Nikon Z50 Review

The Nikon Z50 is a mirrorless camera designed for photography enthusiasts who want a lightweight and compact camera that delivers high-quality images and videos. Released

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The Nikon Z50 is a mirrorless camera designed for photography enthusiasts who want a lightweight and compact camera that delivers high-quality images and videos. Released in late 2019, the Z50 is part of Nikon’s Z-series of cameras and is positioned as an entry-level camera however, within its modern features, advanced autofocus system, and compact design, the Z50 is an excellent option for photographers upgrading from a point-and-shoot camera or a smartphone.

With the release of the Nikon Z6, an all-around camera that now holds the number one spot on our list of the best cameras, Nikon made a spectacular entrance into the world of mirrorless full-frame cameras. And now it’s aiming to pull the same trick with APS-C cameras with the Nikon Z50, a smaller and more user-friendly DSLR camera for amateur photographers.

Last updated on January 18, 2024 7:58 pm

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What exactly are these “APS-C” cameras? This sensor format was the industry standard in the early days of digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs), and it is used in cameras that are less expensive than full-frame versions. These sensors are smaller than full-frame and are referred to as DX format by Nikon. As a result, they are available in more compact bodies, affordable, and perfect for traveling.

It’s not that the Nikon Z50 is a small camera for the APS-C format. On the contrary, handlings stressed Handling in the form of a substantial grip at the sacrifice of a very tiny body, which is the hallmark of cameras like the Fujifilm X-T30. This may be because Nikon may have been considering individuals migrating away from its DSLRs.

The Z50 uses the same Z-mount first introduced in the Z7 and Z6. This is one of the most critical aspects of the Z50. Because of this, you can utilizes all of the lenses that have previously been announced for the Z series, in addition to current F-mount (DSLR) lenses, by using an extra adapter. On the other hand, two lenses have already been developed specifically for the DX format, and many more are anticipated to join them in the coming years.

These lenses are a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ‘pancake’ lens, the standard lens included in the kit, and a 50-250mm telephoto lens, which can be purchased separately or as part of an excellent-value twin lens kit with the Z50. The standard lens included in the kit is the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake lens.

Nikon Z50 Body & Design

  • For using a small Nikon Z6/Z7
  • A good distribution of buttons and dials
  • Unable to locate a joystick

When you put the Z50 in the same room as its full-frame brothers and sisters, the Z6 and Z7, you can tell they come from the same family. The layout, position of the viewfinder, and button arrangement are all the same; the only difference is that the camera’s body is more petite.

It is not exactly pocket-friendly, but it slips much more neatly into smaller bags than a full-frame counterpart when combined with the camera and the new Nikkor 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ‘pancake’ lens. The combination of these two makes for an overall compact package.

However, to preserve space, specific controls have been eliminated. The camera does not have a top-plate LCD, nor does the rear of the device have a joystick. We didn’t miss the former much, but having a joystick to adjust where the AF point was would have been quite helpful.

This can considerably slow picking the optimal AF point, as you have to work with the much slower directional buttons; nonetheless, this is not the end of the world. Unlike other competing cameras, you cannot continue to utilize the touchscreen while working with the viewfinder.

On a more upbeat note, the buttons are not overly crammed together while being packed in a more compact form factor. Additionally, the grip is very defined, making it easy to use for extended periods without becoming uncomfortable. Finally, some of the capabilities lost due to the absence of buttons have been “virtually” recreated on the touchscreen in the form of other alternatives, such as the magnify option and the display button.

On the very top of the camera is a mode dial with a switch that lets you go from taking still images to shooting video instantly. But, of course, you can also switch back to taking still photos at any time. A button designated for recording video is also included on the top of the camera, along with an ISO button and an exposure compensation button.

Nikon Z50 Performance

The exact autofocus mechanism is the Z6, with 209 points covering 90% of the frame and a battery life of 300 shots. Nikon Z50 with eye tracking autofocus

The autofocus mechanism of the Nikon Z50 is identical to the one found in the Z6. It features an outstanding array of 209 points covering 90% of the frame.

When left in the Auto-area AF mode, the camera can rapidly and easily lock onto targets in most scenarios. However, it infrequently does so when it chooses the incorrect subject to latch onto.

When you switch to Single-point AF, you’ll have the ability to choose your AF point. When the lighting is incredibly dim, is there some searching before the system locks on to the target? However, it is common for a false confirmation of focus to be presented.

You may change your autofocus mode to AF-C and allow a continuous frame rate to photograph moving subjects. But, as we’ve seen with the Z6 and Z7, while the camera is a good performer when the issue is pretty predictable, being able to follow something which isn’t moving too erratically, it’s not on the same level as what Sony has achieved with cameras like the A9 and even the Sony A6500 from its APS-C range. But, again, this is something we’ve seen with both models.

This camera is probably not the best choice if you are passionate about taking pictures of sporting events and other types of activity. However, it does a respectable job when confronted with the rare moving topic, such as youngsters and dogs.

It is a bit of a letdown that the Z50 is only compatible with the slower UHS-I SD cards in terms of storage capacity. Even though shooting up to 11 frames per second is possible, using these cards means the buffer typically fills up rapidly. But, on the other hand, if you’re going to be shooting for a few seconds here and there, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Eye AF performs an excellent job of recognizing a subject’s eye in a scene and tracking it even while the face moves in different directions, which is a challenge for specific autofocus systems. But, again, this is not a camera that will be used widely by professional portrait photographers. Still, for people who take photographs of their families, this function can be helpful.

