Z5 or Z50 as my first mirrorless body?

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Hermann

Active member
I'm finally ready to get my first mirrorless body. I shoot mainly wildlife using a D7500, but also some landscapes and some macro, and lately I’ve become interested in street photography, especially at night. I've still got a few manual AIS lenses from the film days such as the 2/35, the 2.8/55 Micro Nikkor and the 4/105 Micro Nikkor plus some telephoto primes I want to use with the mirrorless body as well.

At the moment I'm most interested in the Z5 and the Z50. Both are reasonably cheap, so I won’t lose a lot of cash if I don’t get on with them. The Z5 uses the same batteries as my DSLRs and has IBIS. The ISO performance is also pretty good, it has two card slots and better weatherproofing than the Z50. On the other hand the Z50 gives me more reach in case I use the camera for wildlife and it's got a faster frame rate. It’s also lighter. I know both aren't ideal for action or BIF, but I'll keep my DSLRs for the foreseeable future. Any thoughts?

Another question: What I don’t know is how much the IBIS helps with manual telephoto primes (300mm, 400mm and 600mm). I know IBIS works best with shorter focal lengths, but does it have at least some stabilising effect with longer lenses? Did someone try the Z5/Z6/Z7 with one of the old AIS primes?

Hermann
 
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abc123brian

Well-known member
Either would be good choices. Personally, I’d go Z5. In addition to what you stated, the larger batteries last longer, your old lenses will maintain their field of view, and I like the slightly larger size. It’s also convenient to have the same batteries. Not sure what the effectiveness of ibis would be on the mentioned telephotos, but I would not expect much.
 

Mr. Goodkat

Member
Have you rented or tried a Z5 or Z50 yet? I literally spent the past month obsessing over this exact decision between the Z5 and Z50 coming from a D7500. It's a tough decision and I scoured all the forums and YouTube multiple times. I would probably go Z5 but you can't go wrong with the Z50 from what I gather. My biggest issue with the Z5 I rented was the poor focus in low(er) light conditions. Everything else I was fine with including the low frame rate but I could see slow focus in low light being aggravating, if it focuses at all. I was also concerned that the small size of the Z50 might be less than ideal. I actually really like the feel of the D7500 over the Z5 and I only wear large gloves, not XL.

I ended up ordering a refurbished Z6II with the 24-70 f4. I liked the idea that it has excellent low light performance, dual processors, a BSI sensor even if the performance is marginal, it uses the same batteries, likely has a better chance of updates in the future, and the added performance will give me more room to grow with it in the future; higher frame rate, better video (than the Z5), and a vertical grip. All this said, I still am tempted to add a used Z50 body in the future or maybe a refurbished Z fc will be available when I'm ready. The smaller size would be nice for touring a city or when we go for a ride on the motorcycles. I was worried about losing the extra reach of the crop sensor but I don't shoot a lot of wildlife. Even when I'm using my 70-300 to reduce the scene and isolate certain parts of a landscape I'm almost always under 200mm on the D7500. There might be times I might miss the extra reach but on the average I don't think I'm going to miss the reach with my photography interest. Plus if I REALLY NEED the shot I can always put the Z6II in DX mode and cope with the lower megapixel files.

I hope this helps!
 

fcotterill

Well-known member
Depending on your budget, look seriously at a Used Z6, (if a reburbished Z6 II is not feasible). Reputable retailers will give 6 Months warranty. Its Lowlight performance is close to that of the D5 sensor.

More and more feedback suggests the latest has improved the Z6 Autofocus, and not only eye recognition.
 

Mr. Goodkat

Member
MPB has a few Z5 for $950 and used Z6 for around $1200.

When it comes to a refurbished Z6/24-70 or Z6II/ 24-70 from Nikon there is only a $200 difference. One could argue that the Z6II isn't much more since an SD card can be used whereas the Z6 needs the more expensive cards that quickly eats up the difference between the Z6 and Z6II. That is if one doesn't already have an XQD or CFexpress card.
 

Hermann

Active member
Thread starter
I would probably go Z5 but you can't go wrong with the Z50 from what I gather. My biggest issue with the Z5 I rented was the poor focus in low(er) light conditions. Everything else I was fine with including the low frame rate but I could see slow focus in low light being aggravating, if it focuses at all. I was also concerned that the small size of the Z50 might be less than ideal ...
Thank you. Is the focus of the Z5 really that poor compared to the Z50? That would be a killer. The small size wouldn't bother me all that much, I used a Nikon 1V1 for a while years ago and got on pretty well with its small size.

