The first touch screen LCD monitor on any Nikon digital SLR camera, the D5500 gives you increased camera control. The D5500 includes a 24.2 MP image sensor along with the EXPEED 4 imaging processor to deliver high-resolution photos and
Full 1080p HD video with distinguished sensitivity to low-light all the way to ISO 25600 as fast as 5 fps. Nikon has done away with the low-pass optical filter, delivering additional acuity in both videos and single photos. The autofocus system is 39-point and features a RGB-2,016 sensor and nine cross-style sensors for precise metering of exposures in a wide array of lighting situations. Full HD movies can be captured using multiple frame rates as fast as 60 fps, featuring full-time continuous AF. The D5500 has
selectable audio frequency ranges, both Wide and Voice. Additionally an integral intervalometer for recording as many as 9,999 sequential exposures with variable intervals.
The refreshed camera body is somewhat smaller and a little lighter than its fore bearer and features both an optical viewfinder and optical pentamirror along with a big 1,037k-dot 3.2"
vari-angle LCD touch screen monitor, which spotlights a 180° swivel layout to better accommodate shooting from both low and high angles. An array of touch screen features let you navigate menus, pinch to zoom, choose focus points and settings. An included eye sensor switches the LCD screen on and off, activates the Touch function, and begins the playback feature when your eye leaves the viewfinder.
Included Wi-Fi facilitates advanced photo sharing, and when joined with an iOS or Android mobile device, outlying viewing and shutter release control is achievable from a afar.
A wide array of Special Effects modes, Scene Modes along with Picture Control modes are available including image editing capabilities fn-camera or adjusting settings before sharing. Active D-Lighting and built-in HDR modes may also be employed to advance exposure results by conserving shadow and highlight details for an expansive range of perceptible tones.
Unlike heavier DX and FX cameras, there is no internal autofocus motor in the D5500, so it will not autofocus with older-style screw-drive autofocus (AF) lenses.
However, everything else functions perfectly with old-type AF lenses, except that you
need to manually turn the focus ring and look for a sharp viewfinder image or the electronic focus confirmation dot at the bottom of the
24.2MP DX-Format Sensor and EXPEED 4 Processor
The 24.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 processor work together to produce overall high image quality with notable detail, dynamic range, color accuracy, and low-light sensitivity to a native ISO 12800, which is further expandable to ISO 25600. Additionally, the sensor's design omits an optical low-pass filter in order to acquire the greatest amount sharpness and detail from subjects. The EXPEED 4 processor also enables a wealth of speed throughout the camera system, including support for full HD 1080p movie recording and a full-resolution continuous shooting rate of 5 fps.
Multi-CAM 4800DX Autofocus Sensor
Benefitting the high image quality is an apt AF system that employs 39 distinct AF points, including nine cross-type sensors, to quickly acquire focus in a range of lighting conditions, from -1 to +19 EV. A unique 3D-tracking mode utilizes the 2,016-pixel RGB sensor, typically reserved for exposure metering, in order to maintain sharp focus on moving subjects. To better suit specific subject matter when working in AF-A or AF-C focus modes, Dynamic-area AF mode allows you to choose from 9, 21, or 39-point arrays for enhanced subject tracking and recognition, even if the subject briefly leaves the frame. Single-point AF, 3D-tracking, and Auto-area AF modes are also available.
When working in live view, for either still or movie shooting, a contrast-based AF system is employed to acquire focus precisely and can function in continuous, full-time servo mode to better suit working with moving subjects. Additionally, four AF-area modes are available when working in live view: Face-priority AF, Wide-area AF, Normal-area AF, and Subject-tracking AF.
Touchscreen LCD Monitor
A 3.2" 1030k-dot vari-angle touchscreen LCD monitor features a 180° swivel design to better suit working from high, low, and front-facing angles.
Touchscreen functions include:
Playback: Pinch Zoom and Swipe
Live View AF Point and Shoot
Revert to Previous Layer
Touch Operation Permission
Touch for Playback Only
AF Point Selection
AF Area Mode
Viewfinder Grid Display
Supporting a wealth of sharing and tagging possibilities, the D5500 features built-in Wi-Fi enable seamless transferring of imagery. Once the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility app has been installed on an Android or iOS mobile device, you can use that device to browse the contents of the memory card, select images, and seamlessly transfer files between devices for immediate sharing online. Additionally, the mobile device can remotely trigger the shutter and display a live view image from the camera to enable working from a distance.
