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Industry News: You can finally preorder the Zeiss ZX1, but it’ll cost you

One of the more interesting cameras announced back in 2018 was the Zeiss ZX1, an Android-powered, fixed-lens full-frame camera. It would appear Zeiss is going after the market that the Leica Q series pretty much sits alone in.

It’s been a long time, but you can finally preorder the Zeiss ZX1, for a cool $6000 USD. When the ZX1 ships is unknown at the time of writing this.

About the Zeiss ZX1:

Modeled after the ethos “Shoot, Edit, Share”, the ZEISS ZX1 is a truly innovative camera with an uncompromising position on all facets of photography. Designed first to be a camera to appeal to the purists, the ZX1 revolves around a full-frame 37.4MP CMOS sensor, which affords high-resolution stills shooting along with 4K video recording. The sensor’s design permits shooting at up to 3 fps and has a broad sensitivity range of ISO 80-51200 to suit working in various lighting conditions. Paired perfectly to the sensor is a ZEISS Distagon T* 35mm f/2 prime lens, whose general wide-angle field of view suits a broad range of shooting applications, from reportage to landscape to portraiture. Building off this foundation, the ZX1 allows for intuitive and seamless shooting control, favoring simple physical dials and rings for adjusting exposure and employing a leaf shutter design for inconspicuous performance.

Benefitting the efficient imaging capabilities is a high-resolution OLED electronic viewfinder and an especially large 4.3″ rear touchscreen LCD. The EVF has a 0.74x magnification and Full HD resolution for bright, clear viewing while shooting. Conversely, the expansive size of the rear LCD is well-suited to image navigation and in-camera image editing via built-in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. This advanced editing application lets you make both global and local edits efficiently, and will sync automatically with Lightroom CC on your computer.

Finally, helping to organize and get your images out into the world, the ZX1 is outfitted with a slew of connectivity options, ranging from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to a USB Type-C connector for offloading directly to an external hard drive. In terms of saving imagery on the camera, a built-in 512GB SSD offers an impressive amount of storage space for your photos and videos, along with the possibility to organize files into collections for faster navigation.

Shoot

  • Full-frame 37.4MP CMOS sensor enables recording high-resolution stills at up to 3 fps and 4K30p video, along with a sensitivity range of ISO 80-51200.
  • Built-in ZEISS Distagon T* 35mm f/2 lens has been perfectly matched to the sensor in order to provide edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. The optical design incorporates two double-sided aspherical elements, which help to reduce spherical aberrations and minimize distortion. Additionally, the bright f/2 maximum aperture is suitable for low-light shooting and also offers increased control over depth of field.
  • Leaf shutter design provides flash sync at all shutter speeds and allows for especially quiet shooting.
  • A 255-area AF system is available, and can be used in conjunction with single-shot or continuous AF modes, or DMF and MF modes can also be used.
  • Physical shutter speed and ISO dials, along with a manual aperture ring on the lens, afford direct, intuitive control over exposure settings.
  • High-resolution 0.7″ OLED electronic viewfinder has a Full HD resolution along with a 0.74x magnification for clear, bright viewing.
  • Rear LCD incorporates a side tool bar for quick switching between four distinct camera modes.
  • Microphone and headphone jacks can be used for enhanced audio recording and audio monitoring while recording video.
  • Top hot shoe is compatible with the Sigma TTL flash protocol.

Edit

  • Based on a large, 4.34″ rear LCD screen, on-the-fly image editing is possible. The HD (1280 x 720) screen has a 338 ppi resolution and is touch-sensitive for intuitive navigation and editing control. The spacious screen is also the perfect place for in-depth review of your imagery while out shooting.
  • The distinct shape of the camera body, which has a bend in the middle, allows for an easy-to-find groove in the screen where the touch-sensitive tool bar is located.
  • Integrated Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC allows for thorough editing capabilities directly on the camera. This sophisticated software lets you adjust everything from exposure and color to making selective edits or syncing your edits to Lightroom CC on your computer.

