Review Nikon Z 30 w/ 16-50mm Of 2023: Great Camera For Photography

For those who wish to upgrade from using their smartphone or tiny camera, Nikon has created the Z30, a 20.2MP APS-C mirrorless camera. It has many of the well-known features of Nikon’s current “DX” versions but is more geared toward video blogging than still photography.

Describe the Z30.

The Z30 is the third APS-C mirrorless camera from Nikon to use the Z-mount from the manufacturer. All of these smaller sensor models, referred to by Nikon as “DX,” are geared toward emerging content producers, but the Z30 demonstrates the most devotion to that cause by placing a focus on vlogging and live video streaming.


It has several conceptual similarities with Sony’s ZV-E10. Both include articulated panels and APS-C sensors, allowing the user to appear in both the still images and the video they are recording. Both also include stereo microphones that may be mounted on their top plates and come with “dead cat” windscreens (free with the Sony, an extra $10 with the Nikon).

But, they differ in three crucial aspects. The Sony ZV-E10 can only shoot at up to 24fps before it must crop in, making it more difficult to get the wide-angle view necessary for vlogging. In contrast, the Z30 can shoot 4K video at up to 30fps without the need for a crop. Second, because the Z30 lacks a headphone jack, audio levels must be checked on-screen.

Finally, the ZV-E10 has a variety of color settings tailored specifically for video, including various Log profiles for post-shoot editing, whilst the Z30 provides a more straightforward “Flat” profile. This is less complicated in practice, but it also makes it simpler to edit the video.

The Z30 has no 30-minute recording restriction, unlike Nikon’s Z50 and Z fc, which share the same 20MP APS-C CMOS sensor. If you supply power using the camera’s USB-C connector, Nikon claims it will record around 125 minutes of 1080 video. At 25°C (77°F), 4K will likely cease after 35 minutes.

It is for whom?

The Z30 excels as a run-and-gun camera for vloggers and video artists who want reliable 4K/30p and a good focal length range in a small package when used with the kit lens. In most cases, its video quality won’t be much that superior to what the most recent flagship smartphones (like Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro) provide. With its flip-around screen, adjustable buttons and controls for greater adaptability, and the ability to rapidly connect an external microphone without the need for a special setup, the Z30 will be a quality-of-life upgrade.

Nevertheless, I don’t see that happening. Nikon also pitches this as a solution for streamers who desire higher video quality on their games and live streams. Let’s say you’re seeking for a webcam replacement that will typically remain in a fixed location. In that situation, a secondhand Sony a6XXX series camera or a Canon EOS-M model might be a preferable choice. Both cameras provide similar image quality for a lot less than the Z30’s suggested retail price and can be put on a tripod with an inexpensive lens.

body, handling, and conduct

Despite the fact that the Z30 resembles a Z50 with the EVF removed, Nikon has added a few crucial features to make it a far more user-friendly camera for vlogging. The fully-articulating display, a bigger record button, and the tally lamp on the front of the camera are the most significant upgrades. Combined, they simplify framing and let you know whether or not you’re recording, making the camera more user-friendly for filming selfie-style video.

The Z30 is fun to shoot with, whether you’re in front of the camera documenting the world around you or in front of the camera taking pictures of yourself. It’s challenging to do, but Nikon has successfully balanced the camera’s front and back buttons, dials, and user interface to make it easy to operate from any position.
On a camera this compact, Nikon offers ample customization options in the form of buttons, and the interface is simple to use without becoming lost. The location of the two interchangeable dials—a shoulder dial on the back of the camera near your thumb and a dial on the front of the grip behind the shutter release—was something I found very appealing. While I’m shooting, they are exactly where I need them, and I don’t have to struggle with the camera in one hand.

On the bottom of the camera, near to the battery, is a UHS-I SD card used to store media. While it’s not as accessible as a side-mounted card slot, the battery and memory card may still be removed even when a tripod or plate is connected since they are located enough away from the tripod mount.

How does using it for vlogging feel?

Manufacturers have introduced camera types in recent years that are intended exclusively for hybrid content makers. Nikon included the Z50 and Z fc APS-C cameras in that list, but the Z30 is the brand’s most video-focused model to far.

The battery life performed admirably and was accurate to what Nikon said. Nikon estimates that the EN-EL25 battery can record 75 minutes of video. While recording 4K/30p video, I got an average battery life of about 65 minutes, albeit that was in rather chilly conditions, which can be performance-degrading.

The Z30 includes USB-C charging, which isn’t a novel idea, but given how rapidly video consumes a battery, having the ability to quickly top off the battery while vlogging is far more advantageous than with stills photography. It was simple to attach my USB battery pack to the Z30 in my backpack while I was shooting so that it would be charged and ready to use when I next needed it.

Although my benchmarks peaked at 6.35W, I would have wanted to see quicker charging speeds. Nevertheless, higher wattage throughput produces more heat, which might impair camera performance when you need to take pictures.

Yet, shooting is only one aspect of vlogging. Post-production is another option, and it appears like Nikon has created a good approach for creatives to adopt with its new Nikon Flat color profile. You now have greater flexibility to color grade your video in post-production without having to deal with more difficult Log profiles and LUTs thanks to this low-contrast, low-saturation preset (look-up tables).

Stills can also use Nikon’s “Flat” Picture Control color profile. The aesthetics of your images and movies may easily be matched as a result, which is a bonus. Thumbnails and still photos may be taken with the same camera that you use to film reels and shorts, and they will appear comparable without requiring you to spend numerous hours color coordinating log video clip with your stills.

Image caliber

The Nikon Z50 and Z fc both feature the same 20.2MP sensor, as does the Nikon Z30. Even though it is only an upgraded version of the sensor used in Nikon’s D500 DSLR, it performs admirably in the Raw and produces high-quality JPEGs.

Images in daytime or well-lit environments are crisp and have amazing detail. Dynamic range holds up well and noise is well-controlled in low-light situations, when you may need to increase the ISO, however the latter might occasionally come at the expense of low-contrast features seeming a little smudged.

Overall, though, the Z30 works as you would anticipate it to given that it makes use of the same sensor as the Z50. See our Z50 review’s Picture Quality section for more information if you’re interested:


The Nikon Z30 is a small, powerful interchangeable lens camera that is excellent for the type of informal vlogging for which it was designed. It’s simple to use and has many customization options to ensure that it will fit into your process for creating content.

The 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR kit lens is the only Nikon ‘DX’ Z-mount lens available at the moment, which limits its interchangeable lens design. There is no set release date for Nikon’s two prime lenses (24mm and 36mm equiv.) and one 12-28mm equiv. power zoom (PZ) lens, which have not yet been released.

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