Nikon Z50 DX Hands-On Review With Sample Photos

We go hands-on with the brand-new Nikon Z50, Nikon's new 20mp APS-C mirrorless camera, which uses the Z-mount from the Z6 and Z7. Plus, we've got sample photos to share with you.

|  Nikon Z50 in Mirrorless Cameras
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Nikon Z50 (7)

Nikon is introducing the new Nikon Z50 and with it a new range of APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras and lenses, with Nikon proclaiming the Z50 as a new "era" for Nikon. Using the same Z-mount as the Nikon Z6 and Z7, the system can use existing full-frame Z-mount lenses, as well as the new DX (APS-C) lenses being introduced.

As well as the new Nikon Z50, Nikon has officially announced the Noct 58mm f/0.95, two new DX lenses for the Z50, the DX 16-50mm VR, and DX 50-250mm VR. Nikon has also shared a new, updated, Z-mount lens roadmap so that you can see what future lenses to expect from Nikon.

UK Prices:

  • £849 body only
  • £989 with 16-50mm
  • Dual lens option £1199
  • Available from the 7 November 2019

Nikon Z50 Features

Nikon Z50 (1)

Nikon’s first APS-C mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z50, is considered to be an enthusiast camera, and sits next to the D7500 and D500 in the Nikon ILC line-up, as shown below. Nikon is suggesting it’s a great choice for those wanting to upgrade from a D5000 / D7000 series camera, for people looking for a smaller camera, and it can use current Nikon F-mount lenses with the FTZ adapter.


Nikon Range Z50 DSLR October 2019 2000

The Nikon Z50 offers a 20.88mp APS-C CMOS sensor, with 209 Phase Detection AF (PDAF) points, offers ISO100 to ISO51200, as well as offering 11fps continuous shooting. All in a compact mirrorless camera body, with a large hand grip for comfortable handling and easy to access controls. The ISO speed can be expanded up to ISO204800 for stills, and the ISO range available for video recording is ISO100 to 25600. This is Nikon’s first DX (APS-C) format sensor with PDAF.

The camera uses an EXPEED 6 image processor which features built-in diffraction compensation, as well as picture control sharpness adjustments. You’ll also find creative picture control, scene modes, and special effects mode - effects levels can be adjusted between 0 to 100. Effects can also be applied in movie recording.

The camera body doesn’t feature in-body image stabilisation, which can be found on the Nikon Z6 and Z7. Instead, the camera relies on in-lens optical image stabilisation, which Nikon call VR (Vibration Reduction). This comes with “Dual detect” optical VR, which has gyro sensor information to give high levels of image stabilisation in the new DX 16-50mm VR and DX 50-250mm VR lenses. Using Nikon Z-mount lenses, the Nikkor Z control ring can be adjusted to focus, aperture, ISO (new), and exposure compensation.

The iMenu is customisable and allows quick access to 12 different options (on the rear screen or in the EVF). The camera has focus peaking, this is the first time for a DX Nikon. Silent photography is available, with this being the first time it's been available on a Nikon DX camera.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has 100% coverage of the frame, 0.68x magnification, eye detection sensor, dioptre correction, and a 2.36 million dot resolution.


Nikon Z50 (11)

4K UHD video recording uses the "full-frame" of the APS-C sensor and can record at 30, 25 and 24fps. You can take still images while recording video. Video includes Active D-lighting, electronic VR, focus peaking and picture control is available. Video recording in self-portrait mode is also available. You can record FullHD video at speeds up to 120fps. There’s a microphone socket on the side, supporting an external microphone.

It's also possible to create time-lapse video in the camera at FullHD resolution. You can also record time-lapse at a higher resolution, and put this together on your computer, to create 4K UHD time-lapse videos, max 20 minutes.

Nikon's SnapBridge is supported, with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This lets you transfer images and movies, use location and data information, browse images from a smartphone, transfer raw files, add credit information, auto upload to Nikon Image Space, and shoot remotely.

There is a single SD card slot, which can be found underneath the camera, in the same compartment as the battery. The camera uses an all-new EN-EL25 rechargeable lithium-ion battery, with 1120mAh, 7.6V and 8.5Wh. A battery charger is included in the box, however, you can also charge the battery in the camera using the MicroUSB connection. The Nikon Z50 will also work with the previously announced ML-L7 remote.

