Nikon D5500 vs D5600 – Which Should You Go For?

In this comparison article, the jury is out on the Nikon D5500 vs D5600. This gives you a fair chance of making up your mind concerning which of them you should go for.

One attribute that the Nikon Company needs commendation for is its ability to meet the demands of nearly all photography levels. They have cameras that suit amateurs down to those necessary for professionals in carrying out their jobs.

In considering amateurs, the Nikon Company has entry-level DSLR cameras that satisfy this people category. Two of such amazing cameras that can easily stand out among others in this level are the D5500 and the D5600.

Such high praise does not seem to answer the question concerning which of them should you go for. So, without much ado, let’s get into the main article where you’ll get the much-needed answer.

Comparison Overview – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

The Nikon D5550 was announced on the 6th of January 2015 as a replacement/successor to the Nikon D5330. The D5500 became one of the most highly rated entry-level DSLR cameras.

However, in about 1 year and 10 months, Nikon decided to add another camera to its D5XXX series. So on the 10th of November 2016, the D5600 was announced as a replacement/successor to the already impressive D5500. 

This follows the same pattern whereby Nikon introduces a new entry-level DSLR camera in less than 2 years after the previous one.

The differences between both cameras are so few when compared to the similarities shared between them. This is easily explainable as both cameras are of the same series.

Looking carefully at both cameras, the D5500 comes out top in terms of image performance while the D5600 does better with connectivity. Apart from these, both cameras are the same and will produce the same results with all things being equal.

Comparing their weights, the Nikon D5500 is lighter than its successor. However, the D5600 can shoot for longer periods thanks to its improved battery life.

Price/Value Ratio – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

The D5600, however, adds on a few bucks to the original price of the D5500. Hence, the D5600 is slightly expensive than the D5500. Though one might say this isn’t justifiable based on the similarities both share and the advantages of the D5500.

Yet, we know in most cases, newer cameras tend to be pricey than older ones. This is the case with the D5600 and D5500.

When compared with the Nikon D5500, it can be said that the Nikon D5600 does not offer as much value as its predecessor.

However, some parties believe that the added features which were absent in the D5500 should be rewarding enough for the D5600’s more expensive price.

You can also check out another comparison between the Nikon D5300 vs D5600 here.

Comparison Table – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Nikon D5500 Nikon D5600
Announcement Date 06/01/2015 10/11/2016
Weight 420g 465g
Battery Life 820 shots 970 shots
Low Light ISO 1438 1306
Startup Time 0.40 seconds 0.20 seconds
Shutter Lag 0.20 seconds 0.11 seconds
SnapBridge No Yes
Bluetooth No Yes
NFC No Yes

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

The video below compares the Nikon D5500 vs D5600.

What Circumstance Is Suitable For Each – Nikon D5500 vs D5600  

Nikon D5500 Nikon D5600
The D5500 does better than its successor when it comes to capturing daily photography.

It has the edge because of its lighter weight. Both cameras have the same features that influence this type of photography with an exception to weight.

And in any case like this, having a lighter camera that performs the same function is more preferred.
When it comes to having to easily connect with other devices, the D5600 does better than its predecessor.

The Nikon D5600 is fitted with a built-in Bluetooth, NFC, and SnapBridge which the D5500 lacks.

So if you need to share files faster and easier, the D5600 is suitable for such purposes.
Although both cameras are excellent for sports photography, we recommend the D5550 over the D5600.

This is because of the higher low light ISO value of the D5500. It allows the D5500 to capture moving images faster as it can expose a picture in less time.  
Shooting for an extended period requires a battery that can last longer as well. If this is always the case with you, then we recommend the D5600 with its longer battery life.
The low light ISO value also gives the D5500 a slight edge over the D5600 when shooting in low light conditions.

So, if you need to take an image while indoors that’s somewhat dim, choose the Nikon D5500.
The Nikon D5600 doesn’t perform as well as the D5500.  

Common Features – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

So far you might have discovered how similar these cameras are. Being within the same series and category are major reasons for these similarities.

In this section, we deal in detail with those features that are the same and are found in the Nikon D5500 and the D5600.

Body  

The first similarity that is noticed when you pick up the D5500 and the D5600 would be the physical resemblance.

