Basic Specifications
Full model name: Nikon Z fc
Resolution: 20.90 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(23.5mm x 15.7mm)
Kit Lens: 3.10x zoom
16-50mm
(24-75mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 51,200
Extended ISO: 100 - 204,800
Shutter: 1/4000 - 900 sec
Max Aperture: 3.5 (kit lens)
Dimensions: 5.3 x 3.7 x 1.7 in.
(135 x 94 x 44 mm)
Weight: 13.8 oz (390 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 07/2021
Manufacturer: Nikon
Full specs: Nikon Z fc specifications
20.90
Megapixels
Nikon Z APS-C
size sensor
image of Nikon Z fc
Front side of Nikon Z fc digital camera Front side of Nikon Z fc digital camera Front side of Nikon Z fc digital camera Front side of Nikon Z fc digital camera Front side of Nikon Z fc digital camera

Nikon Z fc Review -- Hands-on Review

by Jeremy Gray
Originally posted: 06/29/2021

Updates:
08/02/2021: First Shots added

09/24/2021: Hands-on Review & Gallery Images added

Click here to jump to our in-depth Nikon Z fc Product Overview

 

Nikon Z fc Hands-on Review

Is Nikon's stylish new camera more than a pretty face?

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 09/24/2021

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 200mm (300mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/2000s, ISO 1400.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The Nikon Z fc is Nikon's latest mirrorless Z camera. While the Z fc is full of modern mirrorless technology, its style harkens back to Nikon's film days. The Z fc looks like the Nikon FM2 film camera, which hit store shelves in 1982.

The stylish camera uses a 20.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor. The sensor is paired with an EXPEED 6 image processor, so the overall image pipeline is identical to the Nikon Z50 camera. The 209-point hybrid autofocus system is the same, too. Beyond the obvious differences in design, the Z fc does include some other differences, however, as we'll go over in this Hands-on Review.

Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens (75mm equiv.), f/1.2, 1/250s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Nikon Z fc Key Features and Specs

  • Nikon Z mount
  • Retro-inspired style and operability
  • Styled after the Nikon FM2 film camera
  • 3" Vari-Angle touchscreen
  • 20.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor
  • Native ISO range of 100-51,200
  • 209-point hybrid autofocus system
  • Eye AF during stills and video recording
  • Up to 11fps continuous shooting
  • 4K/30p video
  • 1080/120p video
  • Available in six special edition colors
  • USB power delivery
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus wireless firmware updates
  • Usable as a webcam using Nikon Webcam Utility
  • Body only for $960
  • Available in a kit with special silver 16-50mm lens for $1,100
  • Also available with a special edition 28mm f/2.8 lens for $1,200
Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 24mm (36mm equiv.), f/7.1, 2s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Z fc body and design: Cool-looking camera delivers good, albeit imperfect, usability

The Z fc possesses old-school cool charm. The Z fc doesn't have the same robust metal feel as an older film camera, but it looks the part. Overall, the Z fc has a somewhat plastic-y feel, including its dials and especially the battery compartment door on the bottom. You also access the SD card slot via the bottom of the camera, which can be an issue when a tripod plate is mounted to the camera.

The Nikon Z fc is a stylish camera with old-school aesthetics and new-school technology.

I do like the Z fc's dials, even if they don't have a robust, high-quality feel. To the left of the viewfinder is an ISO dial, and to the right are shutter speed and exposure compensation dials. The ISO dial doesn't include an 'Auto' setting, meaning you must go into the camera's menus to enable/disable Auto ISO, which is one of my biggest usability complaints against the Z fc. For example, I'd rather have an 'Auto' spot than HI2 on the ISO dial, as HI2 ISO is practically useless. To rotate the ISO dial, you must hold down a central locking button.

The top dials look great and work well, although they do feel a bit cheap and plastic-y.

The shutter speed dial also includes a locking button, although you can freely rotate the dial through all numbered shutter speeds. The dial locks at the B, T, X and 1/3 Step settings. The slowest shutter speed you can select using the dial is 4 seconds, and the fastest is 1/4000s, which is the maximum shutter speed of the Z fc's mechanical shutter. The exposure compensation dial, which ranges from -3 to +3, doesn't lock.

