The Nikon Z5 - Experimenting With Z System

If you have followed the April Fool's crossover between myself and my friend Matti, you would have come across the Nikon Z5, which I claimed to have purchased myself. That was not part of the April Fool's joke, it was true, I bought a Nikon Z5. I found one unit in the used market in excellent condition at a very good price, in fact it costs about 20% of the full retail price of the new OM System OM-1 II, and I figured I had nothing to lose getting the Z5. After all, if I, for whatever reasons do not like the Z5, I can always re-sell it in the used marketplace. So far, I have not that many issues with the Z5, and have been very impressed with its overall performance, and what you can get out of so little money spent! For my full thoughts, I have shared my opinion on the Z5 on Matti' channel here (click). 

I have fixed the danggling rubber cover at the side of the camera. I bought replacements and attached them on the camera. The Z5 now looks like new. 

The Nikon Z5's size and weight are about the same with the OM System OM-1 that I have, it is slightly heavier, but the difference in weight is negligigle. Small cameras like Micro Four Thirds system are getting bigger, and big cameras like Full Frame Mirrorless are getting smaller. While the Nikon Z5 was designed for beginners, as the lowest level, entry level full frame mirrorless option from Nikon's latest Z format, I find a lot of features packed into the humble camera, which can make a huge difference in real world shooting conditions. 

The Z5 features dual card slots, which I truly appreciate! While the camera is budget friendly, it is built with magnesium alloy construction, hence the body is robust. Also, the Z5 is weather-sealed against dust and splash! I also appreciate the inclusion of 5 Axis Image Stabilization, rated at respectable 5 EV stops compensation. I really like the tilt up and down LCD screen, as opposed to swivel articulated screens from Olympus/Panasonic bodies. The Z5 also features some modern tech, including the AI human face and eye tracking, which I have found to work extremely well, even better and more reliable than OM System's implementation in OM-1.

The Z5 isn't perfect, it was made as an entry level camera, and that shows. The electronic shutter/silent mode is completely useless, having too much rolling shutter issues. The burst rate is unimpressive at 4.5 frames per second. Most disappointingly, the video recording is restricted to 1.7x crop if you go 4K, which made this quite useless for any vlogging or video work. Most people these days would gravitate toward a proper hybrid camera that can do both video and stills reasonably well. If you need to do some video, I'd say the Z5 is definitely out of your list of considerations. 

If video is not your thing, like myself, though I have a YouTube channel, I am primarily a photographer, the Z5 is truly an impressive camera. I cannot deny that the Z5, being a full frame camera, produces image quality beyond what a smaller format Micro Four Thirds is capable of. Outside of that, there is a lot in Z5 that made it truly a remarkable entry point to full frame. Considering the low price point, it is a no brainer beginner camera alternative that can compete very well in the market. 

I cannot make my full conclusion on the Z5 yet, during my short shooting sessions with it, I do have some issues, all of them minor, perhaps I shall talk about them in the future. More to come!

Stay tuned for more Nikon Z system content!

Don't worry, I have not abandoned Micro Four Thirds, for those of you wondering. As a photographer, I am infinitely curious about other camera systems, and I do love all cameras in every brand and shape! 

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