Zeiss’s new full-frame compact is based around a Zeiss Distagon 35mm F2 lens that’s combined with a 37.4MP full-frame sensor specially developed by Zeiss in Germany. It has traditional analogue controls, with top-plate shutter speed and ISO dials complemented by aperture and focus rings around the lens. However there are precious few other external controls, so it’s not yet clear how you’ll set exposure compensation or move the focus point.

Viewing is via an  OLED viewfinder, and the back is dominated by a 4.3in multi-touch screen. The big news, though, is that the touchscreen  can be used to operate Adobe Lightroom CC that’s integrated into the device, for processing and retouching your photos. The resultant images can then be directly uploaded to social media. Tell-tale soft buttons suggest that Lightroom runs on an Android operating system.

At its launch event in Cologne, and indeed in its press release below, Zeiss declared the ZX1 to be a full-frame ‘mirrorless’ camera, presumably to cash in the buzz around this year’s Photokina. To avoid any confusion, it’s important to make clear that the lens isn’t removable, which means that this camera is not what we’d usually call  ‘mirrorless’; instead it’s a full-frame, fixed-lens compact camera in the same class as the Sony RX1R II and Leica Q. Its price is likely to be in the same ball-park too, so expect to fork out well over £3000 for one when the camera goes on sale next year.

Press release:

ZEISS ZX1: The Camera Concept for the Creative Flow in Photography


First full-frame camera from ZEISS with first-class image quality and the familiar, intuitive image editing and connectivity of a smartphone.

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2018-09-27.

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. Starting now, anyone interested in receiving information on exact availability can register at www.zeiss.com/zx1.