Nikon Z5 Review

August 21, 2020 | Gavin Stoker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon Z5 is an entry-level 35mm full-frame mirrorless camera with 4K Video and IBIS. It sits below the better-specced and higher-priced Z6 and Z7 models in the Nikon Z-series range.

Key features of the Z5 include a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, ISO range of 100-51200 , 273-point Hybrid AF system with eye and animal detection, 3690k-dot electronic viewfinder, tilting touchscreen, weatherproof magnesium alloy body, dual UHS-II SD card slots, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The Nikon Z5 is available now priced at £1719 / $1699 with the equally new Nikon Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 retractable zoom kit lens.

Ease of Use

Nikon Z5
Front of the Nikon Z5

Nikon Z 5 without a space or ‘Z5’ with one, as its manufacturer is suggesting? Perhaps it doesn’t matter at all. Like those who insist on their latest innovation being written ALL IN CAPS, it seems a mere affectation which distracts from the fact that this is a solidly built, fairly conventional offering in Nikon’s fledgling full frame compact interchangeable lens camera series. Offering 24.3 megapixels of resolution and 4K video, it would seem to tick the boxes for what we’re expecting in terms of key specification these days too.

As the model name suggests, this unit sits below the existing ‘6’ and ‘7’ semi pro models in its maker’s line up, the premise here being that this is a more accessible entry point into the ‘Z’ series for those who don’t want the steep learning curve they may perceive the higher priced alternatives present. That said, while comparable with other mirrorless camera options out there, the £1,719 being asked for the camera and lens bundle we were sent isn’t cheap for a ‘beginner’ or smartphone upgrader by any means.

More positively, if you’ve used an entry-level DSLR or bridge camera before – and which this resemble a slightly shrunken version of – there is much that is immediately familiar in terms of looks, build, handling and operation with the Nikon Z5.

Those making the leap up from a smartphone will take advantage of the Nikon’s Live View and touch screen facility, which handily also includes touch AF and touch shutter operation by default – a finger tap on screen directing the camera to zero in on a particular point in your frame and capture an image that has wherever you tapped as its main point of focus. From the get go, despite a fairly busy control layout, that much is user friendly and is also useful for subjects that are darting around your frame – wild fowl to take one instance among our selection of test shots.

Nikon Z5
Rear of the Nikon Z5

On the Z5 Nikon has deployed a comprehensive 273-point Hybrid AF system, while a central AF point illuminated in green can further be dragged around the LCD either by finger or via rear plate joystick as desired.

Edge of frame markers in a subtle dark red colour which appear either in the viewfinder or on the LCD illustrate how much of the scene is actually in frame – as aspect ratios can be manually swapped, from the default of full frame – which Nikon calls ‘FX format’ – to DX format (size of an APS-C sensor), or alternatively 1:1 medium format or 16:9 widescreen ratios.

Of course when selecting these last three options there is an incremental decrease in overall image resolution, as, effectively, the camera is performing a crop. So if you want maximum pixels for your bucks, stick with full frame ratio.

While a bigger lens mount allows for physically larger lenses and more light to reach the sensor, the Nikon Z5 doesn’t shirk when it comes to light sensitivity options either, with a core range of ISO100-51200 incrementally extendable either side to the equivalent of ISO50 or ISO102400, depending on requirements, though photos towards the uppermost settings do display a fair bit of image smoothing to limit the appearance of grain/image noise.

Nikon Z5
Top of the Nikon Z5

We were sent the kit version of the Z5 that usefully comes with a Nikkor Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 lens out of the box. We say ‘useful’ because obviously with a full frame camera the 24mm setting is a ‘true’ 24mm, making it ideal for landscape shots, while at the telephoto end of the zoom the 50mm setting is great for portraits – the two most commonly shot photographic subjects, in other words.

The supplied lens is a compact zoom – in fact it’s claimed to be the shortest and lightest lens for full frame mirrorless cameras currently in existence – which means that it needs to be manually unfurled/extended before you can loose off the first shot, so slightly slows down the process of grabbing that initial image from cold.

Once the lens has been extended, then, it seemed most sensible to us to walk around with the camera and lens left in its ‘proud’ state while we were looking for subjects to capture, which is about an inch and a half longer than the lens otherwise appears when ‘dormant’.

It’s worth pointing out that while the lens is ‘compact’ compared to alternatives, you’ll still need a rucksack or camera bag to transport the Nikon Z5; it’s too bulky to fit into a jacket pocket and camera and lens combined would be a squeeze even for the average glove compartment.

Nikon Z5
The Nikon Z5 In-hand

While we’re talking optics it’s worth pointing out that regular Nikkor F-mount lenses can be used on the Nikon Z5 too, albeit via the FTZ mount adapter, so there is a broad range of alternatives to explore if you’re prepared to buy this optional extra gizmo.

The alternative to using this camera’s large and bright back plate screen, which also can be pulled outwards from the body and tilted up so you’re looking down on it – but not, unfortunately, swung to one side like those of a camcorder - is of course to utilise the eye level viewfinder instead, which is electronic, as opposed to optical, and self activates in user-friendly fashion when it detects your eyeball up against it. Likewise it neatly deactivates if you remove your eye from it. Nikon tells us that this is the same EVF as used in the pre-existing ‘big brother’ Z6 and Z7 models.

On the Nikon Z5, we also get dual card slots hidden beneath the spring-loaded, push and flip-open padded thumb rest at the rear, but, thankfully for the newbies this one is aimed at, these are a pair of SD card slots for which many of us have a drawer-full of compatible media lying around, rather than the more expensive (albeit more big data friendly) XQD media or CFExpress cards controversially favoured by the Z6 and Z7.

Incidentally, despite the Nikon Z5’s relatively compact dimensions when compared with a full frame DSLR, the handgrip here commendably provides space for three fingers at the front, while your forefinger hovers above the shutter release button, itself ergonomically encircled via the on/off switch. Though it is still weighty and chunky with lens attached, the camera never feels unmanageably so. It’s solid, in a reassuring fashion, which is exactly what you want given the outlay being asked here.

Nikon Z5
Memory Card Slots

As one would also anticipate and expect at this price and in this class of camera, the Nikon Z5 never feels sluggish in operation – quite the opposite in fact. It quickly becomes an extension of your own arm and eye, allowing you to concentrate on the subject rather than what the camera is doing; once you’ve familiarised yourself with its basic features that is, and which button needs to be pressed in order to call up the settings required.

With lens mount front and centre on this model, the faceplate is a relatively minimalist affair, with a lens release button on one side of the mount flanked on the other by two slightly smaller function buttons.

Of course we also get the familiar screw head sized porthole housing a self time/AF assist lamp top right of the lens mount, and a nicely rounded DSLR-like handgrip over on the left, which has the familiar edge of a ridged control wheel poking out near the top where it falls under the forefinger, though we more often found ourselves using the more prominent ‘main’ command dial that is alternatively set into the top plate just above the thumb pad at the rear. It just feels more natural to us to give this one a thumb spin, while your forefinger is free to hover over the shutter release button, and that button alone.

One thing this camera is missing however – though of course beginners won’t sweat over its omission – is a top plate LCD window. Perhaps this would have been something of a luxury, given that its maker was aiming for compactness here.

Nikon Z5
Tilting LCD Screen

Despite that, top plate controls including the aforementioned main command dial and familiar shooting mode wheel – featuring the usual P,A,S,M and auto settings, plus three user-customisable ones – are reassuringly large and chunky, making for fluid, as opposed to fiddly, operation. These have just the right amount of give and are not overly stiff, the user hearing an audible ‘click’ when a particular shooting mode is selected, or a reassuring series of clicks when the main command wheel is spun.

The top plate is also where you’ll find the Nikon Z5’s unobtrusive speaker, while stereo microphones sit either side of the familiar pentaprism shape, which houses the camera’s electronic viewfinder and built-in stereo microphones. It has to be said, the degree of visibility you get from the 3690K-dot resolution EVF here is sufficiently impressive that we forgot we weren’t looking through an actually optical viewfinder. Said EVF also helpfully provides 100% frame coverage, so what you’re seeing is what you’re shooting.

