How does the Nikon Z 30 compare to the Z Fc and Z 50?

How does the Nikon Z 30 compare to the Z Fc and Z 50?

When first looking at the Nikon Z 30, Z 50 and Z Fc cameras side by side, you can easily tell the difference between them. The differentiating designs are intentional as each camera appeals to a different target audience. For example, the first model in the series - the Nikon Z 50, has a simple and sophisticated design. Its mini-DSLR design comes with a reasonably good grip, an EVF and a hidden in-built flash, whereas the other two models are void of a flash.


Next in line is the Nikon Z fc, known for its classic retro build. Like its predecessor, the Z fc is equipped with a viewfinder. The only drawback of its design is that it lacks a deeper grip, making it difficult to hold for longer periods. This isn't an issue for many photographers as the grip is restored when a mounting bracket is added. Lastly, there's the Z 30, an effortless, chic, and minimalist camera comprising a well-designed design. In appearance, stripping back the basics of this camera, you'll find it more like the Nikon Z fc as it shares the removal of the EVF. In terms of physical size, the creator's camera is far smaller than the Nikon Z50 and Nikon fc.



What To Expect From The Sensor and Processor

 All three cameras feature the 21MP APS-C CMOS, 23.5 x 15.7mm sensor. Likewise, they have a similar processor (EXPEED 6), ensuring that the quality of images and videos from all three cameras is identical. The EXPEED 6 image processor, when paired with the image sensor, delivers sharp images with minimal noise. The combination helps your camera achieve maximum standard sensitivity, ensuring you have bright, clear, and vivid imagery.




ISO Range Is Excellent On All Three Models 

In terms of ISO range, all three cameras feature a native sensitivity range spanning from ISO 100 to 51200. In addition, the native range can be extended to ISO 204,800 for low-light images. Thanks to the flexible sensitivity range, photographers gain exceptional image quality when shooting in a RAW mode without requiring noise reduction software.


4K Video Capabilities All Round 

While the Nikon Z30 is being promoted as the ideal vlogging camera in the market, it is interesting to note that the other two models (Z fc and Z 50) come with similar video capabilities. There are no technical differences in the video-specific features offered by these three cameras, and they all deliver 4K video up to 30p and 1080 video up to 120p. In addition, the cameras can also capture 5x slow-motion videos in 1080p.



Designed To Be Easy: Made For Vlogging and Slow Motion

In terms of technical aspects, all three cameras have the same features, but in terms of design, there is a major variation. The Z 30 and Z fc models are equipped with a flip-out screen which is missing in the Nikon 50. Instead, the Z 50 is equipped with a simple tilting screen mechanism. Vari-angle screens are more flexible, making them convenient for videography and vlogging.



Also, the all-new Nikon Z 30 comes with separate video and photo settings for easy access during shoots. The idea was to make the Nikon Z 30 a better, more convenient experience for vloggers than its predecessors. For example, when you tilt the monitor of the Z 30 face forwards, the camera instantly switches to Self-Portrait Mode.


Recording Time and Sound Quality 

The Nikon Z 30 offers a longer recording time than the Nikon Z fc and Nikon Z 50. The Z 30 can go on for up to 125 minutes, whereas the Z fc and Z 50 offer a recording time of 29 and 30 minutes, respectively. Vloggers always prefer cameras with longer recording times. The Z 30, however, can record only up to 35 minutes at 4K/30p.


In terms of sound quality, the Nikon Z 30 offers better, crystal clear audio as it has a built-in stereo mic and the option to attach an external mic. We recommend adding a third-party microphone cover when using the mic to help with wind noise.


Stability: Built-In or On a Lens?

Reducing camera shake is important for both stills and video in low-light situations or vlogging. Nikon's way of handling stabilisation in their Z series cameras is to rely on the lens containing Vibration Reduction. Once the lens is mounted, users can obtain blur-free results, typically around 1/15th of a second; any slower and a tripod becomes necessary. The Nikon Z 30 and Z 50 also go a step further to provide a Digital Image Stabilization mode, but it's only for video, so make sure you use a small hand-held gimbal if you want the best results when filming.


Don't Be Alarmed If The Camera Doesn't Have a Viewfinder.

If someone has to have a viewfinder in their camera, you're in for some disappointment here - the Z 30 does not have a viewfinder at all. Nikon's approach here is deliberate, as its target audience is smartphone users who don't rely on a viewfinder to record photos and videos. Also, most vloggers don't use EVF to compose video and prefer using the rear screen instead. While capturing stills with an LCD screen is common, photographers may find it difficult to compose images without a viewfinder when outdoors in Australia's summer. Turning the attention to the Nikon Z 50 and Z fc, users will find a top-notch electronic viewfinder with the same technical specifications. Featuring a 0.39-in 2360k-dot OLED Electronic ViewFinder, these two cameras offer 100% coverage and a magnification of only 1.02x, making them apt for videography and photography.



