Nikon Nikon Introduces the Z5, lower cost entry into full-frame mirrorless.

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
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Lexington, VA
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Steve
I just received my Z5. It's quieter than any of the Sony A7 series cameras.
I remember when I had a used A7 mark I. I liked the smaller body but it had the loudest shutter I've ever experienced for a mirrorless camera and it could hold it's own with a lot of SLRs. It was like a clap of thunder. Thor would have loved that body.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I remember when I had a used A7 mark I. I liked the smaller body but it had the loudest shutter I've ever experienced for a mirrorless camera and it could hold it's own with a lot of SLRs. It was like a clap of thunder. Thor would have loved that body.
The Nikon mirrorless bodies don't really need the e-shutter for general shooting, unlike Sony bodies that still have an audible clap/click sound. The only reason I like the E-shutter is to reduce wear-n-tear on the shutter mechanism. Some quick ergonomic and general impressions comparing the Z5 to my A9. Startup is much quicker with the Z, maybe by half a second. The difference is like booting up your computer with an SSD vs a normal hard drive. My Sony bodies can be painfully slow sometimes, especially when you want to knockout a quick photo. Also the 4.5 FPS is slow enough, that you don't really need UHS-II cards in the memory slots. Fast UHS-I cards work well enough. Nikon is probably using the same hardware as the Z6. I'm sure the camera could go faster especially with UHS-II compatible card slots. The D780 for example can shoot quite fast with almost unlimited buffer. Handling is much nicer with the Z5 and the Z-mount looks massive next to the E-mount.

I'll test it out this weekend to see how much I like it once I receive all my adapters. Currently there are no native lenses I really care for. Either they're too expensive or too boring for my taste.
 
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Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Early impressions of the Z5. Auto focus with adapted lenses is not bad using the FTZ, but not as fast or smooth as native Z glass. Though lenses that were fast on F-mount are also fast on the Z5 such as my 70-200mm 2.8 VR II. Lenses like the 300mm f/4 PF VR with 1.4 TC attached feel well balanced on the Z5, but my 70-200mm is more front heavy. I think Nikon in anticipation of mirrorless designed many of their newer lenses with the weight shifted back. A nice surprise is my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX HSM (non-Art) focuses perfectly on the Z5 + FTZ. I was worried I might have to send that lens to Sigma for an internal firmware upgrade.

Anyways, a couple samples!
50613562933_e05b4abba0_h.jpg

Sample images with the Nikon Z5 - Los Angeles, California USA
by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

50614311391_ca193676fb_h.jpg

Sample images with the Nikon Z5 - Los Angeles, California USA
by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

A lowlight test at 4500 ISO:
50614310356_01a34ef0d8_h.jpg

Sample images with the Nikon Z5 - Los Angeles, California USA
by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Lexington, VA
Real Name
Steve
I suspect the Z5 Will be a big hit with photographers (as opposed to videographers) and will sell really well. It’s just what most people expected Nikon to release as a mirrorless camera. The fact that it uses SD cards is a big selling point for many people.
 
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Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I suspect the Z5 Will be a big hit with photographers (as opposed to videographers) and will sell really well. It’s just what most people expected Nikon to release as a mirror list camera. The fact that it uses SD cards is a big selling point for many people.
I'm not a video guy and the Z5 is closer to what I wanted. SD cards are much easier on workflow and even with UHS-I cards on the Z5, the buffer holds up just fine. I don't see myself needing to buy UHS-II cards for the camera and I've never had an SD card failure. I was actually considering a Nikon D780 instead since I'm not in a rush to move over the Z mount lenses, but you can buy a minty used Z5 + D750, both equipped with battery grip/pack for much less than a D780! Nikon made the D780 a non-option for me by not releasing a grip for that camera.
 
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mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Very desirable hardware on the Z5 and Z6, but some minor Nikonisms in the software leave me cold.

I happened to see a glimpse of the picture review of Z6 in Gordon Lang's reviews. It looks like it's 1:1 copied from the DSLRs. These review views always struck me as the poorest possible. Like the picture's file name and date are not the most important bits of data I want to see right after taking a shot.

(Lack of) Blinkies in live view, another matter. It's not like I couldn't safely underexpose any files with Nikon but I want to see the review pictures well exposed (ETTR) to judge if I got it.

A good thing I guess.
 
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mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
I'm curious. Could you give some examples? Never used a Nikon ILC.
The picture review system, first and foremost.

I can't outright dismiss the Z cameras simply because I have seen briefly in a youtube video how the software appears to look and behave the same way as Df.

Nikon image review probably does a very good work for the majority of shooters. I'm just very accustomed to how Leica presents the review. When I got the Df I found it suboptimal for my preferences, from day 1. Now that I see that piece of code appears to be copied 1:1 from DSLR Nikons to the mirrorless ones, that's a tiny detail giving me a bad vibe. Very minor detail overall. Whatever keeps me from having GAS I guess.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
The picture review system, first and foremost.

I can't outright dismiss the Z cameras simply because I have seen briefly in a youtube video how the software appears to look and behave the same way as Df.

Nikon image review probably does a very good work for the majority of shooters. I'm just very accustomed to how Leica presents the review. When I got the Df I found it suboptimal for my preferences, from day 1. Now that I see that piece of code appears to be copied 1:1 from DSLR Nikons to the mirrorless ones, that's a tiny detail giving me a bad vibe. Very minor detail overall. Whatever keeps me from having GAS I guess.
I'm looking at the playback display options on the Z5 and the D750, there are options for: focus point, exposure info, highlights, rgb histogram, shooting data, overview and none (image only).