Another thing that is missing here, however, that you wonder if Nikon could have included, is a pop-up flash – as it is, there’s a vacant hotshoe for attaching an accessory flashgun if and when required, though obviously this is at additional cost.

Falling under the forefinger as it dances around the shutter release button meanwhile are an ergonomically arranged top plate trio of buttons – one for controlling exposure compensation (an incrementally broad +/- 5EV), another for accessing ISO settings in conjunction with a twirl of the command wheel as you hold this button down, plus a familiar record button for the commencing and canceling video capture; so far, so reassuringly straightforward.

Nikon Z5
Front of the Nikon Z5

The back plate of the Nikon Z5 meanwhile finds the camera at its busiest looking and possibly initially daunting, with a DSLR-like array of buttons arranged in a L-shape along the top, plus down the right hand side of the articulated LCD screen. Top left where they conveniently fall under the thumb of the left hand, we get immediately recognizable buttons for playback and file deletion, while, over at the other side of the viewfinder window, we find a display button encircled by a rocker switch for self explanatorily switching between stills and video capture.

To the right of these we get an AF-on and joystick with roughened surface so you literally get a ‘feel’ for its operation and directing of your AF point – activated via a press of the ‘OK’ button below – without having to take your eye away from the viewfinder. Between the joystick and the OK button, set into a multi directional control pad, is an ‘i’ button, which by default provides a short cut to an on-screen toolbar of key shooting settings. Each setting has its own lozenge shaped virtual button, which are just of sufficient size to be able to nudge lightly with a thumb and avoid miss-selection. This also saves deep diving into the menu screens proper on most occasions.

Beneath the multi directional control are a further quartet of buttons – being the self explanatory ‘menu’, a drive mode selection button (accessing single shot, burst shooting of up to 4.5fps and standard self timer options), plus two magnifying glass illustrated enlarge and minimise buttons, which obviously come into their own when checking critical focus with the camera placed in playback mode.

Nikon Z5
Front of the Nikon Z5

With all the above seeming pretty straightforward and logical, the right hand flank of the camera – as viewed from the back – features the slide-and-open flap housing the dual memory card slots as discussed earlier, while the opposite flank features the camera’s connectivity options. Here you get more than we might expect on a ‘beginner’ model, including the ability to plug in an external microphone and a pair of headphones for monitoring, while full size HDMI and USB ports are also provided, along with an accessory terminal option for plugging in a remote shutter release; so, these are commendably comprehensive options for a camera in this class (if not in this price bracket).

With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board as standard, the base of the Nikon Z5 features a screw thread for a tripod dead centre of its lens mount, while the base of the handgrip inevitably houses its rechargeable EN-EL15C lithium ion battery, for which a separate mains charger comes bundled in the box. It can also alternatively be powered up via USB. This newer class of battery can furnish its users with up to 470 shots from a full charge or 120 minutes of video if using only its LCD. Not so great compared to a DSLR, but just fine compared to most mirrorless cameras.

While this well made and well featured entry point into full frame mirrorless photography is impressive in many respects, then, the proof of any pudding is in the eating. So, while the Nikon Z5 handles well, how do its images measure up? Read on to find out...

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 10Mb.

While a resolution of 24.3 megapixels may seem nothing to write home about in these days of 40 MP mirrorless options, the majority of us aren’t shooting imagery for commercial reproduction at billboard size and so is arguably more than most will ever need.

For the most part images from the Nikon Z5 are detailed and punchy, with a nice amount of contrast, except on occasions when focusing on foreground details threatens to white out large expanses of sky in the background.

Colours are punchy too, with Nikon erring on the side of realistic rather than oversaturated. That said, skin tones in portraits look healthy rather than pallid – with eye detecting auto focus being both fast and accurate we noted - while the blues and greens of nature are also realistically rendered.

While the zoom range offered by the kit lens isn’t massive and you’ll probably want to supplement it with something with a bit more ‘kick’ at the telephoto end, it's a decent jack of all trades option out of the box, although having to first remember to unfurl it by hand before you want to take a shot is a little irksome.

