Nikon Z5

Nikon Z5

Nikon Z5
Announced: 20 Jul 2020
Sensor Resolution: 24Mp
Sensor Type: Full frame CMOS
ISO: 100-51200
Weight: 675g
Physical Dimensions: 134 x 101 x 70 mm
Viewfinder: Electronic
Screen Type: 3.2" Tilting
Video Resolutions: 3840 x 2160
Overall Score
Image Quality
Speed Performance











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  • This camera autofocus is able to follow moving subjects
  • The Nikon Z5 is tropicalized - this means you can use it also in adverse atmospheric and environmental conditions without ruining it
  • The integrated stabilizer allows you to shoot firmly even in low light conditions
  • The LCD display is a convenient and almost indispensable feature
  • The microphone input can be very useful if you shoot videos
  • The second memory slot makes the camera more reliable, also for professional use
  • Thanks to the wireless connection, Nikon Z5 allows immediate picture sharing


  • Warning - Nikon Z5 battery has only 470.0 shoots autonomy. This might be a limiting factor if you think you'll have to do long photo sessions without having the chance to recharge it.

Nikon Z5: the younger sister of the Z series

Introduced in the summer of 2020, the Nikon Z5 is a mid range Mirrorless  with a 24.3Mp CMOS sensor. The camera can be defined as a sort of handyman designed for those who decide to take the first important step towards photography, presumably coming from a less performing camera. Drawing a parallel with the in-house-produced models, the Nikon Z5 is certainly very similar to its older sisters Z6 and Z7, also Full Frame Mirrorlesses, with some traits in common with the D750 SLR, a model that has had significant success, in terms of sales.

For several specialized reviewers, the Nikon Z5 is in some ways the real debut of the Japanese house in the Mirrorless market, being a camera with a more accessible price to the public - still definable as cheap - and competing with models like the Canon EOS RP and Sony Alpha A7 III. From a technical specifications point of view, however, the Nikon Z5 has a sensor with the same resolution but slightly lower than that of the Z6, i.e. without backlighting and with a less performing burst (4.5Fps).

Ergonomics and construction of the Nikon Z5

Compared to the Z6 and Z7 models, the Nikon Z5 immediately shows a welcome surprise: two SD card slots instead of a single XQD input. The size and weight, however, do not change: 34 x 100.5 x 69.5 mm, and 675 grams of weight including battery and card. The materials used, polycarbonate and magnesium alloy, are based on the Nikon 7000 series.

Even ergonomically speaking, the Nikon Z5 refers directly to its bigger sisters, despite the absence of the secondary display on the top plate and the AF/MF selector. The physical buttons are numerous and well distributed, apart from an overcrowded area - on the back, bottom right – where, in a few square millimeters, we find 5 commands: the two zoom buttons, the drive, directional pad, and menu. The grip has an ideal depth, equipped with the right prominence to grab a weight that, to be that of a mirrorless, is certainly not very light.

The front view of the Nikon Z5 is that of a Full Frame type, wider than the APS-C models, and with a Z Mount connection that stands out in all its considerable diameter. At the top, the left side appears quite bare, while the program dial offers three customizable modes. On the right side you can see the double memory cardslots; on the opposite side you find these ports: USB 3.0 type C (for battery charging), mini-HDMI, remote control input, headphone, and microphone jack. Speaking of connections, the wireless ones present in Nikon Z5 are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and remote control with the SnapBridge app.

Nikon Z5: EVF e Monitor

With its 3.69 million dots and 100% coverage, the Z5's electronic viewfinder is one of the main strengths of this camera. With such an EVF, the Japanese house - known (also) for its precision optics - somehow wanted to reiterate once again the central role of a viewfinder, never secondary to a Live View display, when it comes to making photography of a certain level. With the Nikon Z5 viewfinder, everything is under control, even the shaded areas. The main settings - white balance, focus peaking, exposure - are displayed in real-time. With its magnifying glass sensitive to the zoom controls, this viewfinder allows you to check the sharpness before proceeding with the shot.

Unlike the electronic viewfinder, the Nikon Z5 monitor left us unimpressed, especially because it is a partially rotatable LCD panel, articulated completely upwards and partially downwards. The technical specs of this display - resolution of 1040K dots and diagonal width of 3.2 inches - are not that bad, but this monitor seems more like a missed opportunity since the Nikon Z5 offers several features that, accompanied by the full rotation of the display, would have attracted more attention from video bloggers. For photographers, however, this is a satisfactory LCD.

The Nikon Z5 in brief

  • Sensor: 24.3Mp CMOS (35.9mm x 23.9mm)
  • Processor: EXPEED 6
  • Viewfinder: 1.27cm, 3690 k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED; 100% image coverage, 0.8x magnification
  • Display: 8cm TFT (1040K dots) touchscreen LCD, tiltable with 170° viewing angle
  • AutoFocus System: Hybrid AF with Hybrid Contrast/Phase Detection (273 points)
  • ISO range: from 100 to 51200 (extendable to ISO 50-102400)
  • Burst: Up to 4.5Fps with AF active
  • Video mode: 3840 x 2160 (UHD 4K) 30p/25p/24p; 1920 x 1080: 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
  • Interfaces: USB Type C, HDMI Type C, Wi-Fi microphone and headphone jack, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Memory: 2 SD, SDHC Slots
  • Battery: Li-ion EN-EL15c

Nikon Z5: AF system and burst

The AF system of the Z5 - a hybrid with contrast and phase detection, with 273 points covering 90% of the frame - remains essentially that of the Z6, with a small involution that concerns low-light scenes, since that of its older sister stands at -6 EV, while that of the Nikon Z5 stops at -3 EV. The speed of the system is lower than that of the most performing reflex cameras of the Japanese house, but the detection of the eyes (people and animals) is quite dynamic and precise.

The Nikon Z5 is far from being excellent because its AF system shows some limits especially when it is required to track moving subjects, situations in which the Canon or Sony equivalents perform better. Nothing terrible, of course, but the system of the Z5 turns out to be very reactive only in static situations.

Reaching 4.5Fps (the lowest value on the Z line), the Nikon Z5's shutter speed is satisfactory for landscape, portrait, or street photography, but problems arise when filming scenes with lots of action, or with animals with unpredictable movements.

Shooting quality and video recordings

Photographing with the Nikon Z5, the level of detail remains at more than discrete levels up to 2700 LW/PH - Line Widths for Picture Height, pairs of lines per unit of sensor height - limit beyond which slight aliasing can be seen, i.e. the unpleasant “jagged” effect, much more visible when images are enlarged.

Shooting at high ISO the Nikon Z5 produces discreet results, especially by inserting the de-noise filter which, however, makes the images slightly "blurry". Without a filter, digital noise is no problem up to ISO 6400, while at 12,800 the quality is more than acceptable even without a filter. Going further, the grain becomes important and annoying. Even the color range of the Nikon Z5 is confirmed to fully be in the entry-level range, with some problems related to the white balancing, in situations of artificial light.

Coming to the video sector, as already mentioned, it certainly cannot be said that it is one of the strengths of the Nikon Z5: if we stop at FullHD you get excellent recordings without image cropping with a good 1080 at 60Fps. But the problem comes if we raise the resolution to 4K and it's called cropping. Yes, because when filming in UltraHD (30Fps), we see an image crop of 1.7x. Nothing to say instead for the fluidity of the images even while shooting freehand, thanks to the excellent five-axis stabilizer present in the Nikon Z5.

Nikon Z5 Vs. Sony A7 III

Although there are about two years of difference between the two cameras - the Sony A7 III was released in 2018 - the models have several features in common, starting with the 24Mp Full Frame sensor: both Nikon and Sony have two memory cards slots, both offer headphone and external microphone jacks and a very similar stabilization system. Unfortunately, the Nikon Z5 and Sony A7 III also have in common the lack of a built-in flash.

There are no significant differences on the camera body, despite the Sony model having smaller measures of a few millimeters and a weight less than 25 grams: nothing that substantially moves the balance in favor of the A7 III.

The real difference between the Sony and the Nikon lies in the AF: with a hybrid system based on 693 points and a 10Fps burst, the A7III model stands out from the Nikon Z5 which, which on its side, offers a superior electronic viewfinder and a curious function thanks to which the camera can be used as an actual webcam.

Nikon Z5 and its rivals

Review compare Nikon Z5 with overall score Portrait
Nikon Z5 Nikon
66 64 65 60 66 67 $1,246.90
Canon EOS R6 Mark II Canon
EOS R6 Mark II
78 67 67 86 76 78 buy on
Sony Alpha A7c Sony
Alpha A7c
72 65 66 69 74 75 buy on
Nikon Z7 Mark II Nikon
Z7 Mark II
70 68 68 68 69 69 buy on
Sony ZV-E1 Sony
70 62 64 68 73 73 buy on
Olympus OM System OM-1 Olympus
OM System OM-1
67 47 46 75 74 75 buy on
Fujifilm X-Pro3 Fujifilm
65 52 50 62 77 77 buy on

Nikon Z5: concluding remarks and technical specifications

The Nikon Z5 is a mirrorless camera launched on 07/20/2020.

Technically speaking, the Nikon Z5 ranks in the best 25% of its category (and in the best 96 of all cameras in our database) scoring 66 overall. The Nikon Z5 weights 675 gr and spans 134 x 101 x 70 mm. This means that it is one of the largest and heaviest cameras within its category.

Going into details, the Nikon Z5 behaves better than average in its category for:

  • Image Quality - Score 66, ranks in the category best 15%.
  • Speed Performance - Score 45, ranks in the category best 45%.
  • Versatility - Score 90, ranks in the category best 14%.

On the contrary, the performance of Nikon Z5 is below the category average in:

  • Comfort - Score 64, ranks among the worst 26% of its category.

However, the technical performance of your camera should be put in context. Indeed, depending on the type of photography you are interested in, each individual camera feature can impact your pictures to a different extent. This is the reason why we developed the iCamRank. iCamRank has been designed to weight all the individual technical specifications of each camera in the camerarace database, depending on different shooting conditions. Thus, here is what we suggest, depending on the photography type you like most:

  • Portrait - Great, score 64, ranks in the best 15% of its category. Nikon Z5 is perfect for Portrait photography, one of the best in its class.
  • Landscape - Great, score 65, ranks in the best 15% of its category. Nikon Z5 is perfect for Landscape photography, one of the best in its class.
  • Sport - Good, score 60, ranks in the best 27% of its category. Nikon Z5 works well for Sport photography, however even better options are available, which you may want to take into account.
  • Street - Great, score 66, ranks in the best 21% of its category. Nikon Z5 is perfect for Street photography, one of the best in its class.
  • Everyday - Great, score 67, ranks in the best 23% of its category. Nikon Z5 is perfect for everyday photography, one of the best in its class.

Last but not least, the price. You can find the Nikon Z5 sold on Amazon for a price comprised between 1246.9 USD and 1707.29 USD, which is in the average for this camera category.

Overall, Nikon Z5 is a great value for money. If this is the kind of camera you are looking for, you should definitely consider buying it.

Nikon Z5 technical specs

Sensor Type

Sensor Type


Sensor Size

Full frame

Sensor Dimensions

35.9 x 23.9 mm

Sensor Area

858.01 mm2

Sensor Resolution

24 Mp

Max Image Resolution

6016 x 4016

Max Native ISO


Min Native ISO


RAW Support



Manual Focus


Lens Mount

Nikon Z

Number of Lenses


Focal Length Multiplier


Screen Type

Screen Type


Screen Size


Screen Resolution


Live View


Touch Screen





Viewfinder Resolution


Viewfinder Coverage


Viewfinder Magnification



Min Shutter Speed


Max Shutter Speed


Continuous Shooting


Shutter Priority


Aperture Priority


Manual Exposure Mode


Exposure Compensation


Custom White Balance


Image Stabilization


Built-in Flash


Flash Range


Max Flash Sync


Flash Modes

Front-curtain sync
slow sync
rear-curtain sync
red-eye reduction
red-eye reduction with slow sync
slow rear-curtain sync

External Flash


AE Bracketing


WB Bracketing


Dxo Sensor Scores

DxO Overall Score

DxO Color Depth

DxO Dynamic Range

DxO Low Light ISO

Exposure Modes











Center Weighted



AF Touch


AF Continuous


AF Single


AF Tracking


AF Selective


AF Center


AF MultiArea


AF Live View


AF Face Detection


AF Contrast Detection


AF Phase Detection


Number of Focus Points


Number of Cross Focus Points


Video Features

Video Resolutions

3840 x 2160 @ 30p MOV H.264 Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p MOV H.264 Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p MOV H.264 Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p MOV H.264 Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p MOV H.264 Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p MOV H.264 Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p MOV H.264 Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p MOV H.264 Linear PCM

Max Video Resolution


Video Formats

MPEG-4 H.264

Microphone Port


Headphone Port



Wireless Connectivity







Environmental Sealing


Water Proof


Dust Proof


Shock Proof


Crush Proof


Freeze Proof




Physical Dimensions

134 x 101 x 70 mm

Battery Life


Battery Type

Battery Pack

Battery Model


Other Features

Self Timer

Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 secs)

Timelapse Recording




Storage Type

Dual SD SDHC SDXC slots (UHS-II compatible)

Storage Slots


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