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Nikon Z Fc - are you OK Nikon?


Andrew Reid
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Nikon today launched the Z Fc. Formerly the Df retro plastic camera, Nikon has improved the concept with even more plastic and a smaller sensor. You can feel the retro authenticity during each buzz of the power zoom and the flappy plastic concealing a port used for live streaming. It's every film camera shooter's dream Minox Nikon! --- What did Df stand for anyway? What does Fc mean? Fruit cake? Football club? Are you OK Nikon??

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A real head-scratcher by Nikon.

An "entry level" USD$1000 MILC with no retro lenses to support it. Canon and Sony have even cheaper models, so the whole "begginer's camera" marketing fluff by Nikon is rubish.

This is a camera squarely directed at Nikon fanboys who already have a competent kit. A toy that tries to pull a Fuji but ends up pulling Nikon owns rug from under themselves (sigh).

 

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i bought into the nikon v1 ecosystem back in the day. Only to have nikon consign its ass to oblivion 12 months later.  I'm over nikon... with what were they thinking crap and  i'm also over canon and its cripple hammer strategies.

I vaguely remember nikon extolling the slow motion aspect which was what sold me. In hindsight that was kinda toy like. Not as useful as i thought. So i learned a lesson about patience and research again 🙄 I do have a few nikon lenses that i like but i am thinking either of those manufactures would have to release something special, really really special for me to buy again and so far i'm not seeing it.

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Hmmm, OK, not much appeal to the pro photographer or serious filmmaker, but maybe the other 99% of the market actually like and want this kind of thing?

I dunno... It wouldn't be for me but if it sells by the bucket load and makes millions whilst at the same time, some so-called 'pro camera' sells like a dumpster fire, which is the 'better' camera?

I'd take a Fuji every single day. IMO, Fuji are the undisputed king of APSC. Yes, Sony and Canon have a foot in that camp as does Nikon, but it's really only Fuji who are competing with FF cameras on a similar level.

I would have zero issues going back to APSC if it was with Fuji. And they had the glass I would want. But they don't at this time, so it ends there.

FC?

Fight Club?

Nikon Fc picks a fight with a Fuji XT4. 

Fuji XT4 knocks out the Nikon with it's first punch.

Nikon does not get up off the canvas.

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The design of the SLRs from back then is beautiful, so is the tactility. This new Nikon camera seems to only mimic that.

I rather like a classy and somewhat classic design like from the Lumix GF1 than a camera which is mimicing the old. The GF1 is for photography, with 720p/1080i, all auto video. It´s from 2009, so it´s old in digital terms. It is the camera body i enjoyed the most for photography. Straightforward camera, showing what it is and performing like what its design is promising.

Little changes in design often change the overall experience, not always to the better. The spiritual successor, the GX1 almost looked the same but never got me to buy it despite its much better sensor. Instead I pretty much left digital photography as a leisure time acitivity and choose digital video instead with semiprofessional aspirations, starting with a Lumix G6. The Nikon Z won´t get me back into digital photography, my GX85 didnt, but maybe now a GX1 would.

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Yeah GF1 was a nice little camera. Sometimes simple is better. Something about that first model had quite a solid build quality to it and the white version had a very high quality gloss finish, almost felt ceramic like. These materials, finishes, looks all matter to me which is why the Z Fc is only just about nice looking on paper - Then you realise it is a cheap plastic thing with worst specs than an X-T3 from 2 years ago, so why bother?

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I own a Nikon fe2, the more affordable version of an FM and it’s a beast of a film camera and classy looking as well. I also own three of the FE primes which I believe we’re designed to be lightweight for the enthusiast. The 28,50 and 100 are seriously small which makes the whole system compact. I think Nikon needs to do a similar thing here, why not make a killer 28,50,85 video focused, primes for a retro body? I’ll stick with my Fuji Xt3 

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Maybe Nikon thinks that for the type of customer the Z Fc is aimed at, 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 collapsable toy zoom with plastic mount is a big step up from a smartphone. Except it really isn't any more.

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I think the camera is REALLY beautiful - in fact, the most attractive digital camera just after the Oly Pen-F.

I like these "classic looking" models (Oly's OM, most of the Fuji's, Panasonic GXs) because most of the people think that you are using an old camera. More receptive in street shots, security don't bother with it in concerts. I was hoping that the X-E4 would have IBIS (and rear dial / focus mode switch), it would be the perfect camera for me.

But Nikon don't have (and I bet that never will have) a strong APS-C lens lineup. And using FF Z lenses defeats all the purpose of this camera. 

The X-S10 trounces this camera in every regard, except for the looks.

Will sell ok, I guess - with lifestyle and japanese people. But not much for everyone else.

