Zeiss ZX1: Interview (Photokina 2018)

One company that was nowhere to be found on the showroom floor at Photokina 2018 was Zeiss, however, we were invited to a special event that took place in another part of city where we got welcomed by what seems like much of the company clapping and cheering us as we came into the main hall (certainly a first of us in any press event that we have been to).

During the main event, Zeiss introduced the new 40mm Batis lens which we had a chance to play with later on. It was followed by the company’s main announcement of the evening – the ZX1 full-frame compact camera which is a completely new concept in the industry – a camera that can do it all – shoot (with a large internal memory), process (using a built-in version of Lightroom) and quickly share pictures online straight from the camera.

The new Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 lens hands on

Above you can see the interview that we have done following the press conference with Petra Visuri, Head of Category Management Imaging at Zeiss, you will have to excuse the extremely noisy environment (this room had a horrific acoustics and lots of people and noise even beyond what we got used to in Photokina itself).

The ZX1 side view – a new photographic philosophy

Here is what we know about the ZX1 – a camera that will only be available in early 2019:

  • 37.4 MP sensor (developed by Zeiss).
  • ISO range 80-51,200.
  • Shutter 30-1/8000 (with a silent operation).
  •  Fixed Zeiss Distagon 35mm F2.0 (with  T* coating). The camera has AF but there is a MF switch on the lens.
  • Min focus distance of 30cm.
  • Very simple (and minimalistic) design with 2 dials and a shutter button – the rest of the control is done via the 4.3″ touchscreen.
  • 0.7″ OLED viewfinder (1080p resolution).
  • Continuous shooting 3fps.
  • Video: 4K @30p (1080p @ 60p). 15 min limit per clip.
  • No memory card slot – 512GB of internal flash storage.
  • USB-C for charging and image transfer to a computer.
  • Other connections include HDMI/headphone and mic.
  • WIFI/BT built in.
  • Lightroom mobile built-in (user can start edit in camera and continue on the computer).
  • Online sharing options (currently e-mail/dropbox and facebook (Zeiss is working on more options before the camera will reach the market).
  • Weight: 1.76 lb / 800 g with battery.
  • No pricing is known at this point (the camera should be available in early 2019).

The large high res touch screen on the back of the ZX1

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Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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