Nikon Z5 Review

The Nikon Z5 is a new entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera that was released by the business. It has a design that is almost identical to that of the Nikon Z6, which is one step above it in the Nikon mirrorless line.

The Nikon Z5 is the finest starting mirrorless camera available right now if you’re seeking for a full-frame model. It may be more expensive than competitors like the Canon EOS RP and the Sony Alpha A7 II, but it is currently the best option available.

The Nikon Z5 is an impressive camera in terms of its specifications. We discovered that the huge 24-megapixel full-frame sensor at the core of the camera will reward you with great-looking photographs in a range of shooting conditions. This sensor is located at the center of the camera.

You’ll really need to look at the files very closely in order to tell the difference, but the Nikon Z6 is a good option to think about if you’re going to be shooting frequently in low light because it has a more recent back-illuminated sensor, which performs better at higher ISOs. However, if you’re going to be shooting regularly in low light, you should consider the Nikon Z7 instead.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the Nikon Z5 has 3.69 million dots, is huge and brilliant, and makes it a delight to compose photographs. Additionally, there is a very decent 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen on the camera. There is also a highly competent autofocus system that has 273 points and works well for both stationary and moving subjects. It is smart enough to identify and focus on your subject’s eye, even if that eye belongs to your cat.

Nikon Z5 Design and handling

The camera has the same size and weight as the Nikon Z6 The exposure mode dial has been moved to the right of the electronic viewfinder (EVF) Plastic is used on the rear and bottom of the camera

The Nikon Z5 is the same size and weight as the Z6, which is surprising given that you would normally anticipate an entry-level camera to be smaller and lighter than more expensive models in the range. When you include the weight of the battery, the body of the Z5 weighs in at 675 grams, but in comparison to the Z6, there have been some modifications to the Z5’s structure as well as its ergonomics.

Beginning with the construction, there are a few minute changes between the two. The Z6 has the upper hand around the back, with another magnesium alloy panel used; the Z5 instead uses a plastic panel on the rear, but it’s still good to see a decent amount of magnesium alloy on what is an entry-level camera. Both cameras use magnesium alloy panels for the top and front, but the Z6 has the upper hand round the back, with another magnesium alloy panel used. The weather resistance of the Z5 is comparable to that of the Z6, and the handgrip on both models is generously sized and quite comfortable.

The Z5 does not have a top-plate LCD, which is the primary factor contributing to the Z6’s superior ergonomics in comparison to the Z5. This is not a required piece of equipment, and the vast majority of mirrorless cameras do not have it. However, it may be helpful for monitoring and altering the exposure settings on the camera.

Because there is no top-plate display, Nikon shifted the position of the mode dial on this camera from the left side of the viewfinder, where it was located on the Z6, to the right side of the viewfinder. Aside from that, the control arrangement is virtually identical to that of the Z6, which is a feature that should be praised.

The top and rear of the camera are covered with buttons that have been well-labeled, and the camera’s joystick and sub-selector D-pad make it possible to select the AF region and navigate the menu with relative ease. If you want, you can also operate many of the Z5’s settings via the touchscreen LCD that measures 3.0 inches, and Nikon’s menu system is one of the easier interfaces to get a handle on.

Sticking with the LCD, and it’s no surprise to see the Z5 employ the same tilt-angle technology as the Z6. Still, photographers should find this to be a valuable tool for helping them frame low- and high-angle photos. videographers and vloggers may be upset that the display does not have a variable angle that completely articulates, but videographers and vloggers may also find this to be the case.

Be warned, however, that Nikon has chosen to implement a display with a lesser resolution on the Z5 compared to the Z6. The resolution has been reduced from 2.1 million dots to 1.1 million dots, which is a significant difference. Such a reduction in cost is to be expected, and other cameras, such as the Canon EOS RP, provide a resolution that is comparable (although its display benefits from a vari-angle hinge).

Nikon Z5 Performance

  • Conservative a burst rate of 4.5 frames per second
  • Strong performance in the AF
  • A rather long battery life

Burst shooting speed is one area in which the Nikon Z5 is notably lacking compared to the Z6, despite the fact that the new camera has inherited many of the capabilities seen on the Z6. Although this is on pace with other cameras like the EOS RP and Sony Alpha A7 II, it is still a surprising move on Nikon’s part to cap the Z5’s shooting speed at this level. The Z6 is capable of an amazing 12 frames per second, but the Z5 is only capable of 4.5 frames per second.