Unsurprisingly at higher ISO’s – and most noticeably those beyond ISO 51200 - visible noise processing is kicking in, giving a smoothing effect, like someone has smeared Vaseline over the lens. That said these are far from the worst results we’ve seen in the higher numbers and, although we’re losing some of the photographic quality, would be usable as an aide memoire if you’re desperate.


ISO sensitivity can be set between ISO 50 and ISO 102400 in full-stop increments. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and RAW on the right.


ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600.jpg

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

iso51200.jpg iso51200.jpg

ISO 102400 (100% Crop)

ISO 102400 (100% Crop)

iso51200.jpg iso51200.jpg


The Nikon Z5's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures (up to 16 minutes), which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in low light photography.






Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Z5 camera, which were all taken using the 24 megapixel JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Nikon Z5 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Nikon RAW (NEF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative)."

Sample Movies & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2610 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 21 second movie is 334Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2610 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 30 second movie is 474Mb in size.

Product Images

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Nikon Z5


A full frame mirrorless system camera for beginners – or at least initial Nikon Z system adopters – in a price bracket more common to die-hard enthusiasts and semi pros, has Nikon’s latest Z5 gamble paid off?

While there will inevitably be grumbles that it’s too expensive, the look, feel, build quality and handling go some way to showing users where their money’s going. In short, it doesn’t have that ‘budget’ feel that many starter cameras have; indeed it will have appeal to long-term photo hobbyists who have resisted going mirrorless until now.

When it comes to the images that the Nikon Z5 delivers, they also won’t be disappointed by the full frame sensor at its heart, even if they may quickly tire of the jack-of-all-trades compact zoom provided out of the box, which, while fine for beginners, will quickly fall short of ideal for ‘power users’.

Anyone buying this otherwise fairly well-featured camera will also have to invest in an accessory flash, though we were pleased to see Nikon circling back to support the more commonly available and cheaper SD card rather than XQD-only for a ‘Z’ series camera here. Those considering purchasing this one are more than likely to own a handful already, thus making the passage to ownership less daunting than the doubtless already quite daunting asking price.

All said and done, the Z5 camera represents a positive step from Nikon – and one that would seem even more desirable for those trading up from smartphones or budget DSLRs in its range if it were a little more affordable still.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 3

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon Z5.

Canon EOS R

The EOS R is Canon's first ever full-frame mirrorless camera, joining the likes of Sony, Nikon and Panasonic. Can it beat its main rivals, and is it a real alternative to a more traditional DSLR? Find out now by reading our in-depth Canon EOS R review, complete with full-size sample images, videos and more...

Canon EOS RP

The Canon EOS RP camera follows hot on the heels of last year's EOS R model, offering full-frame mirrorless tech and 4K video recording at an even more affordable price-point than before. Find out just what the cheapest full-frame mirrorless camera on the market is capable of by reading our in-depth Canon EOS RP review, complete with full-size sample JPEG and RAW images, videos and more...

Fujifilm X-Pro3

The latest version of Fujifilm's much-loved rangefinder camera series has just arrived in the form of the X-Pro3, complete with hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder and a radical new hidden LCD screen. Yes, we did say hidden! Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-Pro3 review to find out what this very traditional, yet thoroughly modern camera has to offer you.

Fujifilm X-T4

The Fujifilm X-T4 is the successor to the very popular X-T3, which was released in 2018, principally adding in-body image stabilisation, greatly improved battery life, a quicker and quieter mechanical shutter, enhanced continuous AF and a number of design tweaks. Can the new X-T4 improve on what was already an outstanding camera? Find out now by reading our in-depth Fujifilm X-T4 review...

Nikon Z50

Nikon have introduced their first APS-C, cropped-sensor mirrorless camera with the launch of the Z50, accompanied by two kit zoom lenses. Can the Z50 take on the likes of the well established Sony A6000-series and Canon EOS-M range, not to mention Fujifilm with its line-up of excellent APS-C bodies and lenses? Find out now by reading our in-depth Nikon Z50 review.

Nikon Z6

The Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera is the sensible little brother of the flagship Z7 model, offering less megapixels, fewer AF points and faster continuous shooting at a much lower price point. Is this the best balanced mirrorless camera on the market? Find out now by reading our in-depth Nikon Z6 review, complete with full size JPEGs, Raw files and movies...

