Nikon Z5 Field Test: Does Nikon’s most affordable full-frame mirrorless deliver high-end performance?


posted Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 4:40 PM EDT

Click here to read our Nikon Z5 Field Test


Historically, full-frame cameras tend to be large, bulky and expensive, putting them well into the realm of professional photography tools. However, these days, full-frame technology has become less expensive, and with the advent of mirrorless cameras, things aren't so heavy and cumbersome. Nonetheless, an "entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera" is still a fairly rare sight, with the Canon's EOS RP model kicking off the trend of a large-sensored camera with a wallet-friendly price point.

It's now Nikon's turn to jump into this segment with their new Nikon Z5. But despite the entry-level focus of the camera, the Z5 still carries a $1400 body-only price (minus any sales and promotions). That's a bit above a truly "entry-level" price for a lot of folks, but the Z5 still serves as Nikon's most affordable entry into their full-frame Z camera lineup. In all honesty, the Nikon Z5 feels more like an "intermediate-level" camera, offering several higher-end features, such as dual memory card slots, weather-sealed construction, 5-axis in-body image stabilization, phase-detect AF, 4K video and more. Plus, with a 24MP sensor, the Nikon Z5 offers overall excellent image quality performance at a wide range of ISO levels, much like its higher Z6 sibling.

Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Z + TC-1.4x: 280mm, f/8, 1/320s, ISO 450
Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Z : 200mm, f/2.8, 1/500s, ISO 5000

Our intrepid Maine-based photographer and reviewer Jeremy Gray recently put the new Nikon Z5 through its paces with a variety of still and video subjects. Does Nikon's newest and most affordable mirrorless camera deliver a good user experience? Dive into Jeremy's Nikon Z5 Field Test for his hands-on shooting experience and findings. And be sure to also jump over to our Nikon Z5 Gallery Page for a wide array of real-world sample images.

Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Z: 200mm, f/7.1, 1/2000s, ISO 100 (EDITED)

Nikon Z5 Field TestGallery ImagesSample Images