Nikon Z5 vs. Nikon Z6 Comparison

Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by Sharon Advik

Nikon Z5 vs. Nikon Z6 Comparison:


Two Nikon mirrorless cameras, the Z5 and Z6, are being compared here.

My fiancée pleaded with me to get her a good camera.

She requests that I review some of her favorite Nikon devices.

I am providing an unbiased assessment of these two devices for her and everyone else’s convenience.

The Nikon Z6 is a professional mirrorless camera, and the Nikon Z5 is advanced.

Digital cameras are becoming the need of everyone who wishes to look appealing in front of others’ eyes.

The Nikon Z5 was released in July 2020, while the Nikon Z6 debuted in August 2018.

Considering the 23-month gap between the Z5 and Z6, I don’t anticipate a significant technological difference between these two gadgets, although the Z5 would still have an edge, particularly in sensor technology.

The Nikon Z line of cameras includes the Z5 and Z6.

The most recent models from this series are listed below.

Those are Nikon Z30, Nikon Z9, Nikon Z fc, Nikon Z6 II, and Nikon Z7 II.

I kept the Nikon Z5 and Z6 beside each other and struggled to differentiate.

Z6 and Z5 cameras are more compact than their DSLR cousins and should fit comfortably in hand, thanks to their large grips.

Before I begin a more thorough comparison, let’s glance at the primary features of the Z5. & Z6.

Body measurements and characteristics Comparison:

In my consideration, when looking for the best camera for your purposes, size and weight play a significant role in your selection.

In this part, I’ll compare the front, rear, and top views of the Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6.

The Nikon Z5 is 675 g (1.49 lb / 23.81 oz) in weight and measures 134 x 101 x 70 mm externally (including batteries).

The Nikon Z6 is 675 g (1.49 lb / 23.81 oz) in weight and is 134 x 101 x 68 mm externally (including batteries).

The Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6 are the exact sizes in height and breadth.

On the other hand, it is 2mm thicker and has a thickness of 70mm.

Another crucial consideration is weight, particularly when choosing a camera you’ll carry all day if you work as a professional photographer. I also worked for a few firms back in my 30s.

The Nikon Z5 and Z6 weights are precisely the same at 675g.

Also, remember that when comparing two interchangeable camera bodies, body weight is not the only aspect; you must also consider the lenses you will be utilizing with these cameras.

Lenses are the primary key of a camera to get amazing shots.

The Nikon Z5 uses the same Nikon Z lens mount and full-frame sensors as the Nikon Z6; therefore, lenses will not affect the system’s overall size.

ISO Sensitivity:

After using them for a few days, I noticed that the camera’s equivalent ISO100–51200 native sensitivity range is excellent.

The Z6 can push up to ISO50-204,800, whereas the Z5 is limited to ISO50-102,400.

The back-illuminated sensor in the Nikon Z6 provides a technological advantage while I shoot my girlfriend photos in low light conditions.

The photodiodes on BSI sensors face the light, ultimately allowing them to collect the illumination (compared to 30-80 percent on non-BSI sensors, where the diodes are placed below electronics and wiring, making them less effective).

The Z6 should, in principle, give more explicit images over the ISO spectrum, but notably at higher sensitivity levels.

The Z6 can use its complete native sensitivity range of ISO100-51200 while recording video, whereas the Z5 is only capable of ISO100-25,600.

So, the Nikon Z6 is the way to go if you intend to film a video in challenging lighting.


Both cameras use the exact focusing mechanism based on Nikon’s reliable hybrid phase-detection/contrast-detection AF system.

It has normal low-light AF that can focus down to -3.5EV and low-light AF that can focus down to -6EV (the equivalent of a blacked-out room lit only by candlelight).

With 273 focus points across both cameras, the hybrid AF system has innovative features like subject tracking, eye identification, and animal detection autofocuses.

Therefore, any camera should work fine for photographing most subjects in most lighting situations.

Burst shooting:

I would say that the relative burst shooting abilities of the Z5 and Z6, a feature especially helpful for sports and wildlife shooting, are one of the most apparent contrasts between the two models.

Despite being constrained by its comparatively small buffer, the Nikon Z6 comes in with a remarkable maximum burst speed of 12fps, which is still a respectable rate.

