About the Nikon Z fc (no lens included)
A modern powerhouse with a throwback design
A modern powerhouse with a throwback design
Nikon has something pretty sweet for modern-day creators — a powerful mirrorless body with the look and feel of an old-school film camera. I love the Z fc's top-panel mechanical control dials for shutter speed and ISO. And when the rear-panel screen is closed, this camera looks impressively close to the iconic Nikon bodies of yesteryear.
I especially like that you can charge the Z fc without having to take out the battery.
The Z fc's mechanical control dials are made from precision-carved aluminum, and feature helpful engraved markings.
Pair it with premium glass for the best image quality
I'm a Canon shooter by trade, but one reason I'd be tempted to switch to Nikon is their outstanding lineup of Z-mount lenses.
Nikon makes some of the best optical elements on the planet, and their Z-mount lenses (especially their higher-end glass) are world-famous for their light-gathering abilities and quick, ultra-sharp focusing.
It's worth noting that this "body only" configuration of the Z 6II does not come with a lens in the box. Check out my article on choosing camera lenses to find the right one for you.
- retro design is styled around vintage Nikon film cameras
- top-panel mechanical control dials for shutter speed, ISO, and more
- each is made from precision-carved aluminum with engraved markings
- 20.9-megapixel DX format APS-C CMOS sensor
- compatible with Nikon's outstanding lineup of Z-mount lenses
- also compatible with Nikon F-mount lenses when paired with optional Nikon Mount Adapter FTZ
- EXPEED™ 6 image processor for high-resolution, low-noise photos and videos
- 3" rotating LCD touchscreen for intuitive composition and review
- electronic OLED viewfinder provides a "live look" at your image's composition
- flip the screen around to the front for easy vlogging on the go
- built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allow easy file sharing and remote control from smart devices
- 209-point Hybrid AF autofocus system for fast, accurate focusing with photos and videos
- Eye-Detection AF quickly finds your subject's eyes and puts them in sharp focus
Exposure modes and controls:
- program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual, and fully automatic exposure modes
- ISO range: 100-51,200 (expandable to ISO 204,800)
- no built-in flash; works with Nikon Speedlites to add additional light to your composition
- 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) video recording at up to 30 frames per second
- records movies in MP4 and MOV formats
- live-stream technology for instantly broadcasting content
- records stills in RAW (NEF), JPEG, and RAW+JPEG formats
- top JPEG resolution (pixels): 5,568 x 3,712
- supports SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
Connections and dimensions:
- USB (Type C) interface for fast data transfer and charging (cable included)
- 3.5mm microphone input
- includes rechargeable EN-EL25 lithium-ion battery
- 5-3/4"W x 3-11/16"H x 2-1/4"D
- weight: 15.7 oz. (with battery)
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 1671
What's in the box:
- Camera body (black/silver)
- BF-N1 body cap (installed)
- DK-32 rubber eyecap (installed)
- EN-EL25 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery with plastic terminal cap (7.6V 1120mAh 8.5Wh)
- MH-32 battery charger (DC output: 8.4V 1.12A)
- AN-DC23 neck strap
- User's Manual (English)
- User's Manual (Spanish)
- Warranty card
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More details on the Nikon Z fc (no lens included)
Features & specs
|LCD Screen Size||3"|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||None included|
|SD Cards||SD, SDHC, SDXC|
|Image Stabilization||With VR lens|
|Highest Resolution||5568 x 3712|
|Video Resolution||3840 x 2160|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||15.7|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The Z fc brings a classic design to Nikon's Z Series of mirrorless digital cameras. It records in Nikon's DX format, and can produce stunning 20.9-megapixel still images and broadcast quality 4K video. The Z fc features multiple dials on the retro-styled body to give you the feel of a Nikon FC-series film camera. It even has the same Nikon logo used on the camera bodies of the 1970s and 80s. The Z fc has the Nikon Z mount, and is compatible with Z-mount NIKKOR lenses. With an available mount adapter, you can use F-mount NIKKOR lenses. There are no lenses included in this "body only" package.
Image Sensor: The Z fc is equipped with a DX-format 23.5 x 15.7mm CMOS image sensor with 20.9 million effective pixels (and 21.51 million total pixels). The sensor is paired with the EXPEED 6 processing engine to produce stunning images and vibrant movies. The Nikon DX format, with its native 3:2 aspect ratio, enables photographers to take advantage of the familiar perspective characteristics of 35mm film photography. You can choose to shoot in the DX format (36 x 24), or switch to 1:1 (16 x 16), or 16.9 (24 x 14) aspect ratios.
