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Nikon's Z5 | 10 Reason Why You Want this Camera

Nikon's Z5 is currently Nikon's most affordable full-frame mirrorless camera to date. If you are looking for a camera with a Nikon mount, for under $1,500, this may be the camera for you.

1. The Price

Here are the full-prices of the Z series cameras so far (this is without manufacturer's rebates)

Nikon Z7

$2799 Body Only

Released September 27th, 2018

Nikon Z6

$1999 Body Only

November 16th, 2018

Nikon Z5

$1399 Body Only | $1699 Z5 + 24-50mm | $2199 Z + 24-200mm

Released August 27th, 2020

Nikon Z50

$1349 Two Lens Kit (Crop Sensor)

Released November 7th, 2019

2. It's Full-Frame

Whether you’re making the jump from a point and shoot or upgrading from an existing DSLR, the Nikon Z5 makes a compelling case for itself if you want a capable and accessible full-frame camera. The larger sensor delivers a wide dynamic range as well as more information for you to manipulate in post. Other full frame cameras for under $1,500 to consider are the EOS RP ($999) and the Sony A7II ($899 (when on rebate)-1399 body only), however the RP does not have in-body stabilization/duals slots and the A7II lacks 4K video (as well as a headphone jack) and dual slots as well.

If you currently are shooting with a crop sensor, or would like to start off with a full-frame camera, this is our favorite option at the moment. For stills photographers, we highly recommend this if you are looking to save a bit to splurge on some lenses.

3. Same AF As the Z6

We are happy to see that the 273 Autofocus points were taken from the Z6, on top of the nearly identical layout. Mimicking the Z6, the joystick and sub-selector D-pad offer easy control of AF area selection and menu navigation.

4. Two UHS-II Card Slots

This alone is a bit exciting for us. As you know, prior to the Z50, all Z-series cameras only accepted the XQD card. Now you can have peace of mind that you won't be running out of space for your images or video anytime soon.

5. 5-Axis Stabilization

Built into the body of the Z5 is a 5-axis sensor-shift Vibration Reduction mechanism for up to 5 stops of stabilization regardless of the lens used. This system also works with adapted lenses when using the optional FTZ Adapter where 3-axis stabilization is used.

6. Weather Sealed

No one like a wet, corroded camera. The Z5 has the same weather sealing as the Z6/Z7. The Z 5 employs the same magnesium alloy shell and robustness as the Z 6 and Z 7. Both the camera and NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 lens are built with consideration for dust and drip resistance and are ready to tackle the next adventure.

7. Human/Animal Eye-Detection

Eye-Detection AF capabilities help precisely capture the eyes of humans and animals. 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.

8. The Size

The Z5 is the same weight and size as the Z6, at 1.3 lb / 590 g (Body Only). In comparison to the D850, at 2.01 lb / 915 g, the Z5 is a feather of a camera body to pack.

9. You can Charge the Camera while Using It (via USB)

Using the EN-EL15-C you can finally charge the camera and use it at the same time.

10. 4K Video + Timelapse Movie Option

The Z 5 makes it easy to document any creative vision in 4K UHD/30p or in 1080/60p (full-frame). 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. 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.

In addition to the traditional interval timer and in-camera time-lapse modes, the Nikon Z 5 is equipped with 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.

On top of all that, the Z5 has BOTH video mic out and a headphone jack so you can monitor your audio levels accurately.

In conclusion: We give the Z5 the stamp of approval. For the price, and the features, we do believe that this camera is worth picking up for the first-time shooter, or someone looking to add another camera to the mix.


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The Shutterbug is a Oregon Family Owned & Operated Camera Store, with four locations in Oregon. We have been in the industry of helping photographers like you since 1971.

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