However, the Nikon Z5 can only shoot at 4.5 frames per second, which was unsatisfactory five years ago.

It’s crucial to note that focusing may be just as vital as burst rates when capturing photos of moving objects.

The Nikon Z5 and Z6 include the same Hybrid AF technology (with Eye Detection AF and Animal Detection AF).

Weather Shield:

Weather sealings built into the bodies of the Z5 and Z6 make them impervious to dust and moisture.

It is the best feature any camera can have for professionals.

They were perfect for a photographer like my girlfriend, who loves to capture rain, water, stormy winds, and other beautiful yet harsh environmental conditions.

Dimensions and Features of LCDs:

The Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6 LCD panels have the same 3.20″ diagonal dimension.

Both cameras include tilting displays adjusted to simplify film from the eye or waist level.

Comparing the sensors:

The Nikon Z5 features a 24.0MP Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) CMOS sensor.

Processor 6 exceeds. IN CONTRAST, the Nikon Z6 includes a 25.0MP Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) BSI-CMOS sensor with an Expeed 6 processor.

After profound observation, I came across the Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6, which have identical sensor sizes; therefore, when used with the same focal length and aperture, they will offer the same depth of field control.

I used all lenses and captured my girlfriends’ photos to check the credibility of each lens with these Nikon beasts.

Video Expertise:

It is the second significant area where I guess the Nikon Z6 outperforms the new Z5 in Comparison to burst shooting (on paper, at least).

The Nikon Z5 is constrained when capturing video compared to its older sibling (and many mirrorless competitors).

First, the 1.7x cut in its 4K video mode is significant.

Fitting subjects in the frame might be challenging if you intend to blog or video on the camera, so this is critical.

The lack of 120p slow-motion movie settings and the inability to record 10-bit video externally via the Nikon Z5’s HDMI output makes it less desirable for individuals who enjoy editing the color and appearance of their film.

The lack of a fully articulating screen is a feature I find on less expensive full-frame cameras like the Canon EOS RP.

It is perfect for solo filmmakers who want to check their framing while recording to the camera; the icing on the cake for the Z5’s video credentials.

Comparison of Lenses:

The number of available lenses is crucial when selecting an interchangeable lens camera.

Since the Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6 share the Nikon Z lens mount, 33 native lenses are available.

These lenses all accommodate Full-frame sensors.

The presence of picture stabilization is another crucial issue.

Due to the sensor-based image stabilization included in the Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6, lenses must stabilize when mounted on these devices.

Lens Type Nikon Z5 lenses Nikon Z6 lenses
Standard Zoom 6 (5 Full Frame) 6 (5 Full Frame)
Standard prime 5 (4 Full Frame) 5 (4 Full Frame)
Wide-angle Zoom 2 (2 Full Frame) 2 (2 Full Frame)
Super Zoom 2 (1 Full Frame) 2 (1 Full Frame)
Macro Prime 3 (3 Full Frame) 3 (3 Full Frame)
Telephoto Zoom 3 (2 Full Frame) 3 (2 Full Frame)
Telephoto Prime 5 (5 Full Frame) 5 (5 Full Frame)
Wide-angle Prime 7 (7 Full Frame) 7 (7 Full Frame)
Total 33 (29 Full Frame) 33 (29 Full Frame)

Here, I have tried to discuss some of the most popular Nikon Z Mount Lenses on Camera Decision:

Model Coverage Weight
Nikon Nikkor Z 28-75mm F2.8 35mm FF 565gr
Nikon Nikkor Z 24-120mm F4 S


35mm FF 630gr
Nikon Nikkor Z 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 VR S 35mm FF 1355gr
Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm F2.8 S 35mm FF 805gr

What kinds of photography work well with the Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6?

In this section, I rank and contrast the Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6 for five distinct forms of photography to help you decide if you have a particular interest in one or more of these categories.

As I said, I took pictures of my partner for a portrait in my first attempt.

Some are street, sports, everyday, and landscape photography.

Portrait Photography:

My Analysis of the Nikon Z5 portrait photography concluded that it is a GOOD choice for this sort of photography, with a score of 75 for Portrait Photography.