Still Image Size/Quality: The Z fc records still images in JPEG and NEF* (RAW) formats. It can also record in both NEF (RAW) + JPEG formats simultaneously. JPEG images can set to fine (1:4 compression), normal (1:8), or basic (1:16) image quality. Depending upon the selected format (image area), you can choose from the following image sizes:
|Format (Image Area)||Large||Medium||Small|
|DX (24 x 16)||5568 x 3712 (20.7M)||4176 x 2784 (11.6M)||2784 x 1856 (5.2M)|
|1:1 (16 x 16)||3712 x 3712 (13.8M)||2784 x 2784 (7.8M)||1856 x 1856 (3.4M)|
|16:9 (24 x 14)||5569 x 3128 (17.4M)||4176 x 2344 (9.8M)||2784 x 1560 (4.3M)|
|Photos taken during movie recording|
|4K||3840 x 2160|
|HD||1920 x 1080|
* RAW data from the image sensor is saved directly to the memory card in Nikon Electronic Format (NEF). You can process RAW images to JPEG files in the camera, or on your computer using the downloadable Capture NX-D software.
Movies: The camera can record movies in MOV and MP4 formats with MPEG-4/H.264 advanced video coding and Linear PCM (MOV format) or AAC audio (MP4 format). Audio is recorded using the built-in stereo microphone, or an external stereo microphone (connected via the provided 3.5mm mic jack). Image quality can be set to High or Normal. The available movie options include:
|Option||Frame Rate||Maximum Bit Rate |
|4K UHD |
3840 x 2160
|30p, 25p, 24p||144 (HQ only)||29 min 59 sec|
|Full HD |
1920 x 1080
|120p, 100p||144 (HQ only)|
|60p, 50p||56/28 Mbps|
|30p, 25p, 24p||28/14 Mbps|
|30p, 25p x4 |
|36 Mbps (HQ only)||3 min|
|24p x5 |
|29 Mbps (HQ only)|
Recording Media: The Z fc has a single memory card slot that accommodates SD memory cards. UHS-I cards are supported. Cards rated UHS Speed Class 3 or better are recommended for movie recording. No memory cards are supplied with the camera.
Touch-sensitive LCD Monitor: The Nikon Z fc features 3.0-inch, 1,040,000-dot vari-angle TFT LCD monitor with a 170° wide viewing angle and 100% frame coverage. The angle of the monitor can be adjusted for low- or high-angle shooting, or even self-portrait mode. The monitor has an 11-level adjustable brightness control. The Z fc features a Live View that lets you use the monitor in place of the camera's viewfinder to confirm your subject and composition while shooting. The touch screen can be used to position the focus point during live view, measure a value for preset manual white balance, and for typing. During playback you can swipe to view images, zoom in or out of images, view thumbnails, and view movies.
OLED Viewfinder: In addition to the LCD monitor, the Z fc has a 0.39", OLED viewfinder with approximately 2,360,000 dots (XGA), and 100% vertical and horizontal frame coverage. It has a diopter adjustment knob so you can set the viewfinder to your personal eyesight (with or without eyeglasses). The bright and sharp viewfinder makes focusing in low-light situations possible. The viewfinder offers approximately 1.02x magnification. An eye sensor near the viewfinder automatically switches between the monitor and viewfinder as you raise or lower the camera to your eye.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: The Z fc has built-in Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b/g/n/a/ac, 2.4 and 5 GHz) and Bluetooth (4.2), allowing you to wirelessly connect the camera to computers, smartphones, or tablets running the SnapBridge app. On the app, you can download pictures from the camera, or control the camera for taking pictures remotely. With the Wireless Transmitter Utility software loaded on your computer, you can easily upload images via Wi-Fi from your camera to your computer automatically. The camera and computer can be connected via a Direct Wireless Connection (Access-Point Mode) or on an existing network (Infrastructure Mode). With the free Nikon Webcam Utility software, you can use the Z fc and a NIKKOR Z lens for live streaming and web conferencing.
Vibration Reduction: The Nikon Z fc offers Vibration Reduction when used with VR-enabled NIKKOR lenses. When a VR lens is attached, you can choose Normal or Sport VR in the camera menu, or disable Vibration Reduction.
