Nikon Z Mount

As forecast earlier, the new mirrorless series from Nikon with a 35mm sensor is here. The Z series was unveiled recently with its own Z-mount. The series presently has two cameras, three dedicated lenses and a lens adapter. I am yet to get my hands on it, but here is what I feel are the main positives and negatives.

Nikon Z Series

Positives –

  • The FTZ lens adapter. It is said that this will allow most of the F-mount lenses to be used with the new Z mount. Even some of the AI-s lenses (Evolution of Nikkors (Nomenclature)). This is the single best thing about the Z series and this maybe the single reason for the success of Nikon’s Z Series.
  • The accessories are similar. The Nikon EN-EL15/a/b batteries can be used. Even the Nikon’s CLS works with the new series. (Nikon CLS and SU-800)
  • The specs show a good ISO range and hopefully low noise at high ISO.
  • The top LCD looks nice.
  • Good weather-sealing.
  • The grip appears similar to DSLRs and should be comfortable to use.
  • Some new lenses are lined up to be released for the system.
  • The Z-mount is large in size and should be useful for developing faster lenses in future.


Negatives –

  • WTF! Was there any need for jumping onto the mirrorless bandwagon? I still think that EVIL is evil (Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lenses). Sony and Fujifilm users are not coming back to Nikon just due to this change! Note that Nikon. In fact, some of the new users of Nikon might shift to them.
  • The low flange distance can be a problem with designing new wideangle lenses though Nikon does have some real good research team as far as optics are concerned.
  • Single memory card slot (but then even some really classy DSLRs like Nikon’s Df have had single memory card slot).
  • Lots of settings are gone into the menu. Though the cameras feature a menu that can be accessed through the electronic viewfinder for quick adjustments, dedicated buttons are always better.
  • What’s the use of putting all Sony under a Nikon name? If I wanted a mirrorless camera, I would have (and still will) opt for the other well-established brands. The usual problems of mirrorless will exist – more chances of dust on sensor, high battery usage and long exposure noise. Maybe Nikon has done some improvements to mitigate these… time will tell.
  • Z-mount is different from the regular Nikon mount (F-mount). This is the biggest negative and also an indication of what’s brewing in Nikon.


Impact –

  • Will Nikon recover from this change? The users will now put off new purchases. After all, who wants to end up with another lot similar to Canon FD lenses? On a personal note, I’ll also delay my planned purchase of a Nikon telephoto lens. A new mirrorless system seems fine but a change of lens-mount does not.
  • To me, it seems like Nikon is actually struggling to recover some of its lost territory from other mirrorless camera manufacturers, especially after the failure of Nikon 1 series. Instead of getting new users, Nikon might end up loosing a fair share of its own loyal users.


Here’s the link to Nikon’s official Z series page – Overview of Z Series (link opens in a new tab). Do visit the link. At least the page looks quite impressive!

(The image on the top of this article is from the same Nikon’s page.)


EDIT 1 – This comes after almost an year of the launch of Z series.

I am still not convinced of the Z-series. My reason is simple. The stock of lenses that I have is not entirely compatible with these cameras, even with the new adapter. Most of the lenses that I have are AI-s and ones with a physical aperture control. The FTZ lens adapter lacks the ‘feeler’ for the aperture.

If I have to change to mirrorless in future and if that change will involve letting go of my lenses, I’ll choose from the various other existing options and not just Nikon.

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