ZEISS, a well respected German manufacturer of optical systems and medical devices, has announced a camera concept that is an intriguing entry into the mirrorless camera field. Developed in-house, the ZEISS ZX1 is a mirrorless full-frame camera that integrates Adobe Lightroom for seamless editing in camera.
The 37.4-megapixel sensor is paired with an integrated ZEISS Distagon 35 mm f/2 T for high-quality optics. The end product allows for the incredible image quality that ZEISS is known for with the ease of using a smartphone. And while it's unfortunate that the lens can't be switched out, the ZX1 more than makes up for it with other features.
“We know that we [are] exploring new ways and initially addressing a special target group with the ZEISS ZX1. With our concept, we are focusing on ambitious, professional creatives who want to produce their photographic experiences quickly and efficiently, and inspire as many people on the Internet as possible. This requires a streamlined workflow in addition to high-end features. This is exactly what the concept of the ZEISS ZX1 offers,” explains Jörg Schmitz, Head of the Consumer Products business group at ZEISS.
In a fairly compact body, the ZX1 has 512 GB of internal storage. This means you can throw out your SD cards and still take approximately 50,000 JPGs or 6,800 RAW (DNG) photos without running out of memory. The sleek, minimal design plays into the integrated technology of the camera. Aside from the top dials, it's really the 4.3″ multi-touch display that allows you to tap into all of the camera's features.
It appears, aside from basics like ISO and shutter speed, that the core functions are controlled from the touch display. The ZX1 comes integrated with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, so that RAW images can be edited directly onscreen. WiFi capabilities mean you can then post your edited images directly online and even sync them with Lightroom on your desktop.
It's these details, together with a thoughtful, ergonomic design, that elevate the camera from your regular point and shoot. ZEISS's decision to release the ZX1 is interesting when one considers that they don't have a digital camera line on the market at the moment. While the company's press release calls it a “concept,” it also states that the ZEISS ZX1 will be available with select dealers in 2019.
With all the resources used for an in-house development, it's hard to imagine that this won't be the first in a series of models. ZEISS will announce pricing closer to launch, but some publications have already noted that comparable cameras retail for about $3,000. If you want to be informed of when the camera will become available, you can sign up for notifications on the ZEISS ZX1 website.