Author Topic: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?  (Read 554 times)

BruceSD

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Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« on: December 11, 2022, 23:56:56 »
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 I already own and love a Nikon Z6 digital camera.   I am saving up for a second one to be a backup.

Just a couple days ago I read about the Nikon Z5, another full frame mirrorless camera from Nikon.  I understand that it has less features and costs less than the Z6. 

Features don't mean much to me, only image quality.   I'm now considering buying a Z5 as a back up for my Z6 (as long as the Z5 has similar image quality).

Do any of you own both a Z5 and a Z6?   How would you compare their image quality?   Do you think a Z5 would be a good back up camera to a Z6?

Thanks

Ian Watson

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Re: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2022, 02:03:12 »
I only own a Z6.

From what I have read, the Z5 should have similar image quality for practical purposes. However, there are other considerations. The main one is poorer autofocus performance in low light. This might frustrate efforts to obtain an otherwise equal photograph. You would also need different cards and a reader for them.

New is always nice but how about a good used Z6 to give you an identical camera for backup at a lower price?

BruceSD

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Re: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2022, 02:11:27 »
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Ian, thanks for the advice.   I only shoot fast, premium, manual focus prime lenses so I don't care about auto focus capabilities.

I never buy anything new, so I'm looking at used vs used.

The Z5 takes SD cards, which I actually prefer.   

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2022, 09:44:03 »
Do any of you own both a Z5 and a Z6?   How would you compare their image quality?   Do you think a Z5 would be a good back up camera to a Z6?

I don't exactly fit your question in that I have a Z6 II but no Z5 or Z6. The Z6 II and Z6 have a backside-illuminated sensor whereas the Z5 has a frontside illuminated sensor. There are some differences reported in the photographic dynamic range across ISO settings; the Z5 and Z6 II have a slightly greater dynamic range at base ISO (100) than the Z6 but the Z6 and Z6 II have a higher dynamic range at ISO 800 and higher than the Z5 (according to www.photonstophotos.net). Thus the Z6 and Z6 II are probably better low-light cameras whereas for landscape on a tripod either the Z5 or the Z6 II would probably be slightly better. The Z7 II and Z7 would probably be the best Z mount choices for landscape though. I understand that budget can limit the choices and so I would make the choice based on whether you shoot a lot at high ISO, in which case the Z6 would be the better choice of the Z5 and Z6, and if not, then either would work with the Z5 perhaps being slightly better. However, I would also listen to user reports on other aspects of the camera.

For me the Z6 II's value is in its quiet operation (compared to DSLR), excellent high ISO image quality and access to Z lenses. I photograph people often and find the Z6 II's wide-area AF mode with eye/face-detection my go-to mode for autofocus. This mode isn't available on the Z6, unfortunately. Full auto area modes (which also support eye detection) tend to lose the subject more often and I find them more difficult to use. For non-people subjects I would think the differences between the cameras to be fairly small.

Personally I prefer CFexpress type B / XQD cards as I find them more rugged and reliable than SD cards. But I can understand the cost benefits to SD.

Hugh_3170

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Re: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2022, 12:29:49 »
If your backup camera were to also be a Z6, then under high pressure shooting situations there can be absolutely no user interface confusion that can arise which can happen when swapping between even slightly different bodies, e.g. when the two bodies have different lenses mounted.  Identical bodies reduces the numbers of variables involved when under pressure.
 
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 I already own and love a Nikon Z6 digital camera.   I am saving up for a second one to be a backup.

Just a couple days ago I read about the Nikon Z5, another full frame mirrorless camera from Nikon.  I understand that it has less features and costs less than the Z6. 

Features don't mean much to me, only image quality.   I'm now considering buying a Z5 as a back up for my Z6 (as long as the Z5 has similar image quality).

Do any of you own both a Z5 and a Z6?   How would you compare their image quality?   Do you think a Z5 would be a good back up camera to a Z6?

Thanks
Hugh Gunn

BruceSD

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Re: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2022, 18:12:28 »
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Thank you for the great advice Hugh and Ilkka!

Based on everyone's input, I'm now thinking of getting either a Z6 or Z6II. 

As far as XQD cards being more rugged goes...    I have limited experience with XQD cards, and have had no problems with them.  However, I have years of experience with SD cards.   They are plenty fast for my uses.  Also, I've accidentally run SD cards through the washing machine many times, and they always come out good as new.   Also, I've never had an SD card failure in the field.

aerobat

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Re: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2022, 21:16:07 »
I've had a Z5 for about a week until I sold it for a Z6ii. I was dissapointed by the AF in anything than bright daylight. The Z6ii is very good in this regard.
Daniel Diggelmann

BruceSD

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Re: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2022, 22:09:52 »
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Thank you aerobat!

Gerhard2006

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Re: Z5 vs Z6 - What's The Difference In IQ?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2022, 20:43:38 »
I have the Z5 and it works great for manual focus lenses. I set the top functioning button at 200% magnification which allows me to check focus and the bottom functioning button for changing which lens I’m using on it. As long as you select the lens you’re using which in my case includes old Takumar and Helios lenses, the IBS works great and gives you stabilized images. I love this camera I only have one problem with it and that’s auto focussing in low light which was mentioned by other contributors, but other than that it’s a great camera and I know you won’t see any difference between the sensors if compared. If it is a problem, you could always go to Camera Store and take shot for shot comparisons. Regards, Gerry.