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.
Is the Nikon Z50 a good camera? The Z50 has a Camera Elo of 2726. 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. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4.5-star performance rating.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 51 200 (100 - 204 800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.2 LCD, 1040k dots|
|11 shutter flaps per second|
|320 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 94 x 60 mm, 450 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
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.
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.
|Nikon Z50||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||15.9 oz||320||Y||Oct 2019||859|
|Canon M50||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.3 in||13.8 oz||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|Fujifilm X-T30||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.5 oz||380||n||Feb 2019||899|
|Fujifilm X-T3||5.2 in||3.7 in||2.3 in||19.0 oz||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499|
|Nikon D3500||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||12.9 oz||1550||n||Aug 2018||429|
|Nikon D5500||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|Nikon D5300||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|Panasonic G95||5.1 in||3.7 in||3.0 in||18.9 oz||290||Y||Apr 2019||999|
|Sony A6400||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.0 in||14.2 oz||410||n||Jan 2019||899|
|Sony A6100||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.3 in||14.0 oz||420||n||Aug 2019||749|
|Sony A6300||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999|
|Notes: 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 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.
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.
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.
| DXO |
|Panasonic G95||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
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.
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.
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.
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.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
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.
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).
|Nikon Z50||..||85/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Oct 2019||859|
|Canon M50||+||79/100||..||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|Fujifilm X-T30||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|Fujifilm X-T3||+ +||88/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Sep 2018||1,499|
|Nikon D3500||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||429|
|Nikon D5500||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|Nikon D5300||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|Panasonic G95||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2019||999|
|Sony A6400||+||85/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|Sony A6100||..||82/100||4/5||..||5/5||Aug 2019||749|
|Sony A6300||+||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999|
|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.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Nikon Z50?
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 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?
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.
|Camera Model||Nikon Z50|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Launch Date||October 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 859|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||369 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm|
|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|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL25 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
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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