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Introduction

Yet again, the well-known and the endless battle between Nikon and Canon, two companies whose cameras are viewed as a piece of art by the photographers will find themselves in this article, because today, we are going to review the Nikon D5500 and the Canon EOS 70D.

These cameras were launched before a couple of years, in January 2015 and October 2013, but, since their release date, they’ve gained significant popularity that made them be strong for nowadays standards, and from the very beginning, I’m sure that you already expect an intense battle.

Well, you will have to wait a bit. First of all, we will talk about their design, performance, pros and cons, and after an in-depth analysis, our decision will be the most accurate, so let’s start right away and find out what’s so special about them!

Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D5500

The Nikon D5500 is available in two color editions, such as the black-painted version with red accents, or the red-colored version or the red and black version, however, even though I’m currently reviewing the black-colored version with red accents, feel free to switch because regardless of your decision, both of them look fantastic!

This particular model measures 3.8 x 4.9 x 2.8″ (HWD), weighs around 14.7 ounces without a lens and features a carbon-fiber, composite construction that is accompanied by a deep grip that allows you have a stable and comfortable hold even if you’ve been shooting for a fairly long period of time.

On the top plate of the body, there is a hot shoe that sits on the middle, whereas on the right side, you can find a Mode dial that will grant you an access to 8 different exposure modes including the standard Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, along with a Scene, Auto, Effects, and Auto no flash mode. At the front part of the handgrip, there’s also a power switch and shutter release button, whereas on the rear, the control layout is a bit compressed due to the fact that this camera is compact, but still, they look indeed neat and most of them are set on the upper and right-handed side of the body.

On the top, in-between the controls, sits the pentamirror optical viewfinder which will provide you a crystal clear sight with the intention to help you effectively and quickly capture the objects that surround you, thanks to its magnification ratio of 0.55x and the 95% coverage.

Slightly below, there is a fully-articulated 3.2″ 1,037k-dot LCD touchscreen that aside from offering you an undistracted view, it will also effectively register all of your gestures, and therefore, you will never face any problems in terms of changing the settings or setting the focus points according to your preferences.

Moreover, the connection options consist of an HDMI port, a single memory card slot that supports SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, a built-in microphone, and even a built-in Wi-Fi support which definitely comes handy, especially when you opt to transfer your captured content, and without a doubt, Nikon deserves credit here!

In terms of the performance, the Nikon D5500 incorporates a 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter, it is powered by an EXPEED 4 image processor, has a native ISO range of 100-25,600, and packs a decent continuous shooting rate of 5 fps, and strong, 39-point AF points which when combined is definitely a lot considering its price tag.

For your information, the D5500 is quite versatile, whether we are talking about its ability to maintain the presence of noise at the lowest levels, or for letting you switch between various shooting styles.

Namely, JPG images taken at ISO 6400 do really look strong and at this stage, the noise is very low, whereas at ISO 3200, the results are better, and I’d advise you stick between these two ISO settings in order to get the best results.

Once you start increasing the ISO range, at ISO 12,800 the noise becomes more prominent and at ISO 25,600, blur starts to overcome the image, and to be honest, I wouldn’t advise you reach this far.

On the other hand, previously, I’ve mentioned that you can switch between multiple shooting styles, right? Well, the D5500 outputs great results for sports photography, thanks to its shutter speed of 1/4000s, the 39-point AF and its burst shooting speed of 5 fps, whereas, for portrait and landscape photography, results are pretty average, although shooting portraits distributes better results compared to landscapes.

Finally, the D5500 records 1080/60p videos which look delightful indeed, due to the fact that colors are very accurate, and there are numerous, well-defined details that will surely grab your attention asap!

 

Canon 70D 

The Canon EOS 70D boasts an attractive, yet durable, black-painted, body that was made of a combination of aluminum and polycarbonate resin with glass and conductive fibre that measures 4.1 x 5.5 x 3.1″ (HWD), and weighs approximately 1.7 pounds, hence, it belongs to the Canon’s lineup of bigger and heavier cameras.

However, this doesn’t mean that your shooting convenience is going to suffer a lot, due to the fact that this unit employs a good-sized grip that feels and sits comfortably in your hands!

Moreover, the control layout is well-made, and each button is intuitively placed so that you’d be able to access it without putting effort at all!

