Nikon Z5 Down the line

Started 3 months ago | Questions
CamDude202 New Member • Posts: 1
Nikon Z5 Down the line

Hello all, i just wanted to ask a  quick and brief question or two solely opinion based.

I recently purchased a Z5 and after doing some comparisons of spec sheets with the

z6 it really brings the questions of, is the z5 being held back by its firmware? and

do you think the future firmware updates will unlock features like the 1.7 crop and 1080p 120 fps? from what ive seen, the only hardware disadvantages  between the z5 and z6 is the back lit sensor, .2 megapixels, and screen dots... so the z5 is obviously being firmware locked so that you purchase a z6 or higher!

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rangel28 Regular Member • Posts: 378
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line
2

CamDude202 wrote:

Hello all, i just wanted to ask a quick and brief question or two solely opinion based.

I recently purchased a Z5 and after doing some comparisons of spec sheets with the

z6 it really brings the questions of, is the z5 being held back by its firmware? and

do you think the future firmware updates will unlock features like the 1.7 crop and 1080p 120 fps? from what ive seen, the only hardware disadvantages between the z5 and z6 is the back lit sensor, .2 megapixels, and screen dots... so the z5 is obviously being firmware locked so that you purchase a z6 or higher!

Nikon wants to have a camera lineup that appeals to different segments of the population, and they have built the Z5 to appeal to people who want a full frame mirrorless camera but don't  want to spend whatever the more expensive cameras cost. Ultimately, Nikon wants you to buy a Z7ii or Z6ii, so while I expect firmware updates for the first generation Z6s and Z7s, and Z5, they need to have different cameras that appeal to different consumers in the lineup.

beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,937
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line
7

CamDude202 wrote:

Hello all, i just wanted to ask a quick and brief question or two solely opinion based.

I recently purchased a Z5 and after doing some comparisons of spec sheets with the

z6 it really brings the questions of, is the z5 being held back by its firmware? and

do you think the future firmware updates will unlock features like the 1.7 crop and 1080p 120 fps? from what ive seen, the only hardware disadvantages between the z5 and z6 is the back lit sensor, .2 megapixels, and screen dots... so the z5 is obviously being firmware locked so that you purchase a z6 or higher!

The BSI sensor is a big difference when it comes to speed--including video speed. This is actually the primary purpose of BSI in today's sensors: speed.

The Z5's sensor (Sony IMX128) is shared with the D750, D610, and D600; and its bandwidth is much smaller than the Z6's (Sony IMX410). This is why the Z6 can do a full-sensor scan video (6K video that is resampled down to 4K); while the Z5 can only do 4K while cropping.

I don't believe the Z5 sensor is capable of reliably scanning 120FPS in HD (1080p); nor is it capable of full-scan 4k (meaning the 1.7X crop for 4K isn't going anywhere either). Even the Z6, which has a much faster BSI sensor, does line skipping when it does 120FPS HD (unlike the 30FPS modes, which are oversampled from the full 6K scan).

papajohnny
papajohnny Regular Member • Posts: 270
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line
7

CamDude202 wrote:

Hello all, i just wanted to ask a quick and brief question or two solely opinion based.

I recently purchased a Z5 and after doing some comparisons of spec sheets with the

z6 it really brings the questions of, is the z5 being held back by its firmware? and

do you think the future firmware updates will unlock features like the 1.7 crop and 1080p 120 fps? from what ive seen, the only hardware disadvantages between the z5 and z6 is the back lit sensor, .2 megapixels, and screen dots... so the z5 is obviously being firmware locked so that you purchase a z6 or higher!

Somebody on youtube claimed that without any evidence. I don't think Z5 is limited in software, the limitations are likely hardware related.

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NCB Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line
2

I think one thing Nikon has avoided with the Z line is deliberately crippling a product through firmware to fit a marketing strategy. And a very good thing too. Limitations are hardware limitations.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Nikon D3100 Nikon Df Nikon Z6 Nikon Z50
Smitty2 Regular Member • Posts: 202
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line
3

NCB wrote:

I think one thing Nikon has avoided with the Z line is deliberately crippling a product through firmware to fit a marketing strategy. And a very good thing too. Limitations are hardware limitations.

Burst rate should be higher than 4.5 if the Z5 is using the D750 sensor.  The Z5 has a newer processor, faster shutter, and the lack of a mirror.  It should match the D750's 6.5 frames per second at minimum if true.

sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,125
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line

CamDude202 wrote:

Hello all, i just wanted to ask a quick and brief question or two solely opinion based.

I recently purchased a Z5 and after doing some comparisons of spec sheets with the

z6 it really brings the questions of, is the z5 being held back by its firmware? and

do you think the future firmware updates will unlock features like the 1.7 crop and 1080p 120 fps? from what ive seen, the only hardware disadvantages between the z5 and z6 is the back lit sensor, .2 megapixels, and screen dots... so the z5 is obviously being firmware locked so that you purchase a z6 or higher!

