Zeiss is undoubtedly one of the legends of camera and lensmakers, so when they announce something, it’s sure to grab every camera junkie’s eye. Their latest unveiling? The Zeiss ZX1, a mirrorless digital camera with 35mm FOV and built-in Lightroom.
Smooth, Aluminum Build
This compact camera packs a full frame into a small, minimalist and very utilitarian body, which includes just a few essential dials for controlling shutter speed, ISO, etc. There are no buttons at all on the back , though there is an amply-sized LCD Touchscreen, as well as an OLED EVF for lining up the perfect shot every time. The body is made of cast aluminum, with no rubber grips or plastic in sight. Some may find this inconvenient, but we like the smoothness of the aluminum and find it a nice change from most rubberized, bulky cameras. It’s also got a rather, shall we say, unique shape, that strikes us as quite angular.
As mentioned, the ZX1 has a full-frame, 24x36mm CMOS sensor, that packs in a whopping 37 megapixels for extra-large, high-res images. Impressive, considering the camera’s compact size. It’s also been completely designed by Zeiss, and not another outside sensor manufacturer, as many other cameras use these days. The lens is a fixed 35mm Zeiss Distagon F2.0, which is as crisp and clear as you would imagine any Zeiss lens to be, and gives you the classic 35mm view, which is widely considered the perfect field-of-view for all-around shooting of everyday scenes.
In terms of video, you can use the ZX1 to record 4k video at up to 30 frames per second, as well as 1080P at up to 60 frames per second. Maximum clip length is 15 minutes, and it can record externally via HDMI and USB-C, which can help relieve storage woes – though the 512GB of internal storage is pretty capable, providing enough storage for 6800 raw photos, 20 hours of 4k video and over 50,000 JPEG images. The USB-C port will also support such items as mics, headphones, and there’s built in WIFI and Bluetooth, too.
Finally, the battery; the Zeiss ZX1 features a 3190 mAh rechargeable battery, which can be charged in the camera but is also removable to let you swap out for a fresh battery when shooting on the go.
The most innovative part of the ZX1, however, are the built-in shooting and editing features – including Adobe Lightroom CC, included right in the camera. Custom-built for the ZX1, this Lightroom interface allows you to edit your RAW images on the spot using the LED touchscreen, and then syncs them to the Lightroom found on your computer. You can then also use the WiFi built right into the camera to upload your photos to the cloud or share them with another computer.
All in all, if you’re looking for a compact, straightforward full-frame digital camera with top-of-the-line optics and some cool tech features – including built-in Adobe Lightroom – then the Zeiss ZX1 is an excellent choice. We don’t know how much it will cost when it drops in 2019, but we look forward to trying it out.