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Nikon Z5 vs Z6 II Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon Z5

Nikon z5 camera

Nikon Z6 II

Nikon Z6 II image
Nikon Z5
Nikon Z6 II
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
July 21, 2020
October 14, 2020
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon Z6 II emerges as the winner with a score of 83/100, whereas the Nikon Z5 scores 78/100. Both cameras are mirrorless and were released in 2020, with the Z5 being announced in July and the Z6 II in October. They share similar dimensions, with the Z5 measuring 134 x 100.5 x 69.5mm and the Z6 II at 134 x 101 x 70mm. The Z6 II is slightly heavier at 705g compared to the Z5’s 675g.

The Nikon Z6 II’s higher score showcases its superior performance and features. However, the Nikon Z5 has its advantages, such as a lower launch price of $1400 compared to the Z6 II’s $1995. This makes the Z5 a more budget-friendly option for those seeking a quality camera without the higher price tag.

Considering the specifications and scores, the Nikon Z6 II is the better camera, but the Nikon Z5 offers a more affordable alternative without sacrificing too much in terms of quality and performance.

Nikon Z5 vs Z6 II Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z6 II takes the lead in optics with a score of 83/100, compared to the Nikon Z5’s score of 81/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a CMOS sensor, full frame sensor size, Nikon Z lens mount, and image stabilization. However, there are key differences that contribute to the Nikon Z6 II’s superior optics.

The Nikon Z6 II excels with its 24.5-megapixel count, slightly higher than the Z5’s 24 megapixels. This advantage allows the Z6 II to capture more detail in images. The Z6 II also has a faster shooting speed of 14 frames per second, compared to the Z5’s 4.5 frames per second. This makes the Z6 II a better choice for action photography and situations where rapid image capture is necessary. Additionally, the Z6 II features a dual Expeed 6 processor, providing faster processing and better overall performance.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z5 has a higher DXOMARK score for the sensor at 97, compared to the Z6 II’s 94. This means the Z5’s sensor performs better in terms of color depth, dynamic range, and low-light performance. However, this advantage is not enough to outweigh the benefits offered by the Z6 II.

In comparing the optics of these two cameras, the Nikon Z6 II comes out on top due to its higher megapixel count, faster shooting speed, and dual Expeed 6 processor. While the Nikon Z5 has a slightly better sensor performance, the Z6 II’s advantages make it the better choice for most photographers.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24 MP
24.5 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6016 x 4016 px
6048 x 4024 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.9 x 35.9 mm
35.9 x 23.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
4.5 fps
14 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon Z
Nikon Z
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 6
Dual Expeed 6
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Viewfinder Resolution
3,686,400 dots
3,690,000 dots

Nikon Z5 vs Z6 II Video Performance

The Nikon Z6 II outperforms the Nikon Z5 in video capabilities, scoring 91/100 compared to the Z5’s 83/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, including a maximum video resolution of 4K and maximum video dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Additionally, both the Z5 and Z6 II have built-in time-lapse functionality.

The Z6 II’s superior video performance is due to its higher maximum video frame rate of 120fps, double that of the Z5’s 60fps. This allows the Z6 II to capture smoother slow-motion footage, providing more creative options for videographers. The increased frame rate also contributes to better overall video quality and performance, justifying the higher score.

The Z5, despite its lower score, still offers solid video capabilities. Its 4K resolution and time-lapse functionality ensure that it can capture high-quality footage for various purposes. However, the lower frame rate may limit its appeal to videographers seeking advanced slow-motion capabilities.

While the Z6 II is the clear winner in terms of video performance, the Z5 remains a reliable option for those who do not require the advanced slow-motion capabilities offered by the Z6 II. Both cameras deliver 4K resolution and time-lapse features, ensuring quality video capture for a range of users. Ultimately, the choice between the two models depends on the specific video requirements and budget of the potential buyer.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
3840 x 2160 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
120 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Nikon Z5 vs Z6 II Features and Benefits

The Nikon Z6 II outperforms the Nikon Z5 with a feature score of 87/100 compared to the Z5’s 72/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a 3.2-inch screen size, touchscreen capabilities, and the absence of GPS. Additionally, both cameras are equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Nikon Z6 II surpasses the Z5 in screen resolution, boasting 2,100,000 dots compared to the Z5’s 1,040,000 dots. This higher resolution provides the Z6 II with a clearer and more detailed display, enhancing the user’s experience when composing and reviewing images. However, the Z5 has an advantage with its flip screen feature, which is absent in the Z6 II. The flip screen allows for greater flexibility when shooting from different angles and can be particularly useful for vlogging and self-portraits.

While the Nikon Z5 does have the flip screen advantage, the overall higher feature score of the Z6 II indicates that it is a superior camera in terms of performance and capabilities. The Z6 II’s improved screen resolution contributes to this higher score, offering a better visual experience for the user.

In comparison, the Nikon Z5’s lower feature score suggests that it may not perform as well as the Z6 II. However, the flip screen feature should not be overlooked, as it offers a unique advantage for specific shooting scenarios. Ultimately, the choice between the two cameras depends on the individual’s needs and priorities, with the Z6 II providing a better overall experience and the Z5 offering a specific advantage with its flip screen.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
1,040,000 dots
2,100,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon Z5 vs Z6 II Storage and Battery

The Nikon Z5 wins in storage and battery with a score of 73/100, while the Nikon Z6 II scores 71/100. Both cameras share common specs, such as two memory card slots, compatibility with UHS-II cards, the use of the EN-EL15c battery type, and USB charging capabilities.

The Z5 outperforms the Z6 II in battery life, offering 470 shots compared to the Z6 II’s 410 shots. This longer battery life makes the Z5 more suitable for extended shooting sessions without needing frequent battery replacements.

On the other hand, the Z6 II accepts both SD and CFexpress Type B/XQD cards, providing greater flexibility in storage options compared to the Z5, which only accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. This advantage, however, does not outweigh the Z5’s superior battery life.

In the realm of storage and battery, the Nikon Z5 proves to be the better choice due to its longer battery life, despite the Z6 II’s broader memory card compatibility.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
SD, CFexpress Type B / XQD (UHS-II compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
470 shots
410 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
25 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
14.4 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Alternatives to the Nikon Z5 and Z6 II

Nikon Z5 vs Z6 II Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon Z5 or the Nikon Z6 II:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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