Beneath the ISO dial is a small plastic knob, which you can use to rotate the mode dial. The mode dial has M, A, S, P and Auto settings. You can easily rotate the dial and pick your shooting mode with your left thumb while shooting, which is nice. In the same style, there's a stills/video mode switch under the shutter speed dial.

Another nice feature on the top of the camera is a small aperture info display. It's reminiscent of the "remaining shots window" on the Nikon FM2 film camera. It's a cool touch. The shutter release has a power switch around it, and the shutter release has a decent feel, although the travel distance is short. There's also a dedicated video record button on the top of the Z fc.

The back of the camera has a large array of buttons. Above the tilt/swivel 3" (1.04M dots) display are playback, delete, view mode and AE-L/AF-L buttons. There's also a rear command dial, which is accompanied by a front command dial. To the right of the display are 'i,' zoom in, zoom out, display and menu buttons, plus a directional pad with a central OK button. There's no autofocus joystick, although you can use the directional pad to move the focus point around the frame while shooting.

The fully articulated display is handy while shooting. When working on a tripod, the swiveling display is great. It can also work well for video, as it can spin around to act as a selfie screen. If you'd like to protect the display when it's not in use, you can flip it inward. The back is covered with the same black leatherette texture as the rest of the camera, so it matches nicely and looks more like a film camera.

The Nikon Z fc has a fully articulated rear touchscreen.

The Z fc's viewfinder is quite nice. It is a 0.39-inch type OLED display with 2.36M dots of resolution. It's plenty sharp and works well in use. The EVF has 1.02x magnification, which results in a big display with 100% frame coverage. The eyepiece is okay, although I wish it were a bit larger and softer.

The Z fc is reasonably compact and lightweight. The Z fc is 134.5mm (5.3") wide, 93.5mm (3.7") tall and has a depth of 43.5mm (1.8"). The Z fc is about 8mm wider than the Z50 while being the same height and 16.5mm thinner. It weighs 390 grams, which is 5g less than the Nikon Z50.

With its display turned inward, the Z fc has a film camera look. The camera's design is inspired by the Nikon FM2 analog camera from the early 1980s.

Despite a somewhat lackluster 'feel' in some respect, the Z fc has a nice design and offers good usability. It's also stylish. While not every photographer cares how a camera looks, there are plenty of people who do. I'm not sure if I count myself among them, but I do like the look of the Z fc. I worked with a silver Z fc, although the camera is available in additional colors, some of which are very sleek.

Image quality: 20.9-megapixel sensor may not be new, but it's not yet outdated

The Z fc's 20.9-megapixel DX-format (APS-C) sensor is getting a bit long in the tooth. It's not backside-illuminated, and it doesn't pack the sophisticated tech of the full-frame sensors in Nikon's Z6 and Z7 series of cameras. However, the Z fc delivers good image quality across a wide range of ISO settings.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 26mm (39mm equiv.), f/11, 3s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The camera's native ISO range is 100-51,200, although it can be expanded to ISO 204,800. At low ISOs (like 100-800), images are sharp and detailed with low noise. As you increase the ISO, image quality remains good, but naturally, noise increases.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 145mm (218mm equiv.), f/11, 1.6s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

I shot up to over ISO 10,000 on a few occasions, and image quality remained okay. You lose a lot of fine detail at ISO 11,400, but the images are still usable, especially at smaller sizes. You can adjust in-camera noise reduction strength. Your options are off, low, normal and high.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 200mm (300mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/250s, ISO 11400.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens (75mm equiv.), f/1.2, 2s, ISO 5000.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The Z fc has nearly 30 Picture Controls users can choose from to adjust the look and feel of their photos. During my time with the camera, I stuck with 'Auto,' which did a good job in many situations. The automatic white balance performed well, too. I used 'Natural Light Auto' since I exclusively shot with natural light. This setting did a good job of introducing a subtle warmth to many scenes, which I like.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 200mm (300mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/320s, ISO 7200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

I've already discussed how the Z fc captures images with good detail, but the camera does a nice job capturing pleasing colors, as well. The Z fc captures images with rich, vibrant colors and pretty good skin tones. I like how Nikon typically treats blues and greens, especially in nature scenes, and the Z fc continues that positive trend.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 130mm (195mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/3s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 130mm (195mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/3s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

While image quality straight from the camera is pretty good, if you want to get the most from the Z fc's impressive image sensor, you should shoot in RAW. The RAW files can be extensively edited and adjusted without ruining image quality. The Z fc also has a good dynamic range.

