Gear Talk Open Letter

A camera above the Nikon Z30 I’d like to see.

The recently released Nikon DX 12-28mm looks pretty nice! I’d be tempted to go all Nikon if they’d release something with a video focus that’s a step above the Z30. I still have a pair of Canon EOS M6 Mark II cameras for mostly video that basically have the same feature set as the Z30, so little point upgrading sideways in my case. For people just starting to get into online video creation I do think the Z30 is a fine option. Especially with recent discounts taking the body price down to $607 on B&H (as of the creation of this article).

The Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens

The lens I use the most with the M6ii is the Canon EF-M 11-22mm. Now that Nikon has something similar in focal length and features like close focus plus optical stabilization, they are on my radar as a future replacement to my EF-M equipment.

The Nikon Z30

What I’d like to see in an improved APS-C video focused camera from Nikon:

  • EN-EL15 battery to match most of their full-frame bodies like the Z5 that I have.
  • Dual SD card slots with support for mirrored video recording (aka. built-in backup of video files). I don’t know if any Nikon cameras support this but they need to start.
  • h.265 encoding capable with the inclusion of efficiency focused encoding options. I record in 4k 8-bit 4:2:0 h.265 with my Atomos Ninja V (EDIT: this is a paid add-on encoder for the V but comes with the V+) most of the time and it’s more than good enough. Helps me better manage saving my video projects as they continue to expand in number, file size, and complexity.
  • UVC webcam support. No drivers and no hassle for people that want to use the camera as a webcam. Obviously the camera would need to be able to run for long periods of time without overheating.
  • Full sized HDMI port along with microphone and headphone ports.
  • IBIS that works well in video mode. Maybe not if it increases the cost of the camera too much but many competing models have it now.
  • Low rolling shutter performance. I don’t need a ton of pixels. Though being able to record in ~6k would be very nice because I’d use it to crop-in as needed and deliver video in 4k.
  • Capable of running for long periods of time without overheating. It doesn’t have to follow something like Sony’s design choices with their Sony ZV-E1. If the purpose of the camera is video I think it needs to handle it as long as any user needs it to.
  • I’m basically describing a Sony FX30, but I’d like this to be cheaper, lol.

Check out the Nikon Z30 through my links:
Used on KEH:
Best Buy:

Panasonic Lumix S5 II has an MSRP of $2000 which makes the FX30 a difficult buy.

Panasonic has changed the landscape of high value video focused hybrid cameras with the release of their Lumix S5ii . It was their first L-mount camera to use PDAF in addition to the multitude of video related features. The value proposition of that camera compared to the Sony FX30 feels a lot higher considering the MSRP difference is only $200 more.

With APS-C I’m more so focused on price and size while getting advanced features. For this hypothetical Nikon camera I’d like to see it $1500 or below. Ideally at $1300 or even lower if they want to seriously make a grab for market share. They’ve started to do that with Z30 price reductions.

In addition to new lenses like the 12-28mm and the DX 24mm f/1.7, they’ve officially allowed Sigma to offer glass in Z mount in some form. Tamron also has an agreement with them in re-badged lenses and Tamron labeled glass. Viltrox, Meike, TTArtisan, and Yongnuo also have autofocus lenses available for the Z mount!

Having 3rd party lens options and accessories increases my confidence in the versatility and longevity of Z-mount.

I’m glad to see Nikon’s recent efforts even though they seem to be slower at releasing products compared to Canon.

I voice some of this in a video here: