Today Nikon has announced their third full-frame mirrorless camera, the Z5. It’s got an impressive spec sheet, looks stylish yet comfortable, and costs only $1,399!

A more affordable version of the Z6, the Nikon Z5 boasts many similar features, a couple of notable changes, plus even a few significant improvements!

The biggest surprises are definitely the switch from a single XQD/CFE card to the much-requested dual-SD memory card slots. This is likely to excite all manner of serious photographers, especially professional portrait photographers who find themselves photographing once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Nikon Z5 full frame mirrorless camera 05The other major notable feature is definitely the IBIS, which is one feature we were wondering about. (The Canon EOS RP, which came out at just $1,299, did not have IBIS, nor did it have dual SD card slots.)

All in all, it’s a very exciting camera! Nikon also announced some new optics, though, which are probably going to be a little less exciting to some photographers: the Nikkor 24-50mm f/4.6.3, (a $400 kit lens to go with the Z5) and two mirrorless teleconverters, a TC-1.4x ($546.95) and TC-2x ($596.95). These teleconverters will work with the new Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S, and likely the “road mapped” 100-400mm and 200-600mm lenses which we might see later this year or in 2021.

Nikon Z5 Specifications

Nikon Z5 full frame mirrorless camera 06

  • SENSOR: 24-megapixel (full-frame) CMOS sensor, Expeed 6 CPU
  • LENS MOUNT: Nikon Z (mirrorless)
  • VIDEO RESOLUTION: 4K/30p, 1080p/60p
  • VIDEO FEATURES: ~1.7x crop in 4K
  • ISO: 100-51,200, (expanded: ISO 50-102,400)
  • AUTOFOCUS: 273-point hybrid AF
  • STABILIZATION: Yes, sensor-based, up to 5EV
  • SHOOTING SPEED: 4.5 FPS, mechanical & electronic shutter
  • SHUTTER SPEEDS: 30 sec to 1/8000 sec
  • VIEWFINDER: 3.7M-dot EVF, 100% coverage, 0.8x magnification
  • LCD: 3.2-inch, 1.1M-dot articulated LCD (fully articulated, sort of)
  • CONNECTIVITY: 3.5mm headphone & microphone, micro-HDMI, USB-C (3.2, PD power)
  • WIRELESS: Bluetooth, Wifi (802.11ac, dual-band), remote control via smartphone
  • STORAGE: Dual SD memory cards (both high-speed UHS-2)
  • BATTERY: EN-EL15c,  470 shots (also, direct USB power)
  • BODY CONSTRUCTION: Magnesium alloy & polycarbonate, full weather sealing
  • SIZE: 5.28 x 3.98 x 2.76 in (134 x 101 x 70 mm)
  • WEIGHT: 1.5 lb (675 g)
  • ACCESSORIES: Battery grip: Nikon MB-N10
  • PRICE:

Nikon Z5 Initial Thoughts | Matt’s Armchair Review

Nikon Z5 full frame mirrorless camera 03b

It is definitely exciting to see Nikon doing what they do best- making affordable cameras, with as many professional specs and overall quality as possible. Every few years, Nikon does something that makes photographers do a double-take: “they made THIS camera,  and it only costs THAT much?”

The Z5 sounds like it will be an incredible camera, without much compromise. The dual card slots make it usable for professional applications; when paired with one or two of the amazing Nikkor primes in their complete sub-$1K f/1.8 lineup, any aspiring portrait photographer could have a truly solid, reliable system that works hard and lasts for many years. Just a couple years ago, this was the territory of full-frame cameras that cost over $2,000!

Personally, I was hoping it would be the same tiny size as the Nikon Z50, and I was hoping it would have a screen that fully articulated horizontally. However, I’m happy to have IBIS in such an affordable body, if this camera’s form factor is what it takes to deliver that. (Plus the dual SD card slots!)

I’m fine with the missing top LCD, I never really use it much on the Z6 or Z7 anyways. I’m really glad that they went with the same rear control layout as the Z6; although it’s not my favorite Nikon ergonomic layout, I do really appreciate having the AF point control joystick on such an affordable full-frame camera.

nikon z5 ergonomics full frame mirrorless camera 1

[Read: Nikon Z7 review | The best mirrorless camera for landscape photography?]

