There will be a new full frame Zfc/FM2/F3 type camera

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surrealalex Forum Member • Posts: 50
There will be a new full frame Zfc/FM2/F3 type camera

From an interview in a japanese blog/magazine with the Nikon head of planning and development and with the head of design (translated from Japanese with DeepL):

" Lastly, I'd like to ask a question about the part that fans are most concerned about.
"The Z fc will be released in APS-C size, but do you have any plans to release a full-size version in the future?

Mr. Nelson: Yes.
We have received a lot of requests for a full-size version of the Z fc, so we will keep listening to the market and user feedback. "

Full interview here: Interview in mapcamera magazine

Strangely however, they have no plans to release more lenses for this system.

But they will be listening to suggestions and it is clear that there is already a HIGH DEMAND for such a camera.

I hope I'm not violating any rules when I paste the translated interview text here.

Fully translated Interview:

"Nikon "Z fc" Developer Interview

The new "Nikon Z fc" has been attracting a lot of attention because of its design inspired by the compact manual film SLR camera "Nikon FM2".
In our previous report on the Nikon Plaza Tokyo, we reported on our experience with the Z fc, and now we have had the opportunity to interview Mr. Howe Nelson, who is in charge of planning and development, and Mr. Shu Suzuki, who is in charge of design.

- Please tell us how the new Z series model with APS-C sensor was not a successor to the Z 50, but a new concept inspired by the FM2.

Mr. Nelson:.
One of the issues that Nikon is facing right now is how to attract younger customers.
"In 1982, Nikon introduced the FM2 in order to spread the culture of photography using SLR cameras, which were expensive and difficult to obtain at the time. The FM2 became an explosive hit by offering the latest technology in a compact body at an affordable price so that people who were just starting out in photography and students could enjoy it. Based on this precedent, we decided to create a compact and affordable model first. The next important factor is the design.
When you think of photography today, there are many cameras available from many manufacturers. However, the younger generation is looking for products that can be integrated into their lifestyles, and many of them do not want to own a black camera, which is used in general digital SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras. Many people do not want to own a black camera, which is used in general digital SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras. When we thought about what kind of camera would be comfortable to own, we borrowed the image of the old "FM2" and decided on this style because we wanted to create a product that not only performs well but also integrates into the customer's lifestyle.

- The FM2, including the "New FM2," was available in black, titanium, and other colors in addition to the silver color, but why did you choose to offer only the silver color?

Mr. Nelson: As I mentioned earlier, the black color is the most popular.
As I mentioned earlier, we were conscious of users who don't want to own a black camera, but we also thought that silver would be more appealing, including the "premium exterior" (colored artificial leather upholstery), when considering how to integrate it into people's lifestyles.

- Mr. Nelson, what were some of the design challenges you encountered in bringing FM2 to life?

Mr. Nelson: First of all, we had to rethink the orientation of the battery.
First of all, we had to rethink the orientation of the battery because of the loss of the grip.
It would have been easy to make the battery more compact, but that would not have maintained the battery capacity, and actually developing a new battery is very labor intensive. Therefore, we designed the camera on the premise that the EN-EL25, which is also used in the Z 50, would be used as-is. As a result, we ran out of space on the right side of the camera, so we had to make some adjustments, such as placing the shutter drive in the opposite direction from other models.

Mr. Suzuki:
And then there are the dials on the right shoulder of the body. In pursuit of a smaller size and better visibility for the area where all the controls are concentrated, we studied many patterns until we settled on this framework, and even after the decision was made, we made a number of minor adjustments to keep the silhouette looking like the FM2.
The window that displays the aperture value of the lens is particularly noteworthy. It would have been easy to just look at the LCD monitor, but we added it to the top of the camera so that you can see the basic settings at a glance when you look at it from the top.

Mr. Nelson:
If you make the body thicker, you can make the internal structure a little more roomy, but that would compromise the original idea of miniaturization. In fact, even underneath the ISO dial, which looks like it has a lot of space, there is a lot of machinery packed into it, and we made it to the limit so that there is no place to move it anymore. There was a request for a sub-selector on the back of the camera, but I think we need to have the courage to remove it.