I ended up ordering a refurbished Z6II with the 24-70 f4. I liked the idea that it has excellent low light performance, dual processors, a BSI sensor even if the performance is marginal, it uses the same batteries, likely has a better chance of updates in the future, and the added performance will give me more room to grow with it in the future; higher frame rate, better video (than the Z5), and a vertical grip.
Refurbished bodies are hard to find in my neck of the woods. Sure, the Z6II would be the nicer body, but I'm not sure I could find a refurbished body over here.

Hermann
 

Hermann

Active member
Thread starter
Either would be good choices. Personally, I’d go Z5. In addition to what you stated, the larger batteries last longer, your old lenses will maintain their field of view, and I like the slightly larger size. It’s also convenient to have the same batteries. Not sure what the effectiveness of ibis would be on the mentioned telephotos, but I would not expect much.
Yes, the effectivness of IBIS is one of the great unknowns. I couldn't find any decent reports on people using manual telephotos with IBIS. Seems there aren't too many people who actually tried it.

Hermann
 

Mr. Goodkat

Member
Thank you. Is the focus of the Z5 really that poor compared to the Z50? That would be a killer. The small size wouldn't bother me all that much, I used a Nikon 1V1 for a while years ago and got on pretty well with its small size.



Refurbished bodies are hard to find in my neck of the woods. Sure, the Z6II would be the nicer body, but I'm not sure I could find a refurbished body over here.

Hermann
Do you mind if I ask where your from? Could any major sellers or Nikon ship to you?

In some ways low light is kind of subjective I guess. The detection range for the Z5 AF goes down to -2 and I think the D7500 goes down to -3. I was recently in Goblin Valley State Park after sun down and the D7500 was starting to struggle. It wasn't dark and there was still light in the sky but I was on the shaded side of a subject too. That said I believe the Z5 would have done worse. I'm sure there is a work around or two to compensate like lighting up the subject with a flashlight to focus but I had to ask myself, do I want to deal with that. I had my tripod but that obviously doesn't help for autofocus. Personally I didn't want to step down in performance whereas the Z6II is a large step up in AF detection range performance.

On a daily basis I was tempted by the price of the Z5 but I was worried that I would immediately have buyers regret. Not that the Z5 is a bad camera but would I regret it every time it started to struggle. Like you I hope to do more night street photography and it would be nice to have reliable AF.

It's tough because they all have pros and cons, there's a lot of subjective opinions found in research, and this stuff is expensive. We want to get it right the first time.
 

Hermann

Active member
Thread starter
Do you mind if I ask where your from? Could any major sellers or Nikon ship to you?
I'm in Germany. Shipping from the US doesn't make much sense.

It's tough because they all have pros and cons, there's a lot of subjective opinions found in research, and this stuff is expensive. We want to get it right the first time.
You can say that again. I'm not entirely happy with any of Z bodies right now, for a variety of reasons. I guess what I really want is a DX model with an AF as good that of the D7500 or, even better, that of the D500, ideally with somewhat higher resolution. however, nobody knows if Nikon will ever offer such a body, even though it would make a lot of sense for many people.

Hermann
 
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Mr. Goodkat

Member
I'm in Germany. Shipping from the US doesn't make much sense.



You can say that again. I'm not entirely happy with any of Z bodies right now, for a variety of reasons. I guess what I really want is a DX model with an AF as good that of the D7500 or, even better, that of the D500, ideally with somewhat higher resolution. however, nobody knows if Nikon will ever offer such a body, even though it would make a lot of sense for many people.

Hermann
I guess if I were you and you were ok with the DX format I would maybe just go with the Z50. From everything I've read and watched it's supposed to be a great camera. The files are supposed to do well with shadow recovery.

I will say after having my Z6II for two days I'm very happy with my decision. It's been focusing without issue after the sun goes down and the ISO performance is superb. I never liked going more than 1200 on my D7500 but I'm blown away with how good the files out of the Z6II look at around 6000. The images are very clean and my AF-P 70-300 FX is crystal clear on this body.

FYI it looks like MPB Camera has a location in Berlin that could be a good source for you.

 

Pistnbroke

Active member
You could buy a second hand one from MPB or camera jungle and if you don't like it or want a new one send it back . Best prices for Europe from e-infinity.com
 

dabhand16

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Another question: What I don’t know is how much the IBIS helps with manual telephoto primes (300mm, 400mm and 600mm). I know IBIS works best with shorter focal lengths, but does it have at least some stabilising effect with longer lenses? Did someone try the Z5/Z6/Z7 with one of the old AIS primes?

