A photo of the front of the new Nikon Z 5
The Nikon Z 5

Nikon has just announced the release of it’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z 5. The Z 5 carries a 24.3MP FX-format CMOS sensor, is powered by Nikon’s ‘fast, comprehensive’ Expeed 6 image processing system and has a maximum ISO of 51,200 (expandable to 102,400). It has Eye-Detection AF, Animal-Detection AF and in-body 5-axis stabilization which is capable of 5-stops of compensation. To put this into perspective, you could halve your shutter speed 5 times from it’s perceived minimum (i.e. the point it can get a sharp image without image stabilization) and still get a sharp image.

The Z 5 has a nice big 3690k-dot Quad VGA electronic viewfinder which uses an ultra-high resolution OLED screen, along with a ‘large and beautiful’ 3.2 inch LCD touchscreen. It weighs in at 675g.

A photo of the back of the Nikon Z 5
The Z 5 has a nice big electronic viewfinder

In terms of video the Z 5 shoots 4K at up to 30fps or full HD at up to 60fps. This is a little disappointing as most new mirrorless cameras are capable of shooting full HD at 120fps. Also the LCD screen only tilts up and down, and does not flip out to the forward facing position. This is a big no-no for vloggers, who need to be able to compose their shots from in front of the camera.

The Z 5 has dual UHS-II SD card slots and you can customize the way these are used, whether you want to use them in sequence to maximise storage, to back up your files, or to save different file types to different cards.

A photo of the dual card slots on the Nikon Z 5
The Z 5 has dual card slots

One feature of the Z 5 that caught my eye was the Creative Picture Controls. There are 20 to choose from and the effect is actually applied in real time to the EVF or the LCD, so that you can see before you shoot how the result will look. The options are probably similar to Instagram filters, which of course you apply after you shoot your images, but there is something to be said for picking the filter before you shoot the image. There is also a multiple exposure mode which allows you to stack multiple images on top of each other, which is a really fun technique to play with.

Judging by the images, the Z 5 looks like a really solid, well-designed camera from a manufacturer with lots of pedigree in making great cameras. I like that it has that dedicated photo-to-video switch, and the layout of the control dials looks really good. I’m intrigued to see how those customizable buttons on the front of the body could be put to use.

Nikon has positioned the Z 5 as an entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera, and while I can’t get too excited by the spec sheet, I think the price point will prove very attractive to photographers who want to get that nice big full-frame sensor in a well-built Nikon body.

The Nikon Z 5 is available now at BestBuy.ca.

Justin Morrison
I am a professional photographer, working in motion and stills. I create portrait, lifestyle and documentary work, and I strive to tell real and authentic stories. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia.