I "handled" the Z50 and my impressions are..

Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
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Andreas Berglund
So I went to the camera store and I played around with the Z50 and the kit lens 16-50, and I thought I would let you all know what I felt about it. This is not a review, just my quick initial impressions, YMMV.

To start with I guess many of you know I'm a birder and I use currently a D850, D500 and a Canon 7DMKII, lots of very long tele lenses and for travel I have a Canon M5 mirror less with 4 lenses. My idea was that I could possibly replace the M5 with a Z50 and have another Nikon DX body as a spare and I have a ton of Nikon lenses I could use with an FTZ adapter.

Background: The Canon M5 is actually a real nice camera but it has 2 real flaws: The shutter takes about 1/3rd of a second to actually take the picture when I press the button, drives me crazy, and in aperture mode you have to press down halfway to show the shutter speed, but it only shows for a very short while then you have to press the shutter down again to see it. Drives me crazy too, so I shot mostly in Manual with it. Otherwise its a great little AP-C 24 MP camera kits lens (15-45 takes great sharp images that are quite mallable as RAW files, not like Nikon but pretty good. AF is pretty fast and very accurate, as long as you don't use it for tracking BIF's, useless for that, but it is not what I planned to use it for anyway. So this makes for a very nice static travel camera, but action and low light concerts is not its thing.

So I wanted to check out the Z50 to see if that could be an option to replace it. You all (probably) know the specs so I wont waste time on that.

Handling:
  • This is not as small as a camera as the M5, but it feels like it weighs the same, it is very light. It feels very solid in a plastic sort of way does not have that metallic feel to it. The Z6 and Z7 have more of a solid metallic feel to them and feel more heavy in a more metallic way.
  • Grip and generally the ergonomics are pretty good around the shutter and close buttons, but when I started to look for familiar buttons around the body they are not there. This is not a D7500/D500 level camera you have to use the screen for changing options, and its reasonably programmable.
  • Dials are pretty good, decent clicky feel to them but not pro level feel to it, a bit cramped getting to the front dial with my big XXL hands.
  • Touch screen is very responsive and good. On the right side of the screens there are a few touch only buttons, they are a bit confusing don't seem to be part of the regular touch screen but one gets used to them, you cant reprogram them though. For someone that is used to the higher end cameras it will take a little while to get used to using the touch screen and not have buttons like mode and AF modes etc.
  • EVF is quite good not as much contrast as my M5, quite a bit better but in 11fps there is a slideshow effect when you pan, a bit of blackout, not that bad but its there. not great for BIF's, but not impossible. (not that it is a fair comparison at all, but the Sony A9 with no blackouts is awesome at 20 FPS) No the Z50 is not an action camera but with some limitations can do it if you have to.
  • Generally I miss a lot of real buttons on the left side and front of the camera, clearly a D5600 level of control not a D7500/D500 level of direct button control, I guess you can get used to it, somewhat, but not ideal.
  • AF is very fast (I only tried the kit lens) I found setting up the AF modes and Eye AF quite confusing. No way to quickly change to another AF mode, you have to use the screen for it. It did track well though the little I tried it in the store.
  • The shutter: is fast and responsive, it happens right away pretty much like a Nikon DSLR like the D7200, I liked that and you can see the aperture settings right away, so much better than the M5 here.
  • Kitlens is small and very good, and I liked the locking mechanism just twist to lock or open no lever to push before you do it. Much better then the M5's kit lens. Focus is fast and its quite sharp, a winner for casual use.
  • RAW buffer is about 35 at 14 bit and 11 fps, ok not bad for a camera like this, however write light is on for a long time, when it is writing to the card (UHS-I only)
  • I used it in Auto ISO mostly and I feel that it is a little better than the D500 files in the noise department, not much, but a hair better, I'll take that anytime.
Overall: Its a nice good feeling little camera that is IMHO a D5600 level camera with some more advanced features (11fps, time lapse etc) Not perfect ergonomically but very responsive, Images look good like a slightly better than D500 sensor.

Would I buy one? Hmm still pondering, on sale after Christmas maybe.......I want the FTZ included for sure
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
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23,406
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Moscow, Idaho
Thanks Andréas, this "review" carries weight coming from you. I'm not in the market (happy with my D850/Z6 duo) but it does help me ground other reviews/comments/ etc. about the Z line.
Thanks.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
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I recently switched from Fuji to the Z6. I'm considering a Z50 for my wife and an upcoming trip to Europe next year. I may pick up the body and kit lens and use my AF-P 70-300 on the FTZ for telephoto since I already have that for my Z6. I think I'm going to wait on a sale on the body/kit lens/FTZ.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
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St Paul, MN
Thank you for the honorable mention. Im a little surprised no one else is interested in the Z50
I am intrested in it, but with owning a Z6, I don't much see the point. I do like many things about it, I just don't have the need. If I got DX again, it would be for reach, and with a couple of old screwdriver teles, I would pick up a clean D500 before one of these. It seems to be very popular in Japan right now, and I hope that carries over. I was at a holiday party at a friends last weekend, and they know next to nothing about the craft of photography. Rental Santa arrived so the hostess said "let me get my new camera". I was surprised that she came out with a Z50 in hand. Hopefully that is a preview for the success of the model.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Ottawa, Canada
I bought the Z50 last week, with 16-50 and FTZ. It will replace my D7100 and Sony Nex-6. Looking forward to having a lighter bag for travel - Z50 and d750.

The Z50 is a nice size. A big bonus is that it fits easily in a coat pocket. Another big factor was that I can use my existing lenses.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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8,042
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Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
Real Name
Andreas Berglund
I agree with you both, but I think Nikon needs volume, a D500 replacement would be a more niche camera. The kit lenses shows this as well.

I plain think they are not ready for a Z action camera, they need no blackout for that, and so far only really Sony has that with the A9, and it is quite impressive.

Possibly could have been but this is Nikon we are talking about.
 
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