The Canon EOS R5 and the Nikon Z9 are well-matched high-end competitors with similar sensor resolutions and autofocus capabilties. It’s a classic Canon vs Nikon battle, but which one is right for you?
Canon EOS R5 vs Nikon Z9 Specification Comparison
|Camera Feature||Canon EOS R5||Nikon Z9|
|Announced||July 2020||October 2021|
|Sensor Type||CMOS||Stacked CMOS|
|Image Processor||DIGIC X||EXPEED 7|
|Resolution||45.0 MP||45.4 MP|
|Sensor Dimensions||36.0 x 24.0 mm (Full Frame)||35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)|
|Sensor Pixel Size||4.39µ||4.35µ|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||No|
|IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)||Yes||Yes|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 64|
|Max Native ISO||ISO 51,200||ISO 25,600|
|Extended ISOs||ISO 50-102,400||ISO 32-102,400|
|High-Resolution Sensor Shift||Yes (JPEG only)||No|
|Focus Stack Bracketing||Yes||Yes|
|Pre-Shoot Burst Mode||No||Yes (JPEG only)|
|Fastest Shutter Speed||1/8000||1/32000|
|Longest Shutter Speed||30 seconds||900 seconds|
|Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)||12 FPS||No mechanical shutter|
|Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)||20 FPS||20 FPS|
|Notes for High FPS Shooting||None||20 FPS figure is for .NEF files (full-res JPEG at 30 FPS; DX JPEG at 60 FPS; 11 megapixel JPEG at 120 FPS)|
|Buffer Size (Raw)||180 (12 FPS), 83 (20 FPS)||Over 1000|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF|
|Low-Light AF Sensitivity (f/2 Lens, ISO 100)||-4.5 EV||-7 EV|
|Standard Flash Sync Speed||1/250||1/200|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)||12 bits||12 bits|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)||12 bits||12 bits|
|8K Maximum Framerate||30 FPS||60 FPS|
|4K Maximum Framerate||120 FPS||120 FPS|
|1080P Maximum Framerate||120 FPS||120 FPS|
|Additional Video Crop Factor||No||No|
|Video Recording Limit||30 min||125 min|
Physical and Other Features
|Slot 1 Type||CFExpress Type B||CFExpress Type B|
|Slot 2 Type||SD (UHS-II)||CFExpress Type B|
|Rear LCD Size (Diagonal)||3.2 in||3.2 in|
|Rear LCD Resolution||2.1 million dots||2.1 million dots|
|Articulating LCD||Fully Articulating||Dual Axis|
|Viewfinder Resolution||5.76 million dots||3.69 million dots|
|USB Type||Type C 3.1||Type C 3.2 Gen 2|
|Battery Life (Viewfinder)||220 frames||700 frames|
|Battery Life (Rear LCD)||320 frames||740 frames|
|Battery Life (Eco Mode)||490 frames||770 frames|
|Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)||738 g (1.63 lbs.)||1340 g (2.95 lbs.)|
|Dimensions (LxHxD)||138 x 98 x 88 mm (5.4 x 3.8 x 3.5″)||149 x 150 x 106 mm (5.9 x 5.9 x 4.2″)1|
|MSRP, Body Only||$3900 (Check Current Price)||$5500 (Check Current Price)|
|Used Prices||Canon EOS R5 Used Prices||Nikon Z9 Used Prices|
|1The Nikon Z9’s official dimensions do not include the depth of the protruding viewfinder. To match the typical standards today, 15mm were added to the Z9’s depth measurement in this table.|
These two cameras are so close, that if you’re looking for some hint or feature of one that will get you better photographs, you won’t find it. Not only that, but if you’re in one ecosystem or the other, it really doesn’t make sense to switch, so Canon shooters should stick with the R5 and Nikon shooters should stick with the Z9.
That being said, there are still a few interesting differences between the two. The Nikon is much larger, which has both advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that the Nikon doesn’t overheat as much shooting 8K video, and it also has a longer recording limit of 125 minutes over the 30 minutes of the Canon. The battery life is larger, and a faster processor allows the buffer size to be much bigger as well.
On the other hand, the Canon R5 is significantly cheaper, which makes it a great deal for Canon shooters relative to its price. It has broadly similar features to the Nikon Z9, including 8K video, 20 FPS shooting, and a 45 megapixel sensor, yet manages it all in a smaller, less expensive package.
First-time buyers choosing between these cameras should thus focus more on the lens ecosystem of each brand instead the capability of these cameras.
Summary and Recommendations
What does the Canon EOS R5 offer over the Nikon Z9?
- Higher resolution electronic viewfinder, with about 1.6x more dots, making shooting more enjoyable
- Substantially lighter weight and smaller size (602 g, or about 1.8 times lighter)
- Much lower price, costing $1600 less
What does the Nikon Z9 offer over the Canon EOS R5?
- Fully-gripped body that does not overheat when shooting 8K video
- Better battery life, with hundreds more shots per charge according to CIPA measurements
- Lower base ISO for better dynamic range
- Larger buffer capacity for high-FPS shooting
Want to discuss these two cameras with other photographers? If so, head on over to our forum to start a conversation!