Both cameras are of the same size in length, height and width with the values of 124 x 97 x 70 mm respectively. The dimensions of both cameras allow for good handling as they are not too small to hold.

Also, the Nikon D5500 and D5600 are available in black and red colors. This gives you the privilege of choice.

Sensor

The sensor used by both cameras is another major similarity shared by the Nikon D5500 and the D5600.

The function of the sensor in a camera cannot be done without. The sensor is the part of the camera that allows light to enter the camera. Without the sensor capturing of images will be impossible.

The size and type of sensor also influence the quality of the image that is produced. In normal circumstances, a bigger sensor is advantageous as it allows more light in than a smaller sensor would.

The Nikon D5500 and the D5600 share the same APS-C CMOS type sensor. This is the sensor that is found in the majority of DSLR cameras out there. Even some high-end DSLR cameras make use of the APS-C sensor.

The size of the APS-C sensor also makes it capable of allowing enough light in for image production. With a 23.50 x 15.60 mm size, this APS-C sensor found in both cameras is ranked among the large sensors you can find out there.

This similarity in sensor size also means both the D5500 and D5600 offers the same degree for the depth of field control. However, this is only possible when both cameras are using the same aperture and focal length.

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Sensor Resolution (Megapixels)

Another sensor characteristic that also influences decision making is the sensor’s resolution also known as the megapixels.

Most often than not, most people would go for a camera with a higher megapixel value. This is because the megapixel determines the details your sensor can record when a shot is taken.

The Nikon D5500 and the D5600 have the same sensor resolution of 24.2 megapixels. This is pretty impressive for these entry-level cameras.

In this regard, both cameras upgraded better than the Nikon D5300 which is an older camera in the same D5XXX series.

ISO

The ISO is a measure of your sensor’s sensitivity: The higher the ISO of a camera, the higher the sensor’s sensitivity. A camera with a higher ISO would allow more light to pass into the camera.

For both cameras in our comparison, there is no difference between their minimum and maximum ISO range. With an ISO range of 100 – 25600, these entry-level cameras would produce a good image quality: This is suitable for their category and level.

Lens Mount and Lenses

The Nikon F mount is found in the D5500 and the D5600. This mount allows the use of interchangeable lenses. That means you can replace your current lens with a better one for a better capturing experience.

Both the Nikon D5500 and the Nikon D5600 use the same type of lenses. This is thanks partially to the fact that both cameras have the same sensor type as we mentioned above. The lenses must be of the same aperture and focal length to adequately fit the sensor they sport.

You can choose from the 302 available native lenses that both cameras can use to enhance your camera’s performance.

You might be wondering which of these lenses should you begin with. Do not wonder anymore, allow us to recommend the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens.

Apart from the native lenses, you can also use 88 optical stabilization lenses with these cameras. This is necessary because neither of these two cameras has a built-in stabilization feature. Using these 88 lenses would help you control the negative effects of this feature’s absence.

Screen

For entry-level cameras, the Nikon D5500 and D5600 outdo some high-end cameras in terms of screen size. Both cameras are fitted with a 3.2 inches LCD screen that is capable of viewing the environment of your shot better.

The screen size is not only the amazing thing about these cameras’ screen: The screen is also fully articulated. What does an articulating screen do?

This screen permits more flexibility during shoots than you would normally have with a fixed screen. When tilted, it gives you an edge in capturing extremely low and high shots.

This feature can be greatly enjoyed when used with a tripod as it eliminates the need to crouch while taking low shots.

The articulating screen can be further rotated to face you. This is useful in taking selfies which is pretty much the fad nowadays. To take selfies, however, you’ll need to tap the selfie button and voila you get a selfie image.

The touchscreen feature is another amazing feature that makes us wonder if these cameras are truly entry-level. Like other screen features we’ve mentioned, certain higher cameras lack this feature.

Though looking at it critically, this feature would be Nikon’s way of allowing ease of use for these amateur photographers. (Since they are just getting familiar and acquainted with certain camera functions). Being able to control your camera’s function the same way you do with your smartphone is truly a plus.

 The screen resolution of both cameras also has an appreciable value of 1.037k dots. This screen resolution would give you more details as you view your screen.  

The video below is an overview of the Nikon D5600’s screen.

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Click Here to Get the Nikon D5600 Now!

