Nikon Z9 Vs Nikon Z5

When it comes to the development of innovative and high-quality mirrorless cameras, Nikon has been at the forefront of the industry. The Nikon Z series has garnered a tremendous amount of praise from both professionals and amateurs alike. The Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z5 are two of Nikon’s most popular cameras, and in this post, we will compare and contrast the two.

Both cameras come with a variety of features and capabilities, each of which may be tailored to meet the specific requirements and desires of individual photographers. Let’s go into the specifics and get a better understanding of the primary distinctions that exist between these two great cameras.

Overview of Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z5

The Nikon Z9 is the most advanced model in the Z series. It was developed specifically for working photographers who have high expectations for their equipment in terms of both performance and image quality.

On the other hand, Nikon has designed the Z5 to be an accessible full-frame mirrorless camera, making it an excellent choice for amateur photographers and those just starting out who are interested in improving their skills.

Sensor and Image Quality

A high-resolution back-illuminated sensor with 45.7 megapixels is used in the Nikon Z9, which results in images with remarkable detail and dynamic range. In addition to that, it has a sophisticated image processor, which enables it to produce stunningly high-quality images regardless of the lighting circumstances.

In contrast, the Nikon Z5 features a full-frame sensor with 24.3 megapixels, which results in great image quality but a smaller resolution in comparison to the Z9.

Autofocus and Performance

The Nikon Z9 sports a powerful 493-point phase-detection autofocus system that covers a large portion of the frame, which places it in the lead when it comes to the category of autofocus. The autofocus system of the camera is extremely quick and precise, allowing for fine focusing even on things that are moving rapidly.

Even though it has a 273-point focusing system, the Nikon Z5 is not quite as good as its competitors at keeping up with things that are moving quickly.

Shooting Speed and Buffer Capacity

The Nikon Z9 excels in its burst shooting capabilities and boasts an excellent continuous shooting speed of 20 frames per second (fps). Additionally, it has a huge buffer, which enables photographers to take a great number of pictures without feeling any sluggishness in the process.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z5 has a lesser buffer capacity but a good burst shooting speed of 4.5 frames per second (fps).

Video Capabilities

Both cameras have great video capabilities, making them suitable for videographers. The Nikon Z9 is capable of capturing video in 8K resolution, which provides an extremely high level of detail and clarity. In addition to this, it has a variety of video functions that are suitable for professional use, making it a popular option among filmmakers.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z5 is only capable of recording video in up to 4K resolution and is missing some of the more advanced video functions that are included in the Z9.

Ergonomics and Handling

The Nikon Z9 features an ergonomic design that is optimized for usage in professional settings, and its body is both durable and weather-sealed. It has a big grip that is pleasant to hold, controls that are easy to understand, and an electronic viewfinder with a good resolution.

The Nikon Z5, although still well-built, is significantly smaller and lighter, giving it an alternative that is portable and user-friendly for photography that is done on a daily basis or while traveling.

Connectivity and Accessories

Both cameras come with a variety of communication options, such as built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, for transferring images without any hassle and having the ability to manage the cameras remotely.

In addition, the Nikon Z9 has a 10-bit HDMI output for external recording, which is specifically designed to meet the requirements of professional video production. Both of these cameras are compatible with a wide variety of accessories that are offered by Nikon. These accessories provide photographers with the ability to expand their creative horizons.

