Nikon Nikon Z fc Talk

NoSeconds

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Troy

gryphon1911

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More of the classic Hogan doom and gloom, honestly IMHO.

The problem that Nikon has is the internet and a bunch of YouTube wannabes fame seekers deciding that they can determine the fate of whatever they want.

site unseen, the Z system was bashed. Truth be told, I see a lot more issues with canons
mirrorless systems than Nikon, but you’d think that canon has everything all figured out and has perfected everything based on the internet clamor.

Truth is, between the adaptable f-mount lenses and the current native Z mount lenses, Nikon already has a lot to offer. A lot of really good stuff to offer.

Nikon is in a damned if they do, damned if they don’t situation.

I really feel that attitude will change once the Z9 is released and once that high end tech trickles then into the mid tier bodies.

the lenses will come, but no one is pumping out tons of volume right now. Factory damage, pandemic recovery, labor shortages all adds up and you can’t go through all that and come out of it like you woke from a sleep. It’s more like waking from a coma.

worst part is that there are lots of places that are now getting hit by the delta variant of the coronavirus and additional lockdowns and restrictions are being imposed.

so, I say you gotta look at the long game. Nikon will be there. Something inside tells me that the Z9 when released will be the same revelation for Nikon that the D3 was.

now, less anyone think I’m a Nikon fanboy, they are not perfect. I think they are slow to adapt to changing market trends and they can be a little too traditional in the modern era in the way they conduct business. If they were perfect I wouldn’t also have on m43 setup and a fuji setup.

Nothing is perfect, and the days are gone where every camera is basically the same. The majority of companies have found niche markets, even the big ones.

m43 is the small and good enough
Fuji is the retro and jpg shooters dream
Sony/canon are sparring over video
Nikon is the still shooters choice.

the issue I see is that Nikon has a great set of video features but has never really pushed that like Sony/canon. In a world where vlogging and hybrid shooting are the norm now and not the exception, this is where they need to focus more. Show the kiddies that Nikon has everything the others have.
 
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Matt
I don't think they're not going to deliver *any* of the kits because they're producing like mad, I read - it's more that they don't give you a date *if* you have to wait. There's no reason why those who ordered early shouldn't get their kits in time. I'll leave my pre-order as it is.

M.
 
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If you look around a bit, you'll see that everyone has the same problems (a serious parts shortage). It's just Nikon's "misfortune" that they issue stuff lots of people want - so the issues become more apparent.

However, Sony, Canon and Panasonic produce more of their parts themselves and can mediate the situation a bit better, I guess. But even Sony has problems.

M.
 

Biro

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If you look around a bit, you'll see that everyone has the same problems (a serious parts shortage). It's just Nikon's "misfortune" that they issue stuff lots of people want - so the issues become more apparent.

However, Sony, Canon and Panasonic produce more of their parts themselves and can mediate the situation a bit better, I guess. But even Sony has problems.

M.
Absolutely. There is no doubt in my mind that Sony had intended to introduce the A7 IV earlier this year. I'm sure supply-chain issues have delayed that camera's unveiling.

Moreover, the pandemic is being blamed for most delays lately but I think the pandemic has simply made more obvious many trends that were already underway.

For example, retailing was in freefall - at least here in the U.S. - long before COVID-19. The virus just finished off the job.

Likewise, there have been warning signs about the risks of "just in time" supply-chain management over the last decade or so. But, now, with the auto and technology industries being crippled, it's finally becoming obvious that logistic changes need to be made.
 

CraigC

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If you look around a bit, you'll see that everyone has the same problems (a serious parts shortage). It's just Nikon's "misfortune" that they issue stuff lots of people want - so the issues become more apparent.

However, Sony, Canon and Panasonic produce more of their parts themselves and can mediate the situation a bit better, I guess. But even Sony has problems.

M.