Overall, the Nikon Z fc has good image quality. The APS-C sensor may not be new, but it still does a great job across many situations.

Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens (75mm equiv.), f/1.2, 1/4000s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Autofocus and performance: Strong autofocus and performance help make the Z fc a good camera for many subjects

Autofocus

The Z fc features the same autofocus system as the Z50, which is a 209-point hybrid autofocus system with both on-sensor phase-detect pixels and contrast detection. The AF points cover about 87% of the horizontal area of the image sensor and 85% vertically. In practice, this is good autofocus area coverage, and there weren't any situations where I couldn't place the AF point directly over my subject.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 185mm (278mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 280.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The Z fc has numerous autofocus area modes, including pinpoint AF (photo only), single-point AF, dynamic-area AF (photo only), wide-area AF (S), wide-area AF (L), wide-area AF (L-people), wide-area AF (L-animals), auto-area AF, auto-area AF (people) and auto-area AF (animals). The different autofocus area modes work well, and during my hands-on time, both people-detect and animal-detect modes worked well, and the camera did a good job of locking onto eyes.

Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens (75mm equiv.), f/1.8, 1/80s, ISO 3200.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Autofocus is an area where the Z fc varies slightly from the Z50. The Z fc offers full-time Eye AF when recording video and with Wide-area AF for people and animal subjects. Full-time Eye AF when recording video makes the Z fc a particularly good choice for vlogging and webcam usage among Nikon's Z system.

In real-world use, the Z fc's autofocus is snappy and mostly accurate, even in challenging situations and in low light. The Z fc's AF system is rated down to -4.5 EV. The Z fc occasionally felt a bit sluggish in low light when using a slow lens, but that could be more on the lens than the camera. There were also some situations when the camera said focus had been acquired, but it ended up being just slightly off (again, it could've been the lens).

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 200mm (300mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/250s, ISO 11400.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Overall, autofocus performance is impressive. I wish the camera included the same autofocus joystick control as Nikon's Z6/Z7 cameras, as those are faster in use than the Z fc's directional pad, although that's a small nitpick. You can also use the touchscreen to move the autofocus point around, although not while shooting through the viewfinder.

Performance

The Z fc is a speedy camera. It can shoot at up to 11 frames per second when shooting 12-bit RAW images. If you want 14-bit RAW files, the maximum shooting speed drops slightly to around 9 fps. You can fire off around 45 12-bit RAW frames before the buffer fills, based on my testing with a Sony SD card with 94 MB/s speed. 14-bit RAW frames don't affect the buffer depth in any meaningful way, based on my testing. If you need more buffer depth, you can record 100 images in a row if you shoot only JPEG images.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 110mm (165mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 320.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

There's more to performance than just shooting speed. The Z fc is agile in other ways, too. Playing back images is fast, as is powering on the camera. Menu navigation is snappy. On the less positive side is battery life. The Z fc has a small EN-EL25 lithium-ion battery that offers only about 300 shots per charge per CIPA ratings. In real-world use, battery life didn't seem much better than the rating. You can power the camera continuously via USB-C when using it, which is a nice feature, particularly for video shooters or those shooting images for a time-lapse video.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 140mm (210mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 640.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Video: Pretty good 4K video quality

The Z fc records 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video at up to 30 frames per second, which makes the Z fc competitive among its peers. The Z fc records 4K UHD video using the full width of its APS-C image sensor and uses full pixel readout. The camera can record FHD (1920 x 1080) video as well at up to 120p frame rates. The Z fc has 4x and 5x slow-motion video modes, too, and can record time-lapses in camera.

Nikon Z fc sample video compilation - 3840 x 2160 at 30 frames per second.
Download edited video (84.7 MB .MP4 File)

4K video quality is pretty good. Video is detailed and sharp, and rolling shutter isn't a massive concern. The Z fc can record video using Auto ISO, although ISO tops out at 25,600, which is lower than for stills. At higher ISOs, video quality remains pretty good.

Nikon Z fc sample video #1 - 3840 x 2160 at 30 frames per second.
Download video (173.9 MB .MOV File)
 
Nikon Z fc sample video #2 - 3840 x 2160 at 30 frames per second.
Download video (330 MB .MOV File)
 
Nikon Z fc sample video #3 - 3840 x 2160 at 30 frames per second.
Download video (288 MB .MOV File)

On the downside, the Z fc doesn't have in-body image stabilization, although an electronic VR mode is available for video. The camera also doesn't have HLG or log support. The Z fc offers HDMI output, includes focus peaking, displays highlights and has a microphone port, although no headphone jack.

