Just over a year after the first Z series bodies were launched, Nikon has launched another one – but this time packing a smaller, APS-C sized sensor.
- Read our hands-on Nikon Z50 review
- Discover our best mirrorless cameras of 2019
- Read our Nikon Z6 review
Prior to launch, speculation had been rife that Nikon would try to appeal to a different audience with its next Z series camera, and with a smaller sensor and more affordable price point, the strategy seems to suggest that mirrorless is very much the future for this company.
Nikon places the Z50 alongside its mid-level DSLRs the D7500 and D500, giving an indication of who it expects to buy the camera. Aimed slightly above the beginner market, the Z50 is perhaps also something that might appeal as a secondary or travel body for existing Z series users, or possibly even Nikon DSLR owners.
Unsurprisingly, the Z50 inherits a lot of the functionality and features of the Z6 and Z7, and has been styled to look very similar. At the heart of the camera is a 20.9 megapixel APS-C (which Nikon calls DX) format sensor, as well as a fast, wide Hybrid-AF autofocus system, which also includes Eye AF.
For composing your images there’s a 2360k-dot electronic viewfinder, or you can use the tilting 1040k-dot LCD monitor – unlike the panels on the Z6 and Z7, the Z50’s screen can tilt to face all the way forwards, with a dedicated selfie mode.
A single UHS-I SD card slot marks another lower-cost point of departure, compared to the Z6/Z7’s XQD card slot, but that’s likely to be good news for those already holding on to a stack of SD memory cards.
Uncropped 4K video recording is available up to 30fps, as well as Full HD, slow-motion and time-lapse options.
Although the Z50 uses exactly the same mount as the older Z series snappers, two new lenses have been launched especially for it.
There’s a 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 pancake zoom lens, which will come with the Z50 as the standard kit lens. This collapsible optic is designed to be a good walkaround lens for most ordinary situations. There’s also a 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 zoom lens if you need to reach subjects further away from you. Nikon says you’ll be able to buy both lenses together with the camera as a “travel package”, if that kind of thing floats your boat.
As with the Z6/Z7, you can also use the FTZ mount adapter to use any existing F-mount DSLR lenses you might already own, while there are seven further already existing Z-mount lenses which can also be used. A roadmap shows that Nikon will be adding more lenses to the line-up throughout 2020 and 2021.
Nikon Z50 Price & Availability
Sales of the camera will start on November 7, just in time for that lucrative Christmas market. The Nikon Z50 price will be $850 / £849 body only (around AU$1,543), or $999 / £989 (about AU$1,798) to include the 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens. A range of other kit bundles are also available too.
Australian pricing is still to be confirmed but we will update this story as soon as we're able to find out.
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Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.