The Nikon Z5 vs Z6

Today, Nikon announced the latest addition to its full-frame mirrorless lineup—the Nikon Z 5. The Z 5 is now the third full-frame mirrorless camera joining the Z 6 and Z 7 and is specifically designed for those looking for an entry-level camera. The Z 5 comes with a 24.3 MP sensor which is similar to the Z 6, only it doesn't come with BSI or the backside-illuminated sensor that the Z 6 has, meaning it won't be as good in low light. It has a newly developed sensor but it's comparable to the one on the D750.

Z5 vs Z6 Specification Chart


Camera Feature 

Nikon Z5 Nikon Z6
Mount Type Z Mount  Z Mount
Sensor Resolution 24.3 MP 24.5 MP
Sensor Type  CMOS BSI CMOS
Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9mm 35.9 x 23.9mm 
Low Pass Filter  Yes  Yes 
Image Size  6,016 x 4,016 6,048 x 4,024
Image Processor  EXPEED 6 EXPEED 6
In-body Image Stabilization Yes  Yes 
Native ISO Sensitivity 100-51,200 100-51,200
Boosted ISO Sensitivity 50, 102,400 50, 204,800
Dust Reduction/Sensor Cleaning  Yes Yes
Calibrations  No No
Viewfinder Type  (Electronic) EVF (Electronic) EVF
Viewfinder Resolution  3.69 million dots 3.69 million dots
Built-in Flash No No
Storage  2x SD ( UHS-II) 1x XQD/ CFexpress Type B
Continuous Shooting Speed  4.5 FPS 12 FPS
Max Shutter Speed  1/8000 to 30 sec 1/8000 to 30 sec
AE Bracketing Range  ±5 EV ±3 EV
Auto Focusing System Hybrid Phase-detection Hybrid Phase-detection
Number of AF Points 273 273
AF Detection Range  -3 to +19 EV -3.5 to +19 EV
Video Max Resolution 4K 30 FPS / 1080P 60 FPS 4K 30 FPS / 1080P 120FPS
1080p Video Max Frame Rate 60 FPS 120 FPS
Video Crop Factor  1.7x N/A
Audio Recording  Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone
Headphone Jack  Yes  Yes 
LCD Resolution  2,100,000 dots  2,100,000 dots 
Wi-Fi Yes  Yes 
Bluetooth Yes  Yes
Battery Type EN-EL15c EN-EL15c
Shots Per Charge 470 shots 310 shots
Weather-Sealed Body  Yes Yes
USB Version  3.1 3.1
Weight  590g 585g
Dimensions  5.3 x 4 x 2.8 in 5.3 x 4 x 2.7 in

With the Expeed 6 processor, it matches the ISO of the Z 6 with a range of 100-51,200 natively. When it comes to autofocus, it has 273 phase-detect autofocus points which cover 90% of the sensor, very similar to what you'll see in the Z 6. It also comes with both animal and human eye detection AF which is based on the same eye detection used in the Z6 with firmware update 3.0. For video, you can use face detection. To make it simple, the Z5 has the same autofocus system as the Z6.

woman holding Nikon z5 surrounded by purple flowers

One aspect that differs from the Z 6 is its continuous shooting speed. The Z5 can shoot at 4.5 FPS compared to 12 FPS in the Z6. It has 1/8000 max shutter which is nice since most entry-level cameras typically only come with a max of 1/4000 of a second. So, if you're using a bright 1.8 aperture, you have the option of using a higher shutter speed to get the right exposure. The viewfinder has a 3.67 million dot resolution, following the footsteps of both the Z 6 and Z 7. Not to mention it has powerful in-body 5-axis VR image stabilization.

the Nikon Z5 front and back

As far as physical features, the Z 5 body is very similar to both the Z 6 and Z 7. One main difference is the mode dial is located where the LCD screen is on the top of the Z 6 and Z 7. The rest of the dials on the back are exactly the same. One major improvement that the Z 5 has over the Z 6 and Z 7 is two UHS-II card slots. 

Video is where you'll notice the biggest difference from the Z6. It can shoot at 4K UHD/30FPS with a 1.7x crop factor but a full pixel readout and 1080P/60FPS with no crop. For an entry-level camera, these video capabilities are more than enough to meet the intended user's needs. Basically, the Z 5 is intended for amateur photographers rather than videographers.

the top of the Nikon Z5

When it comes to battery life, the Z 5 comes with a new version of the previous EN-EL15b battery—the EN-EL15c. This battery allows 470 shots per use and 120 minutes of video. There also is an option for an external battery grip, although, you might not need the battery grip since now there is an option to charge in-camera via USB-C even while in use. This is the first Nikon camera that can let you shoot indefinitely using the USB power. you just have to be using either an EN-EL15b or EN-EL15c battery. In addition, it comes equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in for advanced connectivity.  

Nikon also announced the Z 1.4x and 2x teleconverters which, as of right now, will only work on the Z 70-200 F2.8. The Z 70-200 F2.8's ship date has been pushed back and is said to be shipped out either late August or the beginning of September. 

The Z 5 is now available for pre-order and will be expected to ship out late August. The body only is listed for $1,399 which is only $400 cheaper than the Z 6 and $400 more when compared to its competitor, the Canon EOS RP. 

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