Nikon has once again decided to show photographers and camera enthusiasts just how it’s done. That is, with a new retro, classic-styled camera: the Nikon Zfc. At a glance from the front, you might not even realize that it’s a digital camera at all, especially with the classic styled Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens that can go with it.

I have to say, as soon as I received the Nikon Zfc press release, I felt nostalgic and thought about my grandfather’s Nikon FG, which actually sits on a shelf right next to me as I write this. (And yes, I still put rolls of film through this camera, which is probably older than I am, and still works perfectly!) Also, if you’ve never bought the legendary Nikon FM2 on eBay before, are you really a camera enthusiast? I wonder…

nikon retro style

In this digital age, however, I must admit: it’s what’s under the hood that really counts. Nikon knows how to make beautiful, functional, durable cameras, that’s for sure, and I will always love their ergonomics and the overall user experience more than any other camera brand. But, what about the sensor? What about the autofocus? What about the video specs, and all the other bells and whistles that “kids these days” want to see? I’ll give you a brief overview, plus some of my thoughts before we get to the official press release from Nikon.

The Nikon Zfc is a DX (APSC crop) camera for the Nikon mirrorless Z mount, and contains a 20-megapixel sensor that is akin to the Nikon Z50. That’s a good thing, right off the bat, because Nikon’s 20 MP chip is indeed one of the best on the market. In my own testing, it’s actually better than the full-frame sensors from ”back in the day” when full-frame sensors still had 20 megapixels or less!

[Related: Read Our Nikon Z50 Review]

The other thing you’ll immediately notice is the fully articulated LCD screen, which is a first for any Nikon mirrorless camera! The Zfc is definitely well-suited for vloggers, because it also adds full-time Face/Eye AF when recording video as well as still photos, for both humans and animals!

nikon z fc mirrorless camera retro style 04This is a sub-$900 camera, though, so it has a single SD card slot, lacks IBIS, and video resolution is the standard 4K/30p. I mention the cost because the rest of the Z fc’s spec sheet is, in fact, competitive for the price.

In other words, we have a camera that gives us more of what Nikon does best: An attractive price, plus overall build quality and a  user experience that is unmatched. However, there’s definitely still room “above” this DX camera for an even more full-featured, high-end model! (And, honestly, if Nikon can make the full-frame Z5 for just $1300-1400, I have high hopes for a “flagship” Nikon DX camera, too!)

nikon z fc mirrorless camera retro style 06The Nikon Zfc is not the only thing being announced today, though. We are also seeing the official announcement of Nikon’s 28mm f/2.8 prime, and the exciting part is that it’s so affordable (and so tiny!) that you’d think it was a DX prime. Surprisingly, the lens is indeed made for full-frame!

That’s right, the full-frame 28mm f/2.8 will be priced at just $299. This is a big deal for any photographer who is just starting to get interested in mirrorless cameras, because it makes any potential switch to full-frame a lot less prohibitive. A truly unique solution that other manufacturers aren’t really competing with, since most affordable+portable full-frame prime lenses cost at least twice as much, and many high-quality APS-C prime lenses cost more than this Nikon FX Z-mount lens, too!

As we mentioned before in the Nikkor Z 105mm Micro announcement, Nikon also has a 40mm f/2 coming sometime this year, and it looks similarly “tiny”. Although we do not have a word yet on the price, its focal length dictates that it ought to be roughly the same price, or even less.

nikon z fc retro style mirrorless camera10

You can get the Nikon Z fc starting in late July; just the body will cost $959. You’ll also be able to get a kit with a special silver version of their 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 DX VR lens, for $1099, or a kit with a special “retro” (manual Nikkor AI-S etc) 28mm f/2.8, for $1199.

Lastly, Nikon tells us they are working on one more DX (APS-C) lens, the Nikkor Z 18-140mm DX VR, and it looks like it will be downright tiny compared to its DSLR predecessor!

That’s everything! I hope Nikon is also working on a few other DX VR lenses, to round out the Z-mount DX lineup, but all in all, this is a unique but exciting progression for photographers and for the mirrorless realm. If you like stylish, retro cameras that don’t compromise on functionality just to look sexy, this camera is probably worth checking out.

