Nikon Z30 assessment: Digital Pictures Overview

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The Nikon Z30 is a 20.2MP APS-C mirrorless digital camera designed for visible content material creators eager to take the leap from capturing with their smartphone or compact digital camera. It contains many acquainted components from Nikon’s current ‘DX’ fashions however with extra deal with vlogging than stills.

Key specs

  • 20.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 4K video at as much as 30p
  • 1080 video at as much as 120fps (as slow-mo)
  • Round 2 hours of video with USB energy
  • Totally articulating 3.0″, 1.04M dot touchscreen
  • Tally lamp
  • Re-arranged buttons with a extra outstanding REC button
  • Single UHS-I SD card slot

The Z30 is on the market body-only for $709.95 or with the collapsible 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens for $849.95. A two-lens equipment that provides the 50-250mm F4.5-6.3 VR prices $1149.95. A ‘Creators Accent Equipment’ comprising a Røde Videomicro shotgun mic, ML-L7 Bluetooth distant management unit, and Smallrig mini tripod/selfie grip is $149.

What’s the Z30?

The Z30 is Nikon’s third APS-C mirrorless digital camera to make use of the corporate’s Z-mount. These smaller sensor fashions, referred to as ‘DX’ by Nikon, have all been geared toward younger content material creators, however the Z30 reveals essentially the most dedication to that trigger with an emphasis on vlogging and video streaming.

Conceptually, it is similar to Sony’s ZV-E10. Each are constructed round APS-C sensors and have articulated screens to permit the operator to seem within the stills and video they’re capturing. Each even have stereo microphones constructed into their prime plates with the choice to suit ‘useless cat’ windscreens (included with the Sony, a $10 accent for the Nikon).

They differ in three key methods, although. First, the Z30 can shoot 4K video at as much as 30fps with no crop, whereas the Sony ZV-E10 can solely shoot at as much as 24fps earlier than it has to crop in, making it more durable to realize the wide-angle view ultimate for vlogging. Second, the Z30 lacks a headphone port, which means audio will have to be monitored utilizing on-screen ranges.

Final, whereas the ZV-E10 contains a variety of video-focused colour choices, together with a number of Log profiles for post-shoot enhancing, the Z30 has a less complicated ‘Flat’ profile. In follow, that is much less refined, nevertheless it additionally means the video is less complicated to work with when enhancing.

The Nikon Z50 (left) and Nikon Z30 (proper).

In contrast to Nikon’s Z50 and Z fc, which use the identical 20MP APS-C CMOS sensor, there isn’t any 30-minute recording restrict on the Z30. Nikon says it is going to report round 125 minutes of 1080 footage for those who present energy over the digital camera’s USB-C port. 4K will seemingly cease after roughly 35 minutes at 25°C (77°F).

Nikon Z30 Sony ZV-E10 Apple iPhone 14 Professional Google Pixel 7 Professional
(With equipment zoom)
$710 (physique), $850 (w/16-50mm lens), $1050 (w/16-50 & 50-250mm lenses) $700 (physique solely), $800 (w/16-50 lens) $999 (128GB) $899 (128GB)
Picture stabilization Lens solely
(+ digital in video)
Lens solely
(+ digital in video)
Sensor-shift (rear cameras) Sensor-shift (rear cameras)
Autofocus Sort Hybrid AF (phase-detection and contrast-detection) Hybrid AF (phase-detection and contrast-detection) Part-detection and LIDAR AF Part-detection and LIDAR AF
Show (Touchscreen) 3″ 1.04M-dot fully-articulated LCD 3″ 920K-dot fully-articulated LCD Mounted 6.1″ (2556x1179px OLED) Mounted 6.7″ (3120x1440px OLED)
USB Charging Sure Sure Kind of (Lightning) Sure
Video specs As much as 4K/30p As much as 4K/30p (with 1.2x crop), 4K/24p full-width As much as 4K/60p (Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR) As much as 4K/60p (10-bit HDR)
Media Format SD (UHS-I) SD (UHS-I) Inside/Cloud Inside/Cloud
Mic Socket Sure Sure No (attainable with adapter) No (attainable with adapter)
Headphone socket No Sure No (attainable with adapter) No (attainable with adapter)
Weight 405g (14.3oz) 343g (12.1oz) 206g (7.3oz) 212g (7.5oz)

Who’s it for?

