Nikon Z50 vs Panasonic G90
The Nikon Z50 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 (labelled Panasonic G95 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2019 and April 2019. Both the Z50 and the G90 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (Z50) and a Four Thirds (G90) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.7 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Z50 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon Z50 and the Panasonic G90 is provided 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 G90 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Nikon Z50. Moreover, the G90 is markedly heavier (19 percent) than the Z50. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the Z50 gets 320 shots out of its EN-EL25 battery, while the G90 can take 290 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon Z50||127 mm||94 mm||60 mm||450 g||320||Y||Oct 2019||859||amazon.com|
|2.||Panasonic G90||130 mm||94 mm||77 mm||536 g||290||Y||Apr 2019||999||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779||ebay.com|
|4.||Nikon Z fc||135 mm||94 mm||44 mm||445 g||300||n||Jun 2021||959||amazon.com|
|5.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||470 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899||ebay.com|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|7.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799||ebay.com|
|8.||Olympus E-M1 III||134 mm||91 mm||69 mm||580 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,799||amazon.com|
|9.||Olympus E-M5 III||125 mm||85 mm||50 mm||414 g||310||Y||Oct 2019||1,199||amazon.com|
|10.||Olympus E-M5 II||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic G80||128 mm||89 mm||74 mm||505 g||330||Y||Sep 2016||899||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic GX8||133 mm||78 mm||63 mm||487 g||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||ebay.com|
|13.||Sigma fp||113 mm||70 mm||45 mm||422 g||280||Y||Jul 2019||1,899||amazon.com|
|14.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony A6100||120 mm||67 mm||59 mm||396 g||420||n||Aug 2019||749||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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. The Z50 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the G90, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 G90 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G90 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the Z50 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G90 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 20.7MP, the Z50 offers a slightly higher resolution than the G90 (20.2MP), but the Z50 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.22μm versus 3.34μm for the G90) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the Z50 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the G90, 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the 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-G90 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|2.||Panasonic G90||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.2||13.0||1273||75|
|4.||Nikon Z fc||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.2||13.8||2131||85|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
|8.||Olympus E-M1 III||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.3||13.1||1356||76|
|9.||Olympus E-M5 III||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.3||13.1||1324||76|
|10.||Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
|11.||Panasonic G80||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71|
|12.||Panasonic GX8||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75|
|13.||Sigma fp||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.2||14.2||2829||94|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Z50 and the G90 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon Z50 and Panasonic G90 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon Z50||2360||n||3.2 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Panasonic G90||2360||n||3.0 / 1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Nikon Z fc||2360||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||n||n|
|5.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Olympus E-M1 III||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||18.0/s||n||Y|
|9.||Olympus E-M5 III||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|10.||Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|11.||Panasonic G80||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic GX8||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|13.||Sigma fp||optional||n||3.2 / 2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||n|
|14.||Sony A6400||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony A6100||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that differentiates the G90 and the Z50 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The G90 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the Z50 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
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, both cameras under consideration feature an 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 G90 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 G90 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras support UHS-II cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 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-G90 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon Z50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Panasonic G90||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Nikon Z fc||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D5300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Olympus E-M1 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Olympus E-M5 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic G80||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic GX8||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sigma fp||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony A6400||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A6100||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A6300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the G90 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The Z50 lacks such a headphone port.
Both the Z50 and the G90 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The G90 replaced the earlier Panasonic G80, 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 is the bottom line? Is the Nikon Z50 better than the Panasonic G90 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon Z50:
- 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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 86g or 16 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (320 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the G90).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90:
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x 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.
- 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 April 2019).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Z50 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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 G90 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Z50 or the G90 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Nikon Z50||5/5||..||5/5||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2019||859||amazon.com|
|2.||Panasonic G90||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2019||999||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779||ebay.com|
|4.||Nikon Z fc||4/5||..||4.5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2021||959||amazon.com|
|5.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||ebay.com|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|7.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||ebay.com|
|8.||Olympus E-M1 III||5/5||..||5/5||83/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2020||1,799||amazon.com|
|9.||Olympus E-M5 III||5/5||+||5/5||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2019||1,199||amazon.com|
|10.||Olympus E-M5 II||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic G80||..||+ +||..||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic GX8||5/5||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||ebay.com|
|13.||Sigma fp||4/5||..||4/5||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2019||1,899||amazon.com|
|14.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||4/5||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony A6100||..||..||4/5||82/100||4/5||5/5||Aug 2019||749||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||ebay.com|
|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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 5D Mark II vs Nikon Z50
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic G90
- Fujifilm X-E2 vs Panasonic G90
- Leica V-LUX 5 vs Nikon Z50
- Nikon 1 V3 vs Nikon Z50
- Nikon D700 vs Panasonic G90
- Nikon Z50 vs Panasonic FZ330
- Nikon Z50 vs Sony A9
- Nikon Z50 vs Sony RX10 II
- Panasonic G110 vs Panasonic G90
- Panasonic G90 vs Sony A9
- Panasonic G90 vs Sony RX1R
Specifications: Nikon Z50 vs Panasonic G90
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 G90|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2019||April 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 859||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic G90|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.7 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5568 x 3712 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.22 μm||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.60 MP/cm2||8.96 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 51,200 ISO||200 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 204,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 6||Venus|
|Screen Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic G90|
|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||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1240k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic G90|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||9 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/4000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic G90|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon Z50||Panasonic G90|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||290 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)
130 x 94 x 77 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||450 g (15.9 oz)||536 g (18.9 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.