Nikon D5500 Digital SLR

Last updated: October 13, 2023

This lightweight DSLR is easy to use. It offers excellent performance for a good value. Its 24 Megapixel APSC sensor allows it to take sharp, clear photos, even in low light. Plus, the updated design includes a comfortable, deeper grip.

Nikon D5500 Digital SLR

We looked at the top Nikon DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Nikon DSLR Camera you should buy.

Product Details

Key Takeaway: With a budget-friendly price tag, this basic yet reliable Nikon DSLR won't break the bank.

In our analysis of 47 expert reviews, the Nikon D5500 Digital SLR placed 3rd when we looked at the top 5 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The Nikon D5500 is a compact DSLR capable of inspiring a new level of creativity. From the moment you flip the touchscreen Vari-angle display and capture an ultra-sharp 24.2-megapixel photo, you’ll begin to see your photography in a new light. At the flick of a switch, the D5500 transforms into a versatile Full HD video camera. Record 1080 video at a high speed frame rate of 60p. Break free of the ordinary with star trail images, interval-timer sequences and HDR photography. Add artistic filters and effects and even retouch your shots right in the camera, and then share your creations instantly with built-in Wi-Fi. This outfit also comes with the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II DX AF-S Zoom-Nikkor Lens.

Our Expert Consultant

Jay Soriano   
Portrait photographer

Jay Soriano a headshot and portrait photographer in Las Vegas.

Expert Reviews

What reviewers liked

Excellent touch screen makes navigating menus and setting camera modes easy. Easy to use, but offers lots of features to explore. Lightweight but rugged, and takes sharp, clean photos even in very low light.
It’s smaller and lighter than the D5300, but the design changes aren’t really about miniaturising this camera. The D5500 has a much deeper grip than previous Nikon cameras, giving you a more comfortable, firmer hold.
The Nikon D5500 is a DSLR camera that’s very easy to fall in love with, as it has quite a few average and above average features versus other models in its price range. It’s extremely easy to use too.
Anyone seeking a lightweight, portable DSLR that can serve both point-and-shoot and advanced users. Videophiles who will appreciate a touch LCD and broad feature set.
The biggest difference to be found here is that the screen is now touch sensitive. Along with the screen, there's an optical viewfinder which offers 95% coverage.
The D5500 is once again slightly smaller and lighter than the D5300, sporting a new monocoque design that makes the camera one of Nikon’s lightest DSLRs. The right-hand grip is very deep given the overall size of the camera, and therefore comfortable for photographers with large hands and/or longish fingers, and there's also a handy rubberised thumb rest on the back of the body.
Battery lifespan is another positive aspect of the Nikon D5500, which can give you 600 or more photos per charge if you primarily use the viewfinder to frame photos and don't use the Wi-Fi connectivity option. If you're using the D5500 with Live View mode activated for quite a few of your photos, you can expect a battery performance of 250 to 300 photos per charge.
Amazingly small for a DSLR; Great image quality for its class, including superb low light and high ISO performance; Generous JPEG buffer depth; High resolution.
Like its predecessor, the D5500 offers a number of special effects, including Toy Camera (pictured below, along with the same photo without the special effect), Miniature Effect and Selective Color, among others. Nikon has added three new effects in the D5500: Super Vivid, POP and Photo Illustration.
The Nikon D5500 delivers excellent photo quality as well as a performance that can keep up with your kids and pets.
The Nikon D5500 D-SLR delivers images that are just as good as the D5300 it replaces, and manages to do so in a smaller body.
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.
The body’s also a little smaller and lighter than before, but otherwise the specs remain the same as the D5300 with a 24 Megapixel APSC sensor (without a low pass filter), 5fps continuous shooting, 39-point AF system, 1080 / 50p / 60p video and built-in Wifi.

What reviewers didn't like

Like many Nikon cameras, the wireless features get mixed reviews, leaving some users frustrated.
However, Nikon has actually cut out the other connectivity staple, GPS. The Nikon D5300 has GPS, but this more expensive model doesn’t. Disappointing? Yes, especially as the GP-1A GPS module accessory costs £189
Perhaps the biggest problem you’re going to encounter with the D5500 is that it doesn’t offer a lot of image quality improvements over what its predecessor, the D5300, provides.
Not so good for: Those who frequently shoot bursts of Raw images, want full control from their smartphone, or prefer twin dial operation.
This camera is expensive compared to D5300, slow focusing in live view.
The D5500 is the latest Nikon DSLR to offer built-in wi-fi, but it no longer offers GPS connectivity
The autofocus system is strong with the Nikon D5500, offering good accuracy with a 39-point AF system. However, the AF system also provides a potential drawback for this model, as it sometimes works a little too slowly, which may result in you missing a spontaneous photo. More advanced DSLR cameras tend to have faster autofocus performance than the Nikon D5500 has.
Buffer depths are shallow when shooting RAW; Lacks GPS from the predecessor; No AA filter means it's susceptible to aliasing artifacts.
The live-view (on-screen preview) mode’s contrast-detect autofocus is fairly slow; I could see and hear the lens moving in and out while I was trying to acquire focus. Tapping the touch screen to focus seems to be a hair faster than pressing the shutter button halfway, but you’d be hard-pressed to focus on a moving subject in live view.
The redesigned grip may not be comfortable for people with large hands, and Nikon really needs to update its Wi-Fi app.
Smaller body means controls are somewhat cramped. This lacks in manual control buttons. Removal of GPS
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.
In Live View using the kit zoom, you’re looking at between one and two seconds to lock-onto a target, so long as it has sufficient contrast; sometimes it can struggle to focus at all. Obviously the refocusing period is way too slow to support any kind of useful tracking of a subject in motion.
View our Nikon DSLR Camera buying guide for in-depth advice and recommendations.

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