The Z fc is a good Z camera for video applications. It's not fully featured enough for serious videographers, but it works well for photographers who may want to dabble in video here and there or use the Z fc for vlogging or as a webcam.

Shooting experience

The Nikon Z fc delivers a mostly good shooting experience. In terms of the camera's usability and design, standout features include the high-magnification EVF, tilt/swivel touchscreen, and physical dials on the camera. The dials also contribute to the Z fc's stylish retro-inspired appearance.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 28mm (42mm equiv.), f/10, 1/4s, ISO 180.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Not all the camera's design attributes are great in use, however. As mentioned, the camera has a somewhat cheap feel, and the lack of an AF joystick is unfortunate.

The Z fc's strength lies in its photographic capabilities. The Z fc captures good images across a wide range of situations, and thanks to reliable autofocus and performance, it's easy to make good photos. The Z fc takes nice photos and looks good doing it.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 35mm (53mm equiv.), f/11, 0.8s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Given its performance, the Nikon Z fc is well-suited to many photographic applications. The camera's improved face-detect autofocus and good image quality make the camera a nice choice for portraiture. The reliable autofocus system and agile shooting speeds make the Z fc good for wildlife and sports, although buffer depths can be limiting in certain situations. The camera's small size and lightweight design make it great for travel and general walk-around photography, as well. The camera's also good at video, which doesn't hurt.

Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2s lens (75mm equiv.), f/1.2, 1/3200s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Where the Z fc comes up a bit short is no fault of the camera itself. The Nikon Z system is still growing, and there aren't many DX-format Z lenses yet. The DX 16-50mm kit lens is fine, and it's small, but it's not a stellar zoom lens. The only other DX lens for the Z system is the DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR. Otherwise, if you want a native Z lens for the Z fc, it'll need to be a full-frame (FX) lens, which isn't a bad thing, but they're relatively large and heavy compared to lenses designed for APS-C format sensors.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 32mm (48mm equiv.), f/9, 20s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

It's also worth touching on the cost of the Z fc. The body only is under $1,000, which is a fair price for the camera given its performance. However, you'll want lenses. The Z fc can be purchased with a special silver 16-50mm kit lens for $1,100 or with a special edition 28mm f/2.8 full-frame Z lens for $1,200. The matching 28mm f/2.8 SE lens looks great, although we have yet to go hands-on with it as it's in exceedingly short supply for now.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 185mm (278mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 2200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Nikon Z fc Hands-on Review Summary

A stylish camera with strong photo features and performance

What I like most about the Nikon Z fc

  • Sleek, stylish design
  • Reasonably compact and lightweight
  • Lots of physical controls
  • Good EVF and a nice tilt/swivel touchscreen
  • Impressive image quality
  • Reliable autofocus
  • Pretty good video performance
Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 28mm (218mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 2000.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

What I dislike about the Nikon Z fc

  • Some controls feel flimsy
  • Smooth front can be tough to grip when using large or heavy lenses
  • Auto ISO must be accessed through the menu
  • No AF joystick
  • No headphone jack
  • Lacks log video

The Nikon Z fc is a solid addition to the Z lineup. While it stands out from its siblings due to its retro-inspired design, the camera's performance is consistent with the Z50, meaning that it's a good camera with impressive overall performance. The camera's design may be what attracts people to the Z fc, but its good image quality, strong autofocus and a nice suite of features will likely be what makes people stick around.

Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 37mm (56mm equiv.), f/13, 6s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

 

• • •

 

Nikon Z fc Product Overview

by Jeremy Gray
Originally posted: 06/29/2021

Nikon has a long history of iconic cameras and lenses. Among the company's rich history is the Nikon FM2 film camera, first released in 1982. The 35mm analog camera was produced until 2001. Why are we talking about the Nikon FM2 in 2021? Well, it's because Nikon has announced a new DX-format Z camera, the Nikon Z fc, and its retro design is inspired by the legendary FM2.