- Is the lack of in-camera image stabilization also due to space constraints?

Mr. Nelson: Yes.
Yes, it is. But if you combine it with the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR, which is included in the kit, you can compensate for 4.5 stops, and it also has excellent high sensitivity and can be used at ISO 51200, so I don't think you'll have any trouble without VR (image stabilization). In fact, we have not received any complaints from users of the Z 50, so we prioritized making it smaller and lighter.

- Mr. Suzuki, did the smaller size affect the robustness of the camera?

Mr. Suzuki: No.
In this area, it's comparable to the previous Z series. "You can think of it as equivalent to the Z 50. Of course, it's also designed to be dustproof and splashproof.

- I was surprised by the mechanical sound of the shutter when I had a chance to touch the camera on display at Nikon Plaza Tokyo the other day.
You mentioned that you were concerned about the shutter sound.

Mr. Suzuki: First of all, the shutter.
First of all, the shutter mechanism is the same as the one used in the Z 50. However, the way the sound resonates differs depending on the structure of the camera itself.
"The Z fc does not have a bulging grip, and its internal structure is slightly different, so the way it sounds is different.
We decided on a benchmark for the feel of the camera, and members from each department, including the in-house evaluation group and the quality assurance group, gathered to actually listen to the feel and sound of the camera to get closer to our goal.
In addition to the shutter sound, we prepared samples for all the components, including the click feeling when operating the dials and the feel of pressing the buttons, and worked closely with the design department, providing feedback on the areas that had been cleared and the areas that had not.

- What do you think about the difference between the Z 50 and the Z 50?
What advice would you give to customers who are wondering which one to buy?

Mr. Nelson:
In terms of performance, they are almost the same.
The differences are the vari-angle LCD, pupil AF during video, and USB power supply. On the other hand, the built-in flash has been removed.
But the biggest difference is the appearance. The shape of the camera is different, and the way you use it is very different. And if you use it well, the output will be different.
"The Z 50 is also aimed at young people who are looking to buy their first interchangeable lens mirrorless camera to create more creative images. The concept of this camera is that anyone can learn to use it quickly and easily, and it can also be taken on trips.
"The Z fc is based on the concept of making the camera fun to hold, and it is a model that can be used by people who are serious about photography, and who recognize what they need to do to output their favorite images.
Also, while the Z 50 is a convenient tool for taking photos, the Z fc was developed with the aim of being something that can be integrated into your own lifestyle.

Mr. Suzuki:
From a design point of view, the Z 50 has a larger grip than the D series. It's designed to be easy to hold, and the buttons are arranged accordingly, making it an easy model to shoot with.
On the other hand, the "Z fc" is a more hobby-oriented camera that is a joy to own, and we believe that each has its own value.

- Since you mentioned the grip earlier, please tell us about the Z fc-GR1 extension grip.
"When creating a grip for the FM2-like body, did you ever consider an integrated battery grip like the MD-12?

Mr. Suzuki:
First of all, this camera is not a reprint, but was inspired by the FM2, so we wanted to enhance the value of the concept of this camera. Therefore, the priority was to make it easy to carry around, so we designed the grip to be smaller and more minimally shaped.
The grip was an area of particular concern, and we made sure to include not only the protrusion on the front but also the part on the back where the thumb rests. Since the front and back of the camera are tightly sandwiched together, the grip is much easier to hold.
Since the "Z fc" was designed with a focus on appearance, the design has been calculated so that it does not look like an afterthought when mounted. In addition, the grip is made of machined metal, so it has been designed in a straight line so as not to lose its texture.
The fingertip area on the back of the camera is cut at a perfect height so that it does not interfere with the dial operation, and the back of the camera is also made to be flat with the protruding LCD screen.
The back of the camera is also designed to be flush with the protruding LCD screen. At first glance, the body appears to be two-tone silver and black, but there is a glossy black line on the border of the black leather, and the grip has been calculated to match that area.
In addition, when the camera is viewed from the front, there are three tiers from the top: silver, black, and silver, but when the grip is attached, the silver part on the bottom is covered to form a two-tone silver and black. When the grip is attached, the silver part on the bottom of the camera is covered to create a two-tone silver and black finish.

