Nikon Z50 hands-on: Z-mount shrink-rayed plus two new DX-format lenses & finally, the Z6/Z7 battery pack!
posted Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 12:02 AM EDT
Some 14 months have passed now since Nikon reinvented its mirrorless camera strategy from the ground up, launching two new full-frame cameras that together shared a brand-new lens mount, the Nikon Z6 and Z7. Today, the company has expanded that line in a new and more affordable direction with a third model, the Nikon Z50, which is also the first to feature a smaller APS-C sized sub-frame image sensor.
The 20.9-megapixel Nikon Z50 differs from its predecessors in quite a few ways that will make it more affordable and approachable for consumers. It's a good bit smaller and lighter, adds a selfie-friendly rear-panel LCD monitor, a consumer-oriented popup flash strobe, stores images on SD cards rather than XQD, switches to in-lens image stabilization, and sports a lower-resolution viewfinder and a lower-res LCD touch-screen on its rear, among many other changes. And perhaps most important of all, it will come in at less than half the cost of its full-frame siblings.
Of course, in-lens stabilization only works if your lenses support it, and before now none of the native lenses did. That's resolved with two new lenses which launch alongside the new Z50, both of which are also compatible with the earlier Z6 and Z7 with some limitations. (Most notably, there's the fact that they'll come with a 1.5x focal length crop, but they're also incompatible with the in-body stabilization of the full-frame models, and so will rely solely on their in-lens stabilization instead.)
The two new lens models are the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR. The former will offer 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from 24 to 75mm, and the latter from 75 to 375mm, for a generous range of 24 to 375mm from just two optics in total. As well as these new lenses and the Z50 itself, there's one other piece of Z-mount news which will be of interest to Z6 and Z7 shooters: A full year and change after its development was first disclosed, Nikon is finally preparing to ship its battery pack accessory for the full-frame models!
The Nikon Z50 is expected to go on sale in the US market from November 2019. It will be offered body-only for a list price of around US$860, in a single-lens kit with the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens for around US$1,000, or in a dual-lens kit with both the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR lenses for around US$1,350. Pricing for the MB-N10 battery pack accessory for the Z6 and Z7 is set at around US$200, with availability from November 2019.