Hermann
On my Fuji XT-4 if my lens is stabilised I have 5 axis stabilisation. The lens and body work together. If I use a non-stabilised lens - my manual focus Samyang and Zonlai primes or my adapted 50mm f1.8 D Nikkor lenses I have 3 axis stabilsation.

I would hope that Nikon bodies with IBIS do the same, but I don't know.
 

Ado Wolf

Well-known member
I was in the same boat for a long time and ended up going for the Z 50, because it suits my needs more.

I needed a compact and light camera, to use for kids photography (10% of my photography) as well as an everyday camera. So the weight and 10 FPS of the Z50 were more suitable than the Z5.

I needed a silent camera to use for wildlife (70% of my photography).. the Z50 offered me the same reach as my D7500 and better focusing in low light. Two more advantage over the Z5.

According to Steve, IBIS is useful for landscape / wide angle lenses.. but is less effective than lens VR when it comes to telephoto lenses / wildlife.

Finally, the Z50 is cheaper than the Z5 and offers the possibility to take selfies, useful in travel photography as well as family photography.

good luck deciding.

PS: ich habe beide die Z50 und die Z6 von einer Kolleg ausprobiert, bevor ich diese Entscheidung getroffen habe.
 
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Neil Laubenthal

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I'm finally ready to get my first mirrorless body. I shoot mainly wildlife using a D7500, but also some landscapes and some macro, and lately I’ve become interested in street photography, especially at night. I've still got a few manual AIS lenses from the film days such as the 2/35, the 2.8/55 Micro Nikkor and the 4/105 Micro Nikkor plus some telephoto primes I want to use with the mirrorless body as well.

At the moment I'm most interested in the Z5 and the Z50. Both are reasonably cheap, so I won’t lose a lot of cash if I don’t get on with them. The Z5 uses the same batteries as my DSLRs and has IBIS. The ISO performance is also pretty good, it has two card slots and better weatherproofing than the Z50. On the other hand the Z50 gives me more reach in case I use the camera for wildlife and it's got a faster frame rate. It’s also lighter. I know both aren't ideal for action or BIF, but I'll keep my DSLRs for the foreseeable future. Any thoughts?

Another question: What I don’t know is how much the IBIS helps with manual telephoto primes (300mm, 400mm and 600mm). I know IBIS works best with shorter focal lengths, but does it have at least some stabilising effect with longer lenses? Did someone try the Z5/Z6/Z7 with one of the old AIS primes?

Hermann
I did the same thing…upgrading from a D7500…and after looking at all the options went with a Z7II…I didn’t want to lose the extra reach that the DX body gave my 500PF and the Z50, which I got for my wife who wanted small and light doesnt have as many of the higher end features, but it’s a great travel rig and perfect for her desires. Realistically…the crop size sensor would have been enough for me but in the absence of a higher end DX mirrorless model that pushed me to the Z7II…which is actually almost the same size and weight as the D7500.
 

Hermann

Active member
Thread starter
I was in the same boat for a long time and ended up going for the Z 50, because it suits my needs more.

I needed a compact and light camera, to use for kids photography (10% of my photography) as well as an everyday camera. So the weight and 10 FPS of the Z50 were more suitable than the Z5.

I needed a silent camera to use for wildlife (70% of my photography).. the Z50 offered me the same reach as my D7500 and better focusing in low light. Two more advantage over the Z5.

According to Steve, IBIS is useful for landscape / wide angle lenses.. but is less effective than lens VR when it comes to telephoto lenses / wildlife.

Finally, the Z50 is cheaper than the Z5 and offers the possibility to take selfies, useful in travel photography as well as family photography.
Thank you. This makes a lot of sense. The weight, 10 FPS and the reach in particular are pretty convincing arguments.

Ich habe beide die Z50 und die Z6 von einer Kolleg ausprobiert, bevor ich diese Entscheidung getroffen habe.
Ich habe die Z50 noch nicht ausprobieren können, nur eine Z6 mit der ersten Firmware. Nette Kamera, aber der AF ...

Hermann
 

Ado Wolf

Well-known member
Ich habe die Z50 noch nicht ausprobieren können, nur eine Z6 mit der ersten Firmware. Nette Kamera, aber der AF ...
Hermann
Nikon just released the new Software Update for both the Z50 and Z6 which improve the AF. It's not a major improvement, but quite a noticeable one.
You cannot go wrong with either cameras. One thing I forgot to say: using the Z50 is a joy (fun factor) ;)
 
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