comscore Nikon Z50 review: Compact mirrorless camera now affordable | BGR India
Review

Nikon Z50 review: Compact mirrorless camera for budding photographers

The Nikon Z50 is just right for vloggers and content creators with great video quality and a lightweight body. Still photography enthusiasts should settle for a full-frame DSLR at the same price.

Nikon Z50

If you are in the market for a compact mirrorless camera that does not compromise on versatility, the Nikon Z50 is a name that often comes up on the search lists. Nikon launched it last year as a professional camera for vloggers, with a focus on shooting good quality videos. Since it has been around for a while now, you can often find the Nikon Z50 at lower prices. At the time of writing, you can get the Z50 with the Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens for Rs 72,759. Also Read - Nikon online photography classes are free for a limited time

For what it costs, the Nikon Z50 comes across as a great choice ahead of the festive season to shoot all memories. Unlike most Z50 reviews on the Internet, you will find this one to be slightly different though. This is my first time reviewing a professional-grade camera and hence, I list down my observations more akin to a common user, like many of you reading right now. That said, I personally rely on a Nikon D3300 for all my photography needs, which itself in an entry-level DSLR camera with a DX-format sensor. Also Read - Oppo Find X2, Nikon Z50, Nokia Smartwatch and more: Daily News Wrap

Design

The Z50 looks a lot like the DSLR cameras from Nikon, with the same bulging hand grip and a protruding lens system. However, a closer look immediately highlights the slimmer body with compact dimensions. This is a major benefit of the mirrorless systems as there are lesser moving parts inside, thereby eating lesser space. The weight remains similar to an entry-level DSLR camera at 450 grams. Hence, it is easier to carry around than a regular DSLR. I was able to stash it in my backpack for the brief moments I went out. Also Read - Nikon launches Z50 APS-C Mirrorless camera in India at Rs 72,995 with two new lenses

Nikon Z50

Hold it and you will immediately feel the solid build quality that’s expected of a Nikon camera system. The Z50 has a metal body composed of magnesium-alloy with a top-quality paint job. The grip areas (where you hold the camera) are finished in a rubbery material. I found the design handsome and easy to clean, given that you will use the camera a lot outdoors. Even the areas that consist of plastic (the flash and buttons) scream of quality materials.

The compact dimensions do not mean you have to deal with a highly congested layout. There’s a large 3.2-inch touchscreen display that’s adjustable along the top and bottom directions. You get the usual navigation buttons, the media and delete keys, and focus lock key towards the back. On the top, there’s a mode dial accompanied by a manual adjustment dial for aperture and ISO. You also get a dedicated video key that only works when you switch the slider to video mode.

Nikon Z50

There’s a 0.39-inch OLED viewfinder that is extremely sharp in reproducing the frame. The viewfinder has a sensor that automatically switches it on once you place your eye closer to it. As soon as you move away, it powers on the main display as the viewfinder. This is a nifty touch for both budding and professional photographers.

The camera software is easy to use. Given that there’s touchscreen input, you can just tap and swipe around the settings. While shooting, you can quickly summon the most used camera settings that are crucial to photography. Access to shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and more are available on the display while in still photography mode. I was able to turn on Wi-Fi for wireless sharing of photos and videos easily from the main screen shortcuts.

Nikon Z50

Connectivity options are aplenty on the Z50. You get a standard micro USB port for data transfer along with a mini-HDMI port for connecting to external displays or monitors. There’s also a dedicated port for attaching a microphone. If you prefer wireless transfers, there’s Nikon’s signature Wi-Fi-based data transfer system that requires its app on your smartphone. I relied on the Wi-Fi system to transfer my photos and it worked as intended – fast and easy. There’s an SD card slot right alongside the battery compartment.

Now we come to the lenses. The Nikon Z50 uses the Z mount lenses and if you happen to have a collection of those, you are in luck. Unfortunately, my D3300’s F-Mount lenses were of no help here. Thankfully, Nikon sent the standard 16-50mm lens along with the 200mm zoom lens for my review period. The lenses are easy to mount and the 16-50mm unit is easy to carry everywhere.

