The Nikon Z5 is an interesting little camera. A full-frame Nikon mirrorless camera, with a relatively low price tag that seems to tick most of the boxes, even for working photographers (including dual card slots). Body only, it can be had for under $1,400. A significant difference over the $2,000 Nikon Z6 II. But is the Z5 worth getting at that price? Or are you better paying the extra to go for the Z6 II?
That’s the question that photographer Matt Irwin explores in this pretty in-depth and almost-27-minute long video. He takes a look at the autofocus, low light performance, image quality, and a bunch of other factors in a variety of scenarios in order to try to answer the question and I think he puts forward some good cases for when you might or might not want to use the Z5.
If the Nikon Z6/Z6 II line is essentially a continuation of the D750/D780 then the Z5 is arguably a continuation of the D600/D610 cameras in Nikon’s lineup. But when you look at the results Matt was getting out of the Z5, it certainly seems to punch well above its weight in many aspects. The Z5 certainly seems closer to the Z6 II than the D600/D610 did to the D750/D780.
For many photographers looking to make the jump to Nikon full-frame mirrorless, that $600 savings on the Nikon Z5 might be worth going for, especially as it can potentially allow you to throw a little extra money at lenses. For others, though, the Z6 II will be the better choice – especially if you need that full-frame 4K video or fast continuous shooting for sports, wildlife or other action photography.