209-Point Autofocus System: The Z fc is equipped with a hybrid phase-detection/contrast Autofocus system with AF assist. With 209 focus points (covering about 87% of the frame), you can select from the following AF-area modes: Pinpoint AF, Single-point AF, Dynamic-area AF, Wide-area AF (S), Wide-area AF (L), Wide-area AF (L-people), Wide-area AF (L-animals), Auto-area AF, Auto-area AF (people), and Auto-area AF (animals). You can choose from Single or Continuous Auto Focusing, Full-time AF, or Manual Focusing.
Focus Lock: Focus Lock can be used to change the composition after focusing, making it possible to focus on a subject that will not be in a focus area in the final composition.
Focus Shift Shooting Mode: To obtain a photo with a wide depth of field, the Focus Shift Shooting Mode takes a series of individual photos, each with a slightly different focus distance. Using 3rd party software, the images can be stacked into a single image. Before shooting, you must choose the number of shots (up to 300), the focus step width, the time between shots (in seconds), first-frame exposure lock (on/off), silent photography (on/off), and the folder in which to save images.
Release Modes: The release mode determines how the camera takes photographs. During continuous shooting, you can set the maximum number of shots per burst at between 1 and 100. You can choose from the following shooting modes:
- Single Frame: camera takes one photograph each time the shutter-release button is pressed
- Continuous L: while the shutter-release button is held down, the camera records 1 to 4 frames per second, as selected in the menu.
- Continuous H: while the shutter-release button is held down, the camera records continuously at up to about 5 frames per second.
- Continuous H (extended): while the shutter-release button is held down, the camera records continuously at up to about 11 frames per second.
- Self-Timer: use self-timer for self-portraits or to reduce blurring caused by camera shake; you can set the self-timer to 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds. Up to 9 self-timer exposures can be taken at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 seconds.
Interval Timer Photography: The Z fc is equipped to take photographs automatically at preset intervals. Shooting will begin about 3 seconds after the interval is set or you can set a start time. You can select the number of intervals, and the number of shots taken per interval. The interval length can be set in hours, minutes, and seconds. You can also set up the camera to take a silent time-lapse movie, with the frame size, frame rate, and image area currently selected in the movie shooting menu.
Exposure Modes: The Exposure Modes determine how the camera sets shutter speed and aperture when adjusting exposure. You can choose from the following Exposure Modes using the top-mounted Mode Selector:
- Auto: A "point-and-shoot" mode in which the camera sets exposure and hue.
- Programmed Auto (P): The camera sets shutter speed and aperture for optimal exposure according to a built-in program; recommended for snapshots and other situations in which there is little time to adjust camera settings.
- Shutter-Priority Auto (S): The user chooses the shutter speed while camera sets aperture for best results; use to freeze or blur motion. The shutter speed can be set from 30 to 1/8000 seconds.
- Aperture-Priority Auto (A): The user chooses the aperture while the camera sets shutter speed for best results; use to blur background for portraits or bring both foreground and background into focus for landscape shots.
- Manual (M): The user controls both shutter the speed and aperture for complete control over exposure.
Long Time-Exposures: When the M (manual) exposure mode is selected, you can choose between two Long Time-Exposure modes: Bulb and Time. During Bulb shooting, the shutter will remain open while the shutter-release button is held down. Bulb shooting is used for long time-exposure photographs of moving lights, the stars, night scenery, or fireworks (an optional tripod and optional remote cord are recommended to prevent blur). Time exposures start when the shutter-release button is pressed on the camera or an optional remote control. The shutter remains open until the button is pressed a second time.
Exposure Compensation: The Z fc has a dedicated Exposure Compensation dial on the top of the camera. On the dial, you can adjust the exposure in the range -3 to +3 EV in steps of 1/3 EV. On the dial, the "C" position lets you adjust the exposure compensation in the menu from -5.0 to +5.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV for photos and -3.0 to +3.0 EV for videos. Exposure compensation is available in P, S, A, and M modes.
Metering: The Z fc utilizes through-the-lens (TTL) metering using the camera's image sensor. You can choose one of the following metering methods:
- Matrix Metering: The camera meters a wide area of the frame and sets exposure according to tone distribution, color, distance, and composition for natural results.
- Center-weighted: The camera meters the entire frame but assigns greatest weight (75%) to the 8mm area in the center of the frame. The weighting can also be based on the average of the entire frame.
- Spot: The camera meters inside a 3.5mm diameter circle (approximately 2.5% of frame). The circle is centered on the selected focus area, centered on selected focus points.
- Highlight-weighted: The camera assigns the greatest weight to highlights to reduce loss of detail in highlights.
