Nikon is a Japanese multinational company specializing in making optics and imaging products. probably, this company is best known for the high-end cameras it makes for photography enthusiasts living in different parts of the world.
These cameras come in a variety of flavors and sizes. Many of it is designed for professional photographers, so it comes loaded with features and includes the latest cutting-edge technologies. Some of it though is designed for entry-level camera amateurs who want to try out their skills at photography. Obviously, these cameras are much less expensive than the professional ones and at the same time, offer good features that justify their price tag.
Two such products that fit this description are Nikon D5500 and D5600.
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Nikon D5500 vs D5600 – A Detailed Comparison of Features
Nikon D5500 and D5600 are entry-level DSLR cameras that come loaded with many features. But if you have to pick one from the two, which will be your choice? A difficult question to answer, right?
Well, not after reading through this review because we will give you comprehensive and detailed information about each product. We will even compare both the products against a host of features, so you can decide which of these two is most ideal for you.
Nikon D5500 was announced in January 2015 and almost two years later, D5600 was announced in November 2016. This release is on par with the trend in entry-level DSLR cameras where a newer version in the same line is released once every 18 months.
There is no doubt that D5600 is the next version of D5500, and it incorporates the technological advancements that happened during these 22 months. That said, is it really better and does it offer good value for money?
Let’s get answers to all these questions right away.
1. Key Specifications
If you look at the specifications of both these models, you will realize that they are identical in every way. The specifications that are present in both the models are:
- 24 megapixels
- APS-C CMOS sensor
- No anti-aliasing feature
- ISO 100 – 25600
- Nikon F mount
- 3.2 inch fully articulated screen
- Optical viewfinder
- 5.0fps continuous shooting
- 1920 X 1080 video resolution
- Built-in wireless capability
- 124 X 97 X 70 mm are the dimensions in both the cameras
The only area where there is a slight difference is in the weight. Nikon D5500 is 420 grams whereas D5600 is slightly heavier at 465 grams. This extra 45 grams could make a difference if you plan to carry your camera around for shooting images. Otherwise, this difference is insignificant.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the weight of the lens. The body weight is not the final weight of the camera because you will be adding lenses to it. That said, both the camera models use only APS-C format, which means, the lens weight and focus will be the same. So, there will be no difference in weight in the case of both these models. But in general, it is important to keep in mind the weight and focus of lenses to calculate the overall weight of cameras.
Both D5500 and D5600 come with similar features with minor variations.
First off, let us look at some of the common strengths present in both the models.
Both the models come with some key features that give them an upper hand over other models in the same price range. Some such features include the following:
- Wireless connectivity – Both the models come with wireless connectivity feature, so you can connect to any Wi-Fi network to transfer photos to other devices.
- Articulating screen – These cameras come with an articulating screen, which means, it can be tilted for flexible shooting positions. This is most helpful when you fix them to a tripod and keep it upside down to take really low shots. The accuracy and result will be much better than you crouching down to take the pictures, not to mention the physical strain that comes with it.
- Built-in flash – This internal flash is most useful in low light conditions.
- External flash shoe – This feature is most ideal for flash photography because internal flashes do come with certain limitations. So, having an external flash shoe can go a long way in giving the necessary flash required for taking good quality images.
- Touchscreen – Nikon D5500 and D5600 come with the touchscreen, so you can easily control the different camera functions.
- Viewfinder – Both the models come with optical viewfinders, so you can better framing and control over your shots.
- RAW support – RAW image format is supported by both the models, and this means, you can edit them easily. Whether you want to adjust the white balance or make any other changes, this format makes it conducive.
- Face detection focus – When your camera has face detection focus, it helps to detect human faces so the camera can set the focus automatically and provide the necessary exposure to it. This option is most ideal for taking portraits.
- Maximum resolution – The maximum resolution is 24 megapixels, which is excellent. This value translates to more pixels within the short film, and this means, the images will be of the highest quality. The prints, in general, will be bigger and more detailed.