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Fuji X-T3 had the serious tech specs, build quality and enough metal to get away with being designed for hipsters.

The Z Fc doesn't pull it off... Too much plastic. Granted it is better looking than Z50 though.

Olympus PEN-F digital micro 43 camera was a pretty one... but again, had enough functionality and heft to pull it off.

I think Z Fc just looks cute as far as film-camera knock offs go but I just can't get the Minox comparison out of my head

 

44097461774_746f64aff0_b.jpg

You can say that the top plate on that is a classic design as well, and it is.

But...

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I was thinking that the TechArtPro E to Z adapter could give it a lot more lens options but then found this on their product page. 

1796716530_ScreenShot2021-06-30at18_16_17.thumb.png.0f993dd24c7aebf0d2914673171736a6.png

I'm guessing if it doesn't work with the Z50 then it won't work with this new pseudo-Df either.

Sigma making their f1.4 APS-C primes in Z mount might make it more interesting but they don't seem in a hurry to do that so without a lens lineup this doesn't stack up to Fuji's offerings.

And I say that as someone who absolutely loves his Nikon Df.

The price isn't far off what you can picked up a used Z6 for these days either.

But....

The TechArtPro adapter that does work with the Z50 (and presumably this one) is the Leica M to Z adapter so that would make it interesting for someone who wants the compact retro experience with appropriately sized primes to match but with the bonus of the adapter now providing them with AF as well.

With a bunch of cheap adapters this also extends that functionality to other vintage lenses (including old Nikkors too of course) so it could well find a niche there.

Hang on, I might have talked myself into getting one !

 

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As an owner and fan of the Nikon FE2, I would have definitely bought this if it had the F mount, FF sensor and same form factor (image plane at the rear of the camera so that the body has short depth) and no screen. This is once again a half assed approach to retro. And their continued interest in shitty zoom lenses really truly baffles me. 

I think camera companies are really underestimating the market for a retro SLR with digital sensor.

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4 hours ago, RogerRabbit said:

I think camera companies are really underestimating the market for a retro SLR with digital sensor.

I would be in the market for one as well if it's done well.

Nearly got the Df when it came out but decided not to in the end. May try one out one day! Or might nick yours in Valancia@BTM_Pix!

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3 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

 

Nearly got the Df when it came out but decided not to in the end. May try one out one day! Or might nick yours in Valancia@BTM_Pix!

The rear LCD is fucked so be my guest and I'll claim it on the insurance !

Being a purist, not being able to chimp with it doesn't bother me and just adds to the retro experience. If I was a completist, I'd probably send the SD card off to someone and wait a week for them to send it me back before I could look at the images 😉

 

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What’s with all the hate, it’s an alternate-looking Z50, and last I checked the Z50 was pretty well reviewed. Granted, I doubt I’ll sell my S1 for it, but hell, isn’t Nikon days away from bankruptcy? They’re trying out something that the masses might actually buy, I get it. Has phase detection, un-cropped 4K, it’s no worse off than one of the Sony APS-C’s.

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1 hour ago, Brian Williams said:

What’s with all the hate, it’s an alternate-looking Z50, and last I checked the Z50 was pretty well reviewed. Granted, I doubt I’ll sell my S1 for it, but hell, isn’t Nikon days away from bankruptcy? They’re trying out something that the masses might actually buy, I get it. Has phase detection, un-cropped 4K, it’s no worse off than one of the Sony APS-C’s.

My first thought when reading the announcement was, "if Fuji didn't exist this would be right up there with the (terrible) APS-C offerings from Sony and even Canon."

I think if it were cheaper it would sort of make sense, but $1k is way too high when the XT-3 is not much more. Same with the Z6, but compared with the S1 and S5. And the problem with a direct Z50 clone but in fashionable colors is that it doesn't appeal to anyone with price or quality, who wasn't already interested in the Z50. A higher or lower quality/price bracket would have been more exciting.

But you're right, maybe the weekend photographer crowd who doesn't shoot video will buy it up. I hope it works out for Nikon, I'd love to see a serious, higher spec camera from them either in APS-C or FF, and if this is the way to get funds, then good for them. Overall though I am not optimistic about this or Nikon's other releases.

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16 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I'm just glad they didn't completely ditch video, like they did with the Nikon Df!!

But Nikon will need to seriously up their game with bringing out more DX Z Mount lenses, as Fujifilm has a huge lead with many quality APS-C lenses. 

Buzzz buzzz buzzz

Yeah, though Viltrox is making 6 new z lens, 3 apsc 3 full frame which should help a bit.. just the lens styling is fujiish 

https://nikonrumors.com/2021/05/16/viltrox-will-announce-6-new-autofocus-lenses-for-nikon-z-mount-3-x-aps-c-3x-full-frame.aspx/

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