After following the two initial Z-platform mirrorless cameras with an APS-C model, Nikon returned this morning to launch a Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera that slots itself between the Full-Frame Z7 and APS-C Z50 based on their all-electronic wide-diameter Z-mount.
The new Nikon Z5 is built around a 24 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor mounted on the same 5-axis image-stabilization system present in the Z6 and flagship Nikon Z7 reviewed here. This is standard Front-Side Illuminated sensor, rather than BSI like in the Z6, which makes the light-sensitive area on each pixel slightly smaller. Still, the new 24 MP sensor has the same standard ISO 100-51200 sensitivity range, although it expands to ISO 50-102400, just one full-stop less than the Z6. Image quality should remain very close and the Z5 does not appear to have an Anti-Alias Filter in front of it.
Nikon built a similar 273-Point Phase-Detect AF system onto the sensor of the Z5 to make it focus quickly. Its accompanying shutter covers a 1/8000-30s shutter-speed range and can operate a 4.5 FPS. This is the most significant performance change compared to the Z6 which lets Nikon offer the Z5 at a much lower price. Nevertheless, this mirrorless can record 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS like its higher-end siblings. Stereo audio can be recorded along with video internally or via a standard mini-jack.
This mirrorless boasts a surprising number of high-end features. It offers an integrated 0.5″ EVF with an ultra-sharp 3.7 MP of resolution and a huge 0.8X magnification, the largest among Full-Frame cameras of all types! The viewfinder is paired with an essential Eye-Start Sensor. This digital camera features dual control-dials, a traditional mode-dial, an 8-way focusing joystick and a direct ISO button. With the control-ring found on some Nikon Z-mount lenses, this camera is certain to be highly efficient to use. Other advanced features include builtin HDR, an Interval-Timer, Time-Lapse video and extensive bracketing options.
Nikon made the Z5 weatherproof and even fitted it with a pair of SDXC memory-card slots, a first for the Z-system. The camera is powered by a proprietary Lithium-Ion battery that can be charged internally via a USB-C port. The slightly lower processing speed allows the Nikon Z5 to offer 20% more battery-life than the Z6.
Along with the new camera, Nikon also introduces an incredibly compact Full-Frame zoom lens. The Nikkor Z 24-50mm F/4-6.3 is available as kit lens with the Z5. This variably aperture zoom weights just 195g while offering a weatherproof construction. Even though it is only 5cm deep, it manages to include a customizable control-ring that can control the internal focusing system or adjust exposure parameters or apply EC.
Nikon expects to ship the Z5 next month for $1400 USD or $2050 CAD. The kit with the new lens will be sold for $1700 USD or $2500 CAD, while the Nikkor Z 24-50mm F/4-6.3 alone is priced at $400 USD or $570 CAD.