• APS-C 372.9mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Nikon D90 advantages over Nikon D5500

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.50 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
  • More telephoto lens reach
    158 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.63x vs 0.55x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    10 vs 7 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)

Nikon D5500 advantages over Nikon D90

  • 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
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,438 vs 977 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    14.0 vs 12.5 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Newer
    3 years vs 10 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Lighter weight
    668g vs 1133g
    Lighter weight
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • More AF points
    39 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

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
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen 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
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Buy the Nikon D5500

Review Excerpt

  • 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 D300S

Nikon D90
Nikon D300S
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $1495
  • APS-C
  • External Mic Jack
  • More cross-type AF points
Nikon D5500
Nikon D300S
  • $631
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $1495
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Nikon D90
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5500
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $631
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony DSLR-A500

Nikon D90
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5500
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $631
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Canon T6i

Nikon D90
Canon T6i
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D5500
Canon T6i
  • $631
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • NFC
  • On-sensor phase detect

Compared to Pentax K-3 II

Nikon D90
Pentax K-3 II
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
  • $829
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5500
Pentax K-3 II
  • $631
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $829
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
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