Nikon’s Z FC is a revival of the film camera in mirrorless form

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Nikon is banking on retro aesthetics with its latest Z-series mirrorless camera. The company says the new Z FC, officially dubbed “Z fc”, is designed specifically to evoke its ’80s FM2 film SLR, with dedicated dials for settings such as shutter speed, exposure compensation and ISO.

The approach is similar to the Nikon DF, a retro-style full-frame DSLR that Nikon launched in 2013. But the DF was much bigger than the film cameras it was inspired by. The Z FC has a 20.9MP APS-C sensor (and of course no mirror or SLR prism), which means the resulting camera is much more compact and much more like something like an FM2 .

Beyond the exterior, the Z FC is a modern camera with broadly similar specs to the Z50. There’s a vari-angle touchscreen, OLED electronic viewfinder, USB-C charging, SnapBridge wireless connectivity and of course the now required ability to use it as a webcam. While the camera can be rotated in fully manual mode with the dials, there’s also a switch for PASM operation, and you can check aperture settings with a small LCD display on the top plate.

The native ISO range is 100-51,200 and there’s a hybrid AF system with 209 points in 87% of the frame. Video isn’t much of a focus with the Z FC, unsurprisingly, but it can shoot up to 4K/30fps.

As a Z-mount camera, the Z FC will be able to use any of the full-frame lenses native to cameras such as the Z6 and Z7, but Nikon’s range of DX/APS-C lenses that can getting the most out of the Z FC’s small size is still lacking. Nikon today announced a new prime lens: a 28mm (42mm equivalent) f/2.8 that will be available in a special edition with styling that makes it look like an older Nikkor D lens. Nikon will also launch a silver version of its 16-50mm pancake zoom alongside the Z FC, and announces that an 18-140mm DX travel zoom will be available at some point this year.

The ZFC will retail for $959.95 for the body only, $1,099.95 with the silver 16-50mm lens, and $1,199.95 with the 28mm lens. All three options will be released in black and silver in late July. Nikon is also launching six additional color options which will be sold only through its own site.

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