Even while maintaining an overall compact form-factor, the D5500 integrates a large 3.2" 1,037k-dot vari-angle touchscreen LCD monitor. Alternatively, a bright pentamirror optical viewfinder is also integrated into the design for precise eye-level viewing and real-time monitoring of subjects.
A built-in pop-up flash is also available for additional illumination when working in low-light conditions and supports Nikon's i-TTL flash metering system. A hot shoe can be used for connection and optional external flash for even greater lighting control.
Scene Recognition System and Exposure Metering
The intelligent Scene Recognition System with 3D Color Matrix Metering II utilizes a 2016-pixel RGB sensor to evaluate and analyze all aspects within a scene, including brightness, contrast, subject distance, and the scene colors, to quickly determine an accurate exposure and white balance setting to best render the scene at hand. The information gathered is also checked against onboard reference images to ensure consistency from image to image in regard to exposure, white balance, i-TTL flash settings, and subject-tracking AF performance.
Full HD Movie Recording
Full HD 1920 x 1080p movie recording is supported in 60, 30, 25, and 24 fps frame rates, as well as HD 720p and SD 480p in multiple frame rates, in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. During recording, full-time autofocus can be employed, with face-detection and subject-tracking capabilities, for ensured sharpness with a wide variety of subject types.
A built-in stereo microphone can be used to record high-quality sound, or alternatively, a microphone input is integrated into the body design to support the use of an external microphone for enhanced control over audio recordings.
Other Camera Features
Eye Sensor: Turns monitor on or off, enables Touch function, starts Playback
Live View Image Adjustments: Picture Control, white balance, exposure compensation
Permits unlimited continuous shooting with shutter speeds between 4 and 30 seconds for star trail-like imagery
White LCD info screen
Picture Control modes can be directly accessed via a dedicated button and allow you to set predefined looks to imagery in-camera, and include Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape and Flat, and can be adjusted in 0.25 steps for fine control.
RAW (NEF) files can be recorded as lossless compressed or compressed at either 12 or 14-bit depth.
Built-in HDR works to extend the tonal and exposure range of a single image by recording two separate exposures and blending them together in order to gain greater highlight and shadow details with an extended range of mid-tones.
Active D-Lighting helps to preserve both highlight and shadow details when working in contrast-rich scenarios, such as backlit lighting. Utilizing the EXPEED 4 processor's power, a more controlled image will be produced with brightness values closer to how they are naturally seen. This mode is suitable for working with moving subjects.
Scene Auto Selector is an automatic mode that intelligently identifies your subject and shooting scenario, selects a proper Scene Mode to apply, and adjusts exposure settings to best render the scene at hand.
Scene Modes: Autumn Colors, Beach / Snow, Blossom, Candlelight, Child, Close-up, Dusk / Dawn, Food, Landscape, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Party / Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Sports, and Sunset.
Special Effects Modes: Night vision, Color sketch, Toy camera, Miniature effect, Selective color, Silhouette, High key, Low key, HDR Painting, Super Vivid, POP, and Photo Illustration.
Other Nikon 35mm Digital Cameras to Consider
6000 x 4000
4496 x 3000, 2992 x 2000
Image ratio w:h
Sensor photo detectors
APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Auto, 100 - 25600
White balance presets
Custom white balance
JPEG quality levels
Fine, Normal, Basic
Optics & Focus
Contrast Detect (sensor)
Number of focus points
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
TFT LCD monitor
Minimum shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Manual exposure mode
Subject / scene modes
12.00 m (at ISO
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec)
±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Yes (3 frames in either
blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720
(60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Remote control / photo retrieval via smartphone
Yes (MC-DC2 (wired),
EN-EL14 / EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)
Weight (inc. batteries)
420 g (0.93
lb / 14.82
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.88 x 3.82 x 2.76″)
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Nikon D5500 DX DSLR Camera
Reviewed by Gene Wright on