Share

  • A wide range of sharing capabilities are possible, including both wireless and wired means to help you quickly and efficiently get your photos out to the world.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth connectivity let you seamlessly share images directly from the camera to a linked device.
  • USB Type-C interface can be used to port images directly to an external hard drive, share a live view of the camera to an additional screen, or an external battery pack can be used to power and charge the internal battery.
  • Integrated 512GB SSD allows for storing a huge amount of photo and movie files without the need to swap memory cards. On the camera, files can be organized into different collections for easier navigation.
  • Wireless connectivity lets you upload your files to cloud storage services directly from the camera.
  • Automatic backups are possible to your own NAS system and remote access to the files is also available from wherever you are.
  • Firmware updated can be downloaded and installed or updates over-the-air are also possible.

 

magarity

EOS RP
CR Pro
Feb 14, 2017
269
178
The technological item that jumps out to me is "integrated SSD". I've seen too many laptops say they have that but then it turns out to be an eMMC, which is just as SD card that's fixed in place. Then all the worries about flaked out cards would apply to the entire camera since yes, eMMC's are terrible. I would hope that for $6k there is a proper SSD but it's hard to tell. Also, look at all the heat complaints with Canon; an integrated storage solution could easily be twice as bad. On the other hand, it could be half as bad if it was engineered with tsolving hat problem in mind.
OK, so really, it all comes down to waiting for someone richer than me to buy one and report their findings on these details.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,368
352
If you were in the market for a fixed lens camera of this type and has that kind of money to spend on one, why wouldn't you get the Leica Q2 over this for about $1K LESS money, and get the more prestige name to go along with it?
 

Antono Refa

EOS R
Mar 26, 2014
1,100
281
Whose the target audience for this camera?

One could add $200, and get an R5 & Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4, and gain an f-stop, the versatility of interchangeable lenses, better ergonomics, etc. As for the integrated Lightroom, I can't imagine who would buy this camera and wouldn't buy a smartphone that would be a better editing platform.
 
Last edited:
Jun 27, 2020
8
4
$6000 for a 2018 camera. I'm thinking of ways to try to justify that move with all the camera announcements that happened between that time and I come empty handed.

Especially with the amount of apps that are available today to for both android and iphone.
Again trying to pinpoint an advantage for this camera over anything else and I don't seem to justify it. Maybe if it was released in 2018, but going to 2021 there is so much more that you can do with 6k
 
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Kit.

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 25, 2011
2,011
1,355
If you were in the market for a fixed lens camera of this type and has that kind of money to spend on one, why wouldn't you get the Leica Q2 over this for about $1K LESS money, and get the more prestige name to go along with it?
What if you can get both?
 

CanonGrunt

C70
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2012
170
68
Whose the target audience for this camera?

One could add $200, and get an R5 & Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4, and gain an f-stop, the versatility of interchangeable lenses, better ergonomics, etc. As for the integrated Lightroom, I can't imagine who would buy this camera and wouldn't buy a smartphone that would be a better editing platform.

Rich folk.
 

tataylino

I'm New Here
Jul 14, 2020
10
10
4k30, 3fps, 32mm f2 for 6k
You are not paying for its specs but for the brand
Audience? -> rich folks who want an exclusive camera and doesn't care about specs.
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
885
916
Even Zeiss can make mistakes.
It will be very hard to sell this camera, which might soon become a sought-after collector's item, due to its 2 digit sales figures...
I do not see it standing a chance against the Leica Q2, which is a great little camera, for less $$$$.
But maybe I'm wrong.
 
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mccasi

EOS M50
Oct 24, 2019
32
38
we have an audience bias here...
This cam is for people who don't like the SD + computer workflow, it's what Tony Northrup is crying after for such a long time.
I hope it will be a success!
When I was on 300 days/yr business travel I was using my EOS M+22mm F2 (3.2 in FF terms). Though I could not edit / download the pictures onto my work laptop.
There are clear use cases for this, or do you think a wealthy person carries a laptop with them or a business traveller a private one?
 

Kiton

Too deep in Canon to list! :o
Jun 13, 2015
67
49
Compete with the Q2 ??

Not!

It has a 35mm, it targets the Sony Rx 1r, at twice the price and 1/2 the camera mind you! o_O