Nikon Z5 Review

August 21, 2020 | Gavin Stoker |

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.

Noise

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.

JPEG RAW

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

Night

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.

night.jpg
night.jpg

Macro

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Portraits

night.jpg