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Nikon D5500 DSLR Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the brand new Nikon D5500, an update to the D5300, the D5500 is the smallest DSLR from Nikon yet!

|  Nikon D5500 in Digital SLRs
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Nikon D5500 With 55 200mm Lens (2)

Following the theme of making Digital SLRs (and lenses) smaller, the new D5500 is slimmer and lighter than the D5300, and features a new 3.2inch vari-angle touch screen, as well as an eye-detection sensor so that the camera can automatically switch the rear LCD screen on and off when the camera is held up to your eye. 

Nikon D5500 Features

The big (or little) selling point of the Nikon D5500, is just how small and compact it is for a Digital SLR, being smaller than the D5300, which will remain on the market, as well as being smaller than the D3300. The D5500 is introduced with a new collapsible 55-200mm telephoto zoom lens that will compliment the small size of the camera, particularly if matched with the compact and collapsible 18-55mm VR II lens, as shown below:

Nikon D5500 With 55 200mm Lens (1)

Nikon D5500, weight and size comparison with the D5300, and D3300:

  D5300 D5500 D3300
Weight (body only, without battery and memory) 480g 420g 410g
Width 125mm 124mm 124mm
Height 98mm 97mm 98mm
Depth 76mm 70mm 75.5mm


The D5500 has a thinner depth, as well as a thinner body, with a redesigned handgrip which is deeper than the previous camera, as well as giving a better distance between the lens and the grip. This is a big improvement, as we found the gap a little tight if you have large hands on the D5300. 

Nikon D5500 Body Black (8)

The Nikon D5500 uses the same sensor as the Nikon D5300, as well as the same EXCEED 4 image processor, however Nikon say that they have been able to improve image quality, and noise performance in the D5500, and the camera now goes up to ISO25600, without this being called an "Extended" or "Hi" ISO mode.

Key Features

  • 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor with no OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter)
  • 3.2inch vari-angle touch-screen,
  • ISO100 to ISO25600
  • 5fps continuous shooting
  • 39 point AF system, 9 cross-type
  • FullHD video, 60/50p
  • 95% optical viewfinder (0.82x magnification)
  • Built-in stereo microphones, microphone socket
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

Nikon D5500 Body Black (6)

Another improvement has been made in contrast-detection autofocus which is said to be 20% faster than the D5300 when shooting in live-view. Although, it's still slow in comparison to using a compact camera or mirrorless camera in live view. The camera no longer features GPS, which was included in the D5300. 
The redesign of the top of the camera means the Info button as been moved to the back of the camera, and the button has been moved to be closer to the 4-way controller. The rear command dial has also been moved, to the top of the camera. 

Nikon D5500 Body Black (11)

The touch-screen works very well, with the button giving quick access to the most common options, and controlling the settings with the touch-screen is intuitive and straight-forward. This makes it easy to change settings, and built-in help will be useful for those not used to the camera. The menus are the same as on previous Nikon DSLRs, however this too can be operated using the touch-screen, and it's quick and easy to scroll through and set options.

Nikon D5500 Body Black (14)

The D5300 uses the same battery as the D5300, and when viewed next to the bottom of the camera, it's possible to see how thin the camera is. Additional hands-on photos of the Nikon D5500 and new lenses can be found below:

Nikon D5500 Hands-On Photos of Equipment

 

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Photographs taken using the Nikon D5500

WaterfallTower BridgeEagleWildlifeSilver jubilee bridgeWalk in the parkSouthend FireworksBaby chimpanzeeReflections on a rainy dayCute baby orangutanEvil EyeBillLionessNature reserveAndromeda Galaxy

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Comments


LenShepherd 14 4.5k United Kingdom
8 Jan 2015 7:09AM
This is the best pre-release report I have seen, concentrating on all the important detail.
At around 1,000 launch with the new compact 55-200 and the compact 18-55 it compares well with the body only price of some 4:3 Nikon competitors, likely to become ex competitors unless they reduce their prices.
At perhaps 800 for the 3 item package by summer it could seriously upset the 4:3 market.
The image with the new 300 f 4 emphasises the small size at one-third shorter than the current one. The Nikon lens specification indicates the weight reduced by half.
StrayCat 18 19.1k 3 Canada
9 Jan 2015 5:19AM
It's amazing how small and light these cameras are getting; I just divested myself of all my micro 4/3 kit and moved to Nikon. I needed a change. I bought a new D5200, but was disappointed when I went lens shopping, no focusing motor in the body. Why doesn't Nikon put a small motor in these cameras, by not doing so I realise it saves a tiny bit of size and weight, but it is so limiting on the available lenses. I'm sure it's the reason Nikon non-AF-S lenses can be picked up for a song. I sold the D5200 without opening the package, and purchased a Nikon D7000, which I haven't received as yet. I am not limited in any way with this camera lens wise, it is compatible with everything. For my own purposes I would prefer any Nikon body which has a focusing motor over any of their AF-S only bodies.

The one feature that Nikon needed to add, which they've done with the D5500, is the touch screen. Whether we love it or hate it, most competitors have it, so it's a must. A huge advantage over what I was using, the E-M5's touchscreen, which I disabled as soon as I realised I was changing settings and taking photos of my feet as I walked with it hanging from my neck, is that the LCD screen can be folded in with the screen protected.

I couldn't resist purchasing a brand new Nikon 18-55mm VR II for $95.00 US Dollars and free shipping with a 1 year international warranty from Singapore. It arrived today, and it is just about as compact as the Olympus 14-42mm, if I remember correctly, and not much heavier.

It's a plastic world in which we live, but it seems to be working.Grin
Kako 15 173
11 Jan 2015 11:25AM
Nikon have always produced nice looking cameras and well specified..and this is no exception but I feel their 5000 series has been over-priced for a few years now..this just continues the trend. As for build quality... they are too lightweight..feel too much like plastic toy cameras. Give me the solid reassurance of a WR Pentax DSLR any day. Saves money too.

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