The Nikon Z30, the camera giant's rumored budget, mirrorless camera, might not be too far away if the latest rumors are correct.
We recently saw a new Nikon camera registered with Taiwan's official regulator – and it bears all the hallmarks of a fresh take on the Nikon Z50, which is currently the company's only Z-mount camera with an APS-C (or as Nikon calls it, DX) sensor.
This means we could soon see the arrival of a Nikon Z50 Mark II or, as the rumors suggest, a Nikon Z30, which would sit below its bigger brother. This would make the Z30 an affordable, travel-friendly camera for those who like the look of Nikon's growing Z-mount lenses.
We don't yet know too much about the rumored Nikon Z30, but we have rounded up all of the latest rumors below and sprinkled them with our analysis, so you know whether or not it's a mirrorless camera to keep your eye on in the coming weeks.
Nikon Z30 release date and price
While we don’t know exactly when the rumored Nikon Z30 will be launched – it hasn’t been officially announced yet – the latest speculation suggests we’ll be seeing it sometime this year.
In fact, the launch could be sooner rather than later, given the recent registration of a new Nikon camera with Taiwan's NCC (National Communications Commission), which gives the seal of approval to products containing wireless tech.
ニコンのデジタルカメラ「N2016」が台湾NCCにも登録されました。Wi-Fi(IEEE802.11b/g/n/a/ac)とBluetoothを搭載。マウントはZマウントで、バッテリーはEN-EL25。USBケーブルはUC-E24(カメラ側Type-C)を使用。スピードライトSB-5000やステレオマイクロホンME-1に対応。#認証情報 pic.twitter.com/xVuhhg5cXKApril 29, 2021
On April 29, the ever-reliable camera leaker Nokishita spotted the registration of a new DX Z-mount camera. And while the filing doesn’t explicitly name the mystery camera, it does use the same battery as the Nikon Z50 – which suggests it'll be a take on the same concept.
Once products reach the registration stage, they tend to be launched within a matter of weeks, so the release date may not be too far away.
Right now, there haven't been any leaks around the Nikon Z30's possible price, but we can make some informed guesses based on the type of camera it's shaping up to be.
The Nikon Z50 arrived in October 2019 for $850 / £849 / AU$1,399 body only, but can currently be found for much less than that in today's deals. For example, Walmart is listing the Z50 for just $600 (body only), while Amazon UK has it discounted to £659.
That is pretty incredible value and perhaps supports the theory that the mystery camera that was registered recently is more of a Nikon Z50 Mark II than a new junior companion, with the Z50 potentially being phased out.
Still, if the Nikon Z30 does indeed arrive as a smaller equivalent to the Z50 without an EVF, if could well become of the best cheap cameras around if it ducks under the Z50's current prices. Of course, you'll have to factor in the high cost of lenses if you don't already have Z-mount glass or older F-mount lenses to adapt.
Nikon Z30 rumors and features
For a camera that's been rumored since 2019, there have been surprisingly few Nikon Z30 leaks so far. But we do have some credible rumors plus that recent registration to help piece together an idea of what kind of camera it might be.
Back in August 2019, the Japanese site Design Watch claimed to have discovered a patent for an APS-C DX Z-mount mirrorless camera. Considering this was before the Nikon Z50 even launched, it looks strikingly like a Z50 without an electronic viewfinder – which is precisely the kind of camera the Z30 is rumored to be.
Our rough mockup at the top of this page also shows a Nikon Z50 without its viewfinder, which gives you an idea of how compact it could be with the right lenses.
Talking of which, the overseas registration spotted by Nokishita revealed that the camera will come bundled with the Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR, an impressive pancake lens that was designed for the Nikon Z50.
This again suggests that it's possible that Nikon is preparing to launch a Nikon Z50 Mark II, rather than a NIkon Z30 with a new form factor. But either way, the rumors suggest the camera will come with a 24MP or 26MP sensor, a single card slot and, surprisingly, a fixed LCD screen.
The recent registration in Taiwan also reveals that the Nikon Z30 will likely come with the same battery as the Nikon Z50, suggesting it will indeed be the second Z-mount camera to have a DX sensor.
From the same filing, we know that the Nikon Z30 will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and will be compatible with accessories like the Nikon ME-1 microphone – so we expect the camera will, like the Nikon Z50, have a 3.5mm mic input.
The biggest rumored feature, though, is that possible lack of an electronic viewfinder. This has been backed up by the usually reliable Nikon Rumors, who recent said that on May 3 that "I believe the new Z model will most likely come without an EVF and it should be announced in the next 2-3 months".
This stripped down design would likely put off hardcore photographers, who tend to spend most of their shooting time in the viewfinder, but could open the Nikon Z30 up to a wider audience, particularly those looking to move up from their smartphone. It'd also significantly push down the price of the camera, and could make it the most affordable entry into the Z-mount system yet.
We'll have to wait for official information before we know for sure, but in the meantime here's what we'd like to see from the rumored Nikon Z30.
Nikon Z30: what we'd like to see
1. Improved autofocus
Nikon cameras haven't traditionally had class-leading autofocus systems, tending to struggle a little more than their Sony and Canon rivals with subject-tracking, and the Nikon Z50 is no exception here.
However, the Nikon Z50 has made improvements since its launch thanks to firmware updates, which delivered Animal Detection AF in July 2020, and we hope the Nikon Z30 continues down this path.
This will be particularly important if the Z30 wants to pitch itself as a vlogging camera, as rock-solid video autofocus is a must with alternatives like the Canon EOS M6 Mark II around.
2. A fully articulating screen
Early Nikon Z30 rumors predicted that it might come with a fixed screen, but we reckon that's unlikely given the Nikon Z50 came with a tilt-screen.
What we are hoping is that the Nikon Z30 will go one further and come with either a side-flipping screen, or one that tilts above the camera. The fact that the Z50's screen tilts downwards means you can't use it with a tripod while vlogging to camera, which is slightly frustrating.
If the Nikon Z30 does indeed come without an electronic viewfinder, it seems likely that it'd be pitching itself towards vloggers – and that means a display that convenient face forwards. The lack of an EVF would leave room for a flip-up display, though that might be blocked by external microphones – so we hope it goes for the side-flipping design.
3. An ultra-wide lens
The Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR is a great kit lens and is the one that's expected to be bundled with the Nikon Z30 (or Nikon Z50 Mark II) when it launches. But one thing that's missing from the Z-mount lineup is a native ultra-wide lens that'd be an ideal companion for video and stills on a small DX camera.
Given that a Z-mount equivalent of something like the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR isn't in its roadmap, it seems unlikely that Nikon is planning one anytime soon. But native lenses that are ideal companions for cameras like the Nikon Z50 and Z30, rather than full-frame ones like the Nikon Z6 II, are a little thin on the ground, so we hope this changes with the launch of a new DX Z-mount camera.
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