The Z fc could also be seen as a sort of spiritual successor to the Nikon Df DSLR, which also combined modern digital camera technology with old-fashioned, retro styling. However, the Z fc differs from the Df in a couple of ways. The Z fc isn't a full-frame camera, for starters, which is a big difference. Further, the Df may have had a digital image sensor, but it didn't include the same features as its peers at the time and leaned heavily into the old-school photography vibe. The Z fc offers many of the same key features as the Nikon Z50 wrapped in a compact, stylish, old-school package. The Z fc even adds some new features, above and beyond the Z50, which is exciting. The Z fc isn't a successor to the Z50, but it's not simply a differently styled alternative, either.

Nikon Z fc Key Features and Specs

  • Nikon Z mount
  • Retro-inspired style and operability
  • Styled after the Nikon FM2 film camera
  • 3" Vari-Angle touchscreen
  • 20.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor
  • Native ISO range of 100-51,200
  • 209-point hybrid autofocus system
  • Eye AF during stills and video recording
  • Up to 11fps continuous shooting
  • 4K/30p video
  • 1080/120p video
  • Available in six special edition colors
  • USB power delivery
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus wireless firmware updates
  • Usable as a webcam using Nikon Webcam Utility

Nikon Z fc design: New Z camera calls back to Nikon's analog heritage with retro style and analog controls

Looking at the front of the Nikon Z fc, the neat old-school detail is immediately evident. The camera's engraved 'Nikon' logo is the one Nikon used in the 1970s and 80s, which is a nice attention to detail. Moving to the top of the camera, Nikon has doubled down on physical, tactile controls. The top of the camera includes dedicated ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation dials. The camera's entire 100-51,200 ISO range is accessible on the ISO dial, plus Hi.1 and Hi.2 settings are also accessible via the dial. The top of the camera doesn't have space for a full information display, but it does include a small window that shows your selected aperture.

You may have noticed that we haven't mentioned a dedicated mode dial. The Z fc doesn't have a traditional mode dial, but surrounding the ISO dial is a switch, allowing the user to swap between M, A, S, P and Auto shooting modes. It's an elegant solution and efficient use of space on the camera's top deck. The top of the Z fc also includes a power switch, a movie/stills mode switch and a dedicated movie record button.

The Z fc aims to deliver modern Z performance and technology in a classic design. Further, Nikon wants the Z fc to be lightweight and compact. The Z fc is constructed using a magnesium alloy frame, which provides durability without making the camera large and heavy. The Z fc weighs 5 grams less than the Z50. It's not a big difference in weight, of course, but at only 390g, the Z fc is a lightweight APS-C mirrorless camera. The Z fc is 134.5mm (5.3") wide, 93.5mm (3.7") tall and has a depth of 43.5mm (1.8"). The Z fc is about 8mm wider than the Z50 while being the same height and 16.5mm thinner.

The Nikon Z fc has a satin silver coating which contrasts nicely against the leather-like black grip material covering much of the camera, including the front grip area and much of the camera's rear. A neat aspect of the camera's design is that you can flip the 3" Vari-Angle display such that the display is hidden, like what you can do with some Fujifilm X Series cameras. The back of the Z fc's display is covered with the same black leather-like material, such that when the display is reversed, the Z fc has the look of a film camera, which of course, lacks a rear display.

Speaking of the rear display, the Z fc's display is 3" and has approximately 1.04M dots of resolution. The display flips out to the side, allowing it to be used as a selfie display. The vari-angle display should also prove useful for vloggers, allowing them to easily frame shots and monitor their video. The display has 11 manual brightness levels and offers a 170-degree viewing angle. The touchscreen can be used to interact with camera menus, shooting settings and more, as well.

Above the display is a series of buttons, which are finished in satin silver. There are playback, delete and monitor display buttons to the left of the viewfinder. To the viewfinder's right are an AE-L/AF-L button and a command dial. To the right of the display are 'i', zoom in, zoom out, display and menu buttons. There's a directional pad with a central 'OK' button, too. The Z fc doesn't include a dedicated autofocus point joystick, which is also absent on the Z50.

The Z fc's electronic viewfinder is a 0.39-inch type OLED display with a resolution of 2.36M dots. The EVF offers 100 percent frame coverage and has a 1.02x magnification.

Overall, the Z fc is arguably Nikon's most stylish Z camera yet. Based on appearances alone, the camera promises to bridge the gap between Nikon's storied past and its mirrorless Z system present.

