• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Nikon D5500

  • Less expensive
    $499* vs $697
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.79 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    13 vs 7 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)

Nikon D5500 advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,438 vs 1,183 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 820 vs 660 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 16.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Newer
    2 years vs 6 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • More AF points
    39 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    4.9 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Both provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Neither provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D5500

Review Excerpt

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

  • 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.

  • Buffer depths are shallow when shooting RAW; Lacks GPS from the predecessor; No AA filter means it's susceptible to aliasing artifacts.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Nikon D5500
Nikon D3100
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Has anti-aliasing filter

Compared to Sony A35

Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5500
Sony A35
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A57

Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-camera panoramas
Nikon D5500
Sony A57
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Lens selection
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D3300

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3300
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Bigger pixels
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Higher effective ISO
Nikon D5500
Nikon D3300
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Pentax K-S1

Nikon D5100
Pentax K-S1
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $520
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5500
Pentax K-S1
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $520
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
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