- LCD Screen size – The LCD screen size is 3.2 inches, and this is large enough to give you an idea of the overall environment.
- LCD screen resolution – The LCD screen resolution in both the models is 1.037k dots. This means the screen resolution will be higher and more detailed for you.
- Microphone port – Both the models come with a microphone port that ensures high-quality audio recording option. This gives you much better flexibility for recording videos, so you can speak into it clearly.
- Time-lapse recording – Time-lapse recording gives you greater flexibility and creativity for shooting images.
- AE Bracketing – AE bracketing is most useful for shooting in tough light conditions, especially when you have to move from a dark environment to a light one. It is difficult to manually change the settings as you move across different environments. A better option is to allow the camera to handle the settings for you, and this is exactly what AE bracketing will do for you. So, it is a handy feature to have, and it can enhance your creativity and end result in a big way.
- Selfie friendly – The LCD screen in both the models can be rotated easily, which makes it ideal for taking selfies at any time. All that you have to do is touch the selfie button, just like how you would do on smartphones, to get crystal clear images of yourself.
- Smartphone remote control – This is a fantastic feature that gives you a ton of flexibility when it comes to usage. You can control the camera and its settings through a smartphone app. So, you can leave the camera in a certain position and make the necessary changes to take pictures. The possibilities are endless with this feature.
- Support for memory cards – Both the models come with UHS-1 memory cards that can read or write at ultra-high speeds, so you can store images quickly.
- HDMI Out – Nikon D5500 and D5600 support HDMI Out, which means, you can view the images you click on a monitor or larger screen, so you can better appreciate the work that has gone into it. At the same time, it can also help with an understanding of what aspects you got right and where you went wrong. This helps to increase your ability as a photographer.
- Bulb shutter – This is another useful feature to have, as you can keep the shutter open manually for long periods of time. This feature helps with shooting far distance and moving objects well, as the shutter will not automatically close after a few minutes.
Thus, there are the strengths present in both the cameras, and they sure give you good quality output and enhance usability in a big way.
These two camera models are not perfect either. They come with many weaknesses too, and some of the aspects that are missing in both the cameras are:
- Image stabilization – There is no image stabilization in both the cameras. As a result, there is a possibility for images to shake a bit here and there, and this minor flaw will be present in the final output too. So, the onus is on you to ensure that you do not shake the camera while taking pictures.
- Environmental protection – These cameras are not your all-weather cameras because they do not come with the necessary environmental sealing that will protect it against all weather conditions. So, it is not always the best choice for taking pictures in poor weather conditions like rain or snow.
- Optical viewfinder – The type of optical viewfinder present in both the cameras is pentamirror, which is not really as bright as pentaprism. Generally speaking, the images you see with a pentamirror is a little dark and this makes manual focusing much harder in low light conditions. Pentaprism, on the other hand, transmits images from the lens to viewfinder easily, so the images are brighter in all conditions. However, pentamirror is less expensive when compared with a pentaprism. So, this is a trade-off you make better image quality and cost. But these cameras come with pentamirror, with an idea to keep the costs down and be competitive with other brands selling in the same price range.
- AF micro adjustment – Another useful feature that is not present in both the cameras is AF micro adjustment. This means there is no option to fine-tune the autofocus and you have to go with whatever the camera offers by default. While this may not really impact the final result much, it sure will have an impact on the overall usability of the camera.
- Built-in GPS – A built-in GPS is something that is taken for granted in today’s digital world. Unfortunately, this feature is not present in both the models and this can make it difficult for you to geotag your photos. This can come as a bummer for those who are used to sharing their images on social media often with their geotags.
- Dual card slots – Many cameras come with dual card slots, that give you more storage flexibility. But these models do not have this option, so the storage capacity is somewhat limited when compared to other models in this price range.