One thing is for sure, it definitely shines a spotlight on both Canon and Sony. Canon announced the EOS RP more than a year ago, however it was critiqued for having just one SD card slot, for not having IBIS, and having significantly cropped 4K video. The Nikon Z5 manages two of those three features, which is even more impressive when you consider that it costs just $100 more than the RP’s original MSRP of ~$1300. (The EOS RP is now $999, though…)

Nikon Z5 dual card slots sd 1

Sony, on the other hand, has not entered the $1,300-1,400 full-frame mirrorless market yet. (At least, not with a NEW camera; you can still buy the extremely outdated, clunky ‘ol A7 mk2, but we really don’t recommend that nearly six-year-old camera!)

We’re excited to get our hands on this camera an perform a thorough review. If it’s anything like the Nikon Z6, (and maybe with the next generation of Nikon’s mirrorless autofocus technology, with a year or two of firmware improvements ahead of it) …then it’ll be a huge hit!

Nikon Z5 Press Release

Nikon Z5 full frame mirrorless camera 04

MELVILLE, NY (July 21, 2020) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the Z 5, the new full-frame (FX-format) entry-point into its award-winning lineup of Z series mirrorless cameras. The Nikon Z 5 combines sophisticated features inherited from the Z 7 and Z 6 with the benefits of Nikon’s next-generation Z mount at an unprecedented value. For those new to mirrorless or creators looking to push the limits of their craft with the power of full-frame, the compact Z 5 will exceed expectations. With an incredibly robust feature set, including in-camera vibration reduction (VR) image stabilization (IBIS) and the perfect balance of seamless automation and full manual control, creators can effortlessly share their artistic passions, travel adventures and so much more.

Nikon also unveiled the new NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3, the shortest, lightest and most affordable full-frame zoom lens in the NIKKOR Z lineup. Designed for on-the-go creators, the 24-50mm lens is the ideal companion for Z series users who want to capture it all – from vast landscapes and cityscapes, to street photography and striking portraits.

“The Nikon Z 5 offers the next generation of creators a gateway into the full-frame Z series lineup, opening the door to the limitless possibilities of mirrorless photo and video capture, while providing the means to share their creativity with others,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “With the addition of the NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3, Nikon is introducing the smallest full-frame NIKKOR Z lens to date, providing an extremely lightweight, versatile option to help users pursue all creative endeavors, regardless of which Z series camera they use.”

Nikon Nikkor Z 35 50mm f4 6.3 Lens

Nikon Z 5: The Full-Frame Journey Starts Here

As the new entry point to Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless lineup, the Nikon Z 5 offers a lot of power and capabilities at an attractive price, empowering the next generation to begin their journey with the confidence to learn and grow as creators.

Incredible Image Quality: Featuring a powerful FX-format 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, the Z 5 is the gateway to the benefits of full-frame, helping creators 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.

High-Speed Performance and Processing: Engineered with the EXPEED 6, Nikon’s fastest image processor to date, the Z 5 is a dependable, high-performance tool designed for content creation. EXPEED 6 allows for a boost in processing power and energy efficiency while rendering subtle textures and small details with amazing results.

Stellar Low-Light Performance: With an ISO range up to 51,200 (expandable to 102,400), the camera effectively reduces noise, maintaining 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.

Capture with Speed: With shutter speeds up to 1/8000, 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.

Silent and Smooth: The combination of the camera’s silent photography mode and In-Body 5-Axis VR stabilization provides quiet, stable shooting to document sensitive moments without distractions.

Vast Lens Selection: Whether shooting glamorous portraits from a studio on the sidewalk, long-distance wildlife, epic wide landscapes in the field or street photography, the growing lineup of NIKKOR Z lenses provides Z 5 users the versatility to capture incredible shots with sharpness across the frame and superior light gathering in any situation. For even more flexibility, the vast array of traditional F-mount NIKKOR lenses can be used via the Mount Adapter FTZ to enhance images with a unique focal length or beautiful bokeh, while gaining the benefits of in-body stabilization.

Dual UHS-II SD Card Slots: 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.

Simple Yet Sophisticated for Expanding Creativity

A great option for emerging creators getting started, the Nikon Z 5 is packed with powerful tools and user-friendly controls to help users explore and capture their artistry with ease.

