The Nikon D5500 is a solid upgrade of the Nikon’s mid-level DSLR line and is the smallest and lightest DSLR. This modest improvement to 2015’s D5300 retains the superior image quality of its predecessor. It is also packed with appealing features such as a slimmed-down body, a larger grip, and a touch-screen LCD.
The Nikon D5500 is an upper entry-level camera best suited for photographers looking for an upgrade of a budget model without the intricacies or expenses of a high-end camera. The camera is also a good option for enthusiasts and photographers who want to step up from a point-and-shoot or entry-level DSLR camera.
Could this be the best of the DSLRs that Nikon has to offer its customers? Let’s find out from its specs and features that make it unique in this Nikon D5500 review.
Type: digital single-lens reflex camera
Resolution: 24.20 Megapixels
• Native ISO: 100 – 25,600
• Extended ISO: 100 – 25,600
Shutter Speed: 1/4000 – 30 seconds
Continuous Shooting Rate: 0.3fps
Size: 5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 inches or 129 x 98 x 78 millimeters
Weight: 14.9 oz, body only and 23.6 oz (668 g) including batteries and kit lens
Media Storage: UHS-I SDHC and SDXC memory cards
• Nikon D5500 price in Nikon Store: $599.95
• New on Amazon: $596.95
• On Sale: Used: $499.00 plus an extra $5.99 shipping fee
• Refurbished: $639.99 plus free shipping
• Kit Options: Tripod stand and lenses available on Amazon
You can check out the various amazing deals for this camera at Amazon store.
One of the most interesting features of the Nikon D5500 is that it has a touchscreen LCD on its back making it the first camera in Nikon’s DSLRs collection to have a touch screen. The LCD screen enables you to tap your way through adjustments and other activities, making it a real plus. The touchscreen comes with an eye sensor that turns off the LCD when your eye gets too close to the viewfinder.
With this new feature, you no longer have to click left/right/up/down several times to get where you want to on the screen. The touchscreen is a significant upgrade in live view mode, allowing the autofocus point to be adjusted instantly. Together with the screen comes an optical viewfinder which provides 95% coverage.
Image Quality & Performance
The D5500 shows reliable accuracy in portrait and standard color modes and produces quality images in a variety of conditions. The overall image quality is magnificent and can be made better when using a high-end lens. However, the kit lens has problems zooming in and out, so ensure you firmly hold it to capture sharp photos.
The native ISO range of 100 to 25,600 produces clean and speckle-free images. The camera comes with a built-in noise-reduction technology to produce less noise even when capturing images at the highest ISO.
The Nikon’s 39-point autofocus system makes the camera quite fast and accurate when using the viewfinder under bright conditions. The camera is also fast even under low light to capture static and slow moving objects. The AF system features nine cross-type points and 2,016-pixel metering system that is paired with Nikon’s Scene Recognition System algorithms.
The D5500 has the same 24.2 million pixels APS-C (DX format) sensor just like its predecessor, the D5300. However, this sensor has no anti-aliasing filter, making it a better option when resolving details compared to those with an optical low pass filter.
Just like its predecessors, the D5500 provides you with several special effects such as Miniature Effect, Toy Camera, and Selective Color. It also has new effects such as Photo Illustration, POP and Super Vivid to make images more vivid.
Design & Controls
There is no doubt that the design of the D5500 has changed for the better. It now uses a monocoque design which gives it a structural skin that increases durability without weighing it down. The camera is lightweight and compact than any other seen in the DSLR class. The grip is also deep, making it very easy to hold onto.
A significant upgrade to this camera is the Flat picture control that can capture both static images and movies. The Flat picture control color allows grading after capturing photos or videos as well as enable finer grained ¼-step adjustments. There are also new effect modes, a clarity control and the ability to lock the cable release for constant long exposure shooting with shutter speeds of four seconds or more.
The Nikon D5500 does not have dedicated buttons for controlling AF mode, metering or ISO sensitivity instead has only one control wheel. You can still use the Fn button which can be reprogrammed to perform white balance adjustment and ISO selection.
The camera retains the inbuilt Wi-Fi but this time lacks a built-in GPS unit. However, this isn’t a limiting factor since you can add GPS data by connecting a smartphone to the camera. Alternatively, you can use the Nikon GPS Unit GP-1A which is available as an optional feature.
• It has an inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity for easy file sharing and image sharing
• It features a high-resolution sensor with no anti-aliasing filter
• There is improved battery life that can capture up to 820 shots
• 1080 video recording
• It has an excellent user interface, making it ideal for novice photographers
• It is the first camera in the class of DSLRs to have a touchscreen LCD
• It has slow focusing in Live View mode
• The camera is expensive compared to D5300
• The built-in mic records stray sounds when shooting videos
• It does not have control buttons
• There is no built-in GPS module
• It has a weak 18-55mm lens kit
• The built-in flash does not work as a command for wireless flash
The big question is whether to stick with the older D5300 or go for the new D5500 since they are almost identical in performance, with a slight difference to the D5500. The extra $100 is worth the smaller body, excellent grip, and touchscreen. However, if you do not fancy the touchscreen and improved grip, you can choose to purchase the body version of the D5500 and spend the money you save for a better lens.
This choice of the DSLR class is best suited for both amateur photographers advancing from an entry-level or bridge camera as well as enthusiasts who want a highly capable DSLR at a cheaper.
The D5500 is a minor update of the D53000, and for the most part, Nikon has relaxed on its laurels with this incremental upgrade particularly when there is room for development. However, the D5500 produces images and performs well, making it a handy device for new photographers and enthusiasts who want to make an upgrade. Let us know your thoughts about this review as well as any experiences you have had with the Nikon D5500.