Zeiss has announced the release of its long-awaited ZX1 mirrorless camera in the United States and Germany.
First announced back in September 2018, the Zeiss ZX1 full-frame Android-powered camera is designed, in Zeiss’ own words, to help users ‘Shoot. Edit. Share.’ all on one device thanks to the integration of hardware and software.
At the core of the ZX1 is a 37.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor developed by Zeiss. In front of the sensor is a non-interchangeable Zeiss Distagon 35mm F2 T* lens with a focus and aperture ring (both of which appear to be electronically controlled). In addition to stills, the camera is capable of recording 4k (3,840 x 2,160 px) video at 30 frames per second (fps) and 1080p video at 60 fps in the H.264 codec. All images and video are stored on a 512GB internal SSD and can be transferred off the device using the USB-C port or the wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac, 2.4/5.0 GHz and Bluetooth 4.2 LE).
Other specifications include a shutter speed range of 1/2000th to 30s, an ISO range of 80 to 51,200 (1/3 EV increments), Hybrid AF that uses both contrast and phase detection, and a 0.7” OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a 1920 x 1080px resolution. The camera uses a 3,190mAh 22.9Wh Li-ion battery, but Zeiss doesn’t mention how many shots the battery is rated for (likely because how much editing is done on-camera will greatly affect the battery life).
What makes the Zeiss ZX1 different than, say, the Leica Q2, is its massive 4.3” multitouch display on the rear that not only allows you to navigate the menu system, but also serves as a means of editing images directly on the camera with the Adobe Lightroom Mobile application. Zeiss said it’s worked alongside Adobe to ensure full compatibility and all buyers will receive a year’s worth of Adobe’s 1TB Photography Plan.
Despite clearly running on some version of Android, Zeiss no longer mentions the word ‘Android’ on any of its marketing material, so there’s no way of knowing what version it runs and what kind of support we can expect going forward.