Back in April of this year I wrote a post saying that all of the big camera makers were going to copy cell phones in their ability to capture, edit, and upload easily and quickly. So just after Photokina in Germany last week Zeiss is the first significant company in the photo industry that starts the trend.
Zeiss has not made cameras for over ten years, but has worked closely with many camera companies like Sony extensively. All four of my Sony compact cameras I have owned over the last 15 years have had lenses from Zeiss. Many of Sony’s best E-mount (A7 and 6000 series) glass comes from Zeiss. Even the lenses in the glasses I am wearing today were made by Zeiss.
Key points of the Zeiss ZX1
- Full frame digital camera with a little over 36 mega pixels. Supposedly Sony makes the sensor for this camera.
- Small, lightweight, easy to use camera with a fixed 35mm lens. According to the company introduction they have purposely kept the controls of this camera and settings down to a minimum. The emphasis is on using it to create great photos and video and little time setting it up.
- ISO, shutter speed, and f-stop are all set by dedicated controls. Aperture is on the lens, and the other two on the top plate.
- This camera comes fitted with Adobe Lightroom CC to edit your work using the camera’s back screen. Your photos and video can then be sent to Adobe wirelessly or a computer or any other device using wifi.
- You can post to social media directly from the camera wirelessly.
- The camera comes with half a tera byte of storage internally. So no media cards needed. And backs up through wifi as you work or when wifi is available.
- Modernist sleek form that goes towards the future and not retro in any way.
I love this concept. The camera is to come out the first part of next year. Prices yet to be revealed. If I love the camera or not will have to wait until I see the complete details, price, performance, and hold on my hands and use it just a little. But right now I really want, the concept and camera if it is at a price I am willing to pay.
So why do I say this is the most significant camera introduced this year? Because it goes beyond simply going from DSLR to mirrorless, it gets back to expanding the industry of making cameras instead of just turning over most of it to cell phones. This camera fits right on top of the best call phones. It works just like an iPhone or high end Android but just the camera part. Because of it’s simplicity most people can use it. And most people are never going to buy or use a Nikon Z7 or Canon DSLR or Sony A7riii. The Nikon, Canon, and Sony are just too big, heavy, and complex for casual shooters of both stills and video to want. Zeiss has done what Nikon, Canon, Sony, and other big camera makes have not been able to do, they combined a big high end sensor with editing an internal storage, and wifi ability with simplicity. Sony could have easily done this camera but did not. They are still wedded to their impossible complex menu systems that twists your brain into frenzy looking for things. Nikon is moving this direction but it will take a while. Fuji is the closest to the ZX1 but this is a radical redesign from their heritage soaked designs. Fuji has simple controls but in a traditional way. The Zeiss does it in a futuristic way. And Canon can but will likely take a while. To me the only other company that is close to this camera is some of the Leica models like the TL.
So tell me what you think in comments.