Multiple Exposure: This feature records a series of two to ten NEF (RAW) exposures in a single photograph. Multiple exposures can be recorded at any image quality setting, and produce results with colors noticeably better than photographs combined in an imaging application because they make use of RAW data from the camera image sensor.
White Balance: White balance is used to preserve natural colors under different types of lighting. You can choose one of the following white balance options: Auto (3 options), Natural Light Auto, Direct Sunlight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent (3 types), and Flash. You can also choose a color temperature from a list of values (2500K-10,000K), or manually set the white balance using the subject, light source, or existing photograph in the memory card as reference. The White Balance Fine Tuning feature allows you to compensate for variations in the color of the light source or to introduce a deliberate color cast into an image by adjusting the amber, blue, green and magenta color settings.
Bracketing: Bracketing automatically varies exposure, flash level, Active D-Lighting (ADL), or white balance slightly with each shot, "bracketing" the current value. You can set the increment to 1/3, 2/3, 1, or 1.3 EV, and the number of shots to 2, 3, 5, 7, or 9. In exposure, flash level, and ADL bracketing, multiple shots are required to complete the "bracket" as the camera will vary the settings with each shot. With white balance bracketing, the camera creates multiple copies of each photograph, each with a different white balance. Bracketing can be combined with continuous shooting or the self timer modes.
ISO Sensitivity: ISO Sensitivity is the digital equivalent of film speed. You can set the ISO Sensitivity to Auto or Manual. You can manually select settings of ISO 100 to ISO 51200 in steps of 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV. For special occasions, expanded settings of 1 or 2 EV above ISO 51200 (equivalent to ISO 204,800).
Picture Controls: The camera offers seven preset Nikon Picture Controls. You can choose a Picture Control according to the subject or type of scene:
- Auto: The camera automatically adjusts hues and tones based on the Standard Picture Control. Complexions of portrait subjects are softer, and foliage and sky colors are more vivid than Standard.
- Flat: Details are preserved over a wide tone range; good for photos that will be retouched or processed later.
- Landscape: Produces vibrant landscapes and cityscapes.
- Monochrome: Takes monochrome photographs.
- Neutral: Minimal processing for natural results; recommended for photographs that will later be extensively processed or retouched.
- Portrait: Process portraits for skin with natural texture and a rounded feel.
- Standard: Standard processing for balanced results; recommended for most situations.
- Vivid: Pictures are enhanced for a vivid, photo-print effect; recommended for photos that emphasize primary colors.
- Creative Picture Controls: You can choose from the following: Dream, Morning, Pop, Sunday, Somber, Dramatic, Silence, Bleached, Melancholic, Pure, Denim, Toy, Sepia, Blue, Red, Pink, Charcoal, Graphite, Binary, and Carbon.
Color Space: The color space determines the gamut of colors available for color reproduction. You can select either sRGB for photos that will be printed or used "as is" with no further modification, or Adobe RGB for images that will be extensively processed or retouched after leaving the camera.
Active D-Lighting: Active D-Lighting preserves details in highlights and shadows, creating photographs with natural contrast. Active D-Lighting offers the following application strength levels: Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low, and Off.
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS): The Z fc does not have a built-in flash. Optional flash units can be attached to the camera's accessory shoe. The camera supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System when used with CLS-compatible flash units, such as the SB-5000, SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, SB-500, SB-R200, SB-400, SB-300, and SU-800. The following flash modes are supported: Front-curtain sync, Slow sync, Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction, Slow sync with Red-eye reduction, Fill flash, and Off.
Flash Compensation: Flash compensation is used to alter flash output from -3 EV to +1EV in increments of 1/3 EV to change the brightness of the main subject relative to the background. Flash output can be increased to make the main subject appear brighter or reduced to prevent unwanted highlights or reflections.
FV Lock: This feature is used to lock the flash output, allowing photographs to be recomposed without changing the flash level and ensuring that the flash output is appropriate to the subject even when the subject is not positioned in the center of the frame. The Flash output is adjusted automatically for any changes in ISO sensitivity and aperture.
HDMI: The camera features a Micro-HDMI (Type D) output for connecting the camera to an HDTV or other high-definition video device via an optional HDMI cable.
SuperSpeed USB: The Z fc has a SuperSpeed USB Type-C connector. The USB port can be used for downloading photos to your computer, live streaming to your computer, or connecting the camera to a printer. You can also power the camera through USB Power Delivery by connecting the camera via USB to an optional charging AC adapter (EH-7P) or a computer.