Nikon Z fc features and performance: 20.9MP APS-C sensor, same great performance as the Z50

Looks aren't everything, of course. The Z fc has the same imaging pipeline as the Z50, meaning that the Z fc comes equipped with a 20.9MP CMOS image sensor paired with Nikon's EXPEED 6 image processor.

We've touched on the ISO range, but to reiterate, the native Z fc's native ISO range is 100-51,200, which can be expanded up to ISO 204,800 (Hi.2). The camera includes Auto ISO, which automatically selects an ISO from 100 to 25,600, which can be further customized to user preference.

The Z fc's 20.9MP image sensor can capture 12- or 14-bit RAW (.NEF) images, plus JPEG images. To fine-tune the look of your images, there are 20 customizable Picture Controls to choose from, including Auto, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat and a variety of creative Picture Controls. You can use the exposure compensation dial to adjust brightness when shooting in Auto mode, too.

The Z fc offers the same shooting performance as the Z50, as well, providing up to 11 frames per second continuous shooting when recording 12-bit RAW images. The camera's buffer depth isn't stated, but it's safe to expect around 30 14-bit RAW images to fill the buffer and even more for 12-bit RAW images and more still when shooting JPEG images, based on the figures listed in the Nikon Z50 instruction manual.

In terms of autofocus, the Z fc includes the same 209-point hybrid AF system as the Z50, although with some improvements. The 209 AF points cover approximately 87 percent of the frame in the horizontal direction and 85 percent vertically. The AF system is rated to work down to -4.5 EV.

Autofocus area modes include pinpoint AF (photo only), single-point AF, dynamic-area AF (photo only), wide-area AF (S), wide-area AF (L), wide-area AF (L-people), wide-area AF (L-animals), auto-area AF, auto-area AF (people) and auto-area AF (animals).

The Z fc includes a couple of AF features that the Z50 doesn't, including full-time Eye AF when recording video and Wide-area AF for people and animals. Having full-time Eye AF when recording video, plus the Vari-Angle display makes the Z fc Nikon's best camera for vlogging and webcam usage (more on that in a bit).

Video: 4K/30p video, plus vlogging and webcam features

The Z fc records 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video at up to 30p. 4K UHD video can also be recorded at 24p and 25p. 4K UHD video is recorded using the full width of the image sensor and with full pixel readout. Full HD (1920 x 1080) video can be recorded at 24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100 and 120p frame rates. In terms of slow-motion video, the Z fc offers in-camera 4x and 5x slow-motion modes. The camera also has a built-in interval timer for the creation of 4K timelapse movies.

The Z fc's ISO range is slightly different during video recording. The camera's upper ISO limit, both manually and using Auto ISO, is ISO 25,600 during video shooting. The Z fc doesn't include in-body image stabilization, but an electronic VR mode is available for video.

The Z fc offers HDMI output, includes focus peaking, displays highlights (Zebras) and more. Although movie clip length is capped at 29'59", the Z fc can record indefinitely with USB-C power delivery. This is beneficial for streaming, video production, timelapse creation and more. Using Nikon's free Webcam Utility app, the Z fc can easily be used as a webcam, too.

Ports and power: 300-shot battery life, USB 3.2 and more

The Z fc uses the same EN-EL25 lithium-ion battery as the Z50. The Z fc is CIPA-rated for about 300 shots per charge of battery life or 75 minutes of movie recording. Of course, you can power the camera continuously via USB-C.

The Z fc includes built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Via its wireless connection, the Z fc, like the Z6 II and Z7 II, can be updated wirelessly via the Nikon Snapbridge application. This is another feature that the Z fc has that the Z50 doesn't. Nikon Snapbridge can also wirelessly control the camera and automatically transfer images from the camera to your mobile device.

In terms of physical ports, the Z fc has Hi-Speed USB with Micro-B connector, a Type D HDMI connector, stereo mini-jack and USB-C (USB 3.2).

A colorful addition to the Nikon Z lineup

The Nikon Z fc comes in a standard silver and black color. However, through Nikon USA and other Nikon stores worldwide, the Z fc will also be available in other colors. There are six additional colors, all of which will be available in the United States and Canada. These additional colors include white, coral pink, mint green, sand beige, amber brown and natural gray.