Understand the global issues with supply chain, but I don't think we can say that Nikon issues stuff that "lots" of people want. Sales of their products versus the competition would confirm that.

They just seem to 'stumble' over their own feet many times. Remember those announced DL cameras that never were? They just announced the Zfc, with a release date, and now it's delayed indefinitely - seems like a lack of foresight. Sad, because I like their products - my D90 was one of my favourite cameras - and definitely want them to succeed long term.
 

gryphon1911

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Understand the global issues with supply chain, but I don't think we can say that Nikon issues stuff that "lots" of people want. Sales of their products versus the competition would confirm that.

They just seem to 'stumble' over their own feet many times. Remember those announced DL cameras that never were? They just announced the Zfc, with a release date, and now it's delayed indefinitely - seems like a lack of foresight. Sad, because I like their products - my D90 was one of my favourite cameras - and definitely want them to succeed long term.

Not everything is delayed only certain kits, if the translation is accurate.
 
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NoSeconds

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Troy
Is it just me, or does Nikon have some sort of issue/delay with every new release?

What about the DL compact series that disappeared from the face of the earth...?

But they actually produced that key mission shite...

***Come buy a camera the size of your phone that has a sensor probably not as good as your phone and you can download our clunky phone app to send photos from the crap camera to your phone to share with friends....***
 

CraigC

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Hey Matt, you’re the moderator, so you make the call.

It does however seem a bit excessive to threaten to close a thread based on a few “on topic” posts (Nikon’s delays, including the Zfc).

I’ve read many a thread that veered far away from original topic, without closure.

Back onto the specific topic… looking forward to hearing real world opinions of the Zfc. It looks like a really nice camera. Hopefully Nikon supports it, and the Z50, with the required lenses. Or at least opens access to the third part mfg’s like Sigma, Tamron, etc. The Sigma Contemporary series (with aperture rings) would be a great match. The 24mm and 45mm would be a great APSC pairing, while remaining compact.
 
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Matt
If a thread gets dominated by negativity without any real information being added, it's off course, period. btw. If any thread goes off-topic without anyone intervening, feel free to report it - we'll take appropriate action. I'll be happy to be corrected if I overdo things - but I'll stand my ground in this case.

We can easily change the tone in this thread, however, and I'm all for it. It'd be a real pity to let an opportunity to contemplate the Z fc's value and impact slip away.

I'm not happy about the delays either, but I think that's just the way things are, and no reason to start bashing Nikon. If Thom Hogan does that on his own site, it's his decision, but I don't remember his complaints having any positive impact, ever. He may however have driven people away from Nikon, thus damaging them and their ability to stay hot on the market; they've been reorganising, downsizing and streamlining to stay in business, that's for sure - and some failed attempts at reading the market have hurt their reputation, that's also true.

Whatever the causes, this doesn't take away from the quality of their products I'm lucky enough to own and use daily, and I'm frankly fed up with comments from people who can't know what they're talking about because they haven't used any recent Nikon cameras for any relevant period of time. If you want to read up on those, you can do so on Thom Hogan's site - he's very, very critical and loves himself rambling on about all of Nikon's perceived mistakes, but whenever he's taking a Z camera through its paces, he comes away with a pretty positive overall impression; that's even true when he declares a camera of no use to himself, like the Z 50. I see where he's coming from, and even though he thinks he does, he's not helping, but he does thorough work and has loads of technical expertise, so it'd be wrong to write him off just because I disagree with his stance and methods. It's equally wrong to see him as a guru or wise man, though. He's not - he's truely experienced and has a wealth of knowledge, but he's also opinionated and thinks the world of himself.