The Z30 shines when used with the equipment lens as a run-and-gun digital camera for vloggers and video creators who need strong 4K/30p and an affordable focal size vary in a compact type issue. Its video high quality is not going to be all that a lot better than what the present flagship smartphones (equivalent to Apple’s iPhone 14 Professional and Google Pixel 7 Professional) supply in most conditions. However the Z30 shall be a quality-of-life enchancment with its flip-around display, customizable buttons and controls for added versatility and the flexibility to shortly pop on an exterior microphone with no need a devoted rig.

Nikon additionally positions this as an answer for streamers who need higher video high quality on their gaming and reside streams, however I do not see it occurring. Suppose you are searching for a webcam substitute that may keep in a principally mounted place regularly. In that case, you are higher off going with a used Sony a6XXX collection digital camera or a Canon EOS-M mannequin. Each may be mounted on a tripod with an reasonably priced lens and supply related picture high quality for a lot lower than the Z30’s retail value.

Physique, dealing with & conduct

The Z30 may seem like a Z50 with its EVF chopped off, however Nikon has added just a few key particulars to make it a way more user-friendly digital camera for vlogging. Essentially the most notable additions are the fully-articulating show, a bigger report button and the tally lamp on the entrance of the digital camera. Collectively, these make the digital camera extra intuitive for capturing selfie-style video by taking the guesswork out of framing and understanding whether or not or not you are recording.

The Z30 is pleasing to shoot with, each when behind the digital camera capturing the world round you and when you will have the digital camera turned on your self. This is not simple to realize, however Nikon has balanced the buttons, dials and interface properly on each the entrance and rear of the digital camera to make it equally snug to make use of whether or not you are behind or in entrance of it.

The button choice Nikon contains is sufficient to supply all of the customization you may need in a digital camera this dimension, and the menu is straightforward to navigate with out getting misplaced. I significantly appreciated the location of the 2 customizable dials: one on the entrance of the grip beneath the shutter launch and a shoulder dial on the rear of the digital camera close to your thumb. They’re proper the place I would like them when capturing, and I haven’t got to fumble round whereas holding the digital camera with a single hand.

Media is saved on a UHS-I SD card subsequent to the battery on the underside of the digital camera. This is not as simple to entry as a side-mounted card slot, nevertheless it’s far sufficient off the tripod mount that you need to have the ability to take away the battery and reminiscence card even with a tripod or plate hooked up.

What’s it like to make use of for vlogging?

Nikon Z30 with a Røde Videomicro shotgun mic hooked up.

Over the previous few years, producers have launched digital camera fashions made particularly for hybrid content material creators. Whereas Nikon counted its Z50 and Z fc APS-C cameras amongst these fashions, the Z30 is the corporate’s most video-oriented mannequin but.

The included equipment lens provides a decent focal size vary, however it could’ve been good to see it go a bit wider. At its widest, the lens offers a 24mm equiv. focal size. Whereas large sufficient for many use circumstances, it could’ve been good to see the broader finish begin at a 20mm equiv. focal size, as you may discover in Sony’s recently-released fixed-lens ZV-1F. The Z30 does shoot utilizing the complete width of the sensor, however for those who use the digital picture stabilization (1.23x crop), that 24mm successfully turns into 30mm, which is a bit tight for a selfie-style video.

Autofocus had no downside maintaining with vlog-style content material. Face/Eye AF labored properly in vibrant and darkish conditions, shortly locking onto my eye even once I would look away from the digital camera for a bit.

AF carried out properly when filming different shifting topics so long as a topic took up at the very least 10% of the body. Any smaller than that, although, and monitoring would typically lose the topic if it was shortly working by way of the body. This was extra pronounced on the wider focal lengths, nevertheless it did not show to be a lot of a problem as you will have extra in focus at wider focal lengths, so slight hiccups in AF weren’t as noticeable.

Face/Eye AF labored properly in each vibrant and darkish conditions, shortly locking onto my eye even once I would look away from the digital camera for a bit.

Battery life proved strong and proper heading in the right direction with what Nikon estimates. In keeping with Nikon, the EN-EL25 battery will seize roughly 75 minutes of video. I averaged round 65 minutes of battery life when capturing 4K/30p video, and that was in comparatively colder climate, which may inhibit efficiency.

