Nikon D5500 Vs. D5600: Which Entry-Level DSLR Should You Buy?

Nikon’s entry-level DSLR cameras, the D5500 and D5600, have a lot in common and a few key differences that photographers should consider when deciding which model to purchase.

Read on for a detailed comparison of these two great cameras to help you determine the right one for your needs and budget.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureNikon D5500Nikon D5600
ISO Range100-25,600100-25,600
Image ProcessorEXPEED 4EXPEED 4
Autofocus Points3939
Max Shutter Speed1/4000 sec1/4000 sec
Continuous Shooting5 fps5 fps
Video Resolution1080/60p1080/60p
Articulating ScreenYesYes
Battery Life820 shots970 shots

Overview of the Nikon D5500

The Nikon D5500 was released in 2015 as an upgrade over the D5300. It’s a lightweight, compact DSLR that produces high quality 24.2MP images and Full HD 1080p video. The D5500 features a 3.2″ vari-angle LCD touchscreen, 39-point autofocus system, and EXPEED 4 image processor.

Nikon D5500
Nikon D5500

Some of the key features and benefits of the D5500 include:

  • Image Quality: With a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and no optical low pass filter, the D5500 captures vibrant, finely detailed images with minimal noise. The native ISO range is 100-25,600.
  • Performance: The EXPEED 4 image processor provides fast operations. The D5500 has a top continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second, with a large buffer that allows you to shoot 100+ JPEGs or up to 22 Raw images continuously.
  • Autofocus: The 39-point autofocus system delivers fast and accurate autofocus acquisition even in low light situations. The AF points cover a wide area of the frame.
  • Video: Record full HD videos at 1080/60p with stereo sound. The camera has a built-in microphone port for attaching an external mic.
  • Size and Weight: Weighing just 420 grams, the D5500 has a slim, compact body. Paired with a compact kit lens, you get an ultra portable DSLR setup without compromising image quality.
  • Articulating Touchscreen: The D5500 has a 3.2 inch LCD screen that flips out and rotates, which is great for shooting from creative angles. It also gives you touch control over camera settings.
  • Built-in Wireless: Built-in WiFi allows wireless image transfer to smartphones and tablets as well as remote control from mobile devices.

Also Read: Comparison Between the Nikon D5500 and D7200

Overview of the Nikon D5600

The Nikon D5600, released in 2016, replaces the D5500 as Nikon’s mid-range entry-level DSLR. The main upgrades come in the form of SnapBridge connectivity, a touch Fn feature, and increased battery life.

Key features and benefits of the D5600:

Nikon D5600
  • Image Quality: With the same 24.2MP APS-C sensor as the D5500, the D5600 also delivers fantastic image quality with crisp details, vivid colors, and high ISO performance.
  • Performance: Offers the same EXPEED 4 processor and 5 fps continuous shooting speed as the D5500. Autofocus performance is fast and accurate.
  • Touchscreen: The 3.2” articulating LCD now has full touch functionality to control the camera. You can touch to focus, access settings, and browse images.
  • SnapBridge: Nikon’s Bluetooth and WiFi enabled system allows constant connectivity between camera and smart device. Automatically transfer images to your phone.
  • Battery Life: Battery is improved by 25%, now allowing 970 shots per charge (approx. 100 more than D5500).
  • Video Features: Just like the D5500, the D5600 shoots full HD 60p video and has an external mic port.
  • Weight and Size: The D5600 body weighs just 465 grams and retains the same compact form factor as the D5500. Great for travel.

Also Read: Comparison Between Nikon D750 And D7500.

Key Differences Between the Nikon D5500 and D5600

While the D5500 and D5600 share many similarities, here are some of the notable differences between the two models:

  • Touchscreen: The D5600 gains full touchscreen capabilities not found on the D5500. You can now use the touchscreen to navigate menus, change settings, and browse photos in playback.
  • Connectivity: With Nikon’s SnapBridge technology, the D5600 can maintain a constant low-power Bluetooth connection to your smart device. Automatically transfer images or remote control the camera.
  • Battery: The D5600 gets a bump up in battery performance, now able to take up to 970 shots on a single charge compared to 820 shots with the D5500.
  • Fn Touch Feature: A new touch Fn feature on the D5600 lets you quickly access a chosen setting by flicking the touchscreen. Useful for changing settings on the fly.
  • LCD Resolution: The D5600 screen has 1,037,000 dots, up from 1,037,000 dots on the D5500. Not a major change but provides a slightly sharper display.
  • Weight: At 465 grams, the D5600 body weighs 55g less than the D5500. The lighter body plus SnapBridge wireless transfer makes the D5600 better suited for travel and hiking.
  • Time-Lapse: The D5600 gains the interval timer feature for creating time-lapse sequences in-camera. The D5500 requires using an external remote for time-lapse shooting.
  • Price: Since it is the newer model, the D5600 retains a slightly higher retail price than the now discounted D5500. Expect to pay $100+ more for the D5600.

Also Watch This Review Video:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the D5600 better than the D5500?

The D5600 is a slightly better camera overall, with the most useful improvements being the full touchscreen, SnapBridge connectivity, and increased battery life. The touchscreen interface, wireless image transfer, and lighter body make the D5600 the preferable choice for many users. However, the D5500 is still a highly capable camera, especially if found at a lower price point.

Are the D5500 and D5600 the same?

The D5500 and D5600 share the same image sensor, autofocus system, and EXPEED 4 processor. Image quality is essentially identical. But the D5600 has an improved touchscreen, connectivity, battery life, and some other small enhancements. For most purposes, the image quality and core performance are similar but the D5600 has a few bonus features.

Is the Nikon D5500 a professional camera?

The D5500 has features that appeal to beginners and enthusiasts, but it is not considered a professional level camera. The use of a plastic polycarbonate body, basic autofocus system, and lack of dedicated controls put it a step below a professional DSLR. However, the D5500 can still produce lovely high quality images and video when paired with a good lens, and provides room to grow your skills.

What is better than the Nikon D5600?

The next tiers above the D5600 in Nikon’s lineup are the D7500 and D500, Nikon’s high-end DX cameras, followed by the full-frame professional models like the D850. These cameras have superior autofocus, faster burst rates, stronger bodies, and other pro-level features. The D5600 is designed as a mid-range entry-level camera and provides great quality for the price, but professionals and very advanced users will benefit from the next levels up like the D7500.

Also Read: Comparison Among Nikon D3500, D5600 And D7500.

Final Thoughts

For entry-level photographers or as a step-up from your smartphone camera, both the D5500 and D5600 deliver outstanding image quality in a lightweight, user-friendly package.

The D5600 brings welcome upgrades like the full touchscreen and SnapBridge wireless connectivity. However, the D5500 remains an excellent option, especially if found at a lower price point in the used market.

Ultimately, those looking for strong image quality, performance, and features in a portable DSLR body will be very happy with either model. Each camera allows room to grow your skills and takes beautiful photos straight out of the camera.

For many needs, choosing between the incremental upgrades of the D5500 Vs. D5600 comes down to price and weighing small bonus features like the D5600’s touch controls and Bluetooth connectivity.

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