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The Nikon Z fc proves that photographers are just hipsters

(Image credit: Nikon)

Let me make one thing clear: I love the Nikon Z fc. I really do. It's a superb, stylish camera that I truly enjoy using and that delivers great results. 

However, that doesn't change the fact that the Nikon Z fc (opens in new tab) is a hipster camera – and it's proof positive that most photographers are hipsters, no matter how much they might hate to hear it. 

We all know that the Z fc sold like gangbusters, and has been one of the hottest cameras on the market ever since it was released. And rightly so; it's one of the best retro cameras (opens in new tab) out there, and a great camera period. But again, this doesn't disguise the fact that it's simply a Nikon Z50 (opens in new tab) in disguise. 

However, the Z50 didn't (and still doesn't) get anywhere near the hype or attention of the Z fc – even though it is functionally identical. The 20.9MP APS-C sensor, 11 fps burst shooting, 4K video, ISO100-51,200… it is literally the exact same camera – it just doesn't look as pretty. That's it.

I'll be the first one to tell people that "style over substance" is nonsense, especially in photography, because style is substance. However, the Z fc isn't a substantially different camera; it's just got a vintage design and a silver paint job. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Z50 with a twirly moustache and hand tattoos. 

So the fact that the entire photography community was fairly indifferent to the Nikon Z50, but tripped over its own feet in a mad rush to fawn and gush over the Nikon Z fc, tells me that most photographers are hipsters. 

After all, when you think about it, while the Z fc may be more fun to use, it's actually far less practical to use. It lacks a grip, is less ergonomic to hold, has a smaller touchscreen, and while it has classic ISO and shutter speed dials it misses an aperture ring. 

The only way the Z fc is actually better than the Z50 is as something to look at. And being more concerned about how something looks than how it functions is kind of a hipster trademark. A camera is, at the end of the day, supposed to be something that looks at other things. 

No shade at Z fc owners – I hope you enjoy your camera! Just make sure no one ever hears you utter the words "style over substance"…

Read more: 

Best Nikon cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Nikon Z lenses
(opens in new tab)Best mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.