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

The new OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a serious camera for serious photographers, designed to showcase the very best that Olympus has to offer. In the increasingly competitive high-end camera market, does it have what it takes to stand out from the crowd and attract new users as well as satisfy existing ones? Read our Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III review to find out...

Panasonic S1

The Panasonic S1 is the more sensibly specced and sensibly priced sibling of the flagship S1R full-frame mirrorless camera. It lowers the number of megapixels whilst upping the video capabilities, promising a more well-rounded camera at a more affordable price-point. Does the new Lumix S1 have what it takes to compete with the likes of the Sony A7 III, Nikon Z6 and Canon EOS R? Read our detailed Panasonic S1 review to find out...




Lens mount

Nikon Z mount

Effective angle of view


Image sensor

CMOS, 35.9 mm x 23.9 mm

Total pixels

24.93 million

Dust-reduction system

Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (Capture NX-D software required)

Effective pixels

24.3 million

Image size (pixels)

[FX (36 x 24)] selected for image area: (L)6016 x 4016 (24.2 million), (M)4512 x 3008 (13.6 million), (S)3008 x 2008 (6.0 million); [DX (24 x 16)] selected for image area: (L)3936 x 2624 (10.3 million), (M)2944 x 1968 (5.8 million), (S)1968 x 1312 (2.6 million); [1:1 (24 x 24)] selected for image area: (L)4016 x 4016 (16.1 million), (M)3008 x 3008 (9.0 million), (S)2000 x 2000 (4.0 million); [16:9 (36 x 20)] selected for image area: (L)6016 x 3384 (20.4 million), (M)4512 x 2536 (11.4 million), (S)3008 x 1688 (5.1 million); Photographs taken while filming movies at a frame size of 3840 x 2160: 3840 x 2160; Photographs taken while filming movies at other frame sizes: 1920 x 1080

Storage file formats

NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit (lossless compressed or compressed), JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic (approx. 1:16) compression; size-priority and optimal-quality compression available, NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

Picture Control System

Auto, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat, Creative Picture Controls (Dream, Morning, Pop, Sunday, Somber, Dramatic, Silence, Bleached, Melancholic, Pure, Denim, Toy, Sepia, Blue, Red, Pink, Charcoal, Graphite, Binary, Carbon); selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls

Storage media

SD, SDHC (UHS-II compliant), SDXC (UHS-II compliant)

Storage media

2 Secure Digital (SD) cards, the card in Slot 2 can be used for overflow or backup storage or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; pictures can be copied between cards.

File system

DCF 2.0, Exif 2.31


1.27-cm/0.5-in. approx. 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED electronic viewfinder with color balance and auto and 11-level manual brightness controls

Frame coverage

Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical


Approx. 0.8x (50 mm lens at infinity, -1.0 m-¹)


21 mm (-1.0 m-¹; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)

Diopter adjustment

-4 to +2 m-¹

Eye sensor

Automatically switches between monitor and viewfinder displays

Compatible lenses

Z mount NIKKOR lenses F mount NIKKOR lenses (mount adapter required; restrictions may apply)

Shutter type

Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane mechanical shutter; electronic front-curtain shutter; electronic shutter

Shutter speed

1/8000 to 30 s (choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1/2 EV), bulb, time, X200

Flash sync speed

X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 s or slower; auto FP high-speed sync supported

Release mode

S (single frame), CL (continuous low speed), CH (continuous high speed), Self-timer

Frame advance rate

Continuous L: Approx. 1 to 4 fps; Continuous H: Approx. 4.5 fps (Maximum frame advance rate as measured by in-house tests.)