Specifications Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon Z5Nikon Z9
AnnouncedJuly 2020October 2021
Camera TypeMirrorlessMirrorless
Sensor TypeCMOSStacked CMOS
Image ProcessorEXPEED 6EXPEED 7
Resolution24.3 MP45.4 MP
Pixel Dimensions6016×40168256×5504
Sensor Dimensions35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)
Sensor Pixel Size5.95µ4.4µ
Low Pass FilterYesNo
IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)YesYes
Base ISOISO 100ISO 64
Max Native ISOISO 51,200ISO 25,600
Extended ISOsISO 50-102,400ISO 32-102,400
High-Resolution Sensor ShiftNoNo
Focus Stack BracketingYesYes
Pre-Shoot Burst ModeNoYes (JPEG only)
Fastest Shutter Speed1/80001/32000
Longest Shutter Speed30 seconds900 seconds
Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)4.5 FPSNo mechanical shutter
Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)4.5 FPS20 FPS
Notes for High FPS ShootingNone20 FPS figure is for .NEF files
(full-res JPEG at 30 FPS; DX JPEG at 60 FPS;
11 megapixel JPEG at 120 FPS)
Buffer Size (Raw)100 frames (4.5 FPS)Over 1000 frames (20 FPS)
Autofocus SystemHybrid PDAFHybrid PDAF
Autofocus Points273493
Maximum Low-Light AF Sensitivity-3.5 EV-7 EV
Standard Flash Sync Speed1/2001/200
Curtain to Protect Sensor at ShutdownNoYes
Video Features
Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)8 bits12 bits
Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)8 bits12 bits
Raw VideoNoYes
8K Maximum FramerateN/A60 FPS
4K Maximum Framerate30 FPS120 FPS
1080P Maximum Framerate60 FPS120 FPS
Additional Video Crop Factor1.7x crop at 4KNo
Chroma Subsampling4:2:04:2:2
Video Recording Limit30 min125 min
Physical and Other Features
Card Slots22
Slot 1 TypeSD (UHS-II)CFExpress Type B
Slot 2 TypeSD (UHS-II)CFExpress Type B
Rear LCD Size (Diagonal)3.2 in3.2 in
Rear LCD Resolution1.04 million dots2.1 million dots
Articulating LCDSingle AxisDual Axis
Viewfinder Magnification0.8x0.8x
Viewfinder Resolution3.69 million dots3.69 million dots
Viewfinder Coverage100%100%
Voice MemoNoYes
Headphone JackYesYes
Microphone JackYesYes
Built-in FlashNoNo
USB TypeType C 3.1Type C 3.2 Gen 2
Battery TypeEN-EL15cEN-EL18d
Battery Life (Viewfinder)390 frames700 frames
Battery Life (Rear LCD)470 frames740 frames
Battery Life (Eco Mode)N/A770 frames
Weather SealedYesYes
Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)675 g (1.49 lbs.)1340 g (2.95 lbs.)
Dimensions (LxHxD)134 x 101 x 80 mm (5.3 x 4.0 x 3.1″)149 x 150 x 106 mm (5.9 x 5.9 x 4.2″)

Battery Life

It is possible for photographers to shoot for more extended periods of time without having to recharge their batteries as frequently since the Nikon Z9 comes equipped with a high-capacity battery that has a great battery life.

On the other hand, the battery life of the Nikon Z5 is somewhat less than that of its predecessors, although it is still adequate for the vast majority of photographic sessions. It is highly suggested to have replacement batteries, particularly for extended shooting sessions.

Price and Value for Money

When one considers the customer base for each model and the features it offers, it should not come as a surprise that the Nikon Z9 comes with a heftier price tag than the Nikon Z5. For professional photographers who can’t settle for anything less than absolute excellence, the Z9’s exceptional performance and top-of-the-line specs more than justify the camera’s price.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z5 provides outstanding value for money by providing impressive capabilities at a price range that is more accessible to the average consumer.

Pros and Cons

Nikon Z9 Pros:

  • Sensor with a high resolution that produces images of extraordinary quality
  • High-speed continuous shooting with a large buffer capacity Professional-grade video capabilities, including an advanced autofocus technology that allows for exact subject tracking
  • A body that is both durable and protected from the elements, ideal for rough use

Nikon Z9 Cons:

  • Higher cost, with an emphasis on catering to professional users
  • It’s possible that a larger and heavier body won’t appeal to the tastes of all photographers.

Nikon Z5 Pros:

  • Mirrorless camera with a full-frame sensor that is reasonably priced
  • Excellent image quality and performance for people at the beginner level Compact and lightweight design for effortless mobility
  • Decent video recording capabilities
  • Access to the extensive catalog of lenses compatible with the Nikon Z-mount

Nikon Z5 Cons:

  • sensor with a lower resolution compared to those seen on higher-end versions
  • a slower firing rate in bursts and a reduced capacity for the buffer


Both the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z5 are wonderful cameras, but they appeal to distinct demographics of photographers. Because of its higher specs and professional features, the Z9 is an excellent option for both photography pros and photography amateurs who insist on the highest possible picture quality and performance.

On the other hand, the Z5 provides an inexpensive point of entry into the world of full-frame mirrorless photography without sacrificing any of the vital features or the image quality. In the end, the decision between these two cameras is going to come down to your individual preferences, financial constraints, and skill level.


Q. Can I use my existing Nikon F-mount lenses with the Z9 and Z5?
A. Yes, both the Nikon Z9 and Z5 are compatible with Nikon F-mount lenses using the FTZ Mount Adapter.
Q. Is the Nikon Z9 suitable for sports and wildlife photography?
A. Absolutely! With its high-speed continuous shooting, advanced autofocus system, and excellent image quality, the Nikon Z9 is well-suited for capturing fast-paced action and wildlife moments.
Q. Does the Nikon Z5 have in-body image stabilization (IBIS)?
A. Yes, the Nikon Z5 features in-body image stabilization, providing better stability and reducing the effects of camera shake.
Q. Can I shoot in RAW format with the Nikon Z9 and Z5?
A. Yes, both cameras support RAW image capture, allowing for greater flexibility in post-processing and maximizing image quality.
Q. Are the Nikon Z9 and Z5 compatible with external flashes and accessories?
A. Yes, both cameras are compatible with a wide range of Nikon Speedlights and accessories, providing additional lighting and creative options.

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