With the camera employing the same EXPEED 6 image processor as the Z6, it’s not unreasonable to think that the Z5 should in principle be able to shoot equally swiftly, but as things stand it does mean the Z5 is hindered for people who want to capture the action.

The 273-point AF system employed in the Z5 is a very excellent performer, bettering those systems seen in rivals like the EOS RP and Alpha A7 II. There is a good number of focusing settings to choose from, regardless of whether you are shooting in Single or Continuous AF mode, and we found that focusing was both quick and silent in the majority of situations.

It’s a shame that the Z5’s limited burst shooting speed makes it less suitable for action photography because it performed so well, locking on quickly and consistently to track our subjects as they moved across the frame. Focus tracking worked quite well.

Last but not least, the EN-EL15c is a brand-new battery that has been included to the Z5. This battery has a higher capacity compared to its predecessors (although it is interchangeable with older variants). You can anticipate capturing 470 shots when using the rear monitor alone, or 390 shots when utilizing the EVF — that’s about 80 shots better than the Z6.

Nikon Z5 Image & Videos Quality

  • ISO 100-51,200, extendable to 50-102,400
  • Excellent clarity and detail \sHigh-ISO performance not nearly as great as Z6

Although we’ve touched on it before, the Z5 utilizes a different full-frame sensor than the Z6, despite the fact that both cameras have the same resolution. What does that mean for the image quality, therefore, that the Z5 does not have the same back-illuminated sensor configuration as the Z6 does?

The quick answer is that you’ll have to look very closely at photographs from the two cameras to notice any difference.

It is only when you move towards the higher end of the ISO range that you will notice a difference when you start to zoom into shots, with a hint of more noise noticeable. At low ISOs, you will be rewarded with sharp and clean images that are comparable to those from the Z6, and it is only when you move toward the higher end of the ISO range that you will notice a difference.

Having said that, the Z5 does a good job of handling picture noise even in this regard. Detail is preserved at an ISO setting of 6,400, and there is barely a trace of chroma noise discernible when viewed at 100 percent. Since it is reasonable to anticipate that the dynamic range and detail levels would decrease when the expansion sensitivity settings are increased, ISO 102,400 ought to be reserved for emergency use only.

However, 4K footage might be a touch underwhelming at times. The crop factor of 1.7x can be restrictive, and the limited variety of frame sizes will be frustrating for anyone who wants to record more than a few minutes of film every so often.

Nikon Z5 Specs

Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy, composite
Sensor
Max resolution6016 x 4016
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-51200 (expands to 50-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
CIPA image stabilization rating5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File formatJPEGRaw (NEF, 12 or 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points273
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage200%
Viewfinder magnification0.8×
Viewfinder resolution3,689,400
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesFront-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Continuous drive4.5 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10 or 20 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II compatible)
Connectivity
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac (dual band) + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL15c lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)470
Weight (inc. batteries)675 g (1.49 lb / 23.81 oz)
Dimensions134 x 101 x 70 mm (5.28 x 3.98 x 2.76″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Nikon Z5 Final Verdict

The Nikon Z5 is currently the greatest full-frame mirrorless camera that is available for purchase at an entry-level price point. It’s not flawless, but owing to a mix of superb image quality, a consistent AF performance, easy handling, and a weather-sealed shell and sturdy body, the Z5 has a lot going for it. The only thing holding it back is the pricing at the moment, as it’s not much cheaper than the much better Z6.

Nikon Z5 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Logical control arrangement
  • Comfy hold and sturdy construction
  • A fantastically capable AF system
  • 5-axis autofocus (AF) system
  • EVF with a high resolution
Need Improvements
  • Disappointing video qualities, including 4K footage that has been cropped
  • A disappointingly slow burst firing speed
  • Tilt-angle display, not vari-angl

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The Nikon Z5 is a new entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera that was released by the business. It has a design that is almost identical to that of the Nikon Z6, which is one step above it in the Nikon mirrorless line. The Nikon Z5 is...Nikon Z5 Review