Nikon J5 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally excellent performance for a mirrorless camera, though startup time is a bit sluggish and buffer clearing is slow.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~2.0 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.4 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was a bit sluggish for a mirrorless camera, though switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was quick.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-point AF mode

0.074 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All timing performed with the Nikon 1 10-30mm kit lens)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Auto flash enabled

0.288 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. Built-in flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.053 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.052 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Nikon J5's full-autofocus shutter lag in single-point AF mode (center AF position) was incredibly fast, at only 0.074 second with the 10-30mm kit lens at medium focal length. That's faster than most professional DSLRs we've tested. Enabling the flash added some delay for preflash metering, however full AF shutter lag was still quite good at 0.288 second. When manually focused, the J5's shutter lag time was 0.053 second, also very fast. The Nikon J5's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.052 second was quite fast as well, faster than most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, though many point & shoots are faster in this regard.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous 60fps mode
Large/fine JPEG

0.02 second (59.4 frames per second);
20 frames total;
22 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 20 shots.

Continuous 60fps mode
RAW

0.02 second (59.4 frames per second);
20 frames total;
33 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 20 shots.

Continuous 60fps mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.02 second (61.3 frames per second);
20 frames total;
41 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 20 shots.

Flash Recycling

1.8 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I 95MB/s microSDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's dexterity and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm, so your results may vary. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.)

The Nikon J5 offers full-resolution continuous mode speeds up to 60 fps with AF locked at the first frame, and up to 20 fps with continuous AF. We tested the 60 fps mode in the lab, and the J5 met expectations, delivering between 59.4 and 61.3 full-resolution frames per second depending on the file type -- outstanding!

Buffer depths were decent at 20 frames for any file type, though keep in mind that's less than a third of a second burst at highest speed. Buffer clearing times were however quite slow even with our fast 95MB/s UHS-I microSDHC card, ranging from 22 seconds after 20 best quality JPEGs, to a lengthy 41 seconds after a 20-frame burst of RAW+JPEG files. The J5 is however still responsive while clearing the buffer, allowing you to adjust settings and take additional images while the camera is writing to the card. Still, be sure to use the fastest UHS-I card you can afford if buffer clearing time after long bursts is important to you.

The built-in flash recycled after full-power discharges in an average of 1.8 seconds, which is fast.


Bottom line, the Nikon J5's overall performance was generally good to outstanding. Autofocus speeds, cycle times and burst speeds were all exceptional. The only sluggish performance results we got were startup time and lengthy buffer clearing. Performance was very similar to the flagship V3 model, however buffer depths in burst mode were only half.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for a mirrorless ILC.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, LCD Monitor)
250

The Nikon J5 uses a custom EN-EL24 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and dedicated charger. The rated 250 shots per charge is below average for a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, so we strongly recommend getting a second battery for your J5 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 

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