Nikon D5500 vs Nikon D5600

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Introduction

As you may probably know, I’ve made hundreds of reviews on DSLR cameras, while I’ve also done reviews and comparisons about these two specific cameras, the D5500, and the D5600. But nevertheless, I haven’t really compared these in-between, since they come at a similar price range, while they also share similar specs and performance. So for today, we’re going to see which one of these two cameras performs better, which one is most suited for what, and which camera suits your requirements the most.

I’m saying this because before you purchase a camera, you’re going to have to look after the features that you are after for, the features that serve you the most for example for still photography, or check how’s the autofocus system for portrait photography or videography, also the connectivities, the versatility, and so on.

Quite frankly, most people judge a product based on the price, but it’s not really accurate since the price doesn’t’ really matter if a camera has the features that you’re looking for. Now, for entry-level DSLRs, these two cameras are very popular among many photography enthusiasts, hobbyists, and people that are just starting out. Personally, I’ve used both, thus, I’m going to try to differentiate them while mentioning even their slightest details, so let’s get started, shall we?

Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D5500

Since its release, the Nikon D5500 has been and it is still a very popular option among many photography enthusiasts. It’s a highly rated DSLR, but take in mind that it’s more of an entry-level camera, so don’t get your hopes too high, even though you won’t be disappointed in any way. First, we’ll start with the design, then jump to performance and specs, so let’s get to it, shall we?

In terms of construction, the Nikon D5500 measures 124 x 97 x 70mm, while it has a weight of 420g without the battery. It’s not heavy, but it’s not light also, which means that the manufacturer has aimed to make the camera an all-rounder. As for the grip, is deeper than it was in the previous models, which gives you a more comfortable firmer hold, while the textured sides will also satisfy not only in terms of holding but also in terms of appearance since they give a great look to the overall aesthetics of the camera.

In addition, there are two manual control dials one of which is located at the D-pad on the backplate and the other on the top plate. If you combine this with the PASM mode dial, it offers a well-balanced control and accessibility.

Now to continue, let’s also mention a couple of things about the screen, starting with the fact that it is a 3.2-inch LCD display that contains a 1.04M-dot resolution, while it delivers stunning color and sharp details. For more convenience, the screen has a flip-out design while it also packs touchscreen capabilities for easier navigation through the menu, easier image scrolling, and much more. Thus, I also really like the tilting design which allows the camera to flip-out and allow the user to shoot from different angles, while this is also one of the most essential features for videographers.

Nonetheless, now, let’s just to performance and see what this camera offers more.

For starters, this entry-level DSLR, if you want to call it that, it has a 24.2-megapixel sensor while this DX sensor size is in-line with the APS-C standard. Other than that, it runs the EXPEED 4 processor, which isn’t really that groundbreaking since even the older models use this, however, the speed that it offers it’s enough for some action.

Now, due to the Multi-CAM 4800DX module, this camera outputs an impressive autofocus system of 39-AF points, nine of which are cross-type. Therefore, tracking fast-moving subjects and maintaining focus will be fast and accurate, while in low-light, with the help of a feature called AF light, you’re also going to get the same performance.

But that’s not all since the D5500 also features a 2016-pixel metering sensor with matrix, center-weighted and spot metering modes. Since we mentioned it’s good even in low-light, this particular camera has a native ISO sensitivity of 100-25,600, while if you combine all of these specs into one piece, you’re going to get a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second.

Before we end, let’s talk a bit about video quality, shall we? The D5500 can record at Full HD 1080/60p which is okay, but if you were looking for 4K in an entry-level DSLR, that’s very rare, and you won’t find that here. Either way, I doubt you’ll need it if you’re someone who is just starting out.

In terms of connections, the Nikon D5500 has a Built-in Wi-Fi which means that you can instantly share or transfer your files with a compatible smartphone device or tablet.

Overall, there’s nothing really bad you can find about this camera, it’s simply remarkable and it’s one of my favorite entry-level DSLRs because it packs a plethora of premium features, and it has a decent performance.

