TEST RESULTS Nikon Z5:
The Nikon Z5 is a very complete entry-level model.
The Nikon Z5 is a new “entry-level” model from Nikon, which comes below the Z7 and Z6. Entry-level models are often heavily stripped-down cameras with fewer controls and a lesser build quality. This is not really the case for the Z5. The camera is surprisingly complete and is also weatherproof.
The Nikon Z5 has everything you could want in a camera. Full-frame 24-Mp sensor? Yes. Image stabilization in the body? That too. Phase detection autofocus across the entire image? Touch-sensitive screen, OLED viewfinder, microphone and headphone jack, two card slots, Full HD and 4K video, Time Lapse, WiFi, and Bluetooth? Yes, it has all that. What makes this camera less than the existing models? Mainly the details. A bit more plastic has been used for the body, and the camera does not have an LCD screen on the top. The screen cannot turn & tilt, only tilt. The speed is also lower, despite the Expeed 6 processor that is also used in the Z6. The camera also lacks some advanced video features. For professionals, these may be reasons to look at a Z6 or Z7. For anyone who just wants to take beautiful shots, the Nikon Z5 offers pretty much everything you could want.
BUILD AND OPERATION
The Nikon Z5 is about the same size as the Z6 and, oddly enough, weighs the same. This is remarkable because the Z5 has a body made of magnesium alloy and plastic, whereas the Z6 is made entirely of magnesium alloy. The two cameras also look very similar, which is a good thing. That means you can easily use them together. There are, of course, differences. The Nikon Z5 does not have an LCD on the top cover, but a traditional selector for the shooting modes. The screen is also different. It does not turn, but it can be tilted.
The Z5 is Nikon’s new entry-level model. Even so, according to Nikon, the camera is certainly as weatherproof as the Z6 and Z7, and that is great. What is also great is that the Z5 has two card slots. Both slots are also suitable for fast UHS-II SD cards. The camera has a headphone and microphone input and a USB-C connection.
SCREEN AND VIEWFINDER
The Nikon Z5 has an OLED viewfinder with 3.69 million dots and a viewfinder magnification of 0.8x. That’s a big viewfinder, the same as on the Z6. The TFT screen is 8cm in size and has 1 million pixels. That’s half the number the Z6 has. It can only tilt and not turn. It is touch sensitive. With the Z6, you cannot use the screen to select the autofocus point with the camera to your eye. The question is whether this has been resolved with the Z5.
The hybrid AF system has 273 focus points, which cover almost the entire image field. The camera can use eye recognition not only for people but also for cats and dogs. Like the Z6, the Z5 has a joystick for selecting the autofocus point.
Sensor AND IMAGE QUALITY
The Nikon Z5 has a 24Mp sensor, just like the Z6. However, it is not the same sensor. The Z6 has a BSI sensor; the Z5 does not. The Z5 is therefore slower than the Z6, but with 4.5 frames per second, it’s still sufficiently fast for most forms of photography.
Like the Z6 and Z7, the Z5 has built-in image stabilization. That makes the Z5 perhaps a more interesting entry into the Z system than the APS-C model, the Z50. It means that you can also shoot and film by hand with lenses that do not have VR (Vibration Reduction) with slower shutter speeds. The image stabilization is supposed to be good for a gain of 5 stops.
The Nikon Z5 can film in 4K and Full HD, as is actually inescapable these days. In Full HD, the camera uses the full width of the sensor. In 4K, you have to deal with a 1.7 crop. Whether that is a disadvantage depends of course on what you want to film. But for vlogging, it means that you fall a bit short with a standard zoom in 4K. In 4K, you can film in 24, 25 and 30 frames per second. In Full HD, there is also the option of filming at 60 frames per second. The camera has both a microphone and a headphone input. The camera is also “webcam” ready. That means that you can connect it directly to a computer via the USB-C port and use it as a webcam. That saves the purchase of a separate HDMI capture card.
Nikon Z5 SAMPLE IMAGES
We hope to have the Nikon Z5 in our test lab soon. A full review will follow shortly.
|sensor||Full frame, 24 Mp|
|video||3840×2160 24/25/30f Full HD to 60fps|
|ISO||100-51,200 (50-102,400 exp)|
|max. series speed||4.5 fps C-AF|
2x UHS-II SD/SDHC/SDXC
|battery capacity||470 shots|
|weight (incl. battery)||675 g|
|list price||€ 1599.00 (body)|