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Nikon Z50 Z 50 Full Review - Verdict

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Nikon Z50 Selfie Screen

Value For Money

The Nikon Z50 is available for £849 body only, or £989 with 16-50mm. This puts it at a similar price point to other new APS-C mirrorless cameras, such as the Sony A6400, Fujifilm X-T30, and Canon EOS M6 Mark II. These are some of the alternatives it is up against.


Have a look at more mirrorless cameras in our list of the Top 11 Best Entry-Level Mirrorless, the Top 20 Best Premium Mirrorless, or have a look at the Top 13 Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.


Nikon Z50 Verdict

The Nikon Z50 has hit the ground running, so to speak, with a camera body that has excellent ergonomics, a solid design, great handling, and easy to access settings. The body is compact, giving you the benefits of a mirrorless camera system, but not too compact, and not at the expense of handling and ease of use. There's a larger than normal 3.2inch touch-screen, with easy to access zoom controls (for playback), and the electronic viewfinder gives a good view of the scene, with a decent resolution of 2.36m dots.

However, as a new camera system, (the Z series was introduced in August 2018) there aren't as many lenses available as other systems. There are several full-frame Z-mount lenses available from Nikon which you can use on the camera. There are currently only two DX (APS-C) Z-mount lenses, so you'll need to think about whether the lenses available suit your needs. You can, of course, use an adapter, and use Nikon F-mount lenses, or other lenses from other manufacturers.

Nikon has released a new lens roadmap for 2020/2021 showing a large number of new lenses are planned (including a number of primes and macro lenses), and so far they have been introducing new lenses at a rapid rate, with 6 full-frame Z-mount lenses per year, so it's likely you won't have to wait too long for new lenses.

If you do go for the Z50, then you'll find a high-quality 20mp APS-C CMOS sensor, that gives excellent noise performance, great colour reproduction, rapid focus, and pretty much everything else you could want from a new camera. Nikon says the camera is weather-sealed to the same degree as the Nikon D7500.

The Z50 gives the same excellent image quality we've come to expect from Nikon cameras, it's just that it's in a thinner, more compact package, with the added bonus of quicker continuous shooting (at 11fps), a larger screen, and quicker access to settings, when compared to most Nikon DSLRs.

When reviewing cameras, it's often easy to find negatives to talk about, but the Nikon Z50, there's little to complain about. The camera doesn't feature in-camera image stabilisation like the bigger Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7, but perhaps we'll see this in a future version. If Sony, Olympus, and Panasonic can all manage to fit in 5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation into their small APS-C / M43 cameras, then it should, therefore, be possible for Nikon to also. In the meantime, the optical image stabilisation in the lens(es) performs well, and for video, the electronic IS helps.


Nikon Z50 Pros

  • Excellent ergonomics and handling
  • Excellent image quality and noise performance
  • New DX Z-Mount lenses perform well
  • Compact camera body
  • Clear logical menu system (more advanced section is colour coded)
  • Fast continuous shooting
  • 4K UHD video with multiple options

Nikon Z50 Cons

  • Limited APS-C Z mount lenses so far
  • Doesn't feature in-camera image stabilisation
  • MicroUSB socket


Overall Verdict

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stevepwest 3 121 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.
ThomasT 7 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 16 32 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 1
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.
5 Dec 2019 11:14AM
Good review. I bought the twin lens kit and am very satisfied. The camera with 16-50 attached is about the size of a Fuji X100 so meets my needs for a compact and lightweight camera I can take anywhere better than my Z7/Z6. Both lenses seem sharp and the High ISO performance is really excellent as stated in the review which helps to mitigate for the relatively slow lens apertures and the built in pop-up flash is handy to have. The Z50 handles really well and I think as an overall package is excellent. Yes IBIS would be nice to use the other Z mount lenses and non-stabilised F-Mount lenses via FTZ but no doubt this would have pushed up the cost so overall a good decision.
12 Dec 2019 2:42PM
You gotta love comments from people that don't even own the camera... yes, it has a flash and it also works well with my SB500. This review is spot on, the Z50 is an excellent mirrorless camera. I've only had mine for a week, but I'm finding that it does just about everything right for me. The autofocus is excellent and I'm blown away by the high ISO performance up to 12,800 from the apsc sensor. While it may not win the paper spec war, it's a very capable camera that delivers excellent images.
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 399
24 Dec 2019 4:54PM
I 've just seen the commercial for it from Nikon. A male photographer shooting a female model. As the camera was in his hands (handgrip not visible) I thought: hey, it reminds me of a camera.. "tadaaa" : the Samsung NX20 mirrorless camera with the i-lens, minus the blue ring which Sony fashioned later in Alpha7 in copper colour. It took ages to see Nikon going forth with a serious mirrorless (sorry J-1).
I hope the Nikon fan base keeps this range afloat cause I really feel for those Samsung owners who were left high and dry.
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 399
18 Jan 2020 5:06PM
Last few days I visited various retailers on my own and with the youngest brother of a friend who studies photography at college. I've put my hands on kit and boy I was surprised of how much EVF's have advanced in the last ten years, it was like having a new pair of eyes that they work fine, lol. I had my hands mostly on Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic and Olympus. Nikon was the brand that my "own" 35mm camera was (pocket, automatic) and still is, despite the knocks and the chips. Last retailer we visited, as my friend needed film for his quite small(!) Pentax MX, was Calumet, where my friend bought a tripod. Discussing with the store manager in general who was happy to see film camera users, we talked about brands aftersales. Nikon he said trumps up. Some, I as Pablo, will not say names, if there are problems do not want to know. Nikon they do want to know. Having done that job for 35 years I suppose he had seen a lot and I trust he was unbiased as I wasn't there for buying any camera. Worth considering if you buy a camera...
mike0101 16 32 3 United Kingdom
18 Jan 2020 6:32PM
Having just read the AP review (a real review not the 'hands-on' stuff) it seems the Z50 does accept a wired cable release; contrary to what I thought in an earlier comment.

But my comment was based on Nikon's own published specification! Still, it seems they are correcting the spec every 3 or 4 weeks; major things like it's no longer weather sealed similar to a D7500. So it appears Nikon's left hand doesn't know what the right is doing! I'm hoping to actually see & try one at some point.

pablophotographer 9 1.8k 399
19 Jan 2020 12:25AM
Bought the issue on Friday but apart from being given "Gold" I have not read the review yet... I would be pleasantly surprised if it is weather sealed. =)
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 399
29 Jan 2020 2:50PM
One of the concerns I have heard is about the amount of lenses available for it. There have been suggestions that Z50 should have a DX lens mount to take on existing DX lenses (and even older AI ones), same as the Nikon Df did. I suppose Df was quite a niche camera and did not sell as much but I would take a bow to Nikon for making it.
I have personally ordered a lens adapter to use some Minolta glass, the Rokkor 58mm f/1.2 (yesss!). That would be a 87mm lens, which I hope to use for portraits and bokeh! Thank you EPZ!
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 399
16 Apr 2020 12:05PM

And there are more vintage lenses you can put on!
mike0101 16 32 3 United Kingdom
16 Apr 2020 12:26PM
Is that the Rokkor 58mm f/1.2? It was a classic lens in it's time!

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