- I also had a chance to see the process of creating the design displayed at Nikon Plaza Tokyo. Is there anything other than the mechanical parts that you were concerned about?
Also, how did you decide on the six colors for the Premium Exterior?

Mr. Suzuki:
We considered a large number of colors for the Premium Exterior. We narrowed down the color choices by conducting internal and external surveys to find out which colors our target users would prefer.
Among them, we decided to add mint green and coral pink to appeal to the younger generation while keeping the standard colors such as brown in check.
We also placed importance on the impression the product gives when lined up as a lineup. Not only did we select single colors, but we also considered combinations that would give an appealing world view when lined up, and finally settled on these six colors.

Mr. Suzuki:
The strap that comes with the camera was also designed with an eye to harmonizing with the world view.
The previous Z series cameras were designed with a yellow color and multiple Nikon logos as a brand identity, taking into account the fact that they would be used in sports and news media.
The Z fc, on the other hand, adopts a familiar design to bring it closer to the lifestyle side. The Z fc, on the other hand, uses a familiar design to bring it closer to the lifestyle side.
I believe that the correct style for a camera with such a high level of taste is for the customer to customize it according to their own preferences, and I believe that they will eventually replace it with their favorite strap. I designed the strap so that you can get used to it even for a short time before you come across such a strap.

- Oh, by the way, the eyepiece part was also changed to a round shape, how is the compatibility with accessories?

Mr. Suzuki:
Actually, if you remove the eyepiece upward, you will find a rectangular attachment that is consistent with the Z/D series. The eye sensor position and outer diameter are different, so they are not interchangeable, but the same rail mechanism is used to attach the eyepiece.
We have received many requests for round eyepieces so far. On the other hand, we also wanted to use the same viewfinder mechanism for the Z in consideration of future development.
This is the result of our efforts to find a way to realize a round viewfinder in a limited space without changing the window frame unit.

- Now that we've heard about your careful design, please tell us about the "NIKKOR Z 28mm F2.8 (Special Edition)" as well.

Mr. Suzuki: Yes.
"In order to match the world view of the Z fc, we took a vague image in everyone's mind of what kind of lens would be attached to the FM2, and pulled in elements from several lenses that were available at the time the FM2 was sold.
In particular, the silver line may look symbolic, but the detailed shape was fine-tuned to fit the Z-mount. For example, the diameter of the Z mount is very different from that of the Ai Nikkor, so we had to adjust the dimensions and shape of the Z mount to make it look closer to the Ai Nikkor. For example, the diameter of the lens is very different from that of the Ai Nikkor.

- Mr. Nelson, didn't you consider the Special Edition of the NIKKOR Z 40mm F2, which was announced at the same time?

Mr. Nelson: No.
The 28mm and 40mm were the two areas that I had a lot of trouble with.
But in the end, we decided on 28mm because it is equivalent to 42mm, which is easier to use for snaps in combination with the Z fc.

- Are you considering any other Special Edition lenses like this in the future?

Mr. Nelson: No.
Currently, we have no plans. But personally, I'd like to try it.

- After designing the body, are there any lenses that you thought would look good on the body?

Mr. Nelson:
"I think a pancake lens such as the AI Nikkor 45mm f/2.8P would be a good match.
Mr. Suzuki.
I'd be happy if everyone who sees this body gets excited and says, "I wonder if this would work with it? I'd be happy if everyone could get excited about this body.

- Lastly, I'd like to ask a question about the part that fans are most concerned about.
"The Z fc will be released in APS-C size, but do you have any plans to release a full-size version in the future?

Mr. Nelson: Yes.
We have received a lot of requests for a full-size version of the Z fc, so we will keep listening to the market and user feedback.

We had a limited amount of time, but we had a lot of valuable things to talk about.

It was clear to me that the product is a new challenge to adapt to the lifestyle of the younger generation, and also that it is a product filled with a lot of tradition and commitment.
I felt that this is a camera that you can continue to use for a long time while fully utilizing the appeal of being able to customize it to your liking."

 surrealalex's gear list:surrealalex's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 II +5 more
Nikon Z fc
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