New-school glass with old-school style

The Nikon Z fc is available as a body only, but it will also be available in a couple of kits, including one with the Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens. This lens will be available alongside the Z fc with a matching satin silver finish. It's the same lens, optically, as the earlier black version released with the Z50, but the smallest Nikkor Z lens will have a new style to match the Z fc's look.

Nikon is also releasing a new Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 full-frame lens. This lens is fast, fun and affordable. The 28mm f/2.8 will be available in two versions, one that looks like other Nikkor Z lenses and another with a unique old-school style to match the Z fc. The Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE) lens offers a 42mm-equiv. focal length when paired with the Z fc.

The Nikon Z fc shown with the 16-50mm lens (left) and the new special edition Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 SE (right).

Pricing and availability

The Nikon Z fc will be available starting in late July in numerous configurations. The body-only will cost $960 USD. For $1,100, customers can purchase the Z fc with the special silver 16-50mm kit lens. The silver DX 16-50mm will also be available separately for $300. The Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE) special edition lens will be available in a third kit for $1,200 and sold separately this fall for $300.

If you want a colorful Z fc, the limited edition cameras will be sold as a kit with the silver DX 16-50mm lens for $1,200 exclusively through Nikon USA.

Nikon Z fc vs Nikon Z50

While the Z fc and Z50 are similar in many ways, there are some obvious differences between the two cameras. Beyond the massive difference in style, the Z fc includes improved usability via a full Vari-Angle display and improved dial operation.

In terms of features, the Z fc offers USB power delivery and wireless firmware updates, two features the Z50 doesn't include. That said, the Z50 includes a built-in pop-up flash, something not available on the Z fc.

The Z fc and Z50 use the same autofocus system, but the Z fc includes Eye AF in movie and wide-area AF (L-people and L-animal), AF features unavailable in the Z50. The Z fc also includes exposure compensation in Auto mode, a useful feature unavailable for Z50 users.

 

Similar to the Z fc but smaller lighter larger sensor cheaper But ...
loading
No cameras match your search criteria(s)
   

$799.00 (20% less)

24.2 MP (14% more)

Also has viewfinder

Similar size

Z fc vs X-T200

$599.33 (60% less)

24.2 MP (14% more)

Also has viewfinder

9% larger

Z fc vs EOS M50 II

$799.32 (20% less)

26.1 MP (20% more)

Also has viewfinder

19% smaller

Z fc vs X-T30

$0.00

26.1 MP (20% more)

Also has viewfinder

19% smaller

Z fc vs X-T30 II

$999.00

26.1 MP (20% more)

Also has viewfinder

22% larger

Z fc vs X-S10

$748.00 (28% less)

24.2 MP (14% more)

Also has viewfinder

15% smaller

Z fc vs A6100

$1799.00 (47% more)

26.1 MP (20% more)

Also has viewfinder

Similar size

Z fc vs X-Pro3

$898.00 (7% less)

24.2 MP (14% more)

Also has viewfinder

14% smaller

Z fc vs A6400

$856.95 (12% less)

20.9 MP

Also has viewfinder

23% larger

Z fc vs Z50

$579.00 (65% less)

24.2 MP (14% more)

Also has viewfinder

9% larger

Z fc vs EOS M50

$699.95 (37% less)

24.2 MP (14% more)

Lacks viewfinder

65% smaller

Z fc vs X-A7

$0.00

24.2 MP (14% more)

Lacks viewfinder

65% smaller

Z fc vs ZV-E10

$699.00 (37% less)

24.3 MP (14% more)

Also has viewfinder

43% smaller

Z fc vs X-E3

$849.00 (13% less)

26.1 MP (20% more)

Also has viewfinder

89% smaller

Z fc vs X-E4

$849.00 (13% less)

32.5 MP (36% more)

Lacks viewfinder

33% smaller

Z fc vs EOS M6 Mark II

$1198.00 (20% more)

24.2 MP (14% more)

Also has viewfinder

28% smaller

Z fc vs A6500

$649.00 (47% less)

20.3 MP

Also has viewfinder

9% smaller

Z fc vs E-M10 IV

$949.00

20.4 MP

Also has viewfinder

Similar size

Z fc vs E-M5 III

$622.99 (54% less)

20.3 MP

Also has viewfinder

6% smaller

Z fc vs G100

$499.00 (92% less)

24.2 MP (14% more)

Also has viewfinder

15% smaller

Z fc vs X-T100

Suggestion for improvement? Head over here.


Editor's Picks