However, since I absolutely enjoy the Z 50, a deceptively simple, almost minimalist, yet impressively competent tool, I'm absolutely certain the Z fc will be a worthwhile camera in its own right, and one I'll be happy to own whenever it turns up on my doorstep. That it presses a few buttons on the "want" front doesn't hurt; as I've said before, a camera that - pretty successfully, as far as I've been able to see - mimics one of my all-time favourites, the FE, in terms of gestalt and feel, should be lots of fun. That I'm a fan of some of the design decisions in general feels like icing on the cake - e.g. I personally do like fully articulating screens for many reasons - but mostly because you can just fold them away, protecting them as well as making chimping just that little bit harder and less likely.

I've used Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Sony and Nikon MILCs over the last couple of years, and I'll state here that Nikon presents the most enjoyable package overall - for me, of course, so YMMV. The Z 6 is fantastically usable, the Z 7 II is the powerhouse it should be, i.e. even quicker than the already swift Z 6, and of course, with much higher resolution and better AF. And the Z 50 is fast, nimble (with quirks), compact and no-frills - it's not the most full-featured offering on the market (the X-S1 and, in my view, the OM-D E-M5 III take that title in this class), but it's all around competent and just works. Furthermore, technically, the Z fc already is a Z 50 II (Thom Hogan got that one dead wrong) - what can be wrong about that?

Anyhow, that Nikon now add something genuinely refreshing - after concentrating on the eminently usable, yet obviously utilitarian - is a good thing in my book.

And by the way, yes, depending on lens choice over time, it's possible that the Z fc alone can make me sell my whole Fujifilm setup; truth be told, I'm close to doing that anyway, as much as I enjoy using the X-E3 at times - but with the Z 35mm f/1.8 S and Z 85mm f/1.8 S being available and as good as they are (on the Z 50 as well as the FX bodies), the 90mm f/2, and, to a lesser extend, the 35mm f/1.4 see less and less use. Even the 18-55mm is struggling against the pedestrian Z 16-50mm - something I wouldn't have believed if someone had told me so. So, the X-E3 gets used with the 27mm (super-compact, competent) and 23mm (capable of great images). And the 28mm SE is incoming ...

Another camera that may not stick around is the Panasonic GX9 - but that camera, paired with its 15mm f/1.7 soulmate, is superb for its size and price and will be very hard to supplant. Yes, the X-E3 is slightly more enjoyable in use - but the GX9 is considerably faster for how I like to shoot (not quite as fast as the Z 50, but close). That's why it survived the arrival of the X-E3; still, I wouldn't be surprised if the Z fc with 28mm SE superseded it.

Call me a fanboy, whatever, but: For the first time in nine years, I'm not regretting one single acquisition for a system. It all works as intended - i.e. superbly well.

M.
 
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My only comment on the Hogan article is he seems to have some of the same thoughts I expressed the week before is article was posted. Concern about lens options. I don't really see his concern about adding a few options for the fc would mean delays for other things like the 100-400mm or 200-600mm. But maybe I haven't kept up with all the production consolidation that has gone on over the last few years for Nikon.

But yes Nikon has been plagued by natural disasters, corp shifts, underestimate demand, and maybe marketing getting ahead of manufacturing. The 300mm and 500mm PF lens seem to have been victims of more than one of these.


OK, so Camerasize.com has the Nikon Z fc body on the site. Here is what the 35/50mm Z f/1.8 primes look like as well as the 24-70/4 and the 50-230......
The 50mm macro
.....Back onto the specific topic… looking forward to hearing real world opinions of the Zfc. It looks like a really nice camera. Hopefully Nikon supports it, and the Z50, with the required lenses. Or at least opens access to the third part mfg’s like Sigma, Tamron, etc. The Sigma Contemporary series (with aperture rings) would be a great match. The 24mm and 45mm would be a great APSC pairing, while remaining compact.
Sigma and Tokina. But I'm not sure you need the aperture rings. If you did you would be in a similar situation as Fuji. Some lenses with, some without and body aperture control available. It's actually one of the reasons I left Fuji, going between the 18mm and 27mm changed the camera handling.
 
