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Nikon Z fc Comparison Review

The Nikon Z fc is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in June 2021 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 20.7 megapixel.

camera

Is the Nikon Z fc a good camera? The Z fc has a Camera Elo of 2746. This rating puts the Z fc among the top 40 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the Z fc ranks among the top 10 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Nikon Z fc
Mirrorless system camera
20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 100 - 51 200 (100 - 204 800)
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Swivel touchscreen
11 shutter flaps per second
300 shots per battery charge
135 x 94 x 44 mm, 445 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Nikon Z fc vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon Z fc vs credit card front
Z fc versus credit card top view
Z fc and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon Z fc alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon Z fc 135 mm 94 mm 44 mm 445 g 300 n Jun 2021 959 i
2.
 
Fujifilm X-T20 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899i
3.
 
Nikon Z50 127 mm 94 mm 60 mm 450 g 320 Y Oct 2019 859 i
4.
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 415 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
5.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
6.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
7.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 470 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
8.
 
Nikon 1 V3 111 mm 65 mm 33 mm 381 g 310 n Mar 2014 799i
9.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
10.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
11.
 
Samsung NX30 127 mm 96 mm 58 mm 375 g 360 n Jan 2014 999i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon Z fc was launched in the US market at a price of $959. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Nikon Z fc:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

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The Nikon Z fc features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon Z fc among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Nikon Z fc sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon Z fc APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.213.8213185
2.
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p23.913.2170481
3.
 
Nikon Z50 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.113.6196384
4.
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.4185183
5.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
6.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
7.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
8.
 
Nikon 1 V3 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.738452
9.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
10.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
11.
 
Samsung NX30 APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.512.4101476
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The Z fc indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Z fc can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Z fc has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2360k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.68x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Nikon Z fc along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon Z fc2360 Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 11.0/s n n
2.
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s Y n
3.
 
Nikon Z502360 n3.2 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
4.
 
Nikon D3500optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Nikon D5600optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Nikon D3400optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D5500optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon 1 V3optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D3300optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D5300optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
11.
 
Samsung NX302359 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 9.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Nikon Z fc is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the Z fc

One useful feature of the Z fc is a presence of a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

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Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Z fc and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon Z fcYstereo / monoY-micro3.2Y-Y
2.
 
Fujifilm X-T20Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Nikon Z50Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Nikon D3500Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
5.
 
Nikon D5600Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Nikon D3400Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
7.
 
Nikon D5500Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Nikon 1 V3-stereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
9.
 
Nikon D3300Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D5300Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
11.
 
Samsung NX30Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the Z fc has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Z fc. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon Z fc4/5..4.5/586/1005/54.5/5 Jun 2021 959 i
2.
 
Fujifilm X-T205/5+ +5/582/1005/54.5/5 Jan 2017 899i
3.
 
Nikon Z505/5..5/585/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2019 859 i
4.
 
Nikon D3500....4/575/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
5.
 
Nikon D56004/5..4/579/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
6.
 
Nikon D34004/5+4/576/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
7.
 
Nikon D55005/5+..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
8.
 
Nikon 1 V33/5....76/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2014 799i
9.
 
Nikon D33003/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
10.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
11.
 
Samsung NX303/5....77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon Z fc:
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Nikon Z fc FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Z fc.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the Z fc?

The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Nikon equipped the Z fc with the EXPEED 6 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Z fc?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the Z fc is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon Z fc?

Nikon does not publish a shutter rating for the Z fc. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Nikon Z fc?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Nikon Z fc has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Nikon Z fc?

The Z fc offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Nikon Z fc feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The Z fc's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Does the Nikon Z fc support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the Z fc use?

The camera gets its power from the EN-EL25 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Nikon Z fc
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens
    Launch Date June 2021
    Launch Price USD 959
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 369 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5 568 x 3 712 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.22 μm
    Pixel Density 5.60 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 51 200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 204 800 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 6
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    V-logging Friendliness Front-flip possible
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.2
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type EN-EL25 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)300 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 135 x 94 x 44 mm
    (5.3 x 3.7 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 445 g (15.7 oz)

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