Zeiss, the legendary lens manufacturer, has flipped the switch on its first full-frame digital camera. Packing a 37.4-megapixel sensor, it arrives on the scene with a unique design and plenty of tech. A triangular grip and bright yellow colors highlight the outer casing. But it’s a partnership with Adobe that makes this Zeiss hardware all the more intriguing. It has a slimmed down version of Lightroom CC built-in directly to the camera. How easy it is to edit on-the-go is yet to be seen. But it’s pretty interesting.

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Zeiss unveils new ZX1 compact camera

Highlighting Zeiss’ first digital camera is a 37.4-megapixel sensor and a large 4.3-inch display with multi-touch functionality. Interestingly enough, the viewfinder is rated as full 1080p with an OLED panel. That’s a load of tech for a consumer-focused digital camera.

The ZX1 camera is capable of capturing 4K video at 30fps. Jumping down to 1080p delivers full 60fps footage. Interestingly enough, there isn’t a card slot on this release. Users will find 512GB of internal storage, which is going to be a non-starter for some. Zeiss says that’s enough to hold 6,800 RAW files and plenty of 4K content. But still, most will prefer the option of removable storage.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth round out the list of basic features. Thankfully Zeiss is rolling with USB-C in a forward-thinking move that really is a necessity given the choice to utilize internal storage.

Adobe Lightroom CC finds a new home

That big 4.3-inch multi-touch display comes to the forefront when looking at Zeiss’ partnership with Lightroom. Users will be able to make all of the usual basic adjustments. That includes cropping, tweaking exposure along with highlights, shadows and contrast. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth allow for quick uploads after edits are complete to smartphones or cloud services like Dropbox.

How useful Adobe Lightroom will ultimately be on a four-inch display is yet to be seen. It may just be one of those partnerships that sounds better in theory than it is in practice.

Zeiss ZX1 pricing and availability

Zeiss will make its first digital camera available to the public in early 2019. At the time of publishing, there is no word on pricing. An educated guess puts the price somewhere around $3,000, in line with some of Sony’s more high-end consumer offerings.

The Camera Concept for the Creative Flow in Photography

ZEISS ZX1 – That is the name of the newly developed mirrorless full-frame camera from ZEISS that was presented today in Cologne, Germany. Thanks to the ZEISS lens and a sensor developed in-house at ZEISS, the camera delivers first-class image quality combined with an operational concept and user experience that make the photographer’s jobs-to-be-done as intuitive as on a smartphone.

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.

SHOOT. EDIT. SHARE. – Harmonized hardware, software and optics for a seamless creative process

SHOOT: the ZEISS ZX1 features a newly designed, integrated ZEISS Distagon 35 mm f/2 T* lens with autofocus that has been perfectly matched to the 37.4 megapixel full-frame sensor developed in-house at ZEISS. The interplay between the lens and sensor ensures first-class picture quality with that typical ZEISS look.

EDIT: The ZEISS ZX1 enables photographers to professionally process RAW images directly on the camera thanks to fully integrated Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. Moreover, the ZEISS ZX1’s unique user interface supports the user’s particular workflow without any interruption – providing direct access to the most frequently used functions via a 4.3″ multi-touch display.

SHARE: when the networked full-frame camera is connected, the user can upload selected images directly to the internet – without the intermediate transfer to memory cards or other external devices. 512 GB of internal memory provide sufficient space for approximately 6,800 RAW files (DNG) or over 50,000 JPGs – more than enough to handle photos, even during a longer trip, and giving the photographer the chance to let their creativity flow. Versatile connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB-C ensure that various peripherals can be connected. Over-the-air software updates keep the camera up to date without requiring a computer connection.

Designed with a passion for detail and a focus on the essentials

The design of the ZEISS ZX1 is characterized by its iconic shape with carefully crafted details. The overall form and reduction to just those elements that are absolutely necessary lay the foundation for an ergonomic camera and ensure easy handling. The symbiosis of hardware and software is exemplified by the newly defined user interface that utilizes the 4.3″ multi-touch display. The slightly bent screen separates the live view from the control elements, making camera operation comfortable and straightforward.

“We know that we 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.

ZEISS ZX1 available from early 2019

The ZEISS ZX1 will be available at selected dealers in early 2019. ZEISS will announce the recommended retail price at the start of the official market launch.

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