- Headphone jack – There is no headphone jack in these models, so it is difficult to hear what is going on while recording videos. This is a useful feature that could have greatly enhanced the quality and precision of videos.
Thus, these are some of the features that are missing in both the camera models. So, you are particular about having these features, you are better off going with other camera models from Nikon or any other company.
So far, we have seen the features that are common to both the cameras, and the ones that are not present in them either.
But for comparison sake, we should be able to identify which of the two cameras is better in terms of the features they offer.
One prominent area where D5600 scores over D5500 is connectivity. This latter model comes with both NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can easily connect with all devices that are NFC or Bluetooth enabled. Obviously, this connectivity gives more choices to transfer your images and videos and to even share the same on social media.
Other than this major aspect, there is nothing else that differentiates D5600 from D5500.
On the other hand, there are a couple of features in D5500 that are not present in D5600. One such feature is low light ISO. This value is 1436 in D5500 and only 1306 in D5600. This means the ISO performance is better in D5500 than D5600. ISO, in general, is the speed or light sensitivity of a digital camera’s sensor. These numbers are expressed in ISO. When the number is lower, it represents a slower response to light as opposed to a higher number that represents a quicker response to light.
So, in the above case, D5500 needs less time in exposing a picture than D5600 and this could have a bearing when you want to shoot moving images. For example, sports photography requires high ISO because you want to capture images within a fraction of a second. For such purposes, D5500 is a better choice than D5600.
Another aspect is the weight. As we saw earlier, the difference is about 45 grams, which is not really so significant, but still, it is good to know that D5500 is lighter than D5600.
Suggested Read: Sony A6300 vs A6500: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Overall, when you compare the features, D5500 seems to be the better choice. This is a surprise because later versions tend to be better than earlier versions simply because they will incorporate the technological advancements that have happened during the period between the two releases. But in this case, D5600 does not have any such advancement in it, and this makes us wonder why Nikon released D5600 at all in the first place because it is not much different from D5500. In fact, D5500 seems to score over D5600 in some aspects, so we are not exactly sure about the purpose of this release.
For comparison sake, D5500 is the winner in terms of features.
Cost is an important aspect as it helps you to make adjustments to find a product within your budget. Most people who shop for a DSLR camera have a budget in mind, and they want to find the best product that would give the maximum value for their investment.
Both the products from Nikon are well-priced and they are bang on for the price. This means you get the maximum out of your investment, regardless of which of the two you buy. But, if you have to choose between the two, we think D5500 is the better choice.
Nikon D5500 is priced lower whereas D5600 is a little more expensive. Though the difference between the two models is small, D5500 is a better choice because the price difference does not justify the offering of D5600. In other words, D5600 is more expensive and there is nothing much different it offers for this higher price tag.
So, the winner in terms of cost is undoubtedly D5500.
Nikon D5500 vs D5600- The Final Verdict
Now that we have analyzed both the cameras in detail, it is time to decide which of the two is better.
Based on our expert’s opinions and testing, we conclude that D5500 is the better model. Before we go on, let us clarify that there is not much difference between the two models, so your output should be more or less similar, regardless of which model you pick.
One area where D5600 scores over D5500 is NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, but it is not so significant since both the models have wireless connectivity embedded in them. On the other hand, D5500 has a higher ISO level when compared to D5600 and this makes it more ideal for shooting in low light conditions and for capturing moving objects such as sports photography.
Other than this one difference, the cameras are the same otherwise. But D5500 is priced lesser than D5600 and this is why we prefer the former. While cost is an important aspect, it is not the only thing that should be considered. But in this case, D5600 does not justify the increase, so this is why D5500 is better.
Nikon D5500 and D5600 are two best-selling, powerful and eye-catching cameras that are quite popular on the market. If you’re looking for a quality product, you must choose between these two.
To conclude, D5500 and D5600 are similar in most aspects, but since D5500 is cheaper than D5600, we conclude that D5500 is better.
The overall winner of this comparison is D5500.