2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 s

Exposure metering

TTL metering using camera image sensor

Metering method

Matrix metering Center-weighted metering: weight of 75% given to 12 mm circle in center of frame; weighting can instead be based on average of entire frame Spot metering: meters 4 mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point Highlight-weighted metering

Metering range

-3 to +17 EV (ISO 100, f/2.0 lens, 20 °C/68 °F)


Auto, P: programmed auto with flexible program, S: shutter-priority auto, A: aperture-priority auto, M: manual U1, U2 and U3: user settings modes

Exposure compensation

–5 to +5EV, in increments of 1/3 or 1/2EV, available in modes P, S, A, and M

Exposure lock

Luminosity locked at detected value

ISO sensitivity

ISO 100 to 51200, in steps of 1/3 or 1/2EV, can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 50 equivalent) below ISO 100 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 102400 equivalent) above ISO 51200; auto ISO sensitivity control available

Active D-Lighting

Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, and Off

Multiple exposure

Add, average, lighten, darken

Other options

HDR (high dynamic range), photo mode flicker reduction


Hybrid phase-detection/contrast AF with AF assist

Detection range

-3 to +19 EV,³ Without low-light AF: -2 – +19 EV

Lens servo

Single-servo AF (AF-S), Continuous-servo AF (AF-C), full-time AF (AF-F; available only in movie mode); predictive focus tracking, Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used

Focus points

273 (Number of focus points available in photo mode with single-point AF selected for AF-area mode and FX selected for image area)

AF-area mode

Pinpoint (available in photo mode only), single-point, and dynamic-area AF (available in photo mode only); wide-area AF (S); wide-area AF (L); auto-area AF

Focus lock

Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF/AF-S) or by pressing the center of the sub-selector

Camera VR

5-axis image sensor shift

Lens VR

Lens shift (available with VR lenses)

Flash control

TTL: i-TTL flash control; i-TTL balanced fill-flash is used with matrix, center-weighted, and highlight-weighted metering, standard i-TTL fill-flash with spot metering

Flash modes

Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, off

Flash compensation

-3 to +1 EV in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, available in modes P, S, A, and M

Flash-ready indicator

Lights when optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes as underexposure warning after flash is fired at full output

Accessory shoe

ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock

Nikon Creative Lighting System

i-TTL flash control, radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, optical Advanced Wireless Lighting, modeling illumination, FV lock, Color Information Communication, auto FP high-speed sync, unified flash control

White balance

Auto (3 types), natural light auto, direct sunlight, cloudy, shade, incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), flash, choose color temperature (2500 K to 10,000 K), preset manual (up to 6 values can be stored), all with fine-tuning except choose color temperature

Bracketing types

Exposure and/or flash, white balance, ADL

Movie - metering

TTL exposure metering using main image sensor, TTL metering using camera image sensor

Movie - metering method

Matrix, center-weighted, or highlight-weighted

Movie - frame size (pixels) and frame rate

3840 x 2160 (4K UHD): 30p (progressive)/25p/24p; 1920 x 1080: 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p

Movie - file format


Movie - video compression

H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

Movie - audio recording format

Linear PCM (for movies recorded in MOV format), AAC (for movies recorded in MP4 format)

Movie - audio recording device

Built-in stereo or external microphone with attenuator option; sensitivity adjustable

Exposure compensation

–3 to +3 EV (choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1/2 EV) available in modes P, S, A, and M

Movie - ISO sensitivity

M: Manual selection (ISO 100 to 25600; choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1/2 EV); auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 100 to 25600) available with selectable upper limit P, S, A: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 100 to 25600) with selectable upper limit; Auto: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 100 to 25600)

Movie - Active D-Lighting

Same as photo settings, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, and Off

Movie - Other options

Time-lapse movie recording, electronic vibration reduction, time codes


8-cm (3.2–in.) diagonal; Tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 170° viewing angle, approximately 100% frame coverage, and color balance and 11-level manual brightness controls; Approx.1040k-dot


Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, playback zoom cropping, movie playback, photo and/or movie slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, location data display, auto image rotation, and picture rating


Type C connector (SuperSpeed USB); connection to built-in USB port is recommended

HDMI output

Type C HDMI connector

Audio input

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter; plug-in power supported)

Audio output

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter)

Accessory terminal(s)

Built-in (can be used with MC-DC2 remote cords and other optional accessories)

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) standards

IEEE 802.11b/g/n

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) operating frequency

2412 to 2462 MHz (channel 11)

