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The Incredible Nikon Z 50 Mirrorless camera

The Nikon Z 50 (and the almost technically identical other Z DX cameras) is quite a bargain. It is almost as if Nikon sacrificed a tad to bring new photographers into the Z line. I was so taken with the Z 50 that I spent a considerable amount of time researching and self-publishing a Kindle book about it. I sell my book for 0.99 cents! Why, crazy, I guess. See my Kindle book about the Z 50 link here. I teach this stuff in Bakersfield, California. For a tailor-made class contact me here.

Using Z 85mm f/1.8 S at 100/s, f/6.3, ISO 200. The “S” is for superior optics. The Z 85mm has, of course, a 105mm field of view (FOV) on the “half-frame” Z 50. The Z 85mm will work just perfectly on a half-frame or full frame Nikon mirrorless camera.

The Nikon Z 50 is a “half frame” camera but don’t be too concerned about this. It has “only” 20.9 megapixels but don’t let that concern you either. Nikon’s Z 7 mirrorless camera has over twice the megapixels but you can easily double a Z 50’s image using Topaz Gigapixel and have an image almost flawless in its resolution.

In the above Kindle book of 9,800 words (here), I describe all the steps I take to produce professional quality photographs using the Nikon Z50 mirrorless camera. Quality results are a matter of skill, experience, and knowledge of the mechanics of photography. But awareness of the physics of sensor, lens, and light are also significant contributors to high-quality results. None of it is particularly demanding but there is a lot of it. In this book you will find all the basics and a bit more. That “bit more” is what will prompt you toward exceptional results. An expert, after all, is someone who has mastered the basics. What else can an expert be?

The Z50 camera is smaller and lighter than full-frame (FX) Nikon cameras. The cropped sensor extends the field of view (FOV) of telephoto lenses quite nicely. Because the APS-C sensor is half the full-frame sensor’s size, we multiply any lens used with an APS-C sensor by 1.5 to find the lens’ FOV. So, a lens that has a FOV of 300mm on a full-frame camera has the FOV of 450mm on a half-frame sensor (300 x 1.5 = 450). Nikon DX lenses are made specifically for Nikon cropped sensors cameras. They need only produce an image circle large enough to overlap the smaller sensor. So, the lens can be smaller than required for a full-frame camera. Lenses for the Z50 should be less expensive and lighter, in theory.

I have six reasons for buying the Nikon Z50: 1) to learn more about mirrorless technology without going all in, 2) for a backup camera at events or weddings, 3) lower price, 4) less weight, 5) smaller size, and 6) an interesting technical challenge to squeeze every bit of image perfection from the already excellent sensor. In fact, the information here may well be applied to any Nikon mirrorless camera. While the first five are self-explanatory, the “challenge” is less obvious. I have challenged myself to learn to use the Z50 in such a way that I wring every last bit of image quality from its smaller but exceptional sensor. This is why I authored the book.

I encourage you to “right-click” on the images and select “Open image in new tab” (Opera & Microsoft Edge) or “View image” (Firefox) to see the image in a larger size and better judge image quality. These images are about one-megabyte in size, so they may take a little longer to load on some networks.

Oil museum blowout prevention device. Z 50 and Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S at 24mm, 1/500s, f/6.3, ISO 100. The Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S (S for superior optics) is delightful to use on the Z 50. The lens is very sharp at all settings. As neither the Z 50 nor the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S has VR (Vibration Reduction) I like to keep the shutter speed fairly high if possible.

You can use the Nikon FTZ or FTZ II to attach many modern Nikon lenses such as this Nikon 28-300 VR lens. Here the lens is set to 125mm, and the camera, 1/640s, f/5.6, ISO 200.

Z 50 & Z 50mm f/1.8 lens at 1/3200s, f/2.5, ISO 100. The Z 50mm S lens is remarkably sharp and free of distortion or chromatic aberrations (color fringing). DXO’s review of this lens is well worth the study.

In fact, as a “walking around” combination, the Z 50 & Z 50mm S lens is a real joy.

Chess, Nikon Z 50 & Z 85mm, 1/125s, f/1.8, ISO 250.

No prize winner here, but I like the way the Z 24-70mm rendered this scene at 24mm (1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 160). If I had been THINKING, I would have used f/10 with some higher ISO. The focus point could be moved much further back at that f-number. Perhaps, focus to the left, hold the shutter, and recompose?

I have observed no difference between a handheld or tripod mounted photo taken at 1/60s; handheld left, tripod mount right. The fact that the Z 50 is lighter than many “pro” cameras and many Z lenses are lighter than F mount lenses certainty aids handheld shots.

Photography can be fun, profitable, creative, and technically superior at the same time. Contact me for a custom one-to-one camera class in Bakersfield, California. Please text me at: 661-303-9210 (preferred) or email me Here for an appointment.

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