Along with the exciting Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, Nikon also announced a boring entry-level camera. After skipping the D5400 for no reason (Nikon marketing at its best), the D5500 was revealed at the CES with very similar specs as the D5300, except it gains a touchscreen and drops the GPS module. Same resolution, same processor, same fps, WiFi, same menu and features for the most part, except for slightly different design that resulted in a smaller and lighter camera. It seems like Nikon has no clue what else to add to the D5x00 line to make it more interesting and this release is one of those “announce to announce” series, yet another camera to add to the camera pollution just to keep the line fresh. Instead of doing something innovative (mirrorless design, EVF, focus peaking, electronic shutter, etc), Nikon adds a pointless touchscreen feature and gets rid of the far more important GPS component. With all this, Nikon increases the price of the D5500 by $100, pushing it towards $900 MSRP.
Don’t get me wrong, the D5500 seem like a nice DSLR, but Nikon is only making it worse for its own sales by introducing a camera that most people won’t be able to differentiate from its predecessor. Since the D5300 will stay on the shelves for a while, I can imagine the camera salesman praising the D5300 for its GPS and low price, while telling the customer that the latest and greatest D5500 has no GPS, but gains a touchscreen. Because sadly, that’s the most important difference between the two. And trying to demonstrate a touchscreen on a DSLR that is not meant to be used from a distance like a point and shoot or mirrorless camera, I can see where those sales will be going. Yes, I am being harsh, but the D5500 for me seems like a completely pointless, useless update – something I never thought I would say about the D5x00 series cameras. The good news is, the D5500 will surely push the price of the D5300 further down, making it an even better buy (and the D5300 is an excellent DSLR).
Here are the main specifications of the D5500:
- Sensor: 24.2 MP DX, no AA / OLPF filter
- Sensor Size: 23.5 x 15.6mm
- Resolution: 6000 x 4000
- Native ISO Sensitivity: 100-25,600
- Processor: EXPEED 4
- Metering System: 3D Color Matrix Meter II with face recognition
- Dust Reduction: Yes
- Weather Sealing/Protection: No
- Body Build: Plastic / Monocoque Structure
- Shutter: Up to 1/4000 and 30 sec exposure
- Storage: 1x SD slots
- Viewfinder Type: Pentamirror
- Viewfinder Coverage: 95%
- Viewfinder Magnification: 0.82x
- Speed: 5 FPS
- Exposure Meter: 2016 pixel RGB sensor
- Built-in Flash: Yes, CLS compatibility
- Autofocus System: MultiCAM 4800DX AF with 39 focus points and 9 cross-type sensors
- LCD Screen: 3.2 inch vari-angle Touch LCD screen with 1,037,000 dots
- Movie Modes: Full 1080p HD @ 60p fps max
- Movie Exposure Control: Full
- Movie Recording Limit: 30 minutes @ 30p, 20 minutes @ 24p
- Movie Output: MOV
- In-Camera HDR Capability: Yes
- Wi-Fi: Yes, built-in
- GPS: No
- Battery Type: EN-EL14a
- USB Standard: 2.0
- Weight: 420g (body only)
- Price: $899 MSRP (body only), $999 with 18-55mm kit lens and $1,399 with 18-140mm VR kit lens
Here is the official press release for the camera, along with the 300mm f/4E VR and the updated 55-200mm DX lenses:
MELVILLE, NY (January 5, 2015) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced its latest DX-format DSLR, the Nikon D5500, a lightweight yet powerful camera that offers a robust feature set, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to capture incredible photos and HD video with ease. An ideal entry-level DSLR for the creative photographer ready to take their storytelling to a new level, the D5500 sports an impressive arsenal of imaging technology, including a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter (OLPF) and a new 3.2-inch Vari-angle touch operation LCD display. All of this and more is packed into a new monocoque design that makes the camera one of Nikon’s lightest and most convenient-to-carry DSLR offerings. Nikon has also expanded its already impressive line of NIKKOR lenses with two new additions, the versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom lens for DX-format shooters and the FX-format AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, a lens with advanced Phase Fresnel optics for lightweight super-telephoto performance.
“Whether capturing an unforgettable sunset or the game winning goal, the Nikon D5500 was designed to foster creativity and provide the tools any budding photographer needs to easily capture and share amazing images and HD video,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Additionally, the new DX-format 55-200mm and FX-format 300mm f/4 lenses reaffirm Nikon’s steadfast commitment to expanding the NIKKOR lens lineup with versatile additions for both DX and FX-format DSLR shooters.”
Tell a Story with Breathtaking Quality
The Nikon D5500 makes no sacrifices when it comes to image quality, featuring a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of rendering amazingly sharp and tonally-rich images and HD video. The removal of the sensor’s OLPF allows for an impressive level of detail and sharpness from an affordable DSLR, while the addition of the EXPEED 4 image processing engine works to improve overall speed and performance in a variety of shooting situations. When shooting in low-light, D5500 users can also take advantage of an expanded wide-ranging ISO spanning 100-25,600, which makes it easy to capture great images, even when available light is scarce. Alongside Nikon’s impressive arsenal of NIKKOR lenses, the Nikon D5500 is a powerful imaging tool capable of incredible image quality, whether shooting flattering portraits or stunning HD video.
