Worst Camera For Stills - Nikon Z30
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Worst Camera For Stills - Nikon Z30

It's difficult to find a BAD piece of camera gear nowadays. Everything on the market is functional and generally produces decent results for the end user. But there are many emerging markets at play, with vlogging being one of the most prolific, and every camera company seems to be having a go. But vlogging is one of the most obvious genres where cameras must compete directly against the smartphone.

When it comes to photos, the Nikon Z30 certainly outpaces smartphone image quality. Its 20.9MP sensor takes brilliant photos with lots of room to push shadows. The grip is comfy to hold, and the dual command dials make manually operating the camera a pleasant experience. With some nice positive features, why does this end up as the worst photo camera?

The lack of an EVF is the most glaring offense, although most vlog-style cameras are guilty of this. But Nikon also suffers from a limited selection of dedicated APS-C lenses. In particular, there is a 12-28mm PZ on the horizon, which, if it were available, would make the Z30 much more appealing. Oddly the audio levels are missing when the screen is set to the new vlogging display, exactly when you would want them the most. You can choose to ignore this new display mode and get your audio levels back, but then why include such a feature? This would less of issue if the Z30 featured a headphone jack, but that's missing as well.

For photography, I'd go to a Z fc or Z50, which is only a little more expensive but provides superior handling and an EVF. Looking at the Z30's competition, if photography is your primary concern, the Sony a6100 offers an EVF, similar image quality and a more intuitive and reliable autofocus system. As a hybrid video/photo camera, I think there are better choices on the market than the Z30, but just barely.

- Chris