Nikon D5600

The Nikon D5600 is most-likely better than the D5500 in some ways, but still, we’re about to see. Just for an introduction for this camera, the D5600 is a similarly priced camera just as the D5500, while you can’t exactly call it an entry-level, even if it may seem so to some users, I find it more of a mid-range DSLR which can also be used by semi-professionals or professionals to have it as a second camera.

Design-wise, the D5600 is a lightweight camera which just like the D5500, also offers a deep finger grip while the ridged thumb rest on the back combines to offer a more comfortable and firm handling. For your information, the D5600 is not weatherproof, but it’s quite durable considering it has a polycarbonate shell that feels truly robust.

You’ll also find the button layout to be really efficient since the controls are generously spaced and well-balanced for easy reachability and adjustability. But what I really don’t like about the controls is that the D5600 doesn’t have any buttons that lead directly to changing the most commonly used settings such as ISO, AF mode and white balance.

Next, let’s continue on the LCD screen. You’ll be able to change everything from settings to manipulating features and navigating through the menu using the fully articulating touchscreen LCD. To be more precise, it is a 3.2-inch LCD screen just as D5500’s, while it holds 1.037M-dots, and I really like it that you can tilt it sideways, upward and downward, and for videographers, this is truly good news since this is one of the most essential features to shoot from different viewing angles and positions.

Okay, now, let’s get more into the specifics and see how this camera truly performs.

For starters, this particular camera features a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor which provides an ample resolution for larger prints, while it also delivers dazzling image colors with sharp details and vibrancy. Although same as the Nikon D5500, the D5600 hasn’t changed the EXPEED 4 imaging processor, while it combines with a native ISO sensitivity of 100-25,600, same as D5500’s while it also outputs the same continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second. So, as you can see, in terms of specs and performance, these two cameras are really similar to each other.

But what’s also interesting, is that they both have the same autofocus as well, well mostly the same, considering the fact that the D5600 just like the D5500, has a 39-point AF system, which means that the camera can lock and hold the focus on the subject, even if it’s moving.

In terms of video recording, this particular camera records at Full HD 1080p just like the D5500, however, in my opinion, it delivers better quality, photo-like sharpness, vibrant color, and crystal clear stereo sound. This may be as a result of the AF-P lens which uses a stepping motor for smooth, near-silent autofocus in order to ensure and deliver maximum audio fidelity. Also, let’s not forget to mention that there is a built-in HDR as well.

Before we end, let’s also mention that the D5600 is Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth enabled, while these are not the only options for transferring or sharing files, you can also do it using the SnapBridge App which not only allows sharing but also allows for remote camera control using a smartphone. So as you can see, you’ll be well equipped with everything indeed.

To conclude, the D5600 is feature-rich “entry-level” DSLR which delivers a fast-paced performance, and some interesting features which come as extra for some novice users, which is also why I call this camera more of a mid-range than an entry-level.

Feature Comparison

Nikon D5500 Nikon D5600
Camera Type
DSLR
DSLR
Megapixels
24.2
24.2
ISO Range
100-25,600
100-25,600
Flip-Out Screen
Yes
Yes
AF Points
39 AF Points
39 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
Yes
Yes
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
CMOS
CMOS

Conclusion

It’s really hard comparing these cameras, and as we got the comparison table out of the way, you can see for yourself that they share the same specs. They perform equally the same, however, they do differ in some features.

I can’t really decide which camera outperforms the other, but I can safely say that the Nikon D5500 is better for still photography, while the D5600 is better for video, due to the AF-P lens which allows for smooth recording, near-silent autofocus for also ensuring high-end audio.

If you were to decide between these two cameras, you won’t really have a hard time choosing since no matter what you choose, you won’t go wrong with any of the cameras. Personally, I would go for the Nikon D5500, since it comes with a slightly lower price, while it has almost the same features, but in terms of specs, you can’t find a difference, really.

All and all, both of these cameras are great, they’re the perfect and the ideal choice for novice users, but don’t let that fool you, if you’re someone who is been in the photography business for quite a while, then one of these cameras can also serve you well as a second photography or videography tool, in cases where you run out of battery in your primary camera.