For example, on the top, you can find a hot shoe that occupies the central position of the plate, whereas on the right side, you can find an information LCD screen that is surrounded by a couple of buttons. On the left, there’s a Mode dial that lets you switch through multiple settings, whereas on the front, you can also notice the presence of a depth of field preview button, that sits next to the edge of the lens mount.

The rear part of the camera holds multiple buttons, and they are set on the top and right part of the body, and sit next to the viewfinder and the screen.

For your information, the EOS 70D has a very sharp and accurate optical viewfinder that has a glass pentaprism design which provides up to 98% of coverage and has a magnification of 0.95x which is definitely great, since you quickly capture every object you want while having a crystal clear view.

Slightly below, there’s a 3″ vari-angle 1,040k-dot touchscreen that will help you to easily capture photos from a variety of different angles, while on the other side, the visuals you’ll see will be indeed satisfying regardless if you’re shooting under a bright daylight.

In terms of the connection options, the Canon EOS 70D includes an HDMI port, Hi-SPeed USB port, memory card slot that supports SD/SDHC/SDXC cards and it is even compatible with UHS-I memories and Eye-Fi cards, built-in stereo microphone, and an integrated Wi-Fi that will disable the camera from recording if it is turned on. Yes, it is a bit strange indeed. At this point, I think that Nikon D5500 is a lot better.

Either way, now let’s briefly describe the way this camera performs in practice.

This unit is powered by a DIGIC 5+ image processor, has a 20.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, and a Dual PIXEL CMOS AF that helps you record quality videos, but let’s not forget its continuous shooting rate of 7 fps, the 19-point cross-type AF system and its ISO range that stretches from 100-12,800 which is expandable to 25,600, because all of them together, will definitely boost your shooting experience to a whole new level.

Once you start shooting, you will notice that this camera does a quite fantastic job in minimizing the noise levels as much as possible. JPEG images taken at ISO 100 looks really good, although you can recognize the noise which, fortunately, will not decrease the quality of the image. Imagery will remain quality with minimal noise up to ISO 6400, however, once you push higher which at the same time, isn’t the thing you’d like to see, imagery becomes blurry and to be honest, I don’t really think that they may remain usable.

If we take this aside, results from RAW images are strong even if you reach the maximum setting of 25,600, however, keep in mind that you’d have to put an effort in post-production because you’d have to work a bit more with noise reduction.

Speaking of the video performance, the EOS 70D records 1080p videos at 30/25/24 fps, and 720p videos at 60/50 fps in the H.264/MPEG-4/ format, and although the footage looks crisp, I think that the D5500 performs a lot better because of its ability to record 1080p videos at 60fps.

Feature Comparison

Nikon D5500 Canon 70D
Camera Type
DSLR
DSLR
Megapixels
24.2
20.2
ISO Range
100-25,600
100-12,800;25,600
Flip-Out Screen
Yes
Yes
AF Points
39 AF points
19 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
Yes
Yes
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
APS-C

Conclusion

Finally, we reached the stage where we have to give the final words, and conclude which one wins the battle here. Hold on a minute, let’s quickly name the areas where the first camera beats the other, and vice-versa.

For instance, if we take a look at the results of portrait photography, both cameras are nearly identical, with some minor advantage of the 70D, whereas, at street photography, Nikon D5500 results are a bit more better in comparison to the EOS 70D.

For sports photography, both cameras are fantastic, but, the D5500 is only a bit better, however, the difference is more noticeable at daily photography, where the D5500 performs a lot better.

Last but not least, the Nikon D5500 has a better resolution that packs 19% more pixels ( 24MP vs 20MP), has a 100% higher max ISO ( 25,600 vs 12,800), includes 20 more focus points ( 34 vs 19), has a larger display by 0.2″ ( 3.2 vs 3) and supports UHS memory cards, which is something that the 70D lacks.

On the other side, the 70D has 10 more cross-type points ( 19 vs 9), its viewfinder covers up to 98% opposed to Nikon’s 95%, has a faster shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s), faster continuous shooting rate ( 7 vs 5fps), stronger battery life ( 920 vs 820 shots), and its optical viewfinder has a pentaprism design opposed to Nikon’s pentamirror which is less brighter.

Personally, I’d go for the Canon 70D, although it has a higher price tag.