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) maximum output power

0.7 dBm

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) security

Open system, WPA2-PSK

Bluetooth standards

Bluetooth Specification Version 4.2, Bluetooth: 2402 to 2480 MHz Bluetooth Low Energy: 2402 to 2480 MHz, Bluetooth: –4.8 dBm Bluetooth Low Energy: –6.3 dBm; Approximately 10 m (32 ft)⁶


One EN-EL15c rechargeable Li-ion battery⁷

Battery pack

MB-N10 battery pack (available separately); takes two EN-EL15c⁸ batteries

AC adapter

EH-7P charging AC adapter (available separately); EH-5d/EH-5c/EH-5b AC adapter, requires EP-5B power connector (available separately)

Tripod socket

1/4–in. (ISO 1222)

Dimensions (W x H x D)

Approx. 134 x 100.5 x 69.5 mm (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8 in.)


Approx. 675 g (1 lb. 7.9 oz.) with battery and memory card but without body cap; approx. 590 g/1 lb. 4.9 oz. (camera body only)

Operating environment - temperature

0 °C to 40 °C (+32 °F to 104 °F)

Operating environment - humidity

85% or less (no condensation)

Supplied accessories

BF-N1 Body Cap, DK-29 Rubber Eyecup (comes attached to camera), EN-EL15c Rechargeable Li-ion, Battery with terminal cover, MH-25a Battery Charger (comes with either an AC wall adapter or power cable of a type and shape that varies with the country or region of sale), AN-DC19 Strap, UC-E24 USB Cable, BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover

  • ¹ Shortest length and lightest weight among standard zoom lenses for full-frame interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras released as of July 21, 2020.
    ² Type-C to type-C USB cable required.
    ³ Measured in photo mode at ISO 100 and a temperature of 20 °C/68 °F using single-servo AF (AF-S) and a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.0.
    ⁴ Actual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively.
    ⁵ Quality selection (normal/high) available at all sizes except 3840 × 2160, when quality is fixed at high.
    ⁶ Without interference. Range may vary with signal strength and presence or absence of obstacles.
    ⁷ EN-EL15b/EN-EL15a/EN-EL15 batteries can also be used. Note, however, that fewer pictures can be taken on a single charge than with the EN-EL15c. The EH-7P charging AC adapter can be used to charge EN-EL15c/EN-EL15b batteries only.
    ⁸ EN-EL15b/EN-EL15a/EN-EL15 batteries can be used in place of the EN-EL15c. The number of pictures that can be taken on a single charge (i.e., battery endurance) will however drop compared to the EN-EL15c.


Nikon have just announced the Z5, an entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera with 4K Video and IBIS that sits below the Z6 and Z7 models.

Other key features include a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, 100-51200 ISO range, 273-point Hybrid AF system with eye and animal detection, 3690k-dot electronic viewfinder, tilting touchscreen, weatherproof magnesium alloy body, dual UHS-II SD card slots, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Pitched directly against the Canon EOS RP, the Nikon Z5 has the main advantage of 5-axis vibration reduction, something that the Canon rival notably lacks. The Z5's 4K video mode does suffer from a very similar 1.7x crop, though (1.6x on the EOS RP).

Meanwhile, the 2-year-old Sony A7 III is more than a match for the new Nikon Z5 and is still our pick for "best entry-level full-frame camera", on paper at least, although it is admittedly slightly more expensive than the Canon EOS RP and Nikon Z5 at full RRP.

Compared to the Nikon Z6, the new Z5 commendably shares a lot of the same features, with a simpler top-plate with a shooting mode dial rather than a status LCD (which some people may actually prefer), polycarbonate rear and base plates rather than fully magnesium alloy (still the same level of weatherproofing though), and fewer video options. The Z5 is so similar to its siblings that it even uses the same MB-N10 battery grip as the Z6 and Z7.

Today Nikon introduces a new entry-level full-frame camera to the Nikon Z family. Tough, light, and easy to handle, the Nikon Z 5 is a brilliant opportunity for anyone who wants to move into full-frame mirrorless photography.

