Nikon Z5 & Clueless Bunch of Camera Designers

in Photography3 months ago (edited)

Within the F-mount markings, Nikon had a strategy of giving a single-digit mark to the top models. Entry level models had four digits starting from the low side and rising to the higher end of the APS-C top models. Z-line broke all the rules…

Source: NikonUSA

These days Nikon seems like a confused group of incapable managers and disoriented designers that all have been vaccinated few times too much. They have presented us their new FF (FX in their World) entry level model on Tuesday. You may think – since they have two ‘professional’ models Z6 & Z7, and Z50 as APS-C – that this entry level full frame should be called Z10. Throw your logic in the nearest ocean, you won’t need it any more. They have called it Z5. Now, if this was the only thing out of logic, we could live with it, but… Let’s go with the greatest perv… deviation from logic first.

When Nikon announced Z6 & Z7, the wave of disappointment splashed all over the Nikonland, because both ‘professional’ models had only one card slot. I mean one slot each, not one slot for both cameras, although it was highly likely that corporative management also considered this kind of savings. By the God’s grace, on this entry level model they have treated us with two memory card slots! Hallelujah!

Not so fast!

Yes, you shouldn’t scream of joy too early, because this model – with two memory card slots – is not so fast at all. Entry level model cannot have the best sensor. So, instead of BSI (BackSide Illuminated) CMOS sensor, we have older generation FSI (FrontSide Illuminated) CMOS, which means 4.5 fps maximum speed, slower sensor readout, max 4K/30p with a heavy 1.7x crop, lower dynamic range, more rolling shutter and more heat… Have I forgot something? So, now you have two card slots when you can’t have top video. Fantastic decision. Wonder if the genius will get a bonus for that.

At the same Tuesday occasion, Nikon announced a small accompanying plastic-fantastic kit lens for the new camera. It is, by far, the slowest kit lens with dullest, and most unexciting focal length ever made – 24-50mm f/4-6.3… Chris Nicchols from the dPreview TV hates 35mm because it is not wide enough for everyday shots and not tight enough for portraits. I may add that the only worse thing than that would be a criminally short zoom lens with the f-stop so slow that camera obscura can outcompete it. Nikon ads insists on creativity… well, you will need a lot of creativity to get some sensible pics with these fc*-lengths. Street life at f-stops 4-6.3? How exciting…

Nikon dares to charge $400 for this… let’s call it lens again, as a separate item. And they were even insolent enough to call it ‘small almost as pancake!’ Does this look like a pancake to you?

Z5 top20200721_235312.jpg
Source: NikonUSA

You can pay that much only if you intend to save Nikon with your generous charitable contribution. Or you can give them $300 if you are so desperate to have this so called lens, as a kit with your new camera… Or you can shell out $800 more for a decent allround travel zoom 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR for $2199 in total.

Nikon giveth, Nikon taketh…

Well, where are the specs? Let’s see if there is something worth having it over the previous ‘professional’ models:

feat.Nikon Z5Nikon Z6Nikon Z7
MountNikon ZNikon ZNikon Z
     MAX Res.6016x4016
(24.3 MP)
(24.5 MP)
(45.7 MP)
     AF points273273493
In body ISYes, 5-axisYes, 5-axisYes, 5-axis
ISO standard100-51200100-5120064-25600
ISO expanded50-10240050-20480032-102400
Shutter speed1/8000s-30s1/8000s-30s1/8000s-30s
Flash Sync1/200s1/200s1/200s
Recording medium2 UHS IIXQD cardXQD card
Viewfinder3.69k OLED
0.8× mag.
3.69k OLED
0.8× mag.
3.69k OLED
0.8× mag.
DisplayTFT LCD tiltTFT LCD tiltTFT LCD tilt
     Resolution1.04 MP2.1 MP2.1 MP
Video4K/UHD, 1.7x crop4K/UHD no crop4K/UHD no crop, interlaced
     fps4K 30 fps,
1080 60 fps
4K 30 fps,
1080 120 fps
4K 30 fps,
1080 120 fps w/crop
Wireless (Built-in)802.11ac + Bluetooth802.11ac + Bluetooth802.11ac + Bluetooth
Battery PackEN-EL15cEN-EL15bEN-EL15b
Battery Life390310330
Weight590 gr675 gr675 gr
Dimensions134x100.5x69.5 mm134x100.5x67 mm134x100.5x67 mm
Price (body)$1400$1850$3399

Yes, it’s plastic, and is lighter, but still Nikon says it is dust and moisture resistant. Trust but DON’T verify under the shower. It has a new battery and better battery life… which was not hard having in mind ‘professional’ models. Even my X-T20 was ahead of them in that regard. And it even isn’t cheaper than Canon RP!

OK, but if I was stranded on a desert island with only one Camera store that have only Canon RP and Nikon Z5, this time I would buy Z5 for my last coconuts. Why? Irrational desire to possess that Z-mount and wait for the Tamron’s Z-version of their fantastic 28-200 f/2.8-5.6 Di III lens…

Source: NikonUSA

And all that despite the fact that Nikon will never allow fully articulated display at their new cameras, and will never have so beautiful video AF as Dual Pixel on Canon’s models. At least they have on/off switch where it should be…

Overall Z5 is a fine addition to shattering illusions about the competence of Nikon’s management team. And since people love those pros and cons points, here are Nikon’s Cons first:


  • No top OLED display
  • Old sensor
  • Slow FPS
  • Lower dynamic range
  • Low res display, still no full articulation
  • heavy 1.7x crop in 4K
  • No N-log
  • More rolling shutter
  • and probably more heat…


  • Two memory card slots
  • Well positioned on/off switch, and…





let’s go just a bit deeper…






Should I put a measly better battery life here?






It does look kinda handsome from the back, wouldn’t you say?

Z5 back20200721_235349.jpg
Source: NikonUSA






There must be something else, don’t be a quitter now…






Any Nikon fan to help?

That was not much of a help, let’s search further…






Oh, here it is! The price!

  • $1400 camera body

Let’s face it – despite everything, this bewildering camera mess is a full frame camera for only $1400, and that should scare the sh… living daylights out of Fujifilm!

So we may have lower price tag on X-T4 soon!

* * *

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Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!
Week 15 of my contest just can now check the winners of the previous week!

So, now you have two card slots when you can’t have top video. Fantastic decision. Wonder if the genius will get a bonus for that.

Used to own a Nikon. D3s Amazing low light performance. Since then Nikon got only worse...

Used to? What do you use now, @bescouted?

Now i am using simple but great system camera. Sony A7RII, shitty menus but amazing sensor and stunning image quality :)