The Z30 has USB-C charging and whereas it is not a brand new idea, having the choice to shortly prime off the battery whereas vlogging is that rather more helpful than with stills capturing, contemplating how shortly video burns by way of a battery. It was simple to attach my USB battery pack to the Z30 in my bag between capturing and have it topped off and able to go the subsequent time I wanted to make use of it.

I might’ve appreciated to see sooner charging instances (my benchmarking topped out at 6.35W), however larger wattage throughput means extra warmth, which may have an effect on digital camera efficiency when that you must shoot with it.

Charging the Z30 over USB-C may be very useful and simple to do. Charging stats are proven for uber-nerds (you understand who you might be).

Taking pictures is barely a part of the equation when vlogging, although. You even have post-production, and it appears Nikon has additionally carved out a pleasant workflow for creatives to latch onto with its new Nikon Flat colour profile. This low-contrast, low-saturation preset provides you extra flexibility to paint grade your video in post-production with out having to cope with extra difficult Log profiles and LUTs (look-up tables).

Nikon’s ‘Flat’ Image Management colour profile can also be obtainable for stills. This has the additional advantage of creating it simple to match the aesthetic of your images to your movies. The identical digital camera you employ to shoot Reels and Shorts can be used to seize thumbnails and nonetheless photos, and people photos will look related with out numerous hours of getting to paint matching Log video footage to your stills.

Picture High quality

The Z30 is constructed round a superb sensor, making it a powerful selection for each stills and video.

Nikkor 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR @ 18mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec | F5.6
Picture: Richard Butler

The Nikon Z30 makes use of the identical 20.2MP sensor discovered within the Nikon Z50 and Z fc. And whereas it is merely an up to date model of the sensor utilized in Nikon’s D500 DSLR, it holds its personal with strong Uncooked efficiency and good JPEGs.

In daylight or well-lit scenes, photos are sharp with unbelievable element. In low-light scenes, the place chances are you’ll must bump up the ISO, dynamic vary holds up properly, and noise is well-controlled, however the latter can typically come at the price of low-contrast particulars being a bit smeared.

As an entire, although, the Z30 performs as you’ll count on it to, given it makes use of the identical sensor used contained in the Z50. If you would like to learn extra particulars, head over to the Picture High quality part of our Z50 assessment:

Image Quality: Nikon Z50


What we like What we do not
  • Compact
  • Glorious ergonomics and menu system
  • Clear 4K/30p video
  • Quick AF efficiency up shut
  • Good built-in stereo microphone with 3.5mm port for exterior mics
  • Versatile equipment lens
  • No headphone jack
  • No sensor stabilization
  • Restricted lens selections
  • No visible strategy to monitor audio in selfie-mode

The Nikon Z30 is a compact and succesful interchangeable lens digital camera that excels at what it is meant for: informal vlogging. It is unintimidating to get began with, however provides sufficient customization to make sure it will slot in together with your content material creation workflow.

Its interchangeable lens design is proscribed presently, as Nikon’s ‘DX’ Z-mount lens choices are scarce in the intervening time exterior of the 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR equipment lens. Nikon has one 12-28mm equiv. energy zoom (PZ) lens and two prime lenses (24mm and 36mm equiv.) within the works, however these are but to hit the market with no clear timeframe for when they could arrive.

The ZV-E10 provides extra within the optics division due to Sony’s strong E-mount ecosystem, nevertheless it’s much less ergonomic and is proscribed to 4K/24p when capturing until you need a pesky 1.2x digital crop to shoot 30 fps. And contemplating the 2 cameras with their respective equipment lenses are almost similar, the $800 value favors the Z30 until you are searching for extra lens choices or need the Product Showcase feature for hands-on type movies.

As for cellular gadgets, the Z30 will undoubtedly supply a extra nice capturing expertise than even the most effective smartphone, due to its flip-around display and a strong number of customizable buttons and dials. Video high quality is not essentially going to be that a lot better, other than low-light capturing. Nonetheless, the detachable media does make it simpler to work with bigger information when capturing prolonged content material. Whether or not or not that’s value an additional $800 out of your pocket in the end depends upon your private wants as a content material creator.


Scoring is relative solely to the opposite cameras in the identical class. Click here to study concerning the modifications to our scoring system and what these numbers imply.

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