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Matt
The Viltrox trio (23mm f/1.4, 33mm f/1.4, 56mm f/1.4) is coming out in Z mount soon - but I'm a bit wary of declicked aperture rings. That's why setting the 28mm SE's control ring to aperture isn't that appealing - the 24-70mm f/2.8 is set up this way, and it kind of works, but it's way too sensible, tiny movements result in huge changes.

I'd love to see the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 in Z mount - I had a very hard time selling that lens when I moved on the Sony stuff. That is a "classic" design done right. It has to work, though - on the Sony A7 II, it did, on the A6000, it didn't, and it was even worse on the Z to E mount adapter (with marginal AF to boot). So, it's all sort of semi-electronic ... like the Viltrox, too, that works steplessly on Sony bodies (so the declicked aperture ring actually makes sense), but not on Fuji ones ...

Anyway, the optical quality of the Viltrox lenses seems to be decent (Christopher Frost has reviewed all of them and found them quite usable), and certainly price-worthy; so I may end up trying them anyway; I also like the fact that they're a matched set, but that may be seen as purely cosmetic. However, truth be told, the 33mm f/1.4 isn't that much smaller than the Z 35mm f/1.8, and that lens focuses closer (0.25m instead of 0.4m) and is a known - compelling - quantity, so at least that lens seems a bit redundant in my case. I'd rather have the Sigma 16mm/30mm/56mm trio, to be honest - even if that means waiting longer. However, the Viltrox 23mm f/1.4 is kind of a unique offering at the moment - so that remains intriguing (and it focuses to 0.3m, better for general use).

Anyhow, things *are* moving, and Sigma, Tokina, Tamron and Viltrox are all pushing towards joining the Z mount game. The situation doesn't seem so bad after all ... even though we can't be sure when we'll see more options. That's why I'm so happy about the 28mm SE and the upcoming 40mm f/2 - they hit the spot for small and light primes, even if only the 28mm SE sits at an ideal place for both DX and FX ... that said, I loved the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 on :mu43:, so maybe even the 40mm will work. But a small DX 35mm f/1.8 would be much appreciated ... and a 23mm f/2 would be awesome - or a 24mm f/2.8 that also works on full frame, but I don't think we'll see that any time soon (the Z 24mm f/1.8 S is the FX option); the same spiel could play out with either a 18mm f/2 or 20mm f/2.8, DX and FX respectively (again, improbable - the Z 20mm f/1.8 S covers FX; and it's a killer lens!). That'd take some guts to make - but it'd raise the value of the DX system no end.

M.
 