Most of your demands will be met by the Nikon Z5. Still, if you’re seeking a camera that is even better suited to portrait photography, I suggest you try the Alternative cameras listed at the bottom of this page.

Nikon Z5 and Z6 have Large Full-frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensors. Large sensors provide my portrait photographs with a lovely fuzzy backdrop and a deeper depth of focus.

Because of the Nikon Z5’s 24.0MP sensor, I have ideal space for cropping and the ability to print more powerful, more detailed portraits. On the other hand, Z6 has 25.

MP operates more accurately. Both have good Electronic Built-in viewfinders.

Using a viewfinder during a portrait shot lets me steady the camera and lessen camera shaking because it is closer to the body.

Street Photography:

Why are people, especially the younger generation, drawn to street photography?

An absolute blast!

They are unexpected.

Thus, all options are available.

Combining that with socializing with people on the street is a perfect recipe for having a great time, at least most of the time.

Street photography is thrilling even after you leave the streets.

I tried both cameras on Oxford Street, my favorite street in London.

Perhaps one of the most well-known street names in the nation, particularly among shoppers and fashion devotees, is this one. I got terrific faces roaming around.

However, I found that the Nikon Z5 is a top choice for this genre of photography.

You won’t need to seek other cameras because they will meet all your street photography needs.

Large Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm) sensors are included in both, with flawless image stabilization.

Most intriguingly, they have superb Live-view operations.

When walking on streets, face-detection focusing works best.

It features a medium-sized body, which is helpful for street photography.

Sports Photography:

Influential sports photographers have high expectations of their equipment.

When it comes to sports photography, quicker is usually preferable.

Since most outdoor sporting events occur in any weather, your camera must prepare for challenging circumstances like rain and snow.

The sport involves a lot of exposure to dust and water splashes.

Both of them meet my standards.

There are many athletic events where the lights flicker, which has undesirable effects on the photographs.

Although typically reducing the cameras’ maximum continuous shooting speed, the anti-flicker function lessens this effect.

The primary sport I covered with these cameras was indoor basketball in my brother’s final match.

It provided me with excellent results. I didn’t face many focus problems.

So it’s a win-win for me to have these.

Daily Photography:

Weatherproofing is a massive benefit for a camera you carry with you everywhere.

You won’t need to get tensed about it as much.

The Nikon Z5 strikes an excellent balance between size and usability because of its comparatively smaller body compared to DSLRs and superior ergonomics compared to Compacts.

Carrying 675g of weight around all day might not be enjoyable.

Nikon Z5 is undoubtedly not a pocketable camera due to its 70mm thickness.

With 68mm of thickness, neither is Z6.

Landscape Photography:

Live vision allows for more accurate, acceptable focus changes than a viewfinder.

Compared to smaller sensors, the Nikon Z6 and Z5 large sensors ensure good low-light image quality and offer excellent pixel quality.

The 25.0MP sensor of the Nikon Z6 and 24.0 MP of the Z5 are ideal for landscape photography.

I may print the images more considerably, and it will catch a lot of tiny details.

Landscape photography occurs outside.

Therefore, you should be ready for any weather.

Cards Slots:

The less professional, hobbyist-friendly camera (the Z5) has two card slots, while the pro-leaning variant (the Z6) only has one card slot.

It’s the fascinating distinction between these two Z series cameras.

It’s not nearly as straightforward as “more implies better,” of course.

Nikon quickly notes that the likelihood of one of these more recent cards failing is far smaller than that of SD cards, which justifies the lack of a backup option.

The Z6 includes a single XQD card slot.

However, given Nikon’s strategy for the Z6 and Z7, the Nikon Z5’s twin UHS-II SD card slots are undoubtedly a plus and provide a competitive advantage.

Price Comparison:

The cost will undoubtedly play a significant role in any camera decision.

The retail prices determine the model’s market position when the camera debut is compared to other models in the producer’s lineup and the competitors.

How much less expensive is the Nikon Z5 than the Nikon Z6?

A difference of £270/$200 is on the table if I discuss the bodies.

Although Nikon promoted the Z5 as an entry-level camera, its $1,399/1,449 price tag doesn’t precisely scream inexpensive.

The difference extends beyond money if you’re considering purchasing a lens package.

