Tuesday 25 August 2020

Nikon's Z5 Pricing Problem

Tagged Box Sony A7 II, Nikkor 28mm f3.5 H

The Z5 looks like a great little camera, and the price for the body itself is quite reasonable at $1899CAD, some $500CAD cheaper than the A7III from Sony. The kits maintain a gap, but it narrows to merely $300 ($2299 for the Z5 with 24-50 vs $2599 for the A7III with FE28-70)

However, when you look into what a kit will cost you, things start to fall apart. Nikon's lens prices in Z mount are so high that it offsets the reasonable price for the body.

Want a 50mm f1.8? Well, that will cost you some $2699 with a Z5, and $2749 with an A7III. Hmm...where did the price gap go?

The rest of the f1.8's have smaller price gaps, with one exception. Those gaps range from $300 for the 35's down to $200 for the 20's. The exception? 24mm, as Sony only offers the $1899 24mm f1.4 GM, to Nikon's $1299 24mm f1.8 S. Too bad for the Nikon that the Sony is faster, smaller, 5gm lighter and arguably better optically. Seriously Nikon, you couldn't make a 24mm f1.8 that's smaller than your competition's class-leading f1.4 version?

That brings up the other issue with Nikon's f1.8 primes. They're frikkin huge. Sony's 50/1.8, at 186g, is less than half the weight of the 450g Nikkor. It's 8mm thinner and 26mm (yes a full inch) shorter. The 35/1.8's are closer, being the same length, but again the Sony is thinner and this time a mere 90g lighter (280g vs 370g). At 85mm the Sony is fatter by 3mm, but still 17mm shorter and 99g lighter. At 20mm, the Nikkor is 12mm wider, 24mm longer and 127g heaver.

Now in the case of the 35, 50 & 85 Nikon can at least claim that their lenses are decidedly better optically. But the two 20mm's are on par and Sony's 24mm GM is the better of the two 24mm's, arguably being the best 24mm on the market (and one of the smallest & lightest for those faster than f2.8).

And remember, you can buy 6+ native telephoto zooms from Sony, Tamron or Sigma, vs you might be able to get a single one from Nikon next week (and it's large, heavy and expensive and limited to 200mm vs out to 600mm with the Sony), otherwise I hope you got the FTZ with the bundle discount, it's $329 otherwise. Plus the A7II has a vertical grip, albeit at a ridiculously high price ($469CAD) but Nikon charging $269 for a battery grip with no controls is even sillier.

So Nikon, bravo on the Z5 itself, although that 24-50 ain't worth a $400 jump in the kit price. Now work on the rest of the package, you've got a window because Sony still doesn't have a FE UWA at consumer prices or a consumer-priced telezoom (Tamron has that coming though)

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