Is the Nikon Z fc a Perfectly Balanced Camera?

Nikon's first throwback retro camera, the Df, received a lot of mixed reviews upon its release, with most people noting that it placed a little too much emphasis on form and not quite enough on function. The Z fc mirrorless camera keeps the look but ups the ante, providing a nice set of balanced specs at very reasonable price. The excellent video review takes a look at the camera and the sort of image quality and performance you can expect from it in practice. 

Coming to you from Christopher Frost, this great video review takes a look at the Nikon Z fc mirrorless camera. Nikon seems to have made some nice strides with the Z fc compared to the Df, with the newer model offering useful features like 4K video and an 11 fps continuous burst rate, all offered at a price of less than $1,000. Retro-inspired designs have seen a real resurgence in recent years (just look at the popularity of Fujifilm's X Series), but these designs are about more than creating eye-catching bodies. Putting all the primary exposure parameters into physical controls allows you to stay more engaged with the act of shooting, which only serves to help you make better images. Check out the video above for Frost's full thoughts on the Z fc. 

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5 Comments
winzehnt gates's picture

The Nikon Z fc is a nice camera body, but a body is nothing without lenses. Because of that I think it's a falsehood to claim the Z fc was "putting all the primary exposure parameters into physical controls". To make that true, you'd need lenses with an aperture ring.
I can understand that someone who is already invested in Nikon Z and wants a small second body that can attach lenses he already has, might buy a Z fc, but for everybody else Fuji is the more sensible option if you want a camera that is "putting all the primary exposure parameters into physical controls".

The Z fc costs as much as a Fuji X-T30 (which is smaller) and for just a bit more you can get a X-T3 (which is about the same size).

TLDR;
If you want a Z fc as addition to your Nikon Z gear, go for it, it's a good camera.
If you don't own lots of Z lenses and want physical controls for the primary exposure parameters, get a Fuji.

Pavlos Honderich's picture

Before making such an assessment, it might be good idea to learn a bit more about the camera system...

A number of the z lenses made by Nikon have an additional ring that can be programmed to be the aperture ring and defaults as such. That includes a 28 mm that Nick used in his review.

Otherwise, for z lenses with a single ring that defaults as the focus ring, it can be changed to change aperture.

Otherwise, there are dozens of options for aperture control on manual focus only options both by Nikon and other manufacturers that are native z lenses and adapted lenses.

J H's picture

Amazing camera! I've been using one for a month and it really packs a punch. The size and style is really nice because i was looking for a compact camera that had the same feel as my FE2. I'm really impressed with the quality moving from a D7000 i got a decade ago.

Tom Egel's picture

For certain types of photography like street and travel, I like to be able to see my exposure settings without having to look through the viewfinder. This can be achieved with a top LCD (like on the Z6/7) or with "retro" style knobs and dials like the Zfc or Fujis. I previously used an X-Pro2 with the excellent f/2 primes as my travel/street camera for this very reason. While I enjoyed using it and was happy with the results, there were a few UI things that really slowed me down. I recently switched to the Zfc and have no regrets. I can carry the Zfc with the 16-50, 50-250 and 28/2.8 lenses all day long in a small shoulder bag and hardly notice it's there. Also, since it looks like an old film camera, people seem to be less threatened by it. While no camera is "perfect", the Zfc comes close as a lightweight, compact and capable travel camera.

Simon Thomas's picture

I think any camera without a built in flash is unbalanced. Get the z50, same camera in a different body, complete with flash. Simon, NZ