Positioned below the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6, the Nikon Z 5 is designed for anyone who wants to begin exploring the beauty of full-frame photography. Whether shooting stills or 4K movies, users will see their images take on thrilling new levels of detail, depth, and colour. Clean images with stunning dynamic range are attainable even at high ISOs thanks to a full-frame 24.3 MP CMOS sensor that takes full advantage of the ultra-wide Z mount’s light-gathering capabilities. Nikon’s 273-point Hybrid-AF system delivers sharp focus across the frame, and the same EVF as the renowned Z 6 and Z 7 offers an ultra-sharp view. Dual card slots offer flexible storage, and handling is effortless thanks to acclaimed Nikon Z ergonomic features including the deep camera grip. The camera can also be powered via USB 2—ideal if recording a long time-lapse sequence from the living-room window!

From wide-angle primes to telephoto zooms, the Nikon Z 5 is compatible with all of Nikon’s bright and compact full-frame NIKKOR Z lenses. The Nikon Z 5 is also fully compatible with the FTZ Mount Adapter which allows use of F-mount NIKKOR lenses with no loss of image quality.

Robert Harmon, Senior Commercial Planning Manager, Nikon UK, says: “The Nikon Z 5 and NIKKOR Z 24-50mm lens offer a fantastic chance to discover the benefits of Nikon Z full-frame photography. From richer colours to greater depth of field, you get stunning Nikon Z image quality in a uniquely portable package. It’s the perfect way to exercise your creativity and create the kind of full-frame images you’ve always wanted.”

Nikon Z 5 Key Specs

  • Stunning Nikon Z image quality: ultra-wide Nikon Z mount, powerful EXPEED 6 processor, and full-frame 24.3 MP CMOS sensor with 100-51200 ISO range.
  • Small kit, big impact: the super-portable NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 is included in the core Z 5 camera + lens kit.
  • 273-point Hybrid AF: delivers smooth, fast, and precise focusing across the frame. Eye-Detection AF locks on to eyes for perfect portraits of people. Animal-Detection AF does the same for cats and dogs.
  • 5-axis Vibration Reduction: stills stay sharp and video is steady.
  • Ultra-sharp 3690k-dot electronic viewfinder: the high-definition EVF doesn’t leave anything out of the frame. Key settings like exposure, ISO, and white balance are applied in real time.
  • Nikon Z ergonomics: the deep grip feels secure and key controls are perfectly placed.
  • Tough yet lightweight: the magnesium alloy body is sealed to keep dust and moisture out.
  • Dual card slots, power via USB: accepts fast UHS-II SD cards and the camera can charge (camera off), or powered via USB 2.
  • Tilting touchscreen: touch to focus and shoot, and double-tap to see a 100 % view of the image area.
  • Smooth 4K movies: NIKKOR Z full-frame lenses enable beautiful depth of field. Create eye-popping time-lapse movies in-camera, and take stills while filming.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®. Nikon’s SnapBridge app makes it easy to transfer photos and videos, or turn a smart device into a remote monitor and controller.

Nikon Z 5 Price

The Nikon Z 5 and the Z 24-50MM F/4-6.3 kit lens will be priced at £1,719 / €1,999 in the UK / Europe.

Nikon Z 5 Availability

Sales of the Nikon Z 5 start in Late Summer 2020.


1 Shortest length and lightest weight among standard zoom lenses for full-frame interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras released as of 23rd July, 2020

2 Type-C to type-C USB cable required

Image Gallery

Click on a thumbnail to see the full version.

Preview Images

Ahead of our full review, here are some sample JPEG and RAW images and videos taken with the brand new Nikon Z5 full-frame mirrorless camera. The Z5 offers 24 megapixels, UHD 4K video, IBIS, ISO 100-51200, a weatherproof body and dual SD card slots. It's priced at £1719 / $1699 with the equally new Z 24-50mm retractable zoom lens. All of the images were taken with a full production version of the Z5 and the new Nikkor Z 24-50mm F4-6.3 kit lens.

A gallery of sample photos taken with the Nikon Z5 full-frame mirrorless camera.

Nikon Z5 Sample Images

Sample RAW Images

The Nikon Z5 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Nikon RAW (NEF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 21 second movie is 334Mb in size.

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