Technology Nikon announces small and lightweight Z50 mirrorless camera with APS-C sensor
Samsung's 108-megapixel mobile sensor closes in on mirrorless cameras
With the smartphone megapixel camera wars raging on, Samsung has fired a significant shot. It unveiled a 108-megapixel smartphone camera sensor that's likely to appear in an incoming Xiaomi Redmi smartphone. The ISOCELL Bright HMX, developed by Samsung in collaboration with Xiaomi, is one of the largest smartphone sensors ever at 1/1.33-inches in size, about three quarter the size of the 1-inch sensor on Sony's RX100 VII. Even at that size, a 108-megapixel sensor will have ridiculously small pixels. By default, though, Samsung's Tetracell tech will gather the light from four pixels, transforming it into a 27-megapixel sensor.
Nikon is today introducing an entry-level, crop-sensor camera that uses the same Z-mount system as the company’s. The new Z50 costs $859 body only, and Nikon is also introducing two new DX-format lenses alongside it. You can bundle the camera with a 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens for $999.95, and there’s also a two-lens kit that adds a 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR lens for a total of $1349.95. Even then, you’re still coming in below the $1,800 Z6, but obviously these cameras are targeted at very different audiences. This one is made for the Instagram generation and for people who want a “real” camera for video. Nikon says the Z50 will ship in November.
Nikon updates its SnapBridge app for faster image transfers
Nikon has unveiled an updated version of its SnapBridge app with new features aimed at generally making it easier for photographers to share their work online. SnapBridge version 2.6 gives users more options for camera control and faster image transfers. The update allows for the download of RAW images through WiFi. Those with DSLR cameras can also use their smartphones to adjust their camera's focus, aperture, shutter speed, white balance and more. Pairing a camera with an iPad or a smartphone can be a slow and cumbersome process, especially with Bluetooth or WiFi.
The Z50 has a 20.9-megapixel CMOS sensor, weighs under a pound, and has a flip-down rear display for selfie photos and vlogging. (There’s even a Selfie Mode that disables most controls when the screen is down so you don’t accidentally mess up the camera’s settings.) But if you put the Z50 onto a gimbal, the screen will be blocked if it’s flipped. That’s not great for vlogging, so Nikon is developing its own handle for the Z50. The Z50 has a mic input and headphone jack among its various ports.
You can immediately feel and appreciate the Z50’s smaller size and weight when compared to Nikon’s pro-level mirrorless cameras. Thankfully it retains an electronic viewfinder (2.36-million dots) and 3.2-inch rear LCD, and the grip was comfortable for my large hands. Nikon says the benefits of the Z mount (such as the shorter flange distance) carry over to a crop sensor for an upgrade in image quality.
Nikon's beastly D6 will be its 'most advanced DSLR to date'
Nikon has announced that it's working on its next professional flagship camera, the D6, promising its "most advanced DSLR to date." The company didn't reveal any specs (other than a photo), but it's bound to be a big leap ahead of the nearly four-year-old D5. Since then, sensor and processor technology have advanced drastically, so we can expect to see things like eye tracking on top of insane autofocus and shooting speeds. Mirrorless cameras still can't top DSLR's when it comes to shooting speeds and focus accuracy, so for mission-critical sports and news photography, the D6 is bound to be a hit.
The camera is capable of 11fps continuous shooting (with auto focus/exposure) and has a 209-point phase detect autofocus system, which covers 87 percent of the frame horizontally and 85 percent vertically, according to Nikon. When in low-light mode, the Z50 can focus at -4 EV, which is better than some of the company’s DSLRs like the D7500. The standard ISO range is 100 up to 51,200. There’s a pop-up flash built into the camera, as well. Nikon’s eye-detection autofocus is included, and you can toggle between different eyes if there are multiple people in frame.
You get 4K video recording at up to 30fps (with full sensor readout), and there’s also a 120fps slow-mo mode in 1080p. Videos can be shared wirelessly from the camera to your phone, which is a first for Nikon cameras. A time-lapse mode is also available in-camera, and Nikon includes multiple picture control modes that you can customize to your liking to reduce the need for post-processing before uploading your shots to Instagram.
Hands-on with the Z 50, Nikon's first mirrorless APS-C camera
Nikon has unveiled its first-ever APS-C DX mirrorless camera, the 20.8-megapixel Z 50. That makes two different camera systems launched a year apart, which is quite a pace for a conservative company like Nikon. The Z 50 is less than half the price of the Z 6, so it should appeal to a broader market, especially folks who already own Nikon DSLR lenses. Nikon now has both full-frame and crop sensor mirrorless systems, just like its rivals Canon and Sony. Just over a year ago, it essentially had zero, not counting the moribund Nikon 1.
Aside from a smaller sensor, the other thing the Z50 loses out on compared to the Z6 and Z7 is Nikon’s excellent in-body image stabilization. The new lenses offer vibration reduction (image stabilization), but the IBIS in Nikon’s pricier mirrorless cams allowed for some brilliant, tack-sharp shots when I was reviewing them. Aside from the engineering challenge of squeezing that stabilization into the Z50’s smaller body, it also would’ve raised the camera’s price.
The Z50 has a magnesium alloy construction and some level of weather resistance — but Nikon says it’s not quite up to the same level as the Z6 and Z7. There’s a single UHS-I SD card slot, and the camera uses a Micro-B connector rather than USB-C. It also has an all-new battery, the EN-EL25.
Though it shares many of the design traits of the Z6 and Z7, Nikon is very much positioning the Z50 as an answer to the latest crop-sensor mirrorless cameras from Sony and Fujifilm. The 16-50mm kit lens looks terrifically compact and lightweight, and I imagine that’ll be the take-everywhere pick between the two Z-mount DX lenses that Nikon has ready for this camera. Unfortunately, early buyers will be left without any inexpensive primes. (Yes, the FTZ mount adapter can also be used if you want to attach FX lenses to the Z50, but Nikon isn’t bundling it with a discount this time around.)
Olympus' OM-D E-M5 Mark III camera is small and shoots fast
While other companies are touting full-frame and compact APS-C cameras, Olympus is still squarely in the Micro Four Thirds camp. With launch of its latest mirrorless camera, the company is playing to the strength of that smaller format: speed. The 20-megapixel OM-D E-M5 Mark III can shoot at up to 6 fps with continuous autofocus and the mechanical shutter, 10 fps with the electronic shutter enabled, and 30 fps with no autofocus -- nearly double the speeds of the last model. The OM-D E-M5 III is the first in the E-M5 series to have an on-sensor, phase-detect autofocus system as well.
It’s easy to nitpick the Z50 for what it might lack — and it would’ve been nice if Nikon had shipped a camera like this much sooner. But I’m still looking forward to seeing what difference the Z mount makes here.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Nikon also announced that it will soon release its 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens for the Z mount. The company talks up this manual-focus glass as being among the greatest lenses it has ever manufactured — and certainly the fastest. As you might guess, the price tag reflects as much. The Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens will be available from select retailers beginning October 31st for $7,999.95.
Killer camera deal: Nikon D3500 DSLR plus 2 lenses is just $447 at Amazon .
Jada Pinkett-Smith opens up about addiction, codependency and family trauma on a new episode of her web series "Red Table Talk," featuring Demi Moore and Moore's daughters Rumer and Tallulah Willis. (Nov. 6)
Nikon Z50 - Nikon First APS-C Mirrorless Camera Coming Soon
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How will the rumoured Nikon Z50 APS-C sensor mirrorless camera size up?
With the increase in rumours surfacing about Nikon's potential D7500 equivalent based on the D500 sensor, let's take a look at how the Nikon Z50 might size up.