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Smart Photography|October 2020
NIKON Z5 ₹113,995 for body only
Rohinton Mehta
Inside the Box
  • Camera body
  • Body cap BF-N1
  • Battery EN-EL 15c
  • Battery charger MH-25a
  • Camera strap AN-DC19
  • Eyecup DK-29
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Accessory-shoe cover BS-1

Nikon India launched their latest interchangeable lens mirrorless camera, the Z5, on July 21, 2020 along with the Nikkor Z 24-50 mm f/4-6.3 kit lens. Nikon makes us believe that the Z5 is targeted at beginners, or those who wish to upgrade to a more sophisticated model in pursuit of their creative juices. In my opinion, the Z5 is more than that. The Z5 has enough features and capabilities to make a seasoned photographer want to have one as his back-up camera. Read on…

Design & Build Quality

The all black Nikon Z5 is beautifully crafted. It uses magnesium alloy for extra strength while keeping it lightweight. The hand-grip is deep and your index finger automatically comes over the shutter release button, while the thumb rests against a small projection, offering a very good grip. The body is weathersealed. If you place the Z5 and the Z6/ Z7 side-by-side, the backs look the same except that the memory card cover on the Z5 body is taller, since it accommodates two memory cards. Another obvious difference is that the Z5 has done away with the Control Panel on the top right and replaced it with the Mode Dial. The body weighs 675 g (with battery and memory card) and is made in Thailand.

Key Features

The Nikon Z5 is a full frame 24.3 megapixel Z-mount interchangeable lens camera using a CMOS imaging sensor and Expeed 6 image processor. You could, if you wish to, use DX Z-mount lenses, in which case, the camera will throw away almost 50-percent of its pixel resolution. And as with other Z-mount camera bodies, you can use your older F-series lenses along with the FTZ adapter (bought separately). The Z5 employs an electronic 1.27 cm, approx. 3690K-dot (Quad VGA) OLED viewfinder with a resolution of 3,690,000 dots. Minus 4 to +1 dioptre is available to correct for individual eye-sight. The tilting TFT, Touch-Sensitive 3.2-inch LCD screen has a resolution of 1,040,000 dots.

Like the Z6, the Z5 offers 273 focus points (hybrid phase/contrast AF) covering almost 90-percent of the frame, with a sensitivity range from -2 to +19 EV (with Low-light AF off). You have the option to meter a scene using either the Matrix, Centre-weighted, Spot or Highlight-weighted metering. The exposure meters are sensitive from -3 to +17 EV. The Z5 offers two SD card slots (UHS-II). You can use the second card as a backup, use one card to store Raw files and the other to store JPEG files or use the second card as an overflow once the first card is completely written to.

The camera offers a five-stop advantage in-body image stabilisation. The layout of the buttons is quite similar to those in the Z6/Z7. The top-plate display that is available on the Z6/Z7, showing certain important settings has been taken off. The user needs to be careful not to accidentally change the shooting mode since there is no safety lock on the Mode Dial. These changes are probably made to reduce the cost. Two user assigned Function buttons – Fn1 and Fn2 -- are available. By default, they are assigned White Balance and Focus/AF-area mode selection respectively. Settings that are frequently used can be set and accessed via the i-button on the camera back. I find this to be extremely useful and I suggest that the user be familiar with this feature.

ISO range is from 100-51,200 but can be expanded to 50 on the lower side and 102,400 at the upper end. Available shutter speeds range from 30 sec to 1/8000 sec, plus Bulb and Time modes. The Z5 shutter is tested for 200,000 actuations. The camera can fire at a maximum of 4.5 frames per second in Continuous High firing mode, or from 1-4 frames per second when set to Continuous Low. There is no built-in flash, but external dedicated flashguns can be used with iTTL control. X-sync speed is 1/200 sec or slower.

Video can be captured in either MP4 or MOV format. You can shoot in 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) at 24p or in Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) at 24p. A head-phone jack and stereo microphone is built-in.


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October 2020