• 35mm 861.6mm2
  • 36.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Nikon D800E advantages over Nikon D5500

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.88 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    2,979 vs 1,438 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • More cross-type AF points
    15 vs 9
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.70x vs 0.55x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    36.3 vs 24.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    51 vs 39
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    18 vs 7 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Nikon D5500 advantages over Nikon D800E

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • 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
  • Newer
    7 years vs 10 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    4.9 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 54 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • 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 Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • 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
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Buy the Nikon D5500

Review Excerpt

  • Rugged build; Excellent controls; Extremely high resolution, even more than the D800; Dual cards; Surprising high ISO performance.

  • Moire problem with certain subjects; Very large files; Slower frame rate; Battery life lower than D700.

  • 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 D800

Nikon D800E
Nikon D800
  • $2212
  • 35mm
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
  • $1850
  • 35mm
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
Nikon D5500
Nikon D800
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $1850
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Canon 5D Mark III

Nikon D800E
Canon 5D Mark III
  • $2212
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $2899
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • More cross-type AF points
Nikon D5500
Canon 5D Mark III
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $2899
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D810

Nikon D800E
Nikon D810
  • $2212
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • $2997
  • 35mm
  • Longer stills battery life
  • Faster JPEG shooting
Nikon D5500
Nikon D810
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $2997
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Pentax K-S1

Nikon D800E
Pentax K-S1
  • $2212
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $502
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
Nikon D5500
Pentax K-S1
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $502
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Nikon D3400

Nikon D800E
Nikon D3400
  • $2212
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $400
  • APS-C
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Longer stills battery life
Nikon D5500
Nikon D3400
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $400
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Bluetooth
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