Now that Nikon has made a full-frame mirrorless camera for professionals, he wants to take the performance of a larger sensor to the masses. The Nikon Z 5 is a new mirrorless entry-level camera that combines both simple, beginner-friendly features and advanced options for a few hundred dollars less than the Z 6 and its DSLR counterpart, the D610.
While the Z 5 can be an entry-level option, the camera also accepts feedback from the start of the Z 6 and Z 7, including two SD card slots. This makes the camera a hybrid mixture of reduced budget functions and expanded options that are not part of the Z 6 and Z 7.
The Nikon Z 5 uses a 24.3-megapixel full-frame sensor – about one megapixel less than the Z 6 – and the same processor as the more advanced model Expeed 6. Despite the same computing power, the Z 5 only shoots with up to 4.5 images per Second (fps) compared to the 12 fps of the Z 6.
However, the shutter speed has not been reduced to achieve the lower price, and still reaches a maximum of 1/8000, which is necessary for working with the brighter Z lenses in sunlight. The autofocus continues to be similar to the Z 6's 273-point system and covers 90 percent of the sensor. The auto focus for the human and animal eye is included. Like both the Z 6 and the Z 7, the Z 5 is equipped with 5-axis image stabilization with Z-mount lenses and 3-axis stabilization with the FTZ adapter and an F-mount DSLR lens.
A strange choice
When the Z 6 and Z 7 were introduced, Nikon said there were no double slots to keep the bodies compact with this built-in stabilizer. However, the Z 5 can install two UHS-II compatible SD card slots in the camera, which is likely due to feedback from photographers on previous models. Inserting two SD card slots into a slower, non-professional camera is a bit strange – the Z 5 shoots fewer, smaller files that are less likely to overflow, and is not suitable for the public. Creating backups in the camera is a must.
However, the Z 5 proves that two cards actually fit in the small body, and suggests that updates to the Z 6 and Z 7 might also work. However, it is still unclear whether this body of the same size could accommodate two slots that are compatible with the XQD card type, a card with much higher performance that is likely to help Z 6 and Z 7 achieve a faster burst.
Despite the two card slots, the Z 5 is the same size and weight as its big siblings. The secondary LCD above is missing – not surprising considering Nikon's entry-level DSLRs don't have one either – and the mode dial has been moved to the right side of the case for one-handed mode switches. The Z 5 also consists only partially of a magnesium alloy and is weatherproof, but not as protected as the more expensive options. The Z 5 has a 3.2-inch touchscreen and a 3.2 million-point EVF.
Not just for photographers
According to Nikon, the Z 5 is intended for all creatives – not necessarily specifically for photographers – and contains some simple functions for vloggers and influencers. The Z 5 has a handful of advanced post-processing effects that are possible in the camera, including multiple multiple exposure options and an interval timer mode that compiles a time-lapse in the camera and simultaneously saves the individual images. A focus shift mode for focus stacking techniques is also included, but requires post-camera post-processing. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are both included for wireless transmission to a smart device and for remote shooting.
The Z 5 uses a new battery that offers at least 470 shots per charge with the monitor and 390 with the viewfinder. In contrast to the Z 6 and Z 7, the Z 5 can also be charged via USB during recording (another function that is frequently requested for the more expensive cameras) and is also compatible with Nikon's mirrorless battery grip.
In addition to the Z 5, Nikon announced two new teleconverters, the TC-1.4x and the TC-2.0x, which are compatible with the Nikkor Z 70-200mm f / 2.8 VR lens. According to Nikon, the teleconverters work with a "minimal decrease" in the accuracy and speed of the autofocus. The teleconverters have no effect on the minimum focusing distance of the lens, so that the lens comes even closer. As with all teleconverters, some light is lost – one stop at 1.4x and two stops at 2.0x. The teleconverters are also weatherproof.
The Nikon Z 5 and new teleconverters will be available in late August along with the previously delayed Nikon Z 70-200mm f / 2.8. The Z 5 will be available for retail for the body only at $ 1,399, $ 200 less than the current price of the company's entry-level full-screen DSLR, the aging D610. The camera will also be available in a $ 1,699 kit that includes a new compact 24-50mm f / 4-6.3 lens, or $ 2,199 with the 24-200mm kit lens.