Mirrorless Camera With One of the First Photographers to Try It

26-year-old Constantin Schiller was one of very few lucky photographers to trial the newly released Nikon Z fc. Fittingly for him, the new Nikon Z fc was shaped like the FM2 camera of the 1980s, very similar to the FE2 Schiller grew up using. Here, he shares and talks through his experience of the new Nikon camera, including a photo trip to Japan.

Schiller’s passion for photography started with his engineer father who spent much of his working life in Japan and shot imagery on the Nikon FE2. It was at the young age of 12 that Schiller recalls having a full understanding of the technical intricacies of photography. Staying true to his beginnings, the FE2 was Schiller’s camera of choice for a special project back in 2018, which saw him retrace his father’s steps to Japan, where he recaptured imagery 50 years later. For Schiller, the Z fc has a special connection to his childhood, and he describes the model as
back to the future."  Aiming to replicate some of his father’s shots from 1995, he took the very same FE2 and says he was “struck” by how well it performed all those years later. He says of the comparison between the new and old:

The Z fc draws inspiration from those years, bringing the beautiful retro design – including its leatherbound body and external dials – up to the date with the latest mirrorless technology. It feels very much like ‘back to the future’ for me – combining digital innovation with Nikon’s heritage.

As for the Z fc’s strengths, Schiller praises the fact it is light in weight and the overall image quality, the latter of which he remarks as being “outstanding.” The difference between this new digital model and the FE2 of his childhood is the use of 20 in-camera "Creative Picture Controls" that offer different filters and effects.

I used this camera with my dad, and it transported us back in time to when he was first teaching me the fundamentals. It was a very special moment to share and get excited about.

Where gear is concerned, we needed to know a bit about what Schiller considers essential kit. He tells us the Nikon Z 6 is his choice, complemented with an AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED. He adds that he’ll be incorporating the Z fc into his repertoire as an additional on-the-go camera. “It really is a beautiful piece of equipment,” he adds, citing the retro look as a major positive, along with the “technical proficiency” it possesses.

Schiller also heads up a creative agency, which he says helps keep him in the loop of what the industry is asking for presently. He finds that many clients now ask for video for social media, something he calls an “important, lucrative medium right now.” He cites the surging popularity of video-only platforms like TikTok as examples but stresses his belief that the need for photography will always be there.

What do you think of the photos he took with the Nikon Z fc? If you like them, you can see more of Schiller’s work on his website.

Images used with permission.

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1 Comment

Sam Sims's picture

I like the idea of cameras with manual dials and more of that manual film camera vibe. It’s like the feel of a manual camera with the convenience of digital. In order to make these cameras (including Fujifilm) truly enjoyable for me would be if they were accompanied with some modern manual lenses (with electronic contacts). Voigtlander makes one for Fujifilm but I’m not really interested in this Z FC with Nikon’s current lens lineup.