Nikon has revealed a new addition to its full-frame mirrorless family, with the Z 5 essentially being a slightly downgraded version of the excellent Z 6. It lacks the outright speed and advanced video features of its sibling, but in an extremely welcome move, it gains dual SD card slots in place of the single XQD/CFexpress slot.
The Z 5 sports a 24.3MP full-frame sensor similar to that in the Z 6, offering a sensitivity range of ISO 100-51,200, that’s expandable to ISO 102,400. It boasts a 273-point hybrid AF system, including both eye detection for humans, and the ability to recognise the eyes and faces of animals such as cats and dogs. Its continuous shooting speed of 4.5 frames per second is a step down from the Z 6’s 12fps, however, while 4K video recording now comes with a 1.7x crop. Thankfully 5-axis in-body image stabilisation is still on board, while Wi-Fi and Bluetooth facilitate sharing your images to your smartphone.
In terms of design and control layout the Z 5 is almost identical to the Z 6, but it forgoes a top-plate LCD status display, with the mode dial moving across in its place. You still get a 3.69m-dot electronic viewfinder, with the same high-quality optics, along with a rear touchscreen that tilts up and down. Its weathersealed body sports a deep handgrip, and the battery can be charged and the camera powered via the USB-C port.
Compact kit lens: Nikkor Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3
Nikon has also produced a new kit lens for the Z 5, in the shape of the Nikkor Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3. It’s billed as the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame zoom, with a collapsible barrel design and a 52mm filter thread. Given the modest focal-length range and aperture, we suspect that portability and affordability will in fact be its main virtues, and most serious photographers would probably prefer the existing 24-70mm f/4 S.
The Nikon Z 5 is due to go on sale in late summer, in a kit with the Z 24-50mm f/3.5-6.3, for £1,719. Nikon tells us that kits with the FTZ F-mount converter are also planned, both with and without the 24-50mm zoom.