Nikon has officially unveiled the Z30, a diminutive, lightweight, and cheap mirrorless model, claiming that the camera offers “comprehensive consideration for video recording of a wide range of scenes, from daily shooting to creative expression including vlogs.”
In particular, the Z30 boasts a handful of video-focused features, including:
- Uncropped 4K/30p recording
- 1080p recording up to 120 frames per second
- A prominent “Record” button
- A built-in microphone
- An articulating screen
In other words, the Z30, despite its position in a primarily stills-focused lineup, is not designed as a stills camera; instead, it’s an entry-level video-leaning model, one that’s designed specifically for vloggers, social media creators, and YouTubers. (It also lacks an electronic viewfinder, which is a Nikon mirrorless first, and further points toward the company’s video-focused goals.)
That’s not to say that the Z30 isn’t capable of great stills photography. Like all of Nikon’s mirrorless cameras, it can undoubtedly take great photos, and Nikon included features that make it suitable for a bevy of genres.
There’s the solid 21 MP sensor – pulled straight from the respectable Nikon Z fc, according to Nikon’s press release – which offers enough resolution for high-quality landscape photos, product shots, and still-life images.
Then there’s a powerful autofocus system, not to mention 11 frames-per-second continuous shooting, which are more than enough for intermediate-level (and even advanced) wildlife photography, event photography, and even sports photography.
And the Z30’s articulating screen, while useful for video recording, is also great for still shots. Use it to capture beautiful ground-level macro subjects, to achieve bird’s-eye angles when doing portraiture, and to carefully frame your self-portraits before shooting.
But the lack of an EVF is frustrating. If you want to track birds, wildlife, sports players, or even kids on the move, a viewfinder is a major help (and, for some users, absolutely essential). Most videographers won’t mind composing via the touchscreen LCD, but plenty of photographers will.
Of course, if you’re upgrading from a point-and-shoot camera or a smartphone, the lack of an electronic viewfinder might not be a problem. And the Z30 is impressively cheap, coming in at just over $700, body only (or $847 with a 16-50mm kit lens).
Note that the Z30 will enter the Nikon lineup below the Nikon Z50 and the Nikon Z fc, both of which cost around $850, body only, and are geared toward beginners and first-time mirrorless users. They’re solid cameras, but if you’re only just diving into photography and you’re looking to save money, the Z30 is certainly an option worth considering. And if you’re less focused on stills, but are instead a vlogger or videographer in need of a well-priced, high-quality camera, the Z30 may just be a perfect choice.
To learn more about the Z30 or to preorder the camera, check it out on B&H.
Now over to you:
What do you think about the Nikon Z30? Are you impressed? Disappointed? Will you buy it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!