Tag Archives: gear

First Impressions: Nikon Z fc

The Retro-Styled DX Mirrorless Nikon Camera

I just received the new Nikon Z fc camera kit with 16-50mm DX lens. You might be asking why I would purchase this camera, seeing as how I already have a Nikon Z 7 ii. The answer comes down to size and weight.

The Nikon Z fc, with my hedgehog, Lemmy (350g) for scale

The Nikon Z fc is a 20-megapixel, DX (APS-C) format mirrorless camera. While much has been hyped about it’s retro look (it does look a lot like my 1978 Nikon EL2), that’s only part of its charm. With the kit lens, the Nikon Z fc weighs in at around 576g. That’s less than half the weight of my Nikon Z 7 ii + 24-70 f/4 combo. This camera can easily fit into a jacket pocket.

The top controls include dials for ISO and Shutter Speed. Aperture is set via the front command dial, or you can configure the lens function ring to change aperture. There’s a tiny LCD panel on the top of the camera that displays the aperture (f-stop) value. There’s also an exposure compensation dial that ranges from ±3 EV in 1/3 stop increments.

The Nikon Z fc has a range of user-customizable options, including the i-Menu, and user-assignable functions for the front Fn1 button and the movie record button. There are fewer custom function buttons than what you’ll get on the larger Z6 and Z7 cameras, and there’s no Sub-Selector joystick.

Probably the biggest difference between the Z fc and other Nikon mirrorless cameras is the way the rear LCD is mounted. The rear LCD panel flips out from the side, rather than the top or bottom. This mounting arrangement allows you to use the LCD from the front of the camera (selfie mode), or rotate it to be completely covered and protected.

I’ll be putting the Nikon Z fc through its paces, but for now I’m pleased with its build quality and overall design.

Check Pricing and Configurations for the Nikon Z fc Mirrorless Digital Camera

Nikon Z 24-200mm Lens Review

The all-purpose zoom lens that’s perfect for travel and walkabout photography

The Nikon 24-200mm f/4-6.3 lens (left) isn’t much bigger than the 24-70mm f/4, but packs an 8.3x zoom range that is perfect for general-purpose and travel photography.

Earlier this year, Nikon announced the 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR zoom Nikkor for full-frame (FX) Z-mount mirrorless cameras. Despite its variable aperture design, I was intrigued by the idea of having a native Z-mount lens for travel and general purpose photography. During my international photo tours, I typically used my 24-120mm f/4 VR zoom Nikkor as my primary lens.

When I moved to the Nikon Z mirrorless camera system last year, one of the challenges I faced was coming up with an appropriate travel kit. When I’m traveling, especially internationally, the size and weight of my kit are more important than superior optical quality. The Nikon 24-70mm f/4 S lens, which is the Nikon Z “kit” lens, is very good but has a limited zoom range, meaning I’d need to add a longer telephoto zoom to my bag.

I considered using my 24-120mm f/4 with the FTZ lens mount adapter, but I found that it was a little clumsy to use and frankly, quite heavy. That left me with the following travel kit:

This kit worked well on my photo tour of Scotland in the fall of 2019, but it was still a bit cumbersome compared to having a good all-purpose zoom lens. With the addition of the 24-200mm to the Nikon Z lineup, I could theoretically have a two-lens kit, with the 24-200mm being my go-to lens in most situations. This change would save me nearly a kilogram of weight from my bag!

Continue reading Nikon Z 24-200mm Lens Review

The Image Doctors #28

The Image Doctors Photography Podcast

Nikon D780, Canon 1DX Mk III, and more!

This week saw the announcements of several new cameras, from Nikon and Canon, along with some new lenses. Jason and Rick give their first impressions of the new Nikon D780 and new Nikkor lenses, plus the flagship Canon 1DX Mk III, Fujifilm X-Pro 3 and Olympus OM-D-EM1X. New lenses from Nikon include the 120-300mm f/2.8 sports zoom, and a 70-200mm f/2.8 S for Nikon Z-mount mirrorless cameras.

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The Image Doctors #21

Affordable camera systems

The Image Doctors Photography Podcast

We love high-end gear as much as anyone, but sometimes you want a budget option. Whether it’s for a family member as a gift, or even a backup camera, we take a look at some great deals on camera systems that are (mostly) under $1000 US and include one or more lenses.

Our Recommended Camera Kits for under $1000

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Review: Gnarbox WiFi Hard Drive

Gnarbox Product Review: A Wireless Portable Hard Drive for Mobile Workflow

As I find myself exploring the world with my camera, my need to “go light” has ramped up. While I still prefer to use my DSLRs, one area where I can really save some space and weight is by exchanging my laptop for an iPad for overseas travel. My mobile workflow on the iPad is still evolving, but Lightroom CC (formerly Lightroom Mobile), is quite competent for most travel photography. The Gnarbox portable hard drive is a potential complement to the traveling photographer looking to stay light and use a tablet instead of a laptop.

Gnarbox
Gnarbox is a portable WiFi SSD backup solution for mobile workflow.

The Achilles heel of most tablets is storage space. While the iPad Pro can be configured with 512GB of memory, that’s not a lot when it comes to RAW capture with my Nikon D850. In the field, it would be nice to not only have a file back-up solution that integrates with the tablet, but also a way of previewing and triaging images before moving them to the tablet to use in editing apps. Enter the Gnarbox, a portable hard drive with WiFi connectivity.

Gnarbox (gnarly name, dude) is a portable solid state hard drive (SSD) that connects to your mobile device via its own local WiFi hotspot. This means you can use it with mobile devices that do not support USB drives, like the iPad. I got my hands on a Gnarbox from B&H Photo to test, and what follows is my experience with it using iOS mobile devices. Continue reading Review: Gnarbox WiFi Hard Drive