Nikon’s New Mirrorless Camera

It may look like the brand’s revered film-based SLR from the 1980s, but Nikon’s latestr conceals a wealth of cutting-edge tech.

By Bryan Hood 28/12/2021

As with the first glance at a “sleeper” car that shrouds massive power within unassuming sheet metal, you’d never guess the capability possible from Nikon’s new Z fc if judging only by its cover. The latest addition to Nikon’s line of Z mirrorless digital cameras seems like it would be
more at home dangling from the neck of a photojournalist in the 1980s, and with good reason: the design is inspired by one of the decade’s most iconic cameras, the Nikon FM2 SLR. But while the style and feel are deliberately old-school, everything else is all about tomorrow’s tech.

Just like the film shooter that inspired it, the $1,499 (body only) Z fc has a compact and lightweight silver chassis wrapped in a textured black leather grip. (Unlike a DSLR, which uses a mirror to reflect light to the image sensor, its mirrorless configuration sends light directly to the sensor through the lens, which allows for more efficient packaging.) But the throwback details don’t stop there. The top is fitted with carved aluminium dials that control settings such as shutter speed, aperture and ISO, and there’s even a retro-style circular eyecup attached to the viewfinder, just like your grandparents had.

But unlike your family heirloom, the Z fc is packed with the latest advances: a 20.9-megapixel APS-C image sensor, an Expeed 6 processor and a hybrid 209-point autofocus system—features that allow for both professional-quality photos and 4K/30 fps video. There’s also a 2.36-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder, tiltable touchscreen, SD card slot, USB-C port, built-in Wi-Fi functionality and a battery that’s good for 300 shots per charge.

The Z fc is compatible with the manufacturer’s DX 16-50 mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens, as well as the new Z 28 mm f/2.8 (SE) glass. Packaged with either the 16-50 mm or 28 mm additions—for $1,699 and $1,899, respectively—the Nikon Z fc is a retro sleeper ready to light it up at a moment’s notice.

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