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Matt
A couple of observations after my inital exploration and use of the Z fc with 28mm SE:
  • The camera feels very nice in the hand - but it's no FE (or F*) equivalent; it's well made, but mostly from high quality plastic - even the "leatherette" isn't real, it's just textured plastic. It's still price-worthy (remember that it's about the equal of the X-E4 or A6400), but it's nothing special. The body is deceptively light - you expect something heavier when you pick it up. That said, it doesn't feel hollow - it's just clear from the get-go that this isn't a metal beast, it's a pleasantly compact (though not diminuitive!), eminently portable camera, especially with the 28mm SE fitted (the 16-50mm DX is another nice choice - but it better on the Z 50).
  • The form factor, however, is very nice; I haven't tried an X-T** and can't compare, but Nikon have the dimensions right for a light APS-C camera; this also means that for an eventual Z f (FX!), I'd just add about 5mm of height and be done. The body itself is actually considerably thicker than the top plate, which in my book is a good thing because it gives you a better grip. The fit in the hand is alright - not superb, but exactly what you'd expect from a basically gripless body; the thickness gives you a bit more purchase than you'd initially expect, but I'd still say this is a camera to use with smaller, lighter lenses. I'll probably *not* get the additional grip because I already own the Z 50 for everything that needs a grip (and the Z 50's grip is deeper and more or less prefect - better than the add-on item for the Z fc); if the Z fc is going to be your only APS-C Z body, I'd consider getting the/a grip.
  • The EVF is great, as is the screen; in this class, it's the best I've ever seen, period, and I'd go so far as to say that the screen is as good, if not superior to the one on the Z 7 II. It's bright, crisp and clear. However, I find the EVF so good that this is the first camera I *don't* use the screen for quick menu dives - which doesn't mean that the screen is useless, however, on the go, I don't need to flip it out every time I want to make a quick change.
  • The shutter is actually a bit louder than then Z 50's - which makes sense because the body is slimmer; it's probably the same unit. You can of course put the camera into silent mode, and the mechanical shutter actually sounds quite similar to an SLRs, which is strange, but also quite fitting. I use electronic first curtain (if the light isn't too bright for it), and while it's a bit higher-pitched than the Z 50's, shutter response is a bit quicker, so everything feels a tiny bit more immediate. I guess it might be just placebo - but I'm certainly not complaining if it is ...
  • Now for some more in-depth stuff: Shooting experience, take 1: Paradigms. What I didn't expect was how very different this camera feels from just about any other Z body - and I'm not referring to the gestalt/form factor here, but to the way I use it. First, you have to appreciate that with the classic dials, some functions were actually omitted - the Z fc doesn't offer User Settings. I usually set up my Nikon bodies extensively and then store everything in User Settings - the Z6, Z7 II offer three, the D750 and Z 5"U" positions on the mode dials, which is handy (I use one for deliberate shooting, one for action, the third one for MF - something that's not really needed, but can be "optimised" with peaking) - and on the Z bodies, you get two/three for photography and two/three for video. The Z fc can't safe these User Settings, but it *does* safe your settings for every of its four modes (M, A, S, P). In practice, this means that your aperture and shutter speed will stay where you last set it (if applicable for a mode, of course - P will of course adapt). So, if you have M set up for street (1/500s, Auto ISO), you can "snap" over from A and just close the aperture to f/5.6 or f/8, whatever suits you best. You can also set S to 1/2000 to be able to freeze action at any time while usually working in A (like I do). This also means that the little aperture display is actually quite useful - even though it'd be even more so if it were backlit (or bigger, but that's not possible). It's also a fact that there simply are fewer buttons, though a surprising number of the existing ones can be customised. I only really reassinged four of them: the Video button is my MF (1:1) magnifier, the front button lets me handle AF modes; AE-L/AF-L is set to toggle, the OK (center) button is focus point reset - that's something the camera doesn't do on its own (Panasonic and Olympus do a center reset on switch-on, which is handy - but YMMV; during a shoot, you may want it the focus point to stay put to help re-framing). Initially, I though about generally using more focus and recompose with the Z fc, but the D-pad works well enough.
