I read an article on the new Nikon Z fc today which compared Nikon’s marketing strategy to that of Hasselblad in 2012 when Hasselblad introduced cameras that were no more than Sony models with cosmetic enhancements and high price tags, simply to retain some market share. The writer was of the opinion that Nikon's introduction of the Z-fc was comparable and that the Z-fc was no more than a "gimmick." This really irritated me. Why? Because the puppy who wrote the article is obviously one of the new breed of photographers who have no knowledge of the roots of photography and who have grown up with an iPhone and has missed the point of the Z fc completely.
The Z fc emulates a real camera. Made of metal. With dials and knobs. Just like the legendary Nikon FE or FM series of film cameras. It is not merely an electrical appliance like many of today’s cameras, made of polycarbonate and “engineering” plastic. Nikon sold hundreds of thousands of FE’s and FM’s, if not millions. They were designed for the enthusiast market, but were used by professionals, enthusiasts and amateurs alike. I “graduated” from a Nikon F to a F3 to a FM to a FE to a FE2 to a FM3. The FM/FE was lighter, more compact and beautifully built. It looked and felt like the Z fc. Which is why I want one. And which is why many, many photographers who once used an FM/FE will also want one. I may not even use it that much, but it will give me a great deal of pleasure when I do. The only people who won’t appreciate the Z fc are the geeks who want Alexa built into their camera in addition to the automatic scene modes and maybe a 'phone as well!
Nikon have nailed it. Like the Df, the Z fc will become a classic in it’s own right. It will sell far more units than the Df primarily because it is DX format and there are millions of DX format lenses out there, which can be used on the Z fc with an adaptor. It will also be bought by those who are up-grading from a camera ‘phone to a real camera. It will kill the market for the Z 50. Now all Nikon need to do is equip it with an electronic viewfinder like the Sony A7 III. Nikon, are you listening?
London, July 2021