Focus Anywhere: The Z 5 boasts 273[1] on-sensor AF points, to quickly and accurately track subjects throughout the frame, while 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 allow the user to have pinpoint control or fully automatic assurance to easily lock onto a subject.

Easily Shift Gears: The Nikon Z 5 offers the ability to effortlessly switch between manual mode for the ultimate in control, as well as a large variety of automatic creative modes to help mirrorless users capture truly distinct images and video.

Creativity Built-in: 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.

Advanced Video Capture: The Z 5 makes it easy to document any creative vision in 4K UHD/30p[2] 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.

Flexible Recording Modes: 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.

Unique Lighting Options: For enhanced creative control, the camera features a hot shoe, and is fully compatible with the Nikon Speedlight wireless lighting system.
Get Connected: The Nikon SnapBridge[3] app makes it easy to remotely control the Z 5 or seamlessly transfer and share content to a smartphone, tablet, Mac, or PC thanks to built-in Wi-Fi[4] and Bluetooth[5] connectivity.

Rugged Reliability and Engineered for Versatility

In addition to providing high-quality imaging capabilities, the Nikon Z 5 is compact and comfortable in-hand while promising the rugged reliability as well as innovative features and controls that Nikon is known for.

Legendary Nikon Build: Designed with a durable, weather-sealed exterior for worry-free use, 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.

Functional Operability: 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.

Packed with Power: 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[6]. For added power and grip, the camera is also compatible with the MB-N10 hot-swappable battery pack.
Webcam Ready: When connected via the USB-C cord, the Z 5 can be used as a webcam, making the camera a great option for modern vloggers, influencers, and gamers looking to improve their live streaming capabilities.

NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3: Portable, Yet Powerful

The NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 is the latest addition to the rapidly expanding lineup of NIKKOR Z lenses and is the smallest FX-format NIKKOR Z lens yet. Optically designed to take advantage of the advancements of the wide Z mount, this lens delivers sharpness across the entire frame and a versatile zoom range for everyday use. The 24-50mm is less than three inches long when retracted, making it the perfect lens for shooters seeking a versatile yet compact option for lightweight travel and street photography. When used together, the Z 5 and 24-50mm lens are the ideal discrete travel kit that can easily be packed and carried for all-day adventures. This compact NIKKOR Z lens is also an enticing option for Z 6 and Z 7 users who want a small all-around lens for portraits, landscapes, and street photography.

New Z Teleconverters Take NIKKOR Z Lenses to New Lengths

Designed for photographers and videographers who need more telephoto reach in their kit, the new Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4X and Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0X bring added versatility with 1.4x and 2.0x magnification to select NIKKOR Z lenses. These lightweight teleconverters are great tools for those photographing sports, wildlife, and aviation, reducing the need to crop images and allowing for tighter compositions with maximum resolution.

The new TC-1.4X and TC-2.0X teleconverters maintain superior rendering performance and minimize various lens aberrations, while retaining the focusing speed, VR functionality, and minimum focusing distance. As an added benefit, the new teleconverters allow Nikon Z series cameras to retain functionality on all focus points up to f/11, making it easy to focus on and track subjects throughout the entire frame. Featuring the same robust construction as NIKKOR Z lenses, the teleconverters are designed with a fluorine coating on the front and rear elements to resist dirt and smudges, and offer a durable, weather-sealed body to protect against the elements.

When the teleconverters are used with the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S (availability scheduled for late August), the focal length on the telephoto end is extended to 280mm (1.4x) or 400mm (2.0x) producing a significant expansion of this telephoto lens’ shooting range. These new teleconverters will also be compatible with applicable interchangeable lenses for Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras that Nikon will release in the future.

New Webcam Utility Software for Nikon Cameras

In August, Nikon will release a beta version of the Webcam Utility software for many Nikon DSLR and Z series mirrorless cameras, including the new Z 5. Initially available for Windows 10, the free software will allow compatible Nikon cameras to be used as webcams. When connected via USB, this free software will provide users with incredible sharpness, clarity and flattering depth of field for all of their live streaming needs including teleconferencing and gaming.

For more information on how to use your Nikon camera as a webcam, please visit

Pricing and Availability of the Nikon Z5, Lens, & Accessories

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.

Nikon Z5 Availability

Nikon Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3mm (Adorama | B&H | Amazon)

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 (Adorama | B&H | Amazon)