Performance

The Z50 makes use of a 20.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, the performance of which I found to be on par with sensors from other entry-level DSLR cameras. I left the camera settings in the default state and just played along with manual as well as auto mode during my time with the camera. Nikon’s camera systems tend to offer a more natural color tone in most conditions, hence photos often appear dull to many onlookers.

Nikon Z50

However, after personally using a Nikon system for 7 years, I can say the performance of the Z50 in daylight is impressive. For still photos, the camera captures colors closer to what you see for real. Photos carried a lot of vibrant colors and decent contrast. Brightness levels were good too. The exposure is auto mode isn’t great and casual users might prefer switching to manual mode for better output. The 11 fps burst mode works as advertised.

In the manual mode, I was happy with the shutter speed, aperture, and exposure performance of the Z50, given the price it sells. However, the APS-C sensor isn’t suited for night-time photography. The camera struggles in dark conditions, throwing up lots of noise and losing colors a bit. Anything above 10,000 ISO makes the photos unusable. As long as I was having sufficient ambient lighting, the Z50 managed to hold on with decent results.

Nikon Z50

Video shooting is where the Z50 shines. You can shoot 4K videos at up to 30 frames per second and the quality is great for a camera of its class. In 1080p mode, I was able to shoot videos at up to 120 frames per second. The footage quality is good with dynamic colors, great exposure management, lots of details, and fast focusing. Stability is decent, thanks to the VR system in the lens. Even in low light, the performance was on par with what you expect from an entry-level DSLR camera.

The autofocus system performs great and most of the time, I did not have to care about getting a good depth of field. The Eye AF helps with shooting rampant kids and seldom leaves you with results that are unusable. You always have the option to adjust the focus manually via the lens system or digitally via the touchscreen display.

Battery

Nikon Z50

The Nikon Z50 uses the EN-EL25 rechargeable Li-ion battery. It takes close to two hours for a full top-up using the supplied charging adapter. In my usage, I found the Z50 to last a full week, given that I was mostly using the camera on an average of 30-40 minutes for my product shoots. That is far less than the 300 shots per charge as advertised by Nikon. Heavier usage mixed with a lot of video shooting will drain the battery faster. However, do note that my unit came with a used battery and that could have affected the stamina.

Should you purchase the Nikon Z50 now?

The Nikon Z50 has been around for a while now and for Rs 72,759 on Amazon, it is a great deal for budding photographers and enthusiasts. Of course, professional photographers will want a more capable system and will be willing to shell more for the price. The Z50 is aimed more at regular photographers – people who will take it out once in a while during the festivities to take good photos, or carry it along on vacations. Vloggers may also find the Z50 suitable for shooting videos, although those seeking good stability may look after something else.

I belong to the first category of users, i.e., the kind who takes the camera out occasionally and seldom plays along with the manual mode. Hence, the Z50 performs greatly for my needs. I was happy to shoot product shots for my review stories and edit them to my liking for the web. However, if your requirement is the same as mine, the Nikon D3500 makes more sense, given its lower price. The D3500 is a proper DSLR camera system and it is bulkier in nature when compared to the Z50. The performance is almost identical most of the time. In fact, after using the Z50, I did not feel I missed anything with my older D3300.

The Nikon Z50, on the whole, makes sense only if you seek a compact camera for portability and seek the mirrorless performance.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: October 14, 2020 2:40 PM IST



new arrivals in india

Tecno Pova 2
Tecno Pova 2

10,999

Infinix Smart 5A
Infinix Smart 5A

6,499

Micromax In 2b
Micromax In 2b

8,999

Vivo Y72 5G
Vivo Y72 5G

20,990

Tecno Camon 17
Tecno Camon 17

12,999

Tecno Camon 17 Pro
Tecno Camon 17 Pro

16,999

Realme C11 2021
Realme C11 2021

6,999

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G

39,990

Oppo Reno6 5G
Oppo Reno6 5G

29,990

Samsung Galaxy M21 2021
Samsung Galaxy M21 2021

12,499

OnePlus Nord 2
OnePlus Nord 2

27,999

Poco F3 GT
Poco F3 GT

27,999

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

19,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Best Sellers