Nikon Z5 Review: It's been almost two years since Nikon jumped into the Mirrorless Camera foray, the Z7 followed quickly by the Z6 both cameras received mixed reception due to the initial focusing performance and of course the one card slot debacle. Two years have passed with firmware updates that have mostly addressed the complaints, plus Nikon's excellent release of the S line of lenses for the Nikon Z - The future is very bright indeed.
What is a Nikon Z5? It is your entry point to Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless lineup, the Nikon Z 5 offers a lot of power and capabilities at an attractive price, empowering you to begin your journey with the confidence to learn and grow as a creator.
Why would anyone now buy a Nikon Z6 at several hundred dollars more when the Nikon Z5 is available? Two Main reasons
(1) The Nikon Z6 supports upgrading to superior ProRes RAW for video.
(2) The Nikon Z6 has more video shooting options with minimal cropping in 4k mode, such as 1080p at 120fps whereas the Nikon Z5 does not support video faster than 60fps in 1080p and has a 1.8 crop when shooting 4K.
Z5 Pros: Dual Card Slots, seems pro wedding photographers don't like the idea of shooting on a single card, and who could blame them. The missing card slot on the Z7 and Z6 was a heated topic and still is today. The Z5 is a cheaper camera option. But to complicate matters the Nikon Z50 is also available for a few hundred dollars less than any current Nikon Mirrorless Camera it being a crop sensor may put some people off, others may prefer the DX sensor. What is the point of a Z50 in mirrorless form factor - back in the day people bought DX crop bodies for one of two reasons. (1) DX DSLRs were more compact and offered smaller cheaper lenses or (2) Action/Sports or bird photography that crop sensor provided an extra 1.5x resolution. But let's face it, None of Nikon's current Mirrorless cameras are action/sports cameras.
After using the Nikon Z5 for three days and comparing it to my Nikon Z6 I see no reason for an average shooter to buy a Z6 now unless of course, you are an avid Video shooter needing the enhanced video capabilities of the Nikon Z6. The Nikon Z5 is geared for the middle of the road camera/video shooters who require an excellent camera at a reasonable price. Buying a Nikon Z5 basically gives you everything the Z6 offers less (ProRes RAW) and the extra video capabilities the Z6 offers. Let's not forget you get two SD card slots with the Nikon Z5, using the cheaper SD cards. Funny Nikon put two card slots in the Z5 but not the Z7/Z6 both were praised by Nikon as "Mirrorless Reinvented", but it was not Mirrorless Reinvented. I am glad to see Nikon took notice of the "voice" for dual card slots and did make that change with the Nikon Z5.
After using the Nikon Z5 for a few days - Would I recommend the Nikon Z5 to the average buyer seeking to upgrade from DSLRs or want to experience Nikon Mirrorless, the answer is yes.