Expect Good Autofocus Tracking

With 209 Autofocus (AF) points, the three-camera models offer to pinpoint AF, single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, wide-area AF, and auto-area AF focus modes. While the Z50 has all these AF modes, the Nikon Z fc, along with the Nikon Z30, goes further and introduces a specific people and animal tracking mode AF.




Master White Balance on the Nikon Z30

Capturing true colour becomes critical if you plan on using the camera in a studio environment to photograph products or fabrics. Having a camera capable of custom White Balance controls is essential in maintaining true colour consistent with each photograph.




The white balance of the Nikon Z fc and Nikon Z 50 aren't specified. However, the Nikon Z 30 comes with a white balance ranging from 2500K to 10,000K, meaning you can change the colour temperature of the White Balance to suit the lighting environment so you can achieve the correct colour. Additionally, you have a range of presets such as Auto, Cloudy, Direct Sunlight, Preset Manual, Shade, Colour Temperature, and Fluorescent. These same modes are also found in the other two camera models.


Each Camera Has a Unique Mode Dial

The Z fc, Z50, and Z30 models have unique mode dials and command a different operational approach. Starting with the Nikon Z fc, you'll notice a familiarity with Nikon's prior model, the df, which uses dedicated shutter speeds and ISO dials on top of the camera. For enthusiasts and pro photographers, this is a welcome asset; however, it can become a fiddle for creators wanting to 'set and forget' their settings.



The Nikon Z50 merges the Program Automatic (P), Aperture (A), Shutter Speed (S), and Manual (M) modes all into one dial. This universal "MASP" design is found on most cameras, making it acceptable for enthusiast photographers wanting to explore settings one mode at a time. Also found near the main dial is a flick switch which switches between photo and video modes, making it easy for users to capture what they need on the go.



The Nikon Z 30's mode dial is almost identical to the Z 50 but is far more simplified. Users now have larger icons and three preset modes (compared to two on the Z50). Also, the photo/video flick switch found on the Z fc and Z50 is lacking, and instead, users will find a dedicated video record button on top of the Z30.




Capture Life with Burst Mode

Sports and wildlife photographers will be pleased to know the burst rate of all three cameras is the same, maxing out at 11 frames per second. Creatives can also experiment with this feature on the Z30 to capture their friends in action or react to a life event at a higher 21MP quality compared to their smaller smartphone sensor.


You'll Need a Memory Card

Each camera has a single memory card slot compatible with the SD/SDHC/SDXC card formats. However, the slot supports only the UHS-I standard and is not suitable for UHS-II cards, known for their super-fast reading and writing speeds for video recording.


Same Battery, Different Amount of Shots

All the cameras feature the Nikon EN-EL25 battery, which offers a CIPA-rated battery life of 300 shots for the Nikon Z50 and Nikon Z fc models. For the Nikon Z30, the number of shots is higher (330). In addition, the lithium-ion 1120 mAh battery is rechargeable, allowing you to charge your camera on the go, as and when required.


Size and Weight

The Nikon Z30 is the most compact and lightweight model of the Nikon Z series. Its dimensions are 5.1 x 2.9 x 2.4 inches, much shorter than the Nikon Z50 and Nikon Z fc. The lack of EVF justifies the compact, small size of the Nikon Z30, which weighs merely 405 grams (battery and SD card inclusive). The Nikon Z fc, on the other hand, weighs 445 grams, and the Z50 weighs 450 grams. So if you're a traveller looking for a lightweight camera that comes in a compact and sleek form, the Nikon Z30 is just the right pick.




A Camera At The Right Price

Of all the three models in the Nikon Z series, the latest is the most affordable! The current price of the Nikon Z30 is just the right price for any content creator who has just begun their YouTuber or TikTok journey. The plus point? The Nikon Z30 has all the features you need to get started with vlogging immediately. The camera picks out the best features on the middle-of-the-range Nikon Z50 and the higher-end Nikon Z fc to deliver a good balance of usability and fun.


In Conclusion

If you're looking for a stills camera, the Z 50 and Z fc fit the bill perfectly. But if you're looking for a videography-specific camera model, then the Nikon Z30 is the right pick. At first glance, the differences between the three camera models aren't major. But if you look closely, key differences may impact your decision to invest in either of the models. For more information on either of the models mentioned, please speak to our staff in-store or via the phone.


Remember to pre-order the Nikon Z 30 if you haven't already, as stock in the first shipment is limited.