ZEISS (also known as Carl Zeiss), a German brand that’s popularly known for the production of optical systems and other equipment have, for the first time ever, released a digital camera called the Zeiss ZX1.
Targeted at ambitious photographers and creatives, Zeiss partnered with Adobe to make the Zeiss ZX1 the first full frame camera with Adobe Lightroom CC built-in.
A stunner, isn’t it? With this camera, you can take photos, edit them directly on the camera with Lightroom CC, and share them straight to the web… all on the Zeiss ZX1.
“The ZEISS camera concept is just the first step to opening up a new world of possibilities for ambitious photographers – from taking the shot to editing the image and sharing it on the web.”
The ZX1 was officially announced at the Photokina 2018 camera event in Cologne, Germany as the first camera in the world to come with a subscription plan.
Zeiss ZX1: Design
Albeit sporting a strange construction, the Zeiss ZX1 is compactly designed; it resembles a box with a triangular grip and bright yellow lettering on the lens and dials.
It has a full-frame 37.4-megapixel image sensor on the front and a fixed 35mm Distagon F2 lens. At the back, you’d find a 4.3-inch multi-touch display with HD (1,280 x 720 pixels) resolution for editing images on-the-go.
According to Zeiss, the 37.4MP sensor and 35mm lens were both designed and developed by Zeiss in-house so they work together in harmonious sync with each other.
While the ZX1 lens offers single and continuous autofocus, it (sadly) does support any form of image stabilization.
Minimum focus distance of the lens is 30 centimeters (11.8-inch) while its optical formula comes in 8 elements in 5 groups. The Zeiss ZX1 can comfortably shoot 4K videos at 30fps and full HD at up to 60 fps.
The ZX1’s electronic viewfinder is at the top-left corner just right above the display. The viewfinder is uses a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) OLED panel an has a magnification of 0.74x. The Zeiss ZX1 has no flash built-in but there’s a hot-shoe adapter where you can attach an external flash to the camera.
Storage and Multimedia
The Zeiss ZX1 comes with 512GB internal memory to store images and videos. Going by predictive statistics obtained from Zeiss, the SSD memory is enough to hold up to 6,800 RAW files (DNG) or over 50,000 JPGs.
And even though there’s no card slot, you can be confident that the ZX1 can comfortably hold more than enough pictures whenever you need to shoot for longer periods, perhaps on a trip, holiday, or anything.
You should know that video capture on the Zeiss ZX1 is limited to a maximum of 15 minutes because the built-in memory can only take a maximum of 20 hours of videos. An SD card slot would have conveniently solved this but the ZX1 doesn’t have one. However, an external storage can still be used with the camera, through the USB-C port.
There’s a USB Type-C port that allows the expansion built-in storage by allowing the use of an external storage, it also supports other peripherals like external microphone and headphones. There’s also an HDMI port for projecting the display onto a larger screen.
Wireless connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Zeiss says the WiFi connectivity allows the camera be updated over-the-air without the need for a computer.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and OS
Based on the Android operating system, the Zeiss ZX1 is fully integrated with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC.
However, to reap the full benefits of the Zeiss ZX1 and the built-in Adobe software, you have to be a registered Lightroom CC user and have an active subscription in place since some features (like cloud-based storage and syncing across multiple platforms) of the software requires a Creative Cloud Photography subscription plan.
Price and Availability
The Zeiss ZX1 has only be announced but won’t be available for purchase till next year. The manufacturer didn’t disclose the price of the camera either. However, rumors have it that the price will slightly be above $4,000.
Zeiss says the official price and market launch should be in early 2019. Details would be communicated but should you be interested in receiving time-to-time updates and first-hand information, you can drop your contact details on the official Zeiss ZX1 website.