Dear Nikon,

I’d love to see something more exotic like a Z 9-18mm f/2.8 DX! Of course, I’ll settle for a Z 10-20mm f/3.4-4.5 DX VR since I know such a lens would probably be more popular with the masses. Also, please make an f/1.4 prime or two in DX form; maybe a Nikkor Z 16mm f/1.4 DX, or a Nikkor Z 55mm f/1.4 DX. Please, and thank you!

nikon z fc mirrorless camera retro style 02Nikon Z fc Official Press Release

ICONIC STYLE, CUTTING-EDGE PERFORMANCE: THE NIKON Z fc FUSES TIMELESS DESIGN WITH MODERN MIRRORLESS TECH
Nikon’s Newest Mirrorless Camera Complemented with an Assortment of New Compact NIKKOR Z Lenses

MELVILLE, NY (June 29, 2021) – Today, Nikon announced the Z fc, a DX-format camera that combines the latest mirrorless technology with classic design and functionality. It’s the compact and lightweight everyday companion that evokes both the urge to create and to take the time to embrace the moment. Featuring a heritage-inspired design, satisfying analog controls, and craftsmanship that’s both unique and functional, the Z fc is built to be a thoroughly modern camera that’s simply a joy to use for everything from stunning street snaps, self-portraits, vlogging, or 4K UHD video content. Nikon has also announced two stylized lenses to complement the compact nature and aesthetic of the camera, plus additional NIKKOR Z lenses coming this year with a focus on small size and big performance.

“The Z fc is the kind of camera many have been waiting for, and that only Nikon could create. It’s exceptionally slim, yet offers superb image quality and features, with iconic styling and precise tactile controls. It’s a joy to carry and use for casual street photography, streaming, or just living in the here and now,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “It’s no coincidence that we are also announcing a variety of compact lenses alongside the camera to perfectly complement the iconic aesthetic.”

Fusion of Classic Design + Z Series Technology

The Z fc embraces both Nikon’s heritage and our future with the powerful Z mount to create something truly beautiful; it’s a distinctly designed camera that has the performance to keep pace but also serves as a reminder to appreciate the moment.

nikon z fc mirrorless camera retro style 07

An Iconic Design: Inspired by the popular Nikon FM2 film SLR, the camera affords shooting with analog tactile dials with satisfying clicks for precise control. The compact and lightweight camera gives enthusiasts and casual photographers alike the option to explore their creativity and go fully automatic or manual with mechanical dials for shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation.

Meticulously Crafted: The exterior of the camera is wrapped in a leather-tone material that offers an impeccably premium feel with a thoughtful blend of black and satin silver elements. It’s a familiar design that focuses on the harmony of style and functionality, with intricate details like carved aluminum dials, engraved lettering, and a circular eyepiece surrounding the bright electronic viewfinder.
Explore New Angles: The Vari-Angle touchscreen LCD flips out to face the user and automatically adjusts for self-portraits, working on a tripod or holding at waist level for creative angles.

High Resolution: 20.9-MP CMOS sensor is paired with the EXPEED 6 engine to provide clean, professional-quality videos and stills, even in low light. From a sunny hike or twilight cityscape, users will appreciate exceptional clarity, magnificent color reproduction, and minimal noise in nearly any situation.

Focus Fast: The 209-point hybrid AF system has you covered, recognizing approximately 87% of the frame horizontally and 85% vertically for precise focusing and tracking throughout more of the frame. Rapid Eye-Detection AF for people and animals enables users to sharply capture the eyes of people and pets, even when they’re moving. Eye-Detection AF is also now available in the wide-area AF (L) mode, making it easy to select the area to prioritize focus.

nikon z fc retro style mirrorless camera16

Advanced Video Features: The Z fc has convenient video features creators want, like 4K UHD video and a variety of frame rates. Focus is rapid yet smooth, with full-time AF that locks onto eyes and faces in the frame. Slow-motion can easily be created with the 1080p/120p setting or the 4x/5x in-camera slow-motion modes. A built-in interval timer also allows for the convenient creation of 4K time-lapse movies.

