Nikon D5500 Vs. D7500: Which DSLR Camera Is Right For You?

Nikon’s D5500 and D7500 DSLR cameras both offer compelling options for photographers looking to upgrade from entry-level models. The D5500, released in 2015, serves as an upgrade over the D5300, while the D7500, released in 2017, improves upon the D7200. With several years between releases, these two models provide an interesting comparison.

Both cameras utilize 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensors and EXPEED 4 image processors. They provide continuous shooting up to 5fps and ISO sensitivities up to 25600. Video recording goes up to 1080p at 60fps with full manual exposure control. The cameras share similar dimensions and weight, as well as a 3.2” rear LCD with 921k dot resolution and optical pentamirror viewfinders with 95% coverage.

However, the D7500 includes several noteworthy upgrades that advanced amateur photographers will appreciate. The carbon fiber composite body provides better durability and weather resistance. The continuous shooting speed goes up to 8fps, shutter life is rated to 150,000 cycles, and the buffer depth allows up to 50 14-bit lossless compressed raw images. Autofocus gets a major boost with the Advanced Multi-CAM 3500DX II system with 51 points and group area AF.

For connectivity, both cameras offer built-in WiFi and NFC for wireless transfer to mobile devices. But the D7500 ups the options with Bluetooth for constant connection to a smartphone. This enables automatic image transfers as you shoot when paired with the SnapBridge app.

Now let’s take a more detailed look at how these two cameras compare across some key factors:

A Brief Comparison Table

SpecsNikon D5500Nikon D7500
Sensor Resolution24.2MP24.2MP
Image ProcessorEXPEED 4EXPEED 5
ISO Range100-25600100-51200
Continuous Shooting5fps8fps
Autofocus System39-point AF51-point AF
Video Resolution1080p601080p60
Viewfinder Coverage95%100%
Rear LCD3.2″ articulating, 921k dots3.2″ flat, 922k dots
WiFi / BluetoothYes / NoYes / Yes
Battery Life820 shots950 shots
Dimensions124 x 97 x 70mm136 x 104 x 73mm
Weight420g body only640g body only
Weather SealingNoYes
Current Price (new)Discontinued$999 body only

Image Quality

Nikon D5500

With the same sensor and processor, image quality is very similar between the D5500 and D7500. They exhibit exceptional dynamic range and perform well in low light up to mid-range ISO levels before noise becomes too intrusive.

The D7500 gains a slight edge with its new EXPEED 5 processor that provides a native ISO range up to 51200 versus 25600 on the D5500. This makes it better equipped to shoot high contrast night scenes or capture fast action in dim gyms or theaters.

Autofocus Performance

The D5500 inherited a capable 39-point AF system from the D5300. It’s accurate for static subjects but can struggle with fast, unpredictable movement. The D7500’s advanced Multi-CAM 3500DX II module offers tighter focus coverage to better track subjects across the frame. Its 51 AF points are all cross-type for enhanced sensitivity. This gives a clear advantage for sports, wildlife, and other active shooting scenarios.

High ISO Performance

As mentioned earlier, the D7500’s higher native ISO range makes it better suited for low light photography. Images remain relatively clean up through ISO 6400 versus 3200 on the D5500. At ISO 12800 and beyond, visible noise increases but files are still very usable thanks to the D7500’s improved noise reduction processing. Concerts, indoor events, and night time shoots will see a real benefit.

Nikon D7500
Nikon D7500

Continuous Shooting Speed

With a top continuous shooting rate of 8fps versus 5fps on the D5500, the D7500 again pulls ahead for action photography. The deeper buffer allows for longer burst shooting too. This improves your chances of capturing the perfect moment whether you’re photographing your kid’s soccer game or a majestic bird taking flight.

Video Capabilities

Both cameras offer similar video modes up to 1080p60 with manual exposure control. But the D7500 adds power aperture control for smoothly adjusting the aperture while recording.

Auto ISO is now available in manual mode for direct exposure compensation during shooting. Videographers have more advanced tools, albeit still lacking 4K video.

Also Read: Is Nikon D800 Better Than D850?

Body Construction

The D7500 gains a much tougher body thanks to its carbon fiber composite monocoque design. This brings confidence when shooting in inclement weather and improves durability for more demanding use. The deeper hand grip also provides better handling, especially when using longer heavier lenses.

Display & Menu System

With an identical rear LCD, the two cameras offer a fluid viewing experience during image and menu navigation. But the D7500 gains a new menu system carried over from pro-level Nikon DSLRs.

This redesigned menu improves organization and reduces searching when changing settings on the fly. Important settings are also given prominence for quicker access.

Battery Life

Thanks to more power-efficient components, the D7500 gets a CIPA battery life rating of 950 shots per charge versus 820 shots on the D5500. This lets you shoot longer when away from a charger, which is especially handy for travel photography and all-day event shooting.

Lens Selection

An important consideration is that the D7500 has an AI coupling screw which allows metering for older non-CPU lenses with aperture rings. The D5500 lacks this screw, only supporting Nikon’s G and E series lenses without aperture rings. If you need to use older Nikon glass, the D7500 provides full compatibility.

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Cost Savings

Released at $1,249, the D7500 demanded a $350 premium over the D5500’s $899 launch price. But with the D5500 discontinued, you can now find it for around $600 used in good condition. This makes it a more budget-friendly option, with over $400 in savings compared to a new D7500 body which still sells for around $1,000. Value seekers may prefer the savings despite the D7500’s advantages.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is D7500 better than D5600?

Yes, the D7500 is considerably better than the D5600. The D7500 offers a faster 8fps continuous shooting speed, much deeper buffer depth, superior 51-point AF system, better high ISO performance to 51200, more durable weather-sealed body, and a redesigned rear menu interface. The only advantages of the D5600 are lighter weight and a lower price point.

Is the D7500 still worth it?

In 2023, the D7500 remains an excellent enthusiast-level DSLR despite being over 5 years old. It still outpaces other APS-C rivals like the Canon 80D. Nikon has yet to release a successor model.
For those invested in DX lenses, the D7500 delivers fast performance and excellent image quality even compared to newer mirrorless options. Its price has also dropped, enhancing the value proposition.

What is better than a Nikon D7500?

The only current Nikon DSLRs that are clearly better than the D7500 are the full-frame D780, D850 and D6. But these all carry a much higher cost. Among DX models, only the flagship D500 can be considered unambiguously better for its unmatched 10fps burst speed, 4K video and 153-point AF system.
For APS-C shooters, the D7500 remains highly capable and is likely the best option before going full-frame.

Is it worth it to buy a Nikon D5500?

If you find the D5500 available used in good condition under $500, it can be worth buying in 2023. It still produces high quality 24MP images. The vari-angle touchscreen adds unique shooting flexibility. And it shares compatibility with all of Nikon’s F mount lenses.
However, its autofocus lags behind newer DSLRs when shooting action. But for beginners shooting mostly landscapes, portraits and casual use, the D5500 remains a compelling entry-level choice.

Also Read: Choose Between Nikon D3500 And D3300.


If you are looking for a DSLR camera that offers high performance, advanced features, and fast shooting speed, the Nikon D7500 might be the right choice for you. The D7500 has a better sensor score, a higher expanded ISO range, more focus points, and a weather-sealed body.

It is also compatible with a wide range of lenses and accessories. However, if you prefer a more compact and lightweight camera that still delivers excellent image quality, the Nikon D5500 might suit your needs better. The D5500 has a higher megapixel count, a flip-out screen, and a lower noise level at high ISO.

It is also more affordable than the D7500. Both cameras have their pros and cons, so you should consider your budget, preferences, and shooting style before making a decision.

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