The Nikon Z5 is a full frame for the price of an iPhone


There is much talk about the fact that cameras are becoming more and more expensive. Meanwhile, the new Nikon Z5 costs less than the flagship iPhone 11 Pro and proves that we can buy a modern full frame without a mirror at a very reasonable price. This is a good offer, even for times when cameras were apparently cheaper.

At first glance, the Nikon Z5 has almost everything to attract an ambitious or advanced amateur aiming at full frame. Priced around $ 1,400. (probably about PLN 6,500) we get a lot, although of course it did not do without some cuts and simplifications compared to the Z6 model. The main competitor of the Nikon Z5 will certainly be Canon EOS RP , but at a similar price we can also buy … the flagship iPhone 11 Pro 512 GB ($ 1,449).

Solid interior with a 24-megapixel sensor

The heart of the camera is a full-frame, 24-megapixel CMOS sensor, which works with the Expeed 6 processor. The sensor has a 5-axis stabilization system, the efficiency of which is declared at 5 EV. This duo allows you to shoot with a sensitivity in the range of ISO 100-51200, times 1/8000 – 30 s. And speed in continuous mode up to 4.5 fps. In addition, we have a 273-point hybrid AF system that covers almost the entire frame and has eye tracking functions for humans and animals.

Although at first glance it seems to be the same matrix as in the Nikon Z6, we get a different sensor here. Although the resolutions are similar, the Z6 uses a BSI matrix, and the Z5 has regular CMOS. However, we have an identical processor, which allows us to count on a similar performance, but not the photo speed, which in the Z6 is 12 fps. Well, but the savings must be somewhere.

Ergonomics almost like in the Nikon Z6 , which is very good

When viewed from the outside, the Nikon Z5 looks like its big brother, the Nikon Z6. There is only a small black and white LCD screen on the top wall, in its place is the non-lock mode dial. Besides, the Nikon Z5 looks almost identical. We are dealing here with a rather large grip at the front, a great joystick for setting AF points at the back and many practical buttons. The Nikon Z5 measures 134 × 101 x 70 mm and weighs 675 g, which is exactly the same as the Nikon Z6.

Nikon Z5
Nikon Z6

Appearances, however, are a bit misleading, because the body is not entirely made of magnesium as in the Z6 and Z7 . The body has a metal frame with a plastic back and bottom panel. However, the manufacturer declares that the camera is still sealed.

Nikon Z5
Nikon Z6 reviews
Nikon Z6, photo: Łukasz Kotkowski

The electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3,690,000 should be a strong point. points and a magnification of 0.8 ×. We also have a tilt, touch LCD screen with a resolution of 1.04 million points and a diagonal of 3.2 inches.

What’s New? New battery and two memory card slots

One of the most criticized elements of Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless cameras was a single slot for memory cards. In this respect, the Nikon Z5 surprises on the plus side – there is a double slot for fast SDHC UHS-II memory cards.

The body also received a new EN-ELC15 battery, which is to allow up to 470 photos. The Nikon Z5 can be powered by the USB-C connector while it is in use or charged when it is turned off. The USB-C connector should also be used to turn the camera into a webcam.

It is also a foretaste of the changes that can be expected in the next models. If Nikon introduces such improvements in the cheapest model from the entire range of full-frame mirrorless cameras, we will probably see them also in the new Z6 and Z7 versions.

The weak point is 4K movies with a large crop

Nikon Z5 unfortunately has a very simplified movie mode compared to the Z6 model. The camera records 4K video at 30, 25 and 24 fps, but with a large crop of 1.7x. We will get rid of it by switching the movie mode to Full HD. And there, the Nikon Z5 also offers a useful frame of 60 fps. The manufacturer says nothing about electronic vibration reduction, time codes or flat color profiles.

This camera is unlikely to be chosen by vloggers. Although it has a microphone and headphone connector, the LCD screen does not tilt 180 degrees. It is clear that this is a model geared towards the needs of photographers rather than filmmakers.

Nikon Z5 – price in Poland. Is it worth it?

Nikon Z5 can be called a truncated or budget version of the Z6. And although we are not happy with simplifications, they go hand in hand with a lower price. The camera is expected to cost around $ 1,400. for the body itself, which is probably about PLN 6,500.

In Poland, it will be available for now only in sets with a new 24-50 mm f / 4-6.3 lens for PLN 8499 and a lens and FTZ adapter (PLN 9099). The Nikon Z5 is expected to hit store shelves at the end of August 2020.

On the one hand, the Nikon Z5 is attractively priced, but the much more advanced Z6 model can now be purchased for less than PLN 7,500. On the third hand, all cameras from the Nikon Z series have dropped quite strongly and quickly with the price from the day of release, so the Nikon Z5 will probably be similar. The Nikon Z6 was initially priced at $ 1999. which is about 600 dollars. more than the Nikon Z5. This gives over PLN 2,000 of the difference at the start. I expect the price of the Z5 to drop quickly to around PLN 5,000-5500, i.e. the level of the Canon EOS RP, and then it will be a really great offer. The Nikon Z5 gives the impression of a well-balanced camera in terms of price / performance ratio.

The Nikon Z5 is a full frame for the price of an iPhone