The new EN-EL25 battery with the Z50 is supposed to have a life span of up to 300 shots. Although this isn’t the most generous rating available, the 300 shots is a conservative estimate, and in practice, you should find that it lasts at the very least for an entire day of shooting at an average pace. However, purchasing an additional battery can be worthwhile if you record a significant amount of 4K video.

Nikon Z50 Image Quality

  • A good amount of detail despite the crop sensor
  • Vibrant colors
  • There is some blurring and loss of information at higher ISOs.

Even though it has a less extensive sensor and a lower resolution than the Z6 and the Z7, the Nikon Z50 can produce photographs with a fantastic overall sense of detail. You might notice that the point isn’t as delicate as it is on the 45.7-megapixel Nikon Z7 when pixel-peeping at 100%, but for the price and level, you wouldn’t expect that to be the case. Additionally, not many enthusiasts and hobbyists will likely examine their images that closely.

The all-purpose metering setting does an excellent job of judging exposures to produce balanced results in various shooting conditions, which contributes to the sensor’s ability to deliver perfect colors with a realistic appearance while also having a good amount of vibrancy and saturation.

In a similar vein, the automated white balance option performs admirably in a variety of lighting environments. Still, when exposed to artificial light sources, it produces images with somewhat more yellowish tones.

Nikon Z50 Specs

Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution5568 x 3712
Image ratio w h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels21 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors22 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-51200 (expands to 204,800)
Boosted ISO (maximum)204800
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (NEF, 12/14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive view.
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points209
Lens mountNikon Z
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen/viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.02× (0.68× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Scene modes“Autumn ColorsBeach / SnowBlossomCandlelightChildClose-upDusk/DawnFoodLandscapeNight LandscapeNight PortraitParty/IndoorPet PortraitPortraitSportsSunsetSpecial Effect Modes
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range7.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingleLow-speed continuous high-speed continuously-timer
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported)
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL25 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)320
Weight (inc. batteries)450 g (0.99 lb / 15.87 oz)
Dimensions127 x 94 x 60 mm (5 x 3.7 x 2.36″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Nikon Z50 Verdict

Last updated on January 18, 2024 7:58 pm

There is a great deal to like about the Nikon Z5 like there is a great deal to want about its older brothers, the Z6 and Z7. Although it is not a flawless camera, its arrival on the market, which is, to be fair, already somewhat saturated, is very much appreciated.

If you are already a lover of the Nikon brand – perhaps you already own one of its DSLRs – and have been thinking about switching to mirrorless, it is a highly enticing prospect to consider. The Z50 is an excellent choice for individuals searching for their first “real” camera because it provides many advantages of the Z6 and Z7 models without the prohibitively high price tag.

The construction and handling aspects appear particularly appealing on the Z50, a scaled-down version of some of the best full-frame models. Although it is comfortable to use and has a good spread of buttons, it does not have a joystick, makings selecting the AF point through the viewfinder slow. On the other hand, the deep grip and good reach of buttons make it ideal for most situations.

The viewfinder is still very usable and comfortable, despite being smaller and having a lower resolution than those found on the Z6 and Ze. If you’ve never used a full-frame Z Series model, you’re not likely to feel as though you’re missing out on anything important because of this.

It is also on par with cameras from competing brands directly competing with the Z50, such as the Fujifilm X-T30, which utilizes a device with a similar resolution and dimensions (0.39 inches and 2360 thousand dots).

The screen’s ability to tilt is a convenient feature, but because it lists from the bottom of the camera, you can’t use it with a tripod even though it has this feature. It works well for taking selfies, but those who want to use the camera for vlogging will find it less valuable.

Nikon Z50 Review FAQs

Is Nikon Z50 suitable for photography?

Yes, the Nikon Z50 is an excellent camera for photography, particularly for enthusiasts who want a mirrorless camera of high quality with sophisticated features that comes in a compact and reasonably priced container.

Is Nikon Z50 an entry-level camera?

Yes, the Nikon Z50 is what is known as an entry-level camera. It was intended to be user-friendly and approachable for photographers new to mirrorless cameras or looking for an upgrade from a compact camera or smartphone camera.

Is the Nikon Z50 best for you?

The Nikon Z50 is an excellent choice for photography, such as panoramic, portrait, and street photography.

Is Nikon Z50 rainproof?

The Nikon Z50 is weather-sealed and can withstand some dampness and grime. However, it is not waterproof.

Who is Nikon Z50 aimed at?

The Nikon Z50 is a mirrorless digital camera that is designed to appeal to photographers who are looking for a device that is both portable and reasonably priced despite its sophisticated feature set.

Is Nikon Z50 suitable for wildlife photography?

Even though the Nikon Z50 can be used for photographing wildlife, it is possibly not the best option because its autofocus system is not as advanced as the autofocus systems found in some other cameras designed particularly for wildlife photography.

Is Nikon Z50 full-frame?

Even though the Nikon Z50 can be used for photographing wildlife, it is possibly not the best option because its autofocus system is not as advanced as the autofocus systems found in some other cameras designed particularly for wildlife photography.

How old is Nikon Z50?

The Nikon Z50 is not an APS-C camera like its predecessors but utilizes an APS-C sensor.

Does the Nikon Z50 have a shutter?

Since it was only launched in November 2019, the Nikon Z50 can be considered a more recent camera.

Can I use Nikon Z50 as a webcThe Nikon Z50 comes with a mechanical shutter. Am?

Yes, the Nikon Z50 can be modified with the right software and peripherals to function as a webcam, allowing it to be used for video conferencing and live broadcasts.

Does Nikon Z50 have a viewfinder?

The Nikon Z50 does come equipped with an artificial viewfinder that boasts a high resolution and a fast response rate.

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