Many people nowadays buy a dedicated camera for video as much as they do for stills. As such, many new cameras deliver heavily on video recording features. That makes them great for a lot of people, but pretty overkill for those who really just want a mirrorless camera for taking pretty pictures. The Nikon Z5 offers a powerful camera for those folks.
The entry-level addition to Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless Z series, the camera takes some of the best parts of the Z6 and Z7, but foregoes some of the video elements that made them so interesting for many content creators. The result is a camera that still takes serviceable video, all while retaining most of the standout photography capabilities from its more expensive stablemates.
The Nikon Z5 houses a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, a step down from the BSI sensor used on the Z6, along with the same Expeed 6 processor. It’s got a hybrid contrast/phase detect autofocus system with 273 points, complete with the ability to detect and tracks eyes and faces for both humans and animals, as well as ISO sensitivity of 100 – 51,200. For burst shots, it can do 4.5 frames per second with full autofocus and auto-exposure, while the 1/8000 shutter speed should help you capture fast-moving objects.
Framing can be done via a half-inch OLED viewfinder with 0.8x magnification and 100 percent frame coverage, as well as on a 3.2-inch tilting (but not fully articulated) LCD touchscreen. Just like the two other cameras in the series, it has full five-axis in-body stabilization, complete with up to five stops of shake compensation, ensuring the camera can make up for shaky hands and jerky movements during shoots.
The Nikon Z5 can, of course, also shoot movies. In this case, though, the quality tops out to 4K at 30 fps with a 1.7x crop, with 1080p footage topping out a 60 fps, so you’ll have to go to lower resolutions for captures you can use for slo-mo video. One thing it does better than the Z7 and Z6 is storage. While those cameras only allowed you to save to one XQD card, this model comes with two UHS II slots. Not only are those cards cheaper, the dual storage slots also mean you can automatically make backups. Yeah, we have a feeling those cameras will be updated for similar dual slots down the line just to make them more enticing.
Other features include an EN-EL15C battery rated at 390 shots between charges (470 shots when using the monitor), a silent mode that eliminates shutter sound, remote control support via the Snapbridge mobile app, compatibility with all of the outfit’s Nikkor Z lenses, and compatibility with F-mount lenses when using the option FTZ adapter. Construction, by the way, is magnesium alloy for the internal structure, with plenty of plastic parts outside to keep things affordable, although it remains weather-sealed against dust, dirt, and moisture.
The Nikon Z5 comes out in August, priced at $1,399.95 for the body. It’s also available bundled with a Nikkor Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 for $1,699.95 or a Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR kit lens for $2,199.95.