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The Nikon Z5 is an entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera that looks and handles almost exactly like its higher-end Z-mount siblings, the Z6 and Z7. It's built around a stabilized non-BSI 24MP CMOS sensor, which is likely more closely related to the generation of chip found in Nikon's D750 DSLR, rather than the newer BSI sensor in the Z6.

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Slightly stripped down and more stills-focused, the Z5 shares the same 273-point hybrid AF system, Expeed 6 processor and 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder as the Z6. But niceties like a top plate display are absent. Likewise, the Z5's max burst rate and video capabilities are considerably less than that of the Z6: 4.5 fps vs. 12 fps and heavily cropped 4K vs. un-cropped, oversampled 4K. But from an image quality and handling standpoint, the two cameras are quite similar.

Key Specifications:

  • 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor (not BSI)
  • Hybrid AF system with 273 phase-detect points covering 90% of the frame
  • 4.5 fps continuous shooting with AF
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder
  • Dual UHS-II SD cards
  • 4K/30p video capture (with 1.7x crop)
  • 1080/60p video capture (no crop)
  • Headphone and microphone ports
  • Dust and moisture sealed

The Nikon Z5 sells for $1399 body-only, $1699 kitted with the new 24-50mm F4-6.3 lens and $2199 kitted with the 24-200 F4-6.3 VR.

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Table of contents

What's new and how it compares

The Z5 is essentially a stripped down Z6. Here's what Nikon changed in the camera to keep the price down.

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Body, handling and controls

The Z5 is the same exact size, weight and shape as the Z6. But there are a few small differences between the two bodies.

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First impressions

DPR's Dan Bracaglia has been busy shooting with the Z5. Here's why he thinks it's such a tempting camera – and why he may buy one in 12 months' time.

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Image quality

How does the Z5's 24MP sensor stack up against the latest BSI chips? Quite well, in fact.

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Autofocus & Video

Autofocus performance from the Z5 is quite good, whether shooting moving or static subjects. But video performance is not the camera's strong suit.

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The Nikon Z5 is arguably the best bang-for-your-buck stills-oriented camera on the market, which is why it's earns our gold award.

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Sample gallery

Pups, mountains and summertime vibes. Check out our initial Z5 sample gallery.

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