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Nikon Z50 Comparison Review

The Nikon Z50 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in October 2019 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 20.7 megapixel.

camera

Is the Nikon Z50 a good camera? The Z50 has a Camera Elo of 2955. This rating puts the Z50 among the top 30 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the Z50 ranks among the top 10 percent.

Headline Specifications
Nikon Z50
Mirrorless system camera
20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 100-51200 (100-204800)
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.2" LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen
11 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
320 shots per battery charge
127 x 94 x 60 mm, 450 g


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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

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Nikon Z50 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon Z50 vs credit card front
Z50 versus credit card top view
Z50 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon Z50 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon Z50 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 15.9 oz 320 Y Oct 2019 859 iNikon Z50
 
Canon M50« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.8 oz 235 n Feb 2018 779 iCanon M50
 
Fujifilm X-T30« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.5 oz 380 n Feb 2019 899 iFujifilm X-T30
 
Fujifilm X-T3« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 2.3 in 19.0 oz 390 Y Sep 2018 1,499 iFujifilm X-T3
 
Nikon D3500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 12.9 oz 1550 n Aug 2018 429 iNikon D3500
 
Nikon D5500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899iNikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799iNikon D5300
 
Panasonic G95« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 3.0 in 18.9 oz 290 Y Apr 2019 999 iPanasonic G95
 
Sony A6400« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.0 in 14.2 oz 410 n Jan 2019 899 iSony A6400
 
Sony A6100« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.3 in 14.0 oz 420 n Aug 2019 749 iSony A6100
 
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999iSony A6300
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 Z50 was launched in the US market at a price of $859. 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 Z50:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.

The Nikon Z50 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 Z50 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Nikon Z50 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon Z50 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p........Nikon Z50
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........Canon M50
 
Fujifilm X-T30 APS-C 26.0 6240 41604K/30p........Fujifilm X-T30
 
Fujifilm X-T3 APS-C 26.0 6240 41604K/60p........Fujifilm X-T3
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........Nikon D3500
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883Nikon D5300
 
Panasonic G95 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Panasonic G95
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183Sony A6400
 
Sony A6100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........Sony A6100
 
Sony A6300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785Sony A6300

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The Z50 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Z50 can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Z50 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 tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon Z50 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon Z502360 n 3.2 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Nikon Z50
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Canon M50
 
Fujifilm X-T302360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T30
 
Fujifilm X-T33690 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n Fujifilm X-T3
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3500
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5300
 
Panasonic G952360 n 3.0 1240 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y Panasonic G95
 
Sony A64002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6400
 
Sony A61001440 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6100
 
Sony A63002359 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6300

One convenient feature of the Z50 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

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 Z50 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon Z50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YNikon Z50
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYCanon M50
 
Fujifilm X-T30YstereomonoY-micro3.1Y-YFujifilm X-T30
 
Fujifilm X-T3YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YFujifilm X-T3
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3500
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5300
 
Panasonic G95YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y-YPanasonic G95
 
Sony A6400YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYSony A6400
 
Sony A6100YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYSony A6100
 
Sony A6300YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6300

It is notable that the Z50 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 Z50. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon Z50..85/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Oct 2019 859 iNikon Z50
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779 iCanon M50
 
Fujifilm X-T30+ +84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2019 899 iFujifilm X-T30
 
Fujifilm X-T3+ +88/1005/55/55/5 Sep 2018 1,499 iFujifilm X-T3
 
Nikon D3500..75/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 iNikon D3500
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899iNikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799iNikon D5300
 
Panasonic G95+83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2019 999 iPanasonic G95
 
Sony A6400+85/1004.5/5..4/5 Jan 2019 899 iSony A6400
 
Sony A6100..82/1004/5..5/5 Aug 2019 749 iSony A6100
 
Sony A6300+85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999iSony A6300
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon Z50 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Z50.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the Z50 based on?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

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 Z50 with the EXPEED 6 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Z50?

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 Z50 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon Z50?

Nikon does not publish a shutter rating for the Z50. 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.

How do I find the shutter count on my Nikon Z50?

Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your Z50 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.

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

No, the Nikon Z50 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 Z50?

The Z50 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 Z50 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 Z50's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Does the Nikon Z50 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s).

Which battery does the Z50 use?

The camera gets its power from the EN-EL25, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Where can I find the best deals for the Z50?

Grey imports from Asia, as found on eBay, are often very attractively priced. However, these cameras come without a warranty from Nikon.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Nikon Z50
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens
    Launch Date October 2019
    Launch Price USD 859
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 368.95 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5568 x 3712 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.22 μm
    Pixel Density 5.60 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-204800 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 6
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    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 Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL25 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)320 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 60 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 450 g (15.9 oz)

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