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Nikon Z30 Review

Nikon Z30 Review

Nikon Z30

Rumors have been swirling around for months about Nikon’s new addition to their iconic Z series lineup.  The news on the street is that Nikon would be releasing a mirrorless camera specifically designed for social media streamers, vloggers, and video content creators.  With increasing anticipation for the Nikon Z30 launch date, on June 29th we finally received an official introduction for their new mirrorless camera with a release date and availability sometime in mid-July. 

Nikon has a century of experience bringing the latest technology into their products while revolutionizing the photography industry as the landscape evolves.  With an entry level price, and spectacular feature set crafted for video creation, the Z30 is the perfect camera for creators to take the next step in videography creation.  The Z30 is the price entry into the Z series collection, which are some of the best cameras available including the Z9, Nikon’s fastest and most powerful camera.  Additionally, the Z30 has been created with a unique purpose versus your standard professional camera. 

The Z30 showcases tons of Nikon’s sophisticated classic features along with many new elements that are made to be easy to control.  There are powerful “auto” options for everything which means you can consistently create content without having to worry about what your camera is doing or tweaks necessary to get the look and feel you’re attempting.  The professional crisp 4k UHD video and interchangeable lenses widens your possibilities to get the look and focus desired for your frame.  The hassle-free focus features plus brilliant detail in low light settings make it simple to operate while providing amazing imagery and crystal-clear audio.  Nikon designed this camera for video creators, so naturally it’s engineered to capture everything you’re looking for all on the first take.

Creator Inspired Specs & Design

  • Adjustable front facing vari-angle touchscreen LCD – These 3.0-inch screens are perfect for creators as they can swipe, pinch, and zoom through playback and menus and fold out and twist in virtually any direction. No matter if you’re doing a self-shot video and want to see yourself, using it to test focus and confirm your frame pre-shooting, or attempting unique camera angle shots from any position, the screen will adjust exactly how you need it to.  The Z30 is also travel friendly with the LCD closing inwards to protect from scratches and any other potential hazards.
  • Interchangeable lenses – The Z30 is compatible with the NIKKOR Z lenses which opens a world of exciting options from super wide lenses for macro shots with attention to miniscule detail, to telephoto lenses for far away shots. Video content requires a quiet background.  NIKKOR lenses have silent operation and reduced breathing effects while focusing making them perfect for recording.  The growing collection of these compatible NIKKOR Z lenses now has over 30 to choose from giving you endless possibilities and breaking your limitations.
  • Full time AutoFocus for video and more – The Z30’s hybrid phase detection and contrast detection AF can now be used during video recording which is extremely beneficial for shooting action sequences, first person vlogs, or any subject movement. The eye and face tracking feature works flawlessly by locking onto and tracking the subject’s eyes and is just as precise when Auto Focusing on animals.  There is also an Auto Area AF mode which will reposition the focus if you hold something up near the lens as content creators often do.
  • Front REC lamp indicator for recording – This lets you know that you’re recording with a front indicator. This works great in conjunction with the front faced LCD touchscreen that can function your camera’s focus, brightness and set self-timers while of course see yourself.
  • Superb Sound Quality. Get crystal clear audio with a built-in stereo microphone and compatible outdoor wind muff.  There is also an extra input in case you want to use a stronger external stereo or microphone.
  • 125 minutes of continuous video recording – The Z30 has a remarkably extended battery life with over 2 hours of recording time enabling you to shoot long videos in just one take. For 4k UHD recording, I advise planning to stay plugged into a power source since it requires more energy and gets about 35 minutes of recording time.
  • Superior low light Performance – With a 20.9-megapixel large APS-C / DX-format CMOS sensor and ISO range that can go from 100 up to 25600 for video and 51200 for photos, the Z30 will produce vibrant, clear, and sharp video with less noise and fast focus. Even in a low light setting during self-portrait mode, the full time AF will find and track you.

    Nikon Z30
  • 4k HD Video recording – Sharp video quality with 30P UHD or full HD up to 120P. The Nikon Z30 also allows to shoot 4k without having to crop your frame.  There are also amazing video recording features such as 1080/120P slow motion video and easy in camera time lapse movie creation.
  • Stabilization – This camera uses the Z kit lenses powerful stabilization technology to reduce any shakiness during handheld shooting. There is also a built-in e-VR (electronic vibration reduction) to add extra stabilization support if you desire but will add a 1.3x crop to your video. 
  • Customized Look – The Picture Control Auto Function can adjust the video settings corresponding to the scene with 20 different Creative Picture Controls that allow for added “flair” to your recording while eliminating the need for extra color grading in post-production.
  • Precise Color Profiling – Get beautifully natural and precise colors from your background to skin tone.
  • USB-C power option – This is a practical feature that allows you keep your camera running from an external USB-C power source.
  • Nikon Webcam Utility compatible – Nikons streaming software for streaming and web conferences.
  • Lightweight and Minimalistic – Designed to be easy to carry and easy to operate. The Z30 is the smallest Z series mirrorless camera yet still feels solid and durable in your hands.  The handle grip, which houses the battery and SD card, gives a nice balanced and comfortable feel making this camera easy to hold for long periods of time.   You still have a sturdy settings dial in the usual position, but since this is a camera designed for vloggers, you now also have a larger easier to access video record button as well.
  • Mobile connectivity and Remote – Nikon’s SnapBridge app allows you to see what the camera sees, start and stop recording, and take photos. You can also transfer photos and short video clips to your phone or tablet if you edit and post from your smart device.  There is an optional Bluetooth remote control for menu access and operating video recording and still photo shots.
  • Excellent Still Images – Utilizing the powerful sensor and speed of the Z30, you will get to enjoy capturing images up to 11 fps with amazing clarity, brightness, and color with sharp focus in any condition, in any kind of light.

Z30 vs Z50

The Z30 is made for recording video.  Even though both cameras share the same sensors and most features, there are a few technical differences.  The biggest difference is that the Z30 does not have a viewfinder while the Z50 does.  The Z30 does have a better video mode and a much better battery life.  Other than that, and a few small design changes, they’re pretty close, but if shooting video is your thing, I strongly recommend the Z30.

Options & Accessories

  1. Z 30 camera body only
  2. Z 30 camera with one lens kit (NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR)
  3. Z 30 camera with two lens kit (NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR & 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR telephoto lens)
  • Z 30 Creators Accessory Kit – Nikon ML-17 Bluetooth remote control, tabletop tripod, RODE VideoMicro microphone, and WS9 Deluxe Microphone Windshield

    Nikon Z30

Final Review

For the lowest priced mirrorless camera in the Z series, you sure do get a lot.  Again, this camera is not for your conventional photography and functionality.  It is made specifically for video recording.  For advanced professionals who already have the best cameras, this may not be for you.  But, if you’re a streamer, vlogger, or content creator looking to improve your setup, the Nikon Z30 will give you more value than just about anything else on the market while providing you with exceptional professional grade quality with powerful auto features that make it easy.

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