Back in 2015, I predicted this day was coming. Sure, this was a pre-mirrorless era for Nikon. So the Z brand did not exist. At the time, I thought the camera would be called the Nikon MF. You can read my prediction on LinkedIn.

Now, in 2021, Nikon has officially announced their retro-style mirrorless camera called the Z fc. The camera will have the look and style of the very much loved Nikon Df. Except, it will be a little thinner, lighter and have a Z mount instead of an F mount.

Nikon Z FC in Brown

The specs

  • 20.9 megapixels
  • APS-C sensor (DX)
  • SD, SDHC, SDXC storage
  • Video up to 30 fps at 4K or 120fps at 1080p
  • 3 inch swivel screen
  • 14 ounces / 390g
  • EN-EL25 battery
  • It comes in silver, black, brow, gray, beige, pink and green
  • Price (body only) starts at $959.95
  • 28mm f/2.8 or 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 kit lens
Nikon Z FC Retro View

All in all, this camera can do majority of things all the there Nikon Z bodies can do, which is one of the incredible things Nikon offers in its lines of cameras: Consistency. Own one Nikon camera and the rest are familiar.

The main difference here, is like the Nikon Df, this has the retro classic feel with lots of dials on top.

My opinion

I am so glad that Nikon is creating this camera. I am a massive advocate for manually controlling your camera once you understand how to do so.

It’s refreshing to see a camera that has so many manual controls. As someone who once owned a Nikon Df and started with film cameras, dials make me happy. Tactile cameras make me happy.

With that said, I am disappointed that Nikon only went with a cropped sensor for this camera, when they could have easily gone with a full-frame sensor.

There is a chance that they are testing the waters with lower-budget retro mirrorless for two reasons. One, to compete with Fuji and Olympus’ retro-style cameras. And two, to test the waters before offering a higher-end body.

Only time will tell, but I have a good feeling about #1. Olympus and Fuji watch out. Nikon is about to step on some toes over there. I believe the camera winds up in the hands of more photographers with the desire for these styles.

Price-wise, I think Nikon could have stayed under $1,000 for the body plus kit zoom lens, and just over $1,000 with the kit prime lens. That way they truly compete with the Fuji and Olympus retro mirrorless cameras, which have been out in the wild for many years now.

But the price is still reasonable.

Nikon Z FC LCD Flip

What makes me very happy is that Nikon finally went with a swivel style LCD instead of a flip down. This is something that they should have been doing with the high end Z bodies, like the Z 6II and Z 7II. Hopefully they get a lot of good feedback from the screen style in a Z body and use it in future Z cameras as well.

Will I be purchasing one?

Not at this time. My reason is that I always use full-frame camera bodies. I have my arsenal of F mount FX lenses and also my newer Z mount lenses. Each of which is designed for a full-frame sensor.

If I were to pick up the new Nikon retro camera, I’d have to get lenses to go with it.

If Nikon ever goes with #2 (above) and releases a full-frame body with a retro design, I might consider it then.

Until then, my Z 6 and Z 7II will continue to do just fine for me. But at the end of the day, I cannot wait to see these new cameras utilized everywhere.

Head over to Nikon’s Z fc product page to learn more about this cool new camera.

Nikon Z fc Mirrorless Digital Camera

Capture your iconic moments while sporting a unique vintage style with the Z fc Mirrorless Digital Camera from Nikon. The Z fc features a classic, tactile design fused with modern Z-series technology, and this DX-format mirrorless digital camera revolves around the highly-versatile Z mount. Equipped with a flip out vari-angle LCD screen, this compact 4K camera delivers outstanding image quality for photos and video. A 20.9 MP DX CMOS sensor paired with an EXPEED 6 processing engine provides high sensitivity, fast overall performance, and superb image quality, and the Z fc also supports UHD 4K video recording. Ideal for vlogging, a flip out vari-angle LCD is provided, and full time AF with eye detection is featured with a built-in stereo microphone, external microphone jack and live stream.