Keep Streaming: When connected via USB-C, the camera receives power, giving the ability to operate the camera continuously, which is beneficial for streaming, video production, timelapse creation and more. The Nikon Webcam Utility is available as a free download for all users of the Z fc and many other Nikon cameras.

The Z fc is Designed Around Nikon’s Revolutionary Z Mount: The widest lens mount of any comparable camera system means more light, and more light means more sharpness, contrast, accurate focus, low light performance, and image quality.

Low Light Ability is at Your Fingertips: When operating the dedicated ISO dial, discover photos and videos with minimal noise, clear details, and texture. The ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 up to 51,200*1 (expandable up to 204,800), allowing for faster shutter speeds in lower light to reduce blur and reveal striking nighttime visuals.

nikon z fc retro style mirrorless camera13

Creativity Made Easy: The Z fc can operate in fully automatic mode, and users can use the exposure compensation dial in auto mode to quickly adjust brightness for a custom look. Users also have access to 20 picture controls to add creative or dramatic flair and emphasis to images and video.
Always Connected with Nikon SnapBridge*2: Automatically send photos and videos to your phone or tablet for sharing, or use the Nikon SnapBridge app as a remote control. The camera’s firmware can also be updated directly from the app.

Premium Construction: The classic design is built with a lightweight magnesium alloy frame with consideration to dust and drip resistance. The extraordinarily small and flattened profile is convenient to carry and fits easily into bags. The controls are well thought out, with most settings available at a glance, including aperture through the top display panel.

nikon z fc press release announcement
Choose Your Style: In addition to the retro black and silver, the Z fc will be available in six additional color options to vibe with any personal style; white, coral pink, mint green, sand beige, amber brown, and natural gray.

More NIKKOR Z Lenses

As the family of NIKKOR Z lenses rapidly expands, Nikon is releasing a variety of small, high-performance FX and DX-format lenses. These lightweight lenses are easy to carry every day, and pair perfectly with the new Z fc as well as other Z series cameras.

 

nikon z fc mirrorless camera retro style 05

NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR

This is a stylized version of Nikon’s smallest lens, created with a satin silver finish to complement the Z fc. It’s an ultra-thin DX-format lens with a convenient wide-to-standard zoom range from 16mm to 50mm (24-75mm equivalent). It serves as a great walk-around lens for a wide variety of scenes ranging from landscapes, snaps, and portraits to tabletop photos.

nikon nikkor z 28mm f28 full frame mirrorless prime lens

 

NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE)

Nikon’s first ultra-compact and lightweight NIKKOR Z prime checks all the right boxes – it’s fast, fun, and affordable. The NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE) will be first released as a special edition lens for the Z fc. This is the lightest FX lens yet, with a design inspired by classic NIKKOR glass to match the Z fc’s unique finish. The lens offers a standard angle of view (42mm-equivalent when attached to a DX body) that is ideal for shooting portraits and still photography with gorgeous, blurred backgrounds and excellent low-light performance. A standard edition of this lens is planned to be available within the year, along with the 40mm f/2.0 compact prime that is currently in

nikon nikkor z 18 40mm dx vr

 

 

Development of NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR

Nikon is pleased to announce the development of the NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR, a high-power 7.8x zoom lens for APS-C format (Nikon DX-format) mirrorless cameras. The lens is scheduled for release in 2021. This will be a versatile lens for users looking to capture wide-angle to telephoto focal lengths as well as at short distances.

Pricing and Availability

The Nikon Z fc will be available in classically styled black and silver starting late July 2021 (US) in a variety of kit configurations; the body-only will be available for a suggested retail price (SRP)* of $959.95, or paired with the silver NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens for $1,099.95 SRP. The silver NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens will be available separately starting in late July for $299.95 SRP.

The NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 (SE) special edition lens will be available in a kit with the Z fc camera for $1,199.95 SRP starting in late July, and sold separately starting in fall 2021 for $299.95 SRP.

The six additional color options will be available in limited supply as a kit with the silver NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR for $1,199.95 SRP and will be sold exclusively through nikonusa.com.

For more information about the latest Nikon products, including the new NIKKOR lenses and the entire Nikon Z series, please visit nikonusa.com.