Nikon Entices Creators with the Z30 Mirrorless Camera06/29/2022
Joining the vlogging party, Nikon has just announced the Z30 mirrorless camera: a decidedly compact and connected camera built for creators looking to record and share their everyday adventures. This DX-format cam borrows specs and capabilities from other Z cameras, including their renowned image quality and advanced autofocus performance, but sports an all-new design and purpose-built handling that prioritizes video and single-shooter productions.
In addition to today’s Z30 camera announcement, Nikon is also releasing the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S lens, a compact super-telephoto prime lens perfect for wildlife and sports shooting. Learn more about that lens here.
Z30 Video Performance
Specifically designed for video content creators, the Z30’s video capabilities are impressive, considering the intended uses for the camera, namely online sharing and livestreaming. UHD 4K recording at up to 30p is the top spec recording format, along with Full HD at 120p for slow-motion playback. The recording limit is more than 2 hours for those situations where a long continuous take is required, such as when recording performances or events. If using the camera as a webcam, then FHD at up to 60p is possible, or 4K at 30p, and constant power delivery is available through the USB Type-C port.
Akin to Nikon’s other DX-format mirrorless bodies, the Z30 sports a 20.8MP sensor, which suits 4K video recording, as well as benefiting any day-to-day photo needs you have, including shooting your promo shots, thumbnails, or even for photographing fast-moving action at up to 11 fps. The large sensor size helps produce imagery with a high degree of clarity and can create blurred backgrounds to highlight your main subject. The sensor and image processing also enable useful low-light performance, with sensitivity up to ISO 25600 for video, or up to ISO 51200 for stills, and digital image stabilization, e-VR, also permits recording in low light by stabilizing any wobbly footage. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that the Z30 can record time-lapse sequences with in-camera processing and there is a series of in-camera effects and filters for producing ready-to-share footage straight from the camera.
Autofocus and Subject Detection
A key addition to Nikon’s mirrorless lineup, the Z30 inherits many of the AF capabilities of its big brothers, most importantly the eye and face detection that automatically recognize people, dogs, and cats, locks onto them, and then tracks the subject around the scene. For vlogging situations when you’re highlighting a product, there is also Auto Area AF that quickly and naturally shifts focus for close-up shots in the middle of recording.
As mentioned above, some of the real standout features of the Z30 relate to its design and how it has been specifically updated to match the needs of a vlogger. The body is compact and weighs just over 12 oz, meaning the camera can travel with you all day, every day, and it features a rear 3.0" 10.4m-dot vari-angle touchscreen LCD that closes against the body to protect against fingerprints or scratches. This vari-angle design also means that front-facing selfie shooting is natural and a series of selfie controls, like AF position, exposure, and self-timer settings, can also be managed from the touchscreen. There is also a red tally lamp on the front of the camera, so you’ll always know when it’s recording.
Another key ingredient to a successful video is good audio, and the Z30 is cognizant of this with the inclusion of a built-in stereo mic on the top of the camera, along with support for optional 3.5mm-connected external microphones. The top mic is also compatible with the dedicated Wind Muff to cut down on unwanted wind noise.
Among other physical details, the Z30 is also meant to be easy and intuitive to operate. You can customize the i menu to make the settings you need accessible at the touch of a button. There’s also an Auto Mode if you prefer to let the camera make the decisions for you, depending on your shooting situation. And if you’re trying to just become more familiar with all the functions and features, there’s also a ? button that provides a short explanation of what each camera setting does.
Lastly, as a connected camera, the Z30’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity pairs with the Snapbridge app on your mobile device for transferring footage and photos or for remotely controlling the camera. And for saving files in-camera, the Z30 features a single SD memory card slot.
Kits and Accessories
The Z30 is available as just the camera or can be bundled in a one-lens kit with the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens, or in a two-lens kit, including the body, 16-50mm lens, and the NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR lens.
Nikon is also releasing the Creator’s Accessory Kit for the Z30, which includes the RØDE VideMicro external microphone, the dedicated SmallRig Tripod Grip, and the Nikon ML-L7 Bluetooth Remote, which fits into the tripod grip for wireless and balanced camera control.
Additionally, SmallRig is also releasing a trio of additional accessories for the Z30: a dedicated Arca-compatible Baseplate; a form-fitting Cage, which features ¼"-20 and 3/8"-16 mounts plus an Arca-compatible plate; and a Wind Muff to help improve onboard audio quality while preserving the accessory shoe design.
What are your thoughts on Nikon’s latest mirrorless camera and its first vlogging-specific camera? Are you happy to see Nikon enter the content-creator realm with a purpose-built model? Let us know your thoughts on the Z30 and vlogging cameras in general in the Comments section, below.