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Nikon Z fc Hands-on Camera Review

Imaging Resource field tests Nikon's retro-style mirrorless camera
Photo of Nikon Z fc

The Nikon Z fc turned a lot of heads when it was announced in June but does this compact, retro-style mirrorless camera deliver when it comes to image quality? That’s what our colleagues at Imaging Resource address in their new hands-on review of the Nikon Z fc.

The Nikon Z fc, which sells for $1096 with the Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR kit lens, is a DX-format mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that uses a 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor. It resembles Nikon’s classic FM2 film SLR from the 1980s with analog-like tactile control dials on top of the camera. At the same time, the Z fc offers a variety of modern touches such as a vari-angle LCD touchscreen that can flip out to face the user for self-portraits and vlogging.

Test photo for Nikon Z fc review
Shot with the Nikon Z fc and Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 185mm (278mm equivalent), f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 280. Click for the full-size image.

“The blend of old-school cool and new-school performance helps the Z fc stand out from the rest of the Nikon Z lineup, but does it truly separate itself from the pack in meaningful ways?” Imaging Resource Reviews Editor Jeremy Gray asks in his review.

“It’s what is inside that counts, right? And the Z fc is not just a pretty face. The Z fc’s 20.9-megapixel image sensor isn’t new, nor is it especially fancy, but it works well. It’s not backside-illuminated or stacked, but that doesn’t prevent it from capturing sharp, detailed images with good colors across an impressive ISO range.”

Test photo for Nikon Z fc review
Shot with the Nikon Z fc and Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 26mm (39mm equivalent), f/11, 3s, ISO 100. Click for the full-size image.

Gray also praises the Nikon Z fc’s 209-point hybrid autofocus (AF) system that includes eye-detection AF for humans and animals even when shooting video. “The AF is reliable and works well across many situations, including when photographing action and moving subjects,” he writes. “The Z fc can also shoot at up to 11 frames per second, which is quite speedy.


The Nikon Z fc can capture 4K UHD video or 1080p and includes the ability to shoot slow motion and time-lapse footage. 

Photo of Nikon Z fc video

“The video quality itself is good, even when shooting in low light,” Gray says. “The fully articulated display works well for video, too, allowing vloggers and content creators to frame themselves while recording easily.”

To read all of Gray’s thoughts on the Nikon Z fc including what he thinks of its lightweight but tough throwback design that features a magnesium alloy interior frame with some weatherproofing, go read his full review at Imaging Resource. We’ve included a few of Gray’s Nikon Z fc test shots with this story but you can see the full gallery here.

Test photo for Nikon Z fc review
Shot with the Nikon Z fc and Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens at 200mm (300mm equivalent), f/6.3, 1/250s, ISO 11400. Click for the full-size image.

“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,” he concludes.


Check the price of the Nikon Z fc at B&H here and at Amazon here.

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