Compact, Portable and Ready to Share
When the perfect moment is ready to be captured, having a camera that is ready to go anywhere is essential. One of Nikon’s smallest-ever DSLR offerings, the Nikon D5500 is compact (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in.) and surprisingly lightweight (14.8 oz.), making it the ideal DSLR for users constantly on-the-go. Ergonomically designed, the camera also features a new monocoque structural skin that increases durability without weighing it down, while allowing the user to securely and comfortably hand-hold.
Nikon Snapbridge describes the experience of quickly and easily sending photos wirelessly from your Wi-Fi®1 enabled Nikon DSLR, Nikon 1 or COOLPIX camera to a compatible smartphone or tablet for times when a great moment is captured and ready to be shared. The D5500 sports built-in Wi-Fi that allows the user to easily share high-quality images with friends. Simply shoot, tag and share great moments with the quality they deserve. Additionally, users can utilize their smart devices to shoot remotely – ensuring that even the photographer doesn’t have to miss out on the next group photo.
Capture and Create with a Touch of Class
The Nikon D5500 also offers the ultimate in DSLR control with an incredibly sharp 3.2-inch Vari-angle LCD monitor, and is Nikon’s first ever DSLR with touch operation, which will help photographers discover new shooting perspectives for both stills and HD video. Intuitively designed for easy menu navigation and intelligent operation, the D5500 allows the user to choose their focus point via Touch AF, pinch in to check focus and even activate the shutter with the touch of a fingertip. Additionally, a new Fn (Function) touch feature gives one-touch access to important settings like AF point selection, aperture, ISO sensitivity, AF area mode and more. The adjustable Vari-angle screen also allows the photographer to capture images and video from exciting new perspectives, easily shooting above the crowd at the dance recital, getting on a toddler’s level to capture their first steps or simply taking a creative selfie. The Nikon D5500 helps the budding photographer easily compose, shoot and review each image or video in high-resolution (1,037k dot), helping preserve the moments that matter most.
Never Miss the Perfect Moment
A versatile yet powerful DSLR, the D5500 is equipped with the latest imaging technology to help tell every story with precision. The camera features a powerful and precise 39-point autofocus (AF) system with 9 cross-type sensors that quickly locks on to even the fastest moving subjects to render beautifully focused images. Whether photographing fast-moving subjects in the championship game or the kids in the backyard, users can select from a variety of advanced focus modes, including 3D Tracking to track a moving subject. Paired with the camera’s 2,016-pixel RGB sensor and Nikon’s Scene Recognition System, the D5500 decisively recognizes and follows each subject in nearly any lighting condition, while continuous shooting up to approximately 5 frames-per-second (fps) makes it possible to capture every fleeting moment.
When the moment is better conveyed through motion, users can also tell their stories with smooth Full HD 1080/60p video with Full-Time AF and stereo sound for a cinema-like experience. The Nikon D5500 also offers a wealth of creative options, including 16 unique Scene Modes that choose the right settings for a variety of common shooting scenarios. Super Vivid, POP and Photo illustration have been added as Effects Modes, and Picture Controls have been enhanced by adding a “Flat” option. These settings now have a 0.25-step adjustment and an expanded “brightness” range to ±1.5 available for photographers who want to completely customize the look and feel of their images and video.
An Affordable Companion Telephoto Lens for DX-Format Shooters
In addition to Nikon’s standard retractable design AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II kit lens, Nikon has now added the ideal companion 3.6x zoom lens to help take DX-format photographers from wide-angle to telephoto with ease. Compact and lightweight, the new retractable design AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II is great for capturing sports, people or school events, and presents an affordable way to get closer to the action. The lens also features three stops of VR image stabilization2 and core NIKKOR technologies including a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) that helps ensure quiet and precise AF operation.
Smaller, Lighter, Faster Telephoto
Nikon has also introduced the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, the world’s lightest 300mm full-frame fixed focal length AF lens2, which is nearly 30% shorter and 1.5 lbs. lighter than its predecessor. Extremely easy to handle and built to suit the needs of serious photographers in the field, the new 300mm f/4 lens utilizes Phase Fresnel optical technology to help correct chromatic aberration and reduce the overall size and weight of the lens, making it easy to pack for any assignment. Capable of producing tack-sharp images and beautiful background blur at a distance, Nikon’s newest FX-format lens also features four and a half stops of VR image stabilization3, a VR Sport mode, VR tripod detection as well as several of the latest NIKKOR optical technologies including electromagnetic aperture control, a Silent Wave Motor for quiet AF operation, ED glass for further controlling chromatic aberrations and Nano Crystal Coat for superior image quality.
Price and Availability
The Nikon D5500 will be available in early February, in black and red, in two different kit configurations: alongside the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $999.95 or with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $1,199.95 SRP. The Nikon D5500 will also be sold body only for an SRP of $899.95. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR II and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lenses will also be available in early February for an SRP of $349.95 and $1,999.95, respectively.