As mirrorless cameras become popular beyond the amateur space, it also presents the opportunity of offering users a compact device more akin to the sizes they are used to in point and shoots. Like rival Canon’s M series, Nikon is pushing the portable Z series for those who want great results without having to lug around a bulky DSLR. The Nikon Z50 fits into this space perfectly.
Nikon Z50 price in India: Rs 85 995 (with Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR)
Nikon Z50 specs: 21MP DX CMOS sensor | 1/4000 to 30 s + bulb | Up to 11 fps Low-speed continuous | ISO 100 to 51200 | 209 focus points | 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD); 30p | MOV, MP4 | 3.2 –in TFT monitor | Bluetooth + WiFi | 450 g with battery and memory card
What could make you buy the Nikon Z50?
Talking of fits, the Nikon Z50 is one of the most portable cameras you will see, at least for the capabilities it had. And a lot of people, like me, might buy this camera just for that. As someone who travels a lot, I abandoned my DSLR for a iPhone a few years ago. The sheer weight of camera can be taxing at times. But the Z50 is compact and grips in your hand as if this was a slight large point and shoot. In fact, I have used point and shoot cameras that are larger.
The camera is very handy and buttons and dials are where you would expect them to be. There are no surprises and you don’t need to learn stuff to use. I love gadgets you can use without reading the manual and the Z50 is certainly one of them. The menu also has a simple flow, and a lot of unnecessary features have been trimmed as those who need that will naturally opt for a more advanced version.
The Nikon Z50 uses the Z mount which lets the DX format sensor get more light. There are two options for buyers — a combo with the 16-50mm lens or with the 50-250mm lens too. I got just the 16-50mm f/3.5 lens for testing. So the effort was to concentrate more on portraits, close shots and wide frames. I even spent a day a the wonderful Nehru Park in Delhi, but a day later the country was under lockdown.
Thankfully, the walk in the park gave me a good idea of the capabilities of this camera. The one thing I have to highlight is how vibrant the colours come out with the Z50, and that is not just because it was the best of spring when I took the camera to the lush greens of the Nehru park.
The Z50 has a superb auto focus with the versatility you will need for different conditions and subjects. It’s not always that I am able to click a bee in flight, especially when the wind is ruffling they leaves every now and then. But with the Z50, I caught more than one bee and that too in different states of flight. I was happy. So colour, speed and flexibility… this camera clicked most of the boxes.
But what about low light. Stuck at home due to the lockdown, I decided to spare some time after the never-ending work from home routine to try some low light experiments. There I was trying to click photos of a lens ball surrounded by low voltage illumination bulbs. The results were not quite what I expected.
At the high ISO ranges, there was a bit too much noise. When I sorted this, I struggled to lock the subject on. Yes, it was that dark. I had pushed the Z50 to its limits, it seemed. But this camera was not done yet. As soon as I moved to manual focus the camera started locking one stunning click after the other. It was almost saying, who needs light.
And that’s not all. This can handle video also well. In fact, it’s good enough for YouTubers and comes with a microphone port too. This camera can do it all.
What to keep in mind if you buy the Nikon Z50?
The one thing I found a bit odd with the Z50 was the touchscreen panel. It can let you take a selfie by pivoting 180 degrees on its hinge to face towards the lens. But that is below the camera, a position that works only when you are holding the camera in your hand. On a tripod, the screen will end up behind the stand. If you are a YouTuber who uses the tripod a lot to shoot yourself, keep this in mind.
Who should buy the Nikon Z50 and why?
The Nikon Z50 is ideal for this graduating from a point and shoot or even a good smartphone to the next level of photography. This is idea for those who need portability and the versatility that a mirror less camera can afford you. The Z50 fits really well in that prosumer space where you are starting out with some video production. It’s also for those who need the connectivity of a smartphone as this camera gels seamlessly with the Nikon SnapBridge app that lets you control the camera and share the results remotely. This camera does it all. Buy this for the portability, flexibility and, of course, stunning results.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines