With video capture up to 4K UHD/30p, in-camera VR image stabilization and electronic VR, focus peaking and other features, the Nikon Z 5 confirms that the company is all in for full frame and mirrorless.
Will we see more DSLRs coming from Nikon? This may be the question to ask, now that another mirrorless, a new lens and converters are announced for Nikon’s Z system. The NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 lens as well as the new Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0X and TC-1.4X confirm that the company wants users of its new system to be able to expand their kit with a variety of options.
Presented as the camera for emerging creators, the Nikon Z 5 combines, says the company, “sophisticated features inherited from the Z 7 and Z 6 with the benefits of Nikon’s next generation Z mount at an unprecedented value” offering “those new to mirrorless or creators looking to push the limits of their craft with the power of full-frame”, a compact Z 5 that “will exceed expectations.”
Let’s get the video features first: the Nikon Z 5 allows users to capture video in 4K UHD/30p, but when using this mode, the frame is cropped approx. ×1.7, just so you know. It’s better on FullHD, as it goes up to 1080/60p and uses the full frame. Nikon says that when recording video, the PDAF system is rapid to react, allowing users to quickly lock critical focus on subjects, and is fully customizable to fit any production style anmd also notes that “in-camera VR image stabilization and electronic VR reliably eliminate the shake when shooting video, plus users get the added benefit of focus peaking and the ability to capture stills while recording.”
A camera for photographers
Videographers looking at the Nikon Z 5 will also appreciate the presence of a 3.5mm stereo jack for an external microphone and a headphone output for monitoring, but vloggers after the ideal camera might not appreciate the fact that the LCD screen on the back does not fully rotate, and simply tilt up and down. Still, as nowhere does Nikon say this is a vlogger’s camera, maybe those after such a feature should look elsewhere.
The Nikon Z 5 is, in fact, more a photographer’s camera, although the video features are a clear invitation to do more than the family videos. Featuring a FX-format 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, the Z 5 is the gateway to the benefits of full-frame, helping creators, says Nikon, “to capture intensely detailed images, ultra-shallow depth of field and clean low-light shots with unrivaled consistency. From portraits that flatter, nighttime landscapes that astound and street shots that impress, the gorgeous tones, faithful colors, minimal noise, and revered Nikon color science all play a part to help users capture images that are true to their vision.”
At the heart of the camera is the EXPEED 6, Nikon’s fastest image processor to date, designed for high speed performance and processing. EXPEED 6 allows for a boost in processing power and energy efficiency while rendering subtle textures and small details with amazing results. Low levels of light are also welcome, as the camera – which features an ISO range up to 51,200 (expandable to 102,400) -, effectively reduces noise, maintaining, says Nikon, “both high sensitivity and resolution to excel in low-light situations, making it ideal for shooting everything from low-light events to an all-nighter under the Milky Way.”
Shutter speeds up to 1/8000, mean that the Z 5 can capture fast-moving subjects with clarity including fast-action sports and wildlife. This higher maximum shutter speed enables photographers to better tame even the brightest mid-day light to unleash the potential of fast-aperture NIKKOR glass. When the moment strikes, the camera can also capture full resolution bursts at 4.5 fps with full AF/AE. It may be slow for some, but on the other hand it will help those trying a new approach to stop “spraying and praying” and learn more about “the decisive moment”. Hard drives and memory cards will benefit of it!
Transition to mirrorless
Speaking about memory cards, the compact Nikon Z 5 is equipped with two UHS-II card slots for overflow, backup or separating RAW and JPEG photos. The Z 5 enables photographers to shoot with extreme confidence when using widely available consumer SD cards.
Able to focus on human eyes and also on animals, thanks to its Detection AF capabilities, the camera boasts 2731 on-sensor AF points, to quickly and accurately track subjects throughout the frame. The wide array of AF points covers nearly the entire frame, and multiple AF modes allows the user to have pinpoint control or fully automatic assurance to easily lock onto a subject.
The camera sports a powerful, high-resolution 3.2-inch LCD monitor with the capabilities to tilt, touch, tap, swipe, and pinch for an intuitive and flexible user-experience. Meanwhile, the 3.6M-dot Quad-VGA EVF ensures users can see exposure, ISO, white balance and creative picture controls in real time, making the transition from optical viewfinders seamless for new mirrorless shooters.
Nikon Z 5 has constant power via USB
Equipped with 20 Creative Picture Controls, and advanced features like Focus Shift Shooting and multiple exposure mode, users can compose unique images, produce extraordinary depth of field, or combine several shots and layer images on top of each other with the in-camera image overlay function. Also important, and this is a note videographers will appreciate, the camera has the traditional interval timer and in-camera time-lapse modes, but also offers a new Time-Lapse Movie mode that gives users the best of both worlds for more streamlined movie making – the ability to use images from interval timer mode and create a time-lapse in-camera.
Powered by the new EN-EL15c battery, the Z 5 offers significant advancements in the number of shots per charge and is the first Nikon camera to enable constant power through the USB port, even with select portable USB power banks. For added power and grip, the camera is also compatible with the MB-N10 hot-swappable battery pack.
A camera that is a webcam
Nikon also followed the webcam mania, and when connected via the USB-C cord, the Z 5 can be used as a webcam, making the camera, says Nikon, “a great option for modern vloggers, influencers and gamers looking to improve their livestreaming capabilities.” A vast selection of lenses and the ability to use the vast array of traditional F-mount NIKKOR lenses via the Mount Adapter FTZ to enhance images with a unique focal length or beautiful bokeh, while gaining the benefits of in-body stabilization, are also features to consider when looking at the new Z5.
The Nikon Z 5 will be available in August in several configurations, including body-only for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $1,399.95, a one-lens kit with the new NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 for an SRP of $1,699.95 and a one-lens kit with the NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens for an SRP of $2,199.95 for those seeking extra reach when photographing wildlife or travel adventures. Also available in August, the NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 lens can be purchased separately for an SRP of $399.95. The new Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4X and TC-2.0X will have an SRP of $549.95 and $599.95 respectively and will be available in late August.