After the latest firmware update on the Z5, the AF is much improved... basically acts like my other Z cameras now.

It is held back by some of its features, like 4 fps burst, and the 4k video crop (if you shoot video, I don't myself so I don't care about that part myself personally).

I doubt that Nikon will "unlock" the camera via firmware and I doubt that any sort of hack would come along.  If those features concern you, then get a gen 1 Z6 body.  It may be worth the extra $300-400 to people who shoot video.  But it's very unlikely Nikon will "ungimp" a camera via firmware or everyone would buy a Z5 and modify it so it acts and works like a Z6 and nobody would buy a Z6.

As far as BSI sensor, the FSI in the Z5 is still very good.  The benefits I think of the BSI is it can retain more shadows detail but I think this is visible really only upon closer inspection, plus BSI sensors I think can get cleaner images at high ISO (but I believe only by a small margin, not a huge amount, maybe 1/3 or 1/2 stop).  I've been shooting my Z5 up to ISO 3200 and 6400 without any major noise penalties, yet my Z7's due to their pixel density, but having a BSI sensor, fare a bit worse (ISO 1600 on the Z7 is similarto  about ISO 6400 on the Z5).

 sirhawkeye64's gear list:sirhawkeye64's gear list
Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z5 Nikon Z7 II GoPro Hero8 Black +14 more
beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,937
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line
2

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

The benefits I think of the BSI is it can retain more shadows detail

No.

BSI & FSI usually retain similar shadow detail.

A different thing: BSI & FSI also can often have similar sensitivity to light, because that's what microlenses are for. Microlenses direct light from a larger surface area onto to the light-sensitive areas of the pixels. Sometimes BSI can have some mild improvements; but this is often due to more than just being BSI.

BSI & FSI sensor usually differ most on rolling shutter speeds. That's the main benefit today.

Also:

If you find ISO 1600 on the Z7 to be like ISO 6400 on the Z5, chances are you are enlarging differently, which is a poor comparison technique.  In this case, the difference in noise is a result of enlargement differences, not of noise differences.

sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,125
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line

beatboxa wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

The benefits I think of the BSI is it can retain more shadows detail

No.

BSI & FSI usually retain similar shadow detail.

A different thing: BSI & FSI also can often have similar sensitivity to light, because that's what microlenses are for. Microlenses direct light from a larger surface area onto to the light-sensitive areas of the pixels. Sometimes BSI can have some mild improvements; but this is often due to more than just being BSI.

BSI & FSI sensor usually differ most on rolling shutter speeds. That's the main benefit today.

Also:

If you find ISO 1600 on the Z7 to be like ISO 6400 on the Z5, chances are you are enlarging differently, which is a poor comparison technique. In this case, the difference in noise is a result of enlargement differences, not of noise differences.

Not enlarging.  Just comparing files directly from the camera (visually).

 sirhawkeye64's gear list:sirhawkeye64's gear list
Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z5 Nikon Z7 II GoPro Hero8 Black +14 more
sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,125
Re: Nikon Z5 Down the line

papajohnny wrote:

CamDude202 wrote:

Hello all, i just wanted to ask a quick and brief question or two solely opinion based.

I recently purchased a Z5 and after doing some comparisons of spec sheets with the

z6 it really brings the questions of, is the z5 being held back by its firmware? and

do you think the future firmware updates will unlock features like the 1.7 crop and 1080p 120 fps? from what ive seen, the only hardware disadvantages between the z5 and z6 is the back lit sensor, .2 megapixels, and screen dots... so the z5 is obviously being firmware locked so that you purchase a z6 or higher!

Somebody on youtube claimed that without any evidence. I don't think Z5 is limited in software, the limitations are likely hardware related.

Well considering the Z5 uses the same processor as the Z6 and Z7 (gen 1 at least having a single processor) I don't think it's so much hardware limited IMO, unless it has to do with the sensor itself. And as for the burst shooting, even the D750 (which is the closest DSLR competitor to the Z5 in the Nikon line-up) has a faster burst rate. So unless NIkon used parts from 6-7 years ago in the Z5, I think at least part of this was done with software, especially the burst shooting speeds.... 4 fps... that's like DSLRs from 2010.

They had to differentiate the Z5 and Z6 enough to justify the $600 price difference (at least at the time when the Z5 was released the Z6 was still about $1800).  If the Z5 could do almost the same things as the Z6, then why spend another $500?  So I think what Nikon did was they added some hardware features, like dual card slots and USB charging, but also gimped the camera (with software, like the burst rate) to balance things out, otherwise the Z5 would be a more attractive camera to shooters over the Z6.

 sirhawkeye64's gear list:sirhawkeye64's gear list
Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z5 Nikon Z7 II GoPro Hero8 Black +14 more
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