Zero Card Slots? Zeiss Announces the ZX1 Mirrorless Full-Frame Camera, Complete with Lightroom

Another full-frame mirrorless contender has stepped into the ring as Zeiss has just announced the ZX1. Controversially, the ZX1 does not feature dual card slots. In fact, it doesn't have even a single card slot. Instead, it will boast a 512 GB SSD complete with Lightroom CC installed.

The 37.4 megapixel sensor is meaty and the f/2 lens seems very appealing, but the big factors that will turn heads is the somewhat avant garde approach to image storage, editing, and sharing. The 4.3" screen (no, it doesn't flip out) and SSD seems to allow for a truly innovative means of managing photographs.

The complete specifications are listed on PhotoRumors.com, and the rather funky Zeiss website offers some insights into the camera's functionality. Through the "symbiosis of hardware and software is exemplified by the newly defined user interface," photographers will be able to edit raw files on the go, and upload to various platforms directly from the camera.

So is this a gimmick or is an internal SSD the future? Is this how we will all be editing a portion of our photographs in ten years or is this going to be a very expensive camera phone with a beefed up version of Instagram? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

The price is yet to be announced and the launch is scheduled for early 2019.

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19 Comments

Dumb and Dumber over here 😜

Ariel Martini's picture

And will cost around $3k. No, thanks. My hasselblad lunar is still in good shape.

Han Seoul-Oh's picture

just how much RAW post processing can one get done on a 4.3" 720p screen?

this seems like a really high quality cameraphone, based on the press release, something Nikon tried once.

it just seems to fit a "middle ground" that doesn't exist in my view, but i'm probably wrong. i hope so because the hardware definitely looks pretty swanky.

Rob Davis's picture

If it’s good enough for cinema cameras.

Michael Jin's picture

I think that if they get the weathersealing down, this will probably be THE compact street camera to have. I like the idea of an internal SSD and ability to move files over via Wi-Fi since it removes a critical point of failure in memory cards (physical wear) and reduces the number openings for water to get in.

Obviously there is the risk that the SSD becomes corrupt and if this is running some version of Android (which I'm assuming to be the case given the existence of Lightroom CC in-camera), hopefully they'll have the OS on a separate drive to avoid the potential of the entire camera becoming a brick.

I highly doubt that anyone will be doing any critical photo editing on this camera. The biggest benefit I see to the built-in Lightroom CC (and Android OS) is the ability to make basic edits from RAW and share directly from your camera rather than rely on transferring JPEG files with baked in picture profiles transferred to our phones via BT or Wi-Fi, which so many of us currently do to share our photos while we're out and about.

In the end, it's probably too limited and expensive to be a serious tool, but for avid street photographers with some cash to spend, this could be a really good alternative to the Leica, Fuji, or Sony offerings. I guess we'll find out more when these things are in peoples' hands.

Leigh Miller's picture

Price aside...this is the right move. Many people don't want the "after" work that comes with making decent photos. Only two manufacturers make an effort to advance in-camera processing at present.

just one SSD? For amateur, if you are pro you need two ssd slots

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

Better go Raid 1 with two HDD just to be save.

Kristopher Galuska's picture

Most innovative camera of the entire show... as ling as it all works.

Richard Paksy's picture

My 3 questions were: Can it handle screen mirroring wirelessly with a smart TV or other on camera monitors? Lightroom license comes bundled with the device or I have to use a standalone paid Adobe account to be able to use this feature? Which blends better: Ricoh GR III or this?

jonas y's picture

CFastExpress is basically a mini SSD, so you might as well have a slot for it.

This is absolutely NOT dumb at all. This is a very good move. I heard from a LOT of photographers that it would be great to have LR integrated in a REAL camera to be able to quickly edit something to share on the go. I even know some that are constantly snapping things with their smartphones in addition to the good camera just for this ! It's not yet perfect. We still need SD cards and interchangeable lenses. If the A7III had LR integrated to edit and share photos on the go, THAT would be a killer combo.

marc gabor's picture

If my Nikon or Fuji allowed me to edit RAW images in LR, use my presets and post to IG from wherever I was just shooting that would be AMAZING. This totally makes sense with today's workflow. I have issues with today's workflow. There is something to be said about sitting with a group of images for a while and putting together an edit. That said you can't just be grumpy about "how we used to do things". Incorporate the new with the old. Being able to post images up to your own creative standards in near realtime is a huge step forward.

Fritz Asuro's picture

This camera just made the "1 card slot" dilemma a godsend relief

Michael Comeau's picture

Hilarious.

People complain when Nikon and Canon play it safe.

And they complain when a company like Zeiss takes some risks to push the envelope.

Maybe it won't work, but I think it's great that Zeiss is trying something new.

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

Now also give it pre-installed Instagram and it's done.

Mariusz Strawinski's picture

Add interchangeable lens, remove the ssd and screen. Make it sync with a phone and I'm sold..

Would make a perfect hiking / landscape camera.