Nikon Z50 hybrid camera

Nikon Z50 hybrid camera

Let’s face it: unless we’re irreducible photo purists, most of today’s shots are taken with our smartphones. Historical camera manufacturers do not disarm in the face of buyers flight.

Let’s face it: unless we’re irreducible photo purists, most of today’s shots are taken with our smartphones. Historical camera manufacturers do not disarm in the face of buyers flight. They try to seduce the general public with light, space-saving, easy-to-use and high-performance devices. This is the case with Nikon and its Z50, an entry-level hybrid camera that we were able to test.

He’s being forgotten!

A brief preamble… The Nikon Z50 is the first hybrid of the brand to integrate an APS-C* sensor. It can take pictures in 20.9 megapixels and shoot 4K videos at up to 30 frames per second. As it does not have a mirror, the size of the housing is reduced (12.6 x 9.3 x 6 cm). It is also light: 450 grams “bare”.

Hanging around our neck for two days of testing, the Z50 was totally forgotten. A real treat when you’re used to walking around with a SLR… The camera also includes a “Z” mount.

Introduced by Nikon in 2018 for its first hybrid cameras (the Z6 and Z7), it allows much more compact lenses to be adapted to the body.

Well thought-out ergonomics

Once in hand, you can instantly appreciate the depth of the Z50’s handle. It offers the camera an extremely firm grip, even when you have large palms. It is a real pleasure to have it in hand. The ergonomics are really well thought out. In addition to its 3.2”/8 cm touchscreen and swivelable display, our hybrid has an OLED electronic viewfinder.

As much as we doubted the relevance of such viewfinders (as opposed to optical viewfinders) a few years ago, so much so that the Z50’s 2.36 million pixel (XGA) viewfinder is perfectly defined, but also extremely bright. We find with him the simple pleasure of aiming, far from the one on a smartphone screen.

Impeccable night photos

This quickly familiarizes you with the use of the Z50. With its 16-50 mm or 50-250 mm optics, exiting the Automatic mode is essential to explore the possibilities of the case.

With an ISO rating of 100 to 51,200, the Z50 can be used in all lighting conditions. The presence of digital noise only appears late: from ISO 6400 onwards. In particular, we tested the device at night in the city for a long time, with very convincing results and clear images.

Practical for flawless Portraits, AF eye detection ensures impeccable sharpness with a background blur that may be less present than in full format, but is nicely measured.

Surprise also by leaving the index finger on the shutter release: the Z50’s burst mode at 11 frames per second can capture the image that will hit the target. Integrating many scene modes, the Z50 also features different filters.

On arrival, the quality of the Z50’s shots is enough to seduce both amateur photographers who are already lit and laymen.

The possibility of transferring your photos to a smartphone via Wifi or Bluetooth is now a must. Nikon makes it possible with its Snapbridge application, which is very useful if you want to share your photos on social networks quickly. Repeated many times during our test, the operation has always gone smoothly.

Not everything is perfect….

There are still a few small points that can be improved. The Z50 sensor is not stabilized. The two lenses that accompany its release** are. Strangely enough, in 2019, Nikon does not offer a USB-C plug on its body. Finally, a small failure for selfies: the Z50’s rear screen rotates downwards only and not upwards, which will not allow it to be used with a tripod for this type of view.

It’s time to zoom in on the budget. The Nikon Z50 is available “bare” at 999 euros, 1149 euros in kit (16-50 VR) and 1399 euros in double kit (16-50 VR and 50-250 VR). It is an investment, certainly, but at a time when many are ready to spend more than 1000 euros to buy a high-end smartphone to take “beautiful photos” and that they will only keep 2 or 3 years, it deserves to be put into perspective….


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