Nikon Z50 vs Panasonic FZ1000 II
The Nikon Z50 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2019 and February 2019. The Z50 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the FZ1000 II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (Z50) and an one-inch (FZ1000 II) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.7 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon Z50||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Nikon Z mount lenses||25-400mm f/2.8-4.0|
|20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-51200 (100-204800)||ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.2" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 1240k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Swivel touchscreen|
|11 shutter flaps per second||12 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|320 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 94 x 60 mm, 450 g||136 x 97 x 131 mm, 810 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Z50 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Nikon Z50 and the Panasonic FZ1000 II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ1000 II is notably larger (11 percent) than the Nikon Z50. It is worth mentioning in this context that the Z50 is splash and dust resistant, while the FZ1000 II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ1000 II has a lens built in, whereas the Z50 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Nikon Z50»||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||15.9 oz||320||Y||Oct 2019||859||Nikon Z50|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II«||5.4 in||3.8 in||5.2 in||28.6 oz||350||n||Feb 2019||899||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Canon M50« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.3 in||13.8 oz||235||n||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Fujifilm X-T30« »||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.5 oz||380||n||Feb 2019||899||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X-T3« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||2.3 in||19.0 oz||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499||Fujifilm X-T3|
|Leica C-LUX« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049||Leica C-LUX|
|Nikon D3500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||12.9 oz||1550||n||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic G95« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||3.0 in||18.9 oz||290||Y||Apr 2019||999||Panasonic G95|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||2.6 in||13.8 oz||300||n||Aug 2018||999||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic ZS200« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500« »||5.4 in||4.0 in||5.3 in||32.3 oz||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony A6400« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.0 in||14.2 oz||410||n||Jan 2019||899||Sony A6400|
|Sony A6100« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.3 in||14.0 oz||420||n||Aug 2019||749||Sony A6100|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||Sony A6300|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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.
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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon Z50 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic FZ1000 II an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ1000 II is 69 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 20.7MP, the Z50 offers a slightly higher resolution than the FZ1000 II (20MP), but the Z50 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.22μm versus 2.41μm for the FZ1000 II) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the Z50 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the FZ1000 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the Z50 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Z50 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Nikon Z50 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 100-204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
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 comparators.
|Nikon Z50||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon Z50|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Canon M50||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon M50|
|Fujifilm X-T30||APS-C||26.0||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X-T3||APS-C||26.0||6240||4160||4K/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T3|
|Leica C-LUX||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica C-LUX|
|Nikon D3500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Nikon D3500|
|Nikon D5500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic G95||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic G95|
|Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic ZS200||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic FZ1000||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony A6400||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24||13.6||1431||83||Sony A6400|
|Sony A6100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony A6100|
|Sony A6300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85||Sony A6300|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Z50 and the FZ1000 II are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2360k dots. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon Z50 and Panasonic FZ1000 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon Z50||2360||n||3.2||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Nikon Z50|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Canon M50||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Canon M50|
|Fujifilm X-T30||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X-T3||3690||n||3.2||1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-T3|
|Leica C-LUX||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Leica C-LUX|
|Nikon D3500||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3500|
|Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic G95||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||Y||Panasonic G95|
|Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic ZS200||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic FZ1000||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony A6400||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6400|
|Sony A6100||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6100|
|Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the FZ1000 II is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon Z50 and the Panasonic FZ1000 II both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Z50 and the FZ1000 II write their files to SDXC cards. The Z50 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the FZ1000 II can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).
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 Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon Z50||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon Z50|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Canon M50||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M50|
|Fujifilm X-T30||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X-T3||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-T3|
|Leica C-LUX||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica C-LUX|
|Nikon D3500||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3500|
|Nikon D5500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic G95||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic G95|
|Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic ZS200||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic ZS200|
|Panasonic FZ2500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic FZ1000||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony A6400||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A6400|
|Sony A6100||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A6100|
|Sony A6300||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6300|
Both the Z50 and the FZ1000 II are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The FZ1000 II replaced the earlier Panasonic FZ1000, while the Z50 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon Z50 or the Panasonic FZ1000 II – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon Z50:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 7 months after the FZ1000 II).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.68x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1240k vs 1040k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the Z50 necessitates an extra lens.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2019).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Z50 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon Z50 and the Panasonic FZ1000 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, 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 shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Z50 or the FZ1000 II. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Panasonic FZ1000 II
- Canon 400D vs Nikon Z50
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Nikon Z50
- Leica SL vs Panasonic FZ1000 II
- Nikon D7000 vs Nikon Z50
- Nikon Df vs Panasonic FZ1000 II
- Nikon W150 vs Nikon Z50
- Nikon Z50 vs Panasonic G95
- Nikon Z50 vs Panasonic ZS200
- Nikon Z50 vs Sony HX350
- Panasonic FZ1000 II vs Panasonic FZ300
- Panasonic FZ1000 II vs Panasonic ZS80
Specifications: Nikon Z50 vs Panasonic FZ1000 II
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon Z50||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-400mm f/2.8-4.0|
|Launch Date||October 2019||February 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 859||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.7 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5568 x 3712 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.22 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.60 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-51200 ISO||125-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-204800 ISO||80-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 6||Venus|
|Screen Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1240k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Autofocus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
127 x 94 x 60 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)
136 x 97 x 131 mm
(5.4 x 3.8 x 5.2 in)
|Camera Weight||450 g (15.9 oz)||810 g (28.6 oz)|
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