Photography

Nikon adds entry-level full-frame mirrorless to Z series cameras

Nikon adds entry-level full-fr...
The cheapest of the Z series full-frame mirrorless cameras, but still a very capable beast
The cheapest of the Z series full-frame mirrorless cameras, but still a very capable beast
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The cheapest of the Z series full-frame mirrorless cameras, but still a very capable beast
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The cheapest of the Z series full-frame mirrorless cameras, but still a very capable beast
The Z5 features a magnesium alloy chassis and weather-sealed exterior for durable performance in all conditions
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The Z5 features a magnesium alloy chassis and weather-sealed exterior for durable performance in all conditions
Around back is a high resolution OLED viewfinder and tilting touchscreen monitor
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Around back is a high resolution OLED viewfinder and tilting touchscreen monitor
The Z5 can be had with a new NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 lens
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The Z5 can be had with a new NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 lens
The Z5 benefits from dual UHS-II SD card slots
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The Z5 benefits from dual UHS-II SD card slots
The Z5 features a 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor
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The Z5 features a 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor
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After months of online chatter, Nikon finally unveiled two full-frame mirrorless cameras in August, 2018. Now the Z6 and Z7 have been joined by an entry-level model called the Z5, which is 600 bucks cheaper than its least expensive sibling.

"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 Nikon's Jay Vannatter.

On the megapixel front, there's not much in it compared to the Z6. The Z5 features a 24.3-MP FX-format (35.9 x 23.9-mm) CMOS sensor, though it doesn't appear to be the BSI type used in the higher priced models. It does rock the same Expeed 6 image processor, however.

The Z5 features a 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor
The Z5 features a 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor

Light sensitivity shapes up at ISO100 - 51,200 (which can be extended ISO50 - 102.400), phase/contrast autofocus offers 2,731 on-sensor AF points, and eye-detection AF can zero in on the eyes of humans and animals. Capturing fast-moving objects is helped along by the hybrid autofocus and 1/8000 shutter speed, and if you want to burst, the Z5 can do so at 4.5 frames per second with full autofocus/auto exposure (AF/AE). Meanwhile, 5-axis image sensor shift stabilization with up to five stops of shake compensation should help make up for unsteady hands during a shoot.

Movie makers can look forward to 4K (3,840 x 2,160) video at up to 30 frames per second, or Full HD at up to 60 fps, with 231-point phase-detect AF available, focus peaking, in-body image stabilization, creative picture controls and stills capture during recording also on tap.

Framing up is undertaken using the 0.5-in, 3,690k-dot OLED viewfinder with 0.8x magnification and 100 percent frame coverage, or the 3.2-in, 1,040k-dot tilting LCD touchscreen. There's 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 wireless connectivity built in, and GPS is available via the SnapBridge app running on a paired smartphone.

The Z5 can be had with a new NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 lens
The Z5 can be had with a new NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 lens

Elsewhere, dual UHS-II SD card slots allow users to opt for maximum storage, or choose to back up as they go, or even split RAW and JPEG images onto separate cards, the weather-sealed exterior makes the camera good for shooting in all conditions, and the battery is reported good for up to 390 stills using the viewfinder, 470 with the monitor, or up to 120 minutes of movie recording.

Next month, Nikon will join the likes of Canon, Panasonic and Fujifilm in offering beta software that can turn some of its cameras – including the Z5 – into high resolution webcams. Initially headed for Windows 10, the user will simply need to launch the software and connect the camera to the computer via USB to start livestreaming.

Nikon also took the opportunity to announce the shortest, lightest full-frame zoom lens in the Z series lineup. The NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 is less than three inches long when retracted, and is said to deliver "sharpness across the entire frame and a versatile zoom range for everyday use."

The Z5 is available from August for a body-only price of US$1,399.95, $1,699.95 bundled with the new NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3, or $2,199.95 with a NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR kit lens.

Product page: Nikon Z5

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