  • Shooting experience, take 2: Handling. I've already indicated that I use the EVF more often than on any other mirrorless to date; they got this one right - even though it's ostensibly the same unit as in the Z 50, it's even more usable; my guess is that the eye point is diferent, but I don't know for sure (yet). What this boils down to - whether I use A, M or (occasionally) S - this camera feels deceptively like a classic SLR *in use* because I actually tend to keep it "on the eye". I guess I could even set the lens ring to aperture control, but I like the way MF (including override) behaves on this camera, so I make do with the front dial, but that's it for adaptations to digital shooting. You *can* use the back dial for exposure compensation (set the EV compensation dial to C), but I like the fact that I can visually check the setting at any time. This "SLR" feeling even extends to my way of carrying the camera: Almost all my other cameras, including RF (style) ones, are carried in the right hand - but classic SLRs tend to get carried in the *left* hand, craddling the lens; I found that I - instinctively, no conscious choice involved - did the same with the Z fc. This is a camera that invites you to use it with both hands (direct controls ...), so this makes a lot of sense. It also means that image review (in the EVF!) is an easy and quick affair because my thumb usually rests close to the Play button anyway. Lift it up to the eye, press Play (it only works if you actually look through the EVF!), and you're good.
  • Shooting experience, take 3: Speed. The Z series bodies are all very snappy for mirrorless cameras, and the Z fc is no exception; it feels even more responsive than the Z 50 (and that camera is *not* slow by any means!). In practice, this means that when you switch it on while you raise it, it's ready when you look through the EVF. It feels immediate - it isn't, but that's immaterial. For me, that's great news. The speed theme extends to AF - it's again quicker than the Z 50 in all respects, and again, the older body is absolutely competitive and actually gives the Z 6 a run for its money, though not the Z 7 II - that's the most fluid Z body I've handled; makes the thought of the Z 6 II a bit scary, to be honest. In short, technically, I'd consider the Z fc a Z 50 II with tangible, though not major improvements over the Z 50 in terms of operation. So, a Z 50 II with just those improvements (at the same price as the original) would definitely be a good thing already, and I wouldn't think Nikon would stop there (or should).
  • Take 2 and 3 mean that Nikon could package a Z 5, though most probably minus I.B.I.S., in a Z fc body (maybe a tiny bit taller - but not by much) and call it the Z f - yes, people would complain about the lack of I.B.I.S., I'm sure, but imagine it at $1200 body only (or some $100 below the Z 5), and things would start to look extremely interesting. My Leicas don't have I.B.I.S., but they too are shot two-handed, and with the low light capabilities of the sensors in question, it'd be a workable solution. Take 1 means that you can use the Z fc much like you use a Leica (or X-E3 and the like): You can either keep your settings or know your starting point, at least during a session or an outing. That's a great experience that I appreciate very much - in this respect, and with all suitable considerations and caveats, this actually *is* a kind of digital FE (or FA, perhaps).
  • Finally, the 28mm SE: It's a great little lens - better than expected for what it is; it's a congenial partner to the Z fc which, as I have stated a couple of times, certainly shines with smaller, lighter lenses; not only is the weight ideal, but the size and feel are fantastic, in spite of it being mostly made of plastic, including the mount, but once it's on the camera, it's sturdy and firm (I just hope it'll stay that way). Optically, it's a very satisfying lens (at the very least with lens corrections enabled): It shows high sharpness and contrast, without being harsh or overstated, and, most importantly (for me), transitions are pleasant and colours are very reliable, if a bit on the bold side (which I like!); bokeh's good as well - not exceptional, but nice. The only irritating thing is the small metal ring - I mean, why not make it another control point? Imagine it being able to be your aperture control ... Yes, it might be fiddly, but as with all those assignable controls, you could switch it off if you didn't like it; I'd really love to try that functionality, but it's not to be. For me, the fact that the lens is so pleasing makes the acquistion of the kit a double win.
Okay, there you have it. I'm really pleasantly surprised - not about everything (the finish could have been more convincing - but let's not forget the price point; it's completely within expectations, not bad at all), but about most things, and crucially, the overall experience is very enjoyable. I can see the Z fc tag-teaming with the Z 50 as my EDC - the Z 50 will get the nod if I need flexibility (on a usual work day ...), the Z fc whenever I can take my time and have some fun. However, the Z 6 might make the cut once the 40mm f/2 is out - we'll have to see about that; given how nice the 28mm SE has turned out, I'm very hopeful that the Z 40mm f/2 will be another cracker.

The Z fc is not for everyone - most importantly, I think, it's *the opposite* of a fanboy's dream; it's not a powerhouse or a feature beast (even though it's quite impressive that way), it's a camera with a peculiar, but very satisfying handling and shooting experience that some will love, other will find underwhelming. I think that if you expect the right thing - a kind of classic SLR work-alike (and yes, this one actually works quite well that way!), but with most amenities of a modern mirrorless (except perhaps I.B.I.S.), you'll be quite happy with it. I know I am - and that's key: YMMV - as always.

M.
 
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