The Z6 costs £2,269/$2,199 when equipped with the Nikkor 24-70mm f/4 lens, while the Z5 costs £1,719/$1,699 with the new Nikkor 24-50mm lens set.

So, if you can choose the Nikon Z5 over the Nikon Z6 and save a few hundred dollars, is it worth it?

No, not always. You’ll still need to consider its specifications and features before choosing.

Nikon Z5 Significant Benefits:

Compared to the Nikon Z5, the Z6 offers two significant benefits.

The Z6 is a better camera for taking action photos since it has a far quicker continuous shooting rate of 12 FPS than the Z5’s, just 4.5 FPS.

Second, compared to the Z5’s significant 1.7x crop, it boasts considerably greater 4K video shooting capabilities, including 10-bit N-Log via HDMI and 4K filming without any built-in crop factors.

Those photographers who take still images aren’t significant, but they could be for those who want to utilize the Z5 for severe video demands.


The Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z6 differ little but noticeably because the former utilizes a brand-new EN-EL 15C battery.

The Z5 can now be charged through USB while being used, which is helpful if you want to take longer or time-lapse videos.

The Z5 still accepts EN-EL 15B batteries, but you won’t be able to use the USB charging feature.

The Z5 is also compatible with the current MB-N10 battery grip for individuals who want the security of having two additional batteries on hand.

Nikon Z5 Pros and Cons:

  • Rechargeable via USB
  • Live-view
  • Dust and splash-proof
  • Touchscreen (the autofocus operated in this way)
  • The same electronic viewfinder as on the Z6 and Z7
  • Animal Eye-AF
  • Image stabilization in the device
  • Two memory card slots
  • The LCD screen is of lower quality than the screens of the Z6 and Z7.
  • Nikon offers relatively few lenses with Z-mount, and they are expensive.
  • Not fast with continuous shooting (4.5 photos per second is too little for more extreme sports or wildlife).
  • The FZ adapter is relatively costly, and the need for an adapter is not optimal.
  • There is no built-in flash (you must buy an external flash).
  • Not shock-resistant.
  • It’s about the same price as the Nikon Z6 at the moment.
  • The casing is not made of magnesium alloy entirely.

Nikon Z6 Pros and Cons:

  • Compact and lightweight body
  • Delicate operation and good ergonomics
  • Excellent sensor with high dynamic range
  • Weatherproof
  • Joystick for AF point selection
  • Good video in 4K
  • Excellent built-in image stabilization
  • Predominantly good autofocus in AF-S
  • Nice viewfinder
  • C-AFnot perfect
  • AF selection via touchscreen is impossible with the camera held to your eye.
  • XQD card is fast but expensive.
  • The screen does not turn.

Is Z5 best for new shooters?

The Nikon Z5 offers more flexible charging, a slightly longer battery life, and a lower price tag.

It makes it an excellent option for new shooters who wish to break into full-frame photography while saving money and focusing on shooting.

What Makes Z6 Better?

The Z6 includes a back-illuminated sensor, a higher maximum burst rate, and more sophisticated video shooting capabilities.

It indicates that it’s the one to choose if you frequently take movies, low-light and nighttime photography, wildlife, action, or sports photography.

In the long term, that relatively tiny price difference will be worthwhile.

I observe that while advertising some of the Z6’s fantastic features, like its 273-point Hybrid AF system, in-body image stabilization (IBIS), and compatibility with various lenses.


For me, the Nikon Z6 is the undisputed champion of the competition if the total number of individual benefits (bullet points above).

Before choosing a camera, you might wish to assess each feature’s relevance to your particular image needs because the pertinence of different camera strengths will vary among photographers.

As a professional photographer, I recommend this one over the Nikon Z5.

My girlfriend was satisfied with my opinion of these two cameras.

I would love to know if this will help you make the right decision.

Knowing the primary distinctions between the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z5, you should be able to choose which body will work best for you.

But if you’re still stumped, here’s my advice: start by figuring out what sort of shooter you are or what you want to do with your new camera.

Unless you are picky about your LCD and card format, the design features are less influential in your decision-making process than the specs and performance.

I would recommend Z6.

Grab your money and have this beauty with you.

Related posts:

Best Nikon Cameras for Photography:

Leave a Comment