Photography

Zeiss releases full-frame mirrorless with in-camera image editing

Zeiss releases full-frame mirr...
After two years since its first appearance, the Zeiss ZX1 full-frame mirrorless camera is finally up for sale
After two years since its first appearance, the Zeiss ZX1 full-frame mirrorless camera is finally up for sale
View 6 Images
The touchscreen display on the back can be used for in-camera image editing
1/6
The touchscreen display on the back can be used for in-camera image editing
The 4.3-inch touch panel has a slight curve to the right, making for ergonomic placement of control and menu icons
2/6
The 4.3-inch touch panel has a slight curve to the right, making for ergonomic placement of control and menu icons
The 35-mm f/2 T* lens out front is not interchangeable
3/6
The 35-mm f/2 T* lens out front is not interchangeable
Framing a shot can be undertaken via the OLED viewfinder or the massive touch panel
4/6
Framing a shot can be undertaken via the OLED viewfinder or the massive touch panel
5/6
After two years since its first appearance, the Zeiss ZX1 full-frame mirrorless camera is finally up for sale
6/6
After two years since its first appearance, the Zeiss ZX1 full-frame mirrorless camera is finally up for sale
View gallery - 6 images

Renowned lens maker Zeiss hit the show floor at Photokina 2018 with a full-frame mirrorless camera designed for shooting, editing and sharing all from the one device. Now the ZX1 has finally gone from concept to reality. And it's pricey.

"The concept of the Zeiss ZX1 opens up new ways in digital and connected photography," said Jörg Schmitz, head of Zeiss Consumer Products. "The Zeiss ZX1 combines the potential and superior image quality of a full-frame camera with the mobile experience and intuitive use of smartphones for photography."

Out front is a newly developed, non-interchangeable Distagon 35-mm f/2 T* lens that's paired with a 37.4-megapixel full-frame (24 x 36-mm) CMOS image sensor housed within the 5.59 x 3.66 x 3.7-in (142 x 93 x 93-mm) body. The camera is reported to make use of contrast- and phase-detection autofocus and rocks ISO80 to 51,200 light sensitivity.

Around back, you'll find a 0.7-in OLED viewfinder and a huge 4.3-inch, 1,280 x 720-pixel multi-touch display panel. The latter allows the user to edit images on the camera itself, with the device coming with the Adobe Lightroom app preinstalled – a year's free subscription to Lightroom and 1 TB of cloud storage are also included in the package. There's a slight bend to the right edge of the display too, which is handy for the placement of controls and menu icons.

The touchscreen display on the back can be used for in-camera image editing
The touchscreen display on the back can be used for in-camera image editing

On the movie-making front, the ZX1 is capable of recording 4K video at up 30 frames per second in the H.265 codec, or up to 60 fps in Full HD using H.264, and there's a built-in stereo microphone for capturing AAC audio.
Photo and video content is stored on an internal 512-GB SSD, which Zeiss reckons should be good for over 50,000 JPG-format images, or almost 7,000 RAW image files.

Once photos and footage are ready for backup or sharing, they can be moved off the device over USB-C or wirelessly sent to cloud storage or social media channels via 802.11ac Wi-Fi. And finally, there's Bluetooth 4.2 onboard, and the camera body is home to a 3,190-mAh Li-ion battery – though Zeiss makes no mention of expected per charge usage life.

The ZX1 is up for sale now for US$6,000, and is currently available in the US and Germany only.

Product page: ZX1

View gallery - 6 images
3 comments
JeffK
I've been taking photos somewhat seriously for close to 60 years and have seen a lot of fad cameras come and go, mostly the latter. There have also been some unique cameras developed that solved some tricky and difficult photographic conundrum. Try as I might, I simply cannot imagine an imaging problem that can only, or even best, be solved with a $6k camera with a fixed 35mm lens and built in subscription photo editing.
sidmehta
Yes, but what are the photos like? Let's see a few pics!
Most digital cameras have trouble with realistic color. I don't care if you have a hundred megapixels, the colors and saturation are still bad. Even at $6000.
Readout Noise
The non-articulating LCD is a big step backwards. 5 years ago, I resolved that I would never again buy a camera with a fixed screen; my neck has thanked me for it, and I nail manual focus better at awkward angles, like in astrophotography.

Perplexing move by Zeiss to not include a feature that is now a staple on mirrorless bodies.