Nikon Z50 Selfie Screen

Nikon Z50 Key Features

  • 20.88mp APS-C CMOS sensor (5568x3712 resolution)
  • Nikon Z mount
  • EXPEED 6, 14-bit raw
  • 3.2inch 1040K dot monitor, touch-screen controls on the side, tilts vertically down for selfie mode
  • EVF 2. million dots, 0.68x magnification
  • 209 Phase Detection AF points -4EV focus sensitivity
  • 90% horiz/vertical frame coverage
  • Face and Eye detection AF
  • ISO100 to ISO51200
  • 1/4000s shutter speed
  • 11fps continuous shooting
  • 4K UHD video recording
  • Nikon Snapbridge support, with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Magnesium body (front and top panel)
  • Built-in pop-up flash (GN7)
  • 450g with battery and memory (395 without)
  • 126.5x93.5x60mm


Nikon Z50 Handling

Nikon Z50 Top With 16 50mm Lens
Nikon Z50 Top With 16-50mm Lens

There are two front Fn (Function) buttons, that can be found next to the lens mount, and this means you have quick access to your favourite settings.

Nikon says the Nikon Z50 is designed to be compact and lightweight, but feature Nikon ergonomics, and that means there’s a large handgrip, with a rubbery texture that goes from the front of the camera, round to the back of the camera. There's a space for your thumb to naturally land, making the camera comfortable to hold. All of the buttons and controls are easily reached with your right hand, so that it's possible to use the camera with one hand, and the lighter weight of this camera certainly makes this possible.

The top features a movie record button, ISO button and exposure compensation button just behind the shutter release button and on/off switch, giving quick access to settings. There’s also a front (sub) command dial, as well as a rear / top main command dial.

The mode dial can be found on top, with a switch next to it letting you switch between the photo and video modes, and there are two user programable modes (U1, and U2). The mode-dial is not a locking mode dial. There is a pop-up flash on top of the camera, as well as a flash hot-shoe.


Nikon Z50 (9)

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has dioptre correction. The resolution is around 2.3million dots, with a magnification of 0.68x and there’s also an eye-detection sensor so that the camera will automatically switch between the rear screen and the EVF. The view looks good, and is certainly clear enough, with good colour reproduction.

The rear screen is worth mentioning, as it’s a 3.2inch touch-screen, that can be tilted up and down (as well as tilting down and facing forwards) for selfies. There are additional touch-controls on the right side of the screen, however, these don’t take up any space on the screen and are built-in to the camera next to the display. The screen resolution is 1040K dots, and this looks good.

The menus are easy to navigate and follow the same familiar design layout as other Nikon Z and D cameras, with each section colour coded. There's also a "MyMenu" section so that you can get quick access to all of your favourite settings.



We were able to use the camera, with the 16-50mm DX lens, and found the focus to be extremely rapid. You can watch the camera in-action in the video above.


Nikon Z50 Hands-On Photos of Equipment


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stevepwest 2 78 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2019 8:10AM
Looks great, but why have Nikon opted for a bottom hinge on the screen? They did this with the D5000 and were criticised for the impracticality of this choice when the camera is mounted on a tripod. They quickly changed to a side hinge for the D5100 onwards and never looked back. I would have thought they would have done the same. Strange..

Maybe I'm a DSLR Luddite but if I had that amount of money to spend I would still go for D7500.

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ThomasT 6 2 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2019 12:11PM
What's the point? Dx7500 has built in flash, 2 setting buttons, This has NO flash.. but it's smaller.. so what.. when I stick a flash on to it becomes quite awkward. How grateful we were when built in flash came along.. now they want us to stick a box on top of a slightly smaller camera. Any takers??
mike0101 15 30 3 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2019 3:27PM

Quote:This has NO flash..

Thomas, I think it does have a built-in flash; it pop out of the space where pentaprism isn't.
But I have just discovered there is no means of attaching a remote release; something almost as important as a tripod fitting on the base. Apparently I can use a smartphone instead but that's not a practical alternative for anything serious.
It is a strange camera???
Ste67 New Member
10 Nov 2019 12:42PM
My Z50, arrived in the UK, last Thursday. I'm impressed. Used it in the studio already & the images are pin sharp, yes there is a flash, installed but not used that yet.
You can buy a remote release for this camera too! Take a look on The Nikon website.
It's a great upgrade from My D5500.

Don't knock it until you've tried it Wink
It's not all about the camera, it's the way you use it. I've seen some pretty awful images, with more expensive camera's because photographers, just can't seem to get the balance right on manual.

I love the Z50 & pleased with the results, just need to get out in the open & hope it's just as good as it is in the studio.

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