Cameras

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 almost identical to the Nikon Z6, which is one step above the Nikon mirrorless line.

The Nikon Z5 is the finest starting mirrorless camera available now if you’re seeking 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.

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

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You’ll need to look at the files very closely to see the difference, but the Nikon Z6 is an excellent option to consider if you’re frequently shooting in low-light conditions. Its more recent back-illuminated sensor works better at higher ISOs.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the Nikon Z5 has 3.69 million dots, is vast 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.

Nikon Z5 Build Quality

The Nikon Z5 is the same size and weight as the Z6, which is surprising given that you would typically 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 and its ergonomics.

Beginning with the construction, there are a few minor distinctions 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 an entry-level camera.

Both cameras use magnesium alloy panels for the top and front, but the Z6 has the upper hand around 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 compared to the Z5. The vast majority of mirrorless cameras do not have this feature, even though it might be helpful for monitoring and altering the camera’s exposure settings.

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 the Z6, a feature that should be praised.

Nikon Z5 Features

You might be excused for believing that Nikon has decided to utilize the same sensor in the Z5 and the Z6 because all of these cameras have the exact resolution of 24 megapixels. However, this is not the case.

However, this is not the case, as the Z5 does not have the more expensive back-illuminated sensor technology found in the Z6. This most likely indicates that the sensor used in this camera is one of the sensors from the previous generation, similar to those found in cameras such as the Nikon D750.

However, it would be best if you did not let this deter you because you are only likely to detect changes in performance at higher ISOs, which is where the Z6 should give cleaner images.

Nikon Z5 Performance

Burst shooting speed is one area in which the Nikon Z5 is notably lacking compared to the Z6, even though 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 can have a unique 12 frames per second, but the Z5 only has 4.5 frames per second.

Because the Z5 uses the same EXPEED 6 image processor as the Z6, it is not unreasonable to expect that the Z5 should, in theory, be able to shoot at the same rapid pace as the Z6. However, the fact that this is not the case means that the Z5 is a less desirable option for those who want to shoot action.

Nikon Z5 Image & Videos Quality

Although we’ve touched on it before, the Z5 utilizes a different full-frame sensor than the Z6, even though both cameras have the exact 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?

To answer your question, the difference between the two camera photos will not be seen unless you carefully examine them. When you move towards the higher end of the ISO range, you will notice a difference when you start to zoom into shots, with a hint of more noticeable noise.

At low ISOs, you will be rewarded with sharp and clean images comparable to those from the Z6, and it is only when you move toward the higher end of the ISO range you will notice a difference.

The Z5 does an excellent 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 should be reserved only for emergency use.

The metering mechanism of the Nikon Z5 is one that consistently delivers accurate readings. You will discover that there is a tendency to expose the highlights; nevertheless, this does help to prevent the loss of detail in pretty bright places. A little post-processing in areas of the photo that appear somewhat underexposed can yield a beautifully balanced image, and the files may be pushed further if necessary.

The package’s 24-50mm lens works quite well, but you should try to keep your expectations realistic. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/6.3 when set to 50 millimeters, which may be constrictive. If your budget is flexible enough, we strongly suggest purchasing the superb Z series 24-70mm f/4 lens instead (or even looking at a couple of Z series primes to supplement the kit lens).

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 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 Verdict

The Nikon Z5 is currently the most excellent full-frame mirrorless camera available at an entry-level price. The Z5 isn’t perfect, but it has much going for it owing to its superb image quality, dependable autofocus performance, user-friendly handling, and weather-sealed and durable construction.

Although it isn’t perfect, it does have a lot going for it. The price is now the only thing keeping it from becoming more popular, as it is not much more affordable than the even superior Z6.

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