The Nikon Z5 is one of the best value full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market today. Yet, as a result of its smaller price tag, the Z5 is not quite perfect.
For instance, the Z5 suffers from an older sensor, a slow burst rate, and a heavy crop in 4K Video. But Nikon can fix all of this with the Nikon Z5ii. Here are 5 things I hope to see in the sequel to the Nikon Z5. Jump to Conclusion
1. New Sensor
The Nikon Z5’s image sensor is similar to the 24-megapixel front-side illuminated found in 2014’s Nikon D750. However, this is no disaster since the Nikon D750 produces gorgeous images. Read Nikon D750 Review.
Nevertheless, times move on, and cameras such as the Nikon Z6 feature more efficient backside-illuminated sensors, which deliver cleaner images and superior dynamic range at higher ISOs. But these days, there’s more to sensors than mere image quality.
For example, the sensor in the Nikon Z6 and Z6ii has a faster read-out time. As a result, it’s less prone to rolling shutter and can record 4K using the whole sensor for zero-crop 4K video.
2. Fully articulated screen
The tilt screen on the Nikon Z5 is fine for ground-level and overhead shooting so long as you’re holding your camera in landscape orientation. However, a fully articulated screen on the Nikon Z5ii will make it a superior option for self-portraits, vlogging, and shooting at awkward angles with the camera held in portrait orientation.
Sony, Canon, and Fuji have already transitioned to fully articulated screens, and Nikon followed suit with the Zfc. Therefore, I expect the Nikon Z5ii to be similarly specified. Read Nikon Zfc Vs Nikon Z5.
3. Faster Continuous shooting
Hopefully, the Nikon Z5ii’s continuous shooting mode will exceed the Z5’s miserable 4.5 frames per second. Even Nikon’s cheapest DSLR, the Nikon D3500, can shoot at 5 frames per second. Read Nikon Z30 vs D3500
For this day and age, 6.5fps should be considered the bare minimum on a camera costing more than US$1000.
4. 3D Tracking
When Nikon, the inventor of the D5’s class-leading 3D-tracking, was coming up with an autofocus system for its Z-mount – it didn’t have to look far. But it did anyway.
Suffice to say; I was surprised when Nikon gave their new Z6 and Z6 cameras the same tracking system as my old Coolpix P330. Even now, I have no idea what they were thinking.
However, after a series of firmware updates, things have improved immensely. And with the Nikon Z9, Nikon finally restored 3D Tracking.
Given how good the autofocus is on Sony’s entry-level APS-C camera, the Sony A6100; it’s reasonable to assume the Nikon Z5ii should be at least as good.
5. Buffered Shooting
Nikon recently updated its Nikon Z9 with Pre-Release Capture – a shot buffering feature. It works by maintaining one second’s worth of photos, so when you finally press the shutter release button, you have that photo plus the previous seconds worth of photos to fall back on
As a result, Pre Release Capture increases your chances of capturing those fleeting moments such as a perfect smile or a bird taking flight.
Surprisingly, Olympus and Panasonic have exploited this feature for years – as has Apple with its iPhones. Therefore, I hope we can see Pre-Release Capture in the Nikon Z5ii
6. Zero Crop 4K
The Nikon Z5 can capture 4K video using a small portion of its sensor. As a result, the video is cropped to x1.7 and appears zoomed-in compared to its 1080p footage. And the only way to compensate is to use much wider focal lengths – which might mean you buying a new lens.
Assuming the Nikon Z5ii features the same sensor as the original Z6 – full-sensor width 4K30p becomes possible. And that means no crop.
7. Computational Photography
For years, Panasonic and Olympus have been including some pretty cool stuff in their cameras. For instance, Panasonic cameras let you adjust focus after your shot, take multiple images, and stitch them together to create a single super-high-resolution photo.
In comparison, Nikon has been slow to adopt similar technologies. However, with the arrival of Pre-Capture Release on the Nikon Z9, it appears Nikon is beginning to recognize and exploit the advantages of the mirrorless platform.
So will we see an in-camera high-res mode or a live-ND style feature on the Nikon Z5ii? Let’s hope so.
The Nikon Z5 was a great camera that took advantage of an old but excellent sensor to deliver a well-priced full-frame camera.
However, that choice resulted in slightly poorer image quality and a heavy 1.7 crop when recording 4K video. In this 8K era, good quality zero-crop 4K video is the least we should expect for a US$1200 camera.
As for the monitor, fully articulating screens are the way to go. Just ask Canon, Fuji, Panasonic, and Olympus. Since Nikon has already taken the plunge with the Nikon Zfc – I expect this is a given.
And I dare say the Nikon Z5ii will follow the Z9’s lead and features 3D Tracking. After all, 3D-tracking is included on much cheaper DSLRs such as the Nikon D5600 and D610.
As for computational photography, I’d have bet my house against it, given Nikon’s somewhat reliable but traditional approach to making cameras. However, the release of Pre-Capture Release suggests that Nikon has turned a corner and is beginning to embrace the sort of digital trickery the mirrorless platform allows.
What would you like to see on the Nikon Z5ii? Add your comments below.