Nikon Z30 news, leaks and what we want to see

Nikon Z30 mock-up
(Image credit: Nikon)
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The Nikon Z30 is expected to be the camera giant's new affordable mirrorless camera for beginners – and if the latest rumors are correct, it finally launch soon.

According to fresh speculation, Nikon Z30 could land at the end of June or at the start of July, and we now have a clearer idea of what kind of camera it's likely to be. And that's one that'll most likely be the polar opposite of the Nikon Z9 in terms of power and price.

We recently saw Canon start to fill the affordability gap in mirrorless cameras with the Canon EOS R7 and, in particular, the Canon EOS R10 ($979 / £899 / AU$1,499). And it sounds like the Nikon Z30 will be Nikon's answer to the latter, offering modern shooting skills and its Z-mount in a travel-friendly form factor.

The Nikon Z30 has been rumored for over a year, since we saw a new Nikon camera (with all the hallmarks of a fresh take on the Nikon Z50) registered with Taiwan's official regulator in May 2021. Well, it looks like we'll finally get to see that entry-level camera soon – here's everything we know about it.

Nikon Z30 release date and price

According to the usually reliable Nikon Rumors (opens in new tab), an official announcement for the Nikon Z30 "is expected at the end of June, or the beginning of July".

The same post predicted that the Z30's price "is expected to be under €1,000/$1,000". What isn't yet clear is exactly how far below that price point it'll be. That could mean a price that's in a similar ballpark to the recent Canon EOS R10, which costs $979 / £899 / AU$1,499.

The Nikon Z50 camera next to a Sony A6400 camera

The Nikon Z30 is expected to be based on the Nikon Z50 (above left). (Image credit: Nikon)

But if the Nikon Z30 has been designed to sit below the Z50, as its name suggests, then that price tag seems a little high. After all, the Z50 arrived in October 2019 for $850 / £849 / AU$1,399 body only, but has frequently been available for a lot less than that. We've previously seen Walmart list the Z50 for just $600 (body only), while Amazon UK has also discounted it to £659 in the past.

Nikon Z50 price

(Image credit: Walmart)

Still, rather than sitting below the Z50, the Z30 may simply be a new twist on the camera, offering a new form factor or perhaps a vlogging-friendly twist. In which case, we can expect it to arrive for a similar price tag that dips under the $1,000 mark, but doesn't go as low as Nikon's best beginner DSLRs, like the recently discontinued Nikon D3500.

Nikon Z30 rumors and features

The Nikon Z30 has been rumored since 2019, though some of that earlier speculation was likely related to the Nikon Zfc, which landed in July 2021.

Like that camera, the Z30 is expected to have a similar shooting engine to the Nikon Z50. According to a Nikon Rumors post on June 15, the Z30 will have "the same 20.9MP DX-format CMOS sensor and Expeed 6 image processor" as the Z50 and Zfc.

The inclusion of this pretty old sensor on the Z30 could be mixed news for potential buyers. On one hand, it's a tried-and tested sensor that we've been impressed by in the past,  with our Nikon Zfc review remarking that it has a "great handle on noise" and that the "dynamic range impresses".

Nikon Z30

(Image credit: Design Watch)

On the other, this slightly old sensor-processor combo might struggle to serve up the kind of autofocus-tracking we were impressed by during our short time with the Canon EOS R10.

The main difference between the Z30 and its APS-C stablemates, then, is likely to be its design. 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, an overseas registration spotted by Nokishita (opens in new tab) 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.

Best Nikon Z lenses

The Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens is a fine companion for the Nikon Z50. (Image credit: Nikon / Laowa)

The biggest rumored feature, though, is that possible lack of an electronic viewfinder. This has previously been suggested by the usually reliable Nikon Rumors (opens in new tab), who said back in May 2021 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 was before the launch of the Nikon Zfc, though, so may well have been speculation relating to that camera (which did ultimately have an EVF). Still, if the Z30 did indeed remove the EVF, that stripped-down design would likely put off hardcore photographers, but open up the Nikon Z30 up to a wider audience, including vloggers. It'd also help push down the price of the camera, potentially below Nikon Z50 levels.

Nikon Z30 mock-up

(Image credit: Design Watch)

More recently, Nikon Rumors has said that the Nikon Z30 will have "many of the same components used in the current Nikon Z50 and Nikon Zfc cameras", which means we can expect to see a single UHS-1 card slot, a 3-inch vari-angle screen and the EN-EL25 battery which is typically good for around 300 shots.

It's likely that we'll have to wait for official info to fill in those missing blanks about the Z30's design and features. But when the rumors first started circling last year, we put together this wishlist of what we'd like to see in the incoming mirrorless camera.

Nikon Z30: what we'd like to see

1. Improved autofocus

Aside from the flagship Nikon Z9, 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.

Nikon Z7 AF points

(Image credit: Nikon)

Still, 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 R10 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 and the Zfc landed with a vari-angle display.

What we are hoping is that the Nikon Z30 will go one further than the Z50 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.

Nikon z50

The Nikon Z50's screen tilts downwards, which is fine until you want to mount it on a tripod. (Image credit: Future)

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 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.

Nikon AF-P Nikkor 10-20mm

(Image credit: Nikon)

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.

Mark Wilson
Cameras editor

Mark is the Cameras Editor at TechRadar. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile. 

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