Estimated Street Price: $899 (body only); $999 (with 18-55mm kit zoom).
The fifth generation of Nikon’s mid-line entry-level DSLR, the D5500 retains a lot of good stuff from its D5300 predecessor and adds some useful new features. There’s still the 24.2-megapixel DX (APS-C) CMOS sensor with no anti-aliasing filter for maximum sharpness, 12- and 14-bit compressed NEF (RAW) capability and EXPEED 4 processing, but the normal ISO range is now 100-25,600 for both stills and video (25,600 was an expanded setting with the D5300, but not available for video). Maximum frame rate remains a respectable 5 fps, but you now can shoot more frames per burst. The 39-point AF system (with nine cross-type sensors in the center) remains the same. The D5500 adds Super Vivid, POP and Photo Illustration to the D5300’s Effects modes.
Like the D5300, the new D5500 offers built-in WiFi for quick and easy sharing of images wirelessly via smartphone or tablet, and even remote operation of the camera via your smart device. The new camera lacks its predecessor’s built-in GPS, but now provides 820 shots per charge on the same EN-EL14a battery (per CIPA standard), a 37% increase, perhaps, in part, because of that.
Video capabilities include 1080 full HD at 60p (also 30p and 24p), as well as 720p HD at 60 fps, with full-time contrast-based AF or manual focusing. You can record stereo sound via the built-in microphone or an optional external mic. The D5500 also offers interval timer exposure smoothing, and can shoot interval timer sequences of up to 9,999 frames.
Even more compact than its predecessor at 4.9×3.8×2.8 inches and 14.8 ounces, the D5500 likewise doesn’t incorporate an AF motor, so can autofocus only with Nikkor lenses that have one (AF-S and AF-I). There’s a full range of those, though, from a 10-24mm superwide zoom to an 800mm supertelephoto.
STANDOUT FEATURE: A lighter body with a touch-screen vari-angle LCD monitor makes it easier than ever to shoot high-quality stills and video anywhere.
1. A new monocoque design provides an even smaller body that’s some 2 ounces lighter than the D5300.
2. The 3.2-inch vari-angle LCD monitor now also offers touch-screen features, which makes odd-angle shooting even easier—just touch the subject on the LCD to focus and shoot.
3. The D5500 is also available in red.