Microphone: The camera has a 3.5mm input for an external microphone, such as the Nikon ME-1 Stereo Microphone. The sensitivity of a connected external microphone can be set in the menu.
Image Playback Modes: After taking photos, you can play them back on the monitor or viewfinder. Images can be played back one at a time in Full-Frame Playback. Thumbnail Playback allows you to view four (2x2), nine (3x3), or 72 (9 x 8) images at once on the monitor so that you can search for an image quickly. During Full-Frame Playback, you can zoom in to a photo for a closer look. DX (24x16) images can be zoomed in to a maximum of approximately 21x for Large, 16x for Medium, or 10x for Small. Once the image is enlarged, you can move it around on the LCD monitor using the multi selector.
Photo Information: Photo information is superimposed on images displayed in Full-Frame Playback. You can cycle through photo information options, including File Information, Exposure Data, Highlight Display, RGB Histogram, Shooting Data, Location Data, Overview Data, or None.
Auto Image Rotation: Photographs taken while Auto Image Rotation is set to "On" contain information on camera orientation, and allow the images to be rotated automatically during playback, or when viewed using the NX Studio software.
Playback Menu: The playback menu contains the following options:
- Delete: allows you to delete the current image or all the images in the selected folder or folders
- Playback Folder: allows you to play back the images in the current folder, all folders created with the Z fc, or all folders on the memory card
- Display Options: choose from either a detailed display of information or a basic display of information
- Image Review: When this setting is enabled, the camera displays the image on the LCD monitor after the picture is taken.
- Rotate Tall: portrait photos are displayed in tall orientation during playback
- Slide Show: allows you to play back images one after the other in a slide-show fashion. You can select the type of images to display, and how long each photo will be displayed, and if audio will be played.
- Rating: You can rate pictures from zero to five stars, or mark them for later deletion.
Retouch Menu: The Retouch Menu allows you to create trimmed, resized or retouched copies of the photographs you have taken on the memory card. The Retouch Menu gives you the following editing options: NEF (RAW) processing, Trim, Resize, D-Lighting, Red-eye correction, Straighten, Distortion control, Perspective control, Monochrome, Image overlay, and Trim movie.
Image Comment: The camera allows you to input up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text and save it to a recorded image. The comment can be viewed in NX Studio software as metadata.
Battery: The Z fc is powered by the EN-EL25 Lithium-ion battery (7.6V, 1120mAh, 8.5Wh). The battery charges in approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes using the supplied MH-32 battery charger. The estimated battery life for the EN-EL15c is as follows:
|Photo Mode||Movie Mode|
|Viewfinder only||Monitor only||Viewfinder only||Monitor only|
|310 shots||360 shots||80 minutes||80 minutes|
NX Studio: No software is included with the Z fc. You can download Nikon's NX Studio software for viewing and editing pictures and videos shot with Nikon digital cameras. NX Studio lets you fine-tune photos shot in Nikon's NEF (RAW) format or convert them to JPEG or TIFF (RAW processing). It can also be used for editing tone curves and enhancing brightness and contrast for JPEG/TIFF photos shot with Nikon digital cameras. Nikon's NX Studio is compatible with Windows 10 (Home, Pro, Enterprise) and Windows 8.1 (including Pro and Enterprise), and macOS Big Sur (ver.11), Catalina (ver.10.15), or Mojave (ver.10.14).
Wireless Transmitter Utility: The Wireless Transmitter Utility is required for connecting the camera to a network. Pair the camera with the computer and download the pictures via Wi-Fi. Wireless Transmitter Utility is compatible with Windows 10 (Home, Pro, Enterprise) and Windows 8.1 (including Pro and Enterprise), and macOS Big Sur (ver.11), Catalina (ver.10.15), or Mojave (ver.10.14).
Webcam Utility: Webcam Utility allows you to connect the camera to a computer with a USB cable and use the camera as a webcam. Webcam Utility is compatible with Windows 10 (Home, Pro, Enterprise) and macOS Big Sur (ver.11), Catalina (ver.10.15), Mojave (ver.10.14), or High Sierra (ver.10.13).
SnapBridge: SnapBridge is Nikon's mobile application for wireless connection (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) between the camera and your smartphone or tablet. Using SnapBridge, you can download existing pictures from the camera, or upload them to your device as they are taken. The app lets you control the camera and take pictures using the smart device. SnapBridge is compatible with Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 12.0 or later, and Android devices running Andriod 8.0 or later, 9.0 or later, 10.0 or later, or 11.