Exposure info provides blinkies on picture review as well. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. Most these camera reviewers just do a quick overview and move onto the next thing.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I just did a low light focus comparison between the D750, Z5, A9 and A7III. The now budget oriented D750 actually ties if not slightly exceeds the more modern Sony A9! I was only testing for focus acquisition, but DSLRs still have the leg up in that department. In fact if I shot mostly event oriented photography, I might just stick with DSLRs at least partially for some of the low light to pitch black focusing advantages. Mirrorless advantages are in things like focus accuracy in decent to dim light, but will go south once light goes near black.

Another new quirk with Nikon's latest mirrorless bodies in comparison to Sony, is that the apparently the Z5/Z6II push the camera gain in low light resulting in a very noisy EVF/LCD playback. Feedback from current Z6II owners who previously owned the first Z6, say this is something new. The Sony A9 and A7III live view will just give up at that point and display a darker live view picture or begin to slow down the live view feed, but the image won't be extremely noisy. My Z5 will continue to increase video gain, but will result in a very noisy image. I remember my old Nikon 1 V1 camera did that as well. Olympus from my experience is the only company that managed pleasing live view in low light when it comes to mirrorless. Olympus has an approach that was similar to Nikon's but for some reason the live view noise wasn't abrupt nor results in slow down like Sony.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Exposure info provides blinkies on picture review as well. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

There are different screens for playback in Df. I assume this is more or less 100% unified across all Nikon DSLRs.

If I enable that playback screen called "Highlights" in Df menu then it is available but it's a separate screen. It won't show me anything else other than the highlights blinking. Per RGB channel, nice. But still. A one liner of ISO, Shutter, Aperture and this would be perfect. [This is how Leica M can be configured. A tiny bit suboptimal because I don't know how much headroom I'd have for pushing exposure (no histogram) but this is nondistracting and satisfactory way to go about it.]

Because of that limited information I usually just have Overview screen active. It won't show blinkies. It would be okay if it did. It shows a histogram that doesn't take half of the screen. Good.

Let's check the Z6/7 user manual and browse the relevant pages. Hmm. Not much of an exposé here either, tersely written as always. Reading between the lines (page 126) one could conduct that Df and Z6 behave identically here.

Z series being mirrorless it's particularly painful that Nikon doesn't offer blinkies in preview. This peeve of mine is kind of irrational because Nikons have the best and most forgiving dynamic range out there but still it would be satisfying to have an unintrusive way to keep exposure within good limits.

Leica Q did this perfectly: on half-press of the shutter you got WYSIWYG exposure preview and optional blinkies. Informational distractions driven to a logical and usable minimum.

Panasonic S5 is a particularly strong contender against Z5/6 as it has everything great going on for it. But perhaps autofocus using CDAF is not the perfect idea, meanwhile 2.36 megapixel EVF doesn't seem like a satisfying idea for a manual focuser. And that fully articulating screen, argh. :)
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
So after thinking long and hard, I think I'll be sticking with with my FX DSLRs and not going with the Z5. I'll just stick with Sony for mirrorless. My reasoning is that for the select lenses I have for the F-mount, there's nothing I really want in the Z mount. Sony also has the lenses I like for mirrorless in regards to small primes and good travel zooms. Quality F-mount lenses are way cheaper for fast telephotos.

It's actually more economical for me to run two systems than running an all Nikon kit! Clean used Sony A9 bodies cost as much as the Z6II new and the D750 is probably the best budget all-around DSLR Nikon has ever made!
 

William Lewis

Veteran
Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
Thanks for your thoughts on the subject Jonathan. I ponder it having done m4/3 so I get the idea of mirrorless but I've really come to love the Nikon DSLRs over the last bit over a year. Saving for a D750 or D850 (and maybe a Df just for the fun of it) seems a better option for me especially with the pile of beautiful manual focus lenses I've accumulated.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Thanks for your thoughts on the subject Jonathan. I ponder it having done m4/3 so I get the idea of mirrorless but I've really come to love the Nikon DSLRs over the last bit over a year. Saving for a D750 or D850 (and maybe a Df just for the fun of it) seems a better option for me especially with the pile of beautiful manual focus lenses I've accumulated.
Lots of bargains to be had on the Nikon DSLR front, I have momentarily considered selling mine to get in with some of the newer gear but I just can't.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Thanks for your thoughts on the subject Jonathan. I ponder it having done m4/3 so I get the idea of mirrorless but I've really come to love the Nikon DSLRs over the last bit over a year. Saving for a D750 or D850 (and maybe a Df just for the fun of it) seems a better option for me especially with the pile of beautiful manual focus lenses I've accumulated.
There are still a lot of things to like about DSLRs. I don't think Nikon is realizing the full potential of DSLRs right now. For example the D780 has the OSPDAF of the Z6, why not make modern compact primes (like redo the whole f/2.8 AFD prime line) and try slimming down the bodies like the Df? Nikon's dumped the on-board flash, might as well try making the bodies as slim as possible, but provide a nice grip. Also I prefer flash on DSLRs due to the infrared light which mirrorless still has no replacement tech, no need to look at a noisy video screen in the dark, instant response when turning ON and battery life that goes well into the thousands of shots.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Lots of bargains to be had on the Nikon DSLR front, I have momentarily considered selling mine to get in with some of the newer gear but I just can't.
Nikon/Sigma F-mount f/2.8 and f/4 zoom lenses are dirt cheap. You can build an amazing telephoto/sports kit with used prices right now. I prefer Sony for fast primes though. Samyang is now the new budget Sigma, Sigma is the new budget Zeiss!

I'm probably the worst customer for these photography companies, I'm always looking for bang-for-buck setups with optimal results! :D
 

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