Nikon Z50 Review

Overall Rating
Based on 15 expert reviews

Most reviewers were pleasantly surprised by the compact yet ergonomic Nikon Z50 mirrorless camera. Though it uses a smaller 20.9-megapixel, APS-C-sized image sensor compared to its full frame Z-series counterparts – the Nikon Z6 and Z7 – image quality from the Z50 was great and photos had impressive dynamic range. The camera also handled quite well, and its weather-sealed camera body felt more comfortable in the hand than competing models. When paired with the pancake-like 16-50mm kit lens, the Nikon Z50 made a great travel shooter, and the type of "gateway" camera that might get Instagrammers to put down their smartphones and pick up this Nikon. The Z50 is helped by its relatively simple Wi-Fi set-up for transferring images and videos to social media sites. Though the operative word is "relatively." While Nikon's Z50 is better than most cameras for wireless image/video sharing, it's still got a long way to go to compete with something like an iPhone. Also, while there's a fun flip-under tilt screen on back of the Z50 for shooting selfies, it's awkwardly placed, and you can't use a tripod when it's deployed. Other quibbles with the Nikon Z50 include the absence of in-body image stabilization and the lack, so far, of many native lenses. On the other hand, for under $1000 when sold as a kit, you get a good slim lens, fast 11 frames per second shooting, and sharp 4K video, making the Nikon Z50 kit one of the most affordable quality mirrorless camera systems on the market.

+ Very good image quality with excellent dynamic range
+ Great handling for a small camera
+ Weather sealed
+ Fast 11 frames per second continuous shooting
+ Sharp 4K video
+ Slim 16-50mm "pancake" kit lens
+ Relatively simple Wi-Fi image & video transfer
- No in-body image stabilization
- Awkward flip-under tilt-screen can't be used with tripod
- Limited native lens availability
- Single UHS-1 SD Card slot
- Mediocre battery life
Full Model Name
Nikon Z 50
Camera Type
Mirrorless Camera
Sensor Format
Kit Lens
Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR
Autofocus System
209-point Hybrid AF System with Eye Detection AF
ISO Range
ISO 100-51,200 (native); 100-204,800 (extended)
Weather/Water Proofing
Weather sealing
Built-in Flash
Yes, pop-up flash
Rear Screen
3.2-inch LCD flip-down screen designed for selfie taking and vlogging
Card Slots
Single SD slot (UHS-I)
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
5.0 x 3.7 x 2.4 inches
14 ounces
Top Reviews

"The Nikon Z50 is an excellent debut for the company in the crowded APS-C mirrorless market. It’s an ideal travel camera, and it’s also a great option for those looking to move from a Nikon DSLR, or who just love the brand. Offering great handling, excellent value and a set of enticing features, there’s a lot to like about the Z50, even if it does fall a little short in a few areas." - Tech Radar, read the full review here.


"The Z50 is a capable and comfortable camera to use, for a wide range of photography. The autofocus system is a little more awkward than it needs to be, but generally it's a hugely competitive camera. If the lenses you want to use exist, it should be on your list of cameras to consider." - DPReview, read the full review here.


"The Z50 is a good debut for Nikon’s Z mount APS-C mirrorless system. Unfortunately, it’s entering a very competitive market and faces some strong competition, particularly Fujifilm’s X-T30. While it handles great, the Z50 trails rivals in autofocus, shooting speeds, video and particularly image quality." - Engadget, read the full review here.


"I love the Z50. Picture quality, menus and ergonomics are superior to anything from Sony, while Sony's autofocus performance is better for sports." - Ken Rockwell, read the full review here.


The Nikon Z 50 is not just a scaled down version of the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7. Nikon has done a remarkable job of giving such a small camera such a solid one-handed grip, but quite apart from the size of the camera, we were impressed by the 16-50mm pancake kit lens which is one of the slimmest APS-C kit lenses we've yet seen and uses a 'proper' mechanical zoom rather than an electrical power zoom system. But the clincher could be Nikon's pricing." - Digital Camera World, read the full review here.


"[The Z50] is a compact, lightweight camera that is a joy to use thanks to its deep handgrip, logical control layout, and very good electronic viewfinder and LCD screen. The Z50's 20 megapixel APS-C sensor certainly delivers the goods in terms of still and video quality alike, with the uncropped 4K footage and slow-motion 1080p options proving to be great features at this price point." - Photography Blog, read the full review here.


"The Nikon Z50 has plenty to offer experienced photographers, with a solid build and a comprehensive feature set. Thanks to its deep grip and small body, I love the way it feels in my hand. Its autofocus system is also excellent and it can get fast-moving subjects sharp and keep them that way in gloomy conditions. The Nikon Z50 also delivers great images and video, and despite a couple of niggles such as the lack of a joystick and the inability to use the screen to set the AF point while you look in the viewfinder, it’s become one of my favorite cameras of recent times." - Camera Jabber, read the full review here.


"The Nikon Z 50 is an impressive start for the first APS-C model in the Z series. It’s a solid design, shoots excellent images, and offers generally fast performance. Simple connectivity and in-camera video trimming help make it ideal for influencers that want to shoot and share without plugging into a computer. " - Digital Trends, read the full review here.


"Bringing a revitalized approach into its mirrorless line-up, the Z50 represents the entry/mid-level entry point - complete with DX sensor and access to the Z mount lenses - in a package that's feature rich, easy to use, and capable beyond its years." - Pocket Lint, read the full review here.


"The new Nikon Z50 mirrorless camera is the smallest interchangeable-lens DX-format camera Nikon offers, and as you can probably tell, I liked it a lot.  It’s small and rugged with surprisingly high build quality for the price, and its thin, sleek design is very attractive.The Nikon Z50 scores high points for it’s swift performance and imaging capabilities, and has enough physical buttons so you rarely have to dig into the menu to find the setting you’re looking for. In short, the new Nikon Z50 exceeded my expectations. It’s not only a great choice for someone moving up from a smartphone or compact pocket camera, but would serve well as an affordable backup camera for experienced photographers." - Shutterbug, read the full review here.

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