Nikon Z5 Review

August 21, 2020 | Gavin Stoker |


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

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