Why doesn't anyone love the Nikon Z50 when EVERYONE loves the Nikon Z fc?

Nikon Z50
(Image credit: Nikon)

The Nikon Z50 arrived with all the warmth of a guests plus-one at a party. Everyone was friendly, and happy enough to make a new friend, but nobody was fawning over it.

Contrast the arrival of the Nikon Z50 with the arrival of the Nikon Z fc, a year and a half later. It was greeted with the kind of jubilation that would occur if Jesus had risen from the dead and come to the same party in a Hawaiian shirt with a six-pack. 

What's so curious is that, aside from that Hawaiian shirt and six-pack, the Nikon Z50 would literally be Jesus' twin brother at that party. They're almost exactly the same. 

It's amazing how important a loud shirt and some brews are to people, I guess. 

But it's not even like the Z fc was doing anything particularly new. It's a gorgeous camera, don't get me wrong, but Fujifilm cameras and OM System (Olympus) cameras have been rocking that same shirt-and-suds combo for over a decade. And those respective systems were far more mature and capable than Nikon's nascent DX mirrorless cameras.  

So exactly why didn't anyone jump for joy when the Nikon Z50 was launched in October 2019, given that a virtually identical camera received a rapturous reception in July 2021? 

They both have the same 20.9MP APS-C sensor. The same Expeed 6 image processor. The same ISO100-51,200 sensitivity. The same 209-point hybrid AF system. The same 11fps burst shooting…

There are only two differences: the Zfc is, obviously, designed like an old-school film camera, and its rear screen is fully articulating rather than tilt-only. Okay, I guess it doesn't have a pop-up flash like the Z50 – though surely that's another tick in the latter's box. 

Otherwise, though – identical. So will the Z50 ever get its due? We're already hearing rumors of a Z fc successor (potentially as a full-frame camera), but not a whisper about another Z50.

I've always insisted that style is substance, but substance is substance too. So I can't help but feel for the Z50, stood in the kitchen alone, nursing a lonely beer at the party. Chin up, bro – it's what's inside that counts. 

If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in reading more about the best Nikon cameras and the best Nikon lenses – including the best Nikon Z lenses, designed exclusively for its mirrorless cameras.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.