Viewfinder

Nikon fitted the D5500 and the D5600 with an optical pentamirror viewfinder. This is one feature so far that somehow reminds us that these are entry-level cameras.

Although the optical viewfinder is common with higher-level cameras, the use of a pentamirror is the deal-breaker.  Let us quickly mention here that pentamirror viewfinders are still found in certain cameras that are higher than our cameras in focus.

The advantage is that these cameras make use of an optical instead of a digital viewfinder. The use of a digital viewfinder would have been a bit terrible as it consumes power while in use. This would, in turn, reduce the life of the battery; which for both cameras is just average.

Furthermore, it enables you to properly frame your shot even when the sun is very bright, or you’re in a well-illuminated place.

The pentamirror, on the other hand, reduces the efficiency of the camera as less light is permitted to pass through. This, in turn, reduces picture quality. 

Even at that, the viewfinders of these cameras have 95% coverage; which is a worthy achievement. Also, they have a magnification value of 0.55.

Image Processor

The Nikon D5500 and the D5600 both use the EXPEED 4 processor. This means both cameras execute their functions at the same speed.

This processor is great at multi-tasking and can readily enhance the auto-focus speed of these cameras. The EXPEED 4 is designed to reduce the occurrence of noise during shots and enables low power consumption.

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Click Here to Get the Nikon D5600 Now!

Continuous Shooting (Burst Mode)

The burst mode allows you to continuously shoot several pictures at once in a short space of time. The effectiveness of this is dependent on the camera’s buffer size as well as the shooting speed.

When it comes to buffer size, both the Nikon D5500 and the D5600 are fitted with a buffer capacity of 100 shots. This is the number of pictures that the buffer can contain per time for JPEG formats.

While for RAW formats the D5600 just has 1 more shot that the 7 shots capacity of the D5500. This is so negligible in real-world practicality; it isn’t much of a difference.

 The continuous shooting speed for both cameras is the same at 5 flaps per second.

Video Resolution

The Nikon D5500 and the D5600 have the same video resolution of 1920 x 1080. This is a value that is common to most cameras that fall with the same level and category of both cameras.

Built-In Flash

A built-in flash allows you to illuminate an area that is not well illuminated. Having a camera with an internal flash always comes in handy especially when you weren’t prepared to take a shot. The D5500 and the D5600 both have this feature.

Having an internal flash is not all; the flashlight must be able to cover a little bit of distance. The Nikon D5500 and D5600 can boast of a flash range of 12.00m when used at an ISO of 100.

Hot Shoe

A hot shoe is a platform that allows you to connect external attachments to your camera.

A major attachment that is commonly connected to the hot shoe is an external flash. External flashes have been greatly used in connection with the camera’s hot shoes that most people feel that it’s only used. Yet, other attachments that can be used with the hot shoe include range finders, light meters, viewfinders, etc.

When an external flash like the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite is attached to the D5500 or D5600’s hot shoe, it gives it extra firepower as regards lightning.

Built-in flashes are always limited and an external flash always bails one out of a really low light condition. And better lighting means better image quality.

Built-In Wi-Fi

The Nikon D5500 and the D5600 both have built-in wireless connectivity.

This feature allows the cameras to connect with other devices that have the Wi-Fi feature. This permits easier sharing of pictures and video files without the need for a cable.

The built-in Wi-Fi also lets you share pictures and videos directly to your social media platforms. This eliminates the process of having to send them first to your smartphone before uploading them.

Microphone Port

The Nikon D5500 and the D5600 are both fitted with a microphone port. This feature enables you to connect an external microphone to your camera.

The use of an external microphone cannot be compared to the internal audio recording your camera possesses. This is very important as it allows you a better audio recording opportunity.

The use of an external microphone like the Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone also allows for creativity and flexibility while shooting videos. You can record your voice or the voice of any other person directly.

A good instance would be during a sports event, whereby you could give commentary on the game as it unfurls.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5500 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D5600 Now!

UHS Card Supported

Both cameras support the use of memory cards as their storage medium. The Nikon D5500 and the D5600 are manufactured with a UHS-1 memory card support.

This card allows you to write and read your files at Ultra High Speeds. It also permits quicker storage of images. Data transfer is also faster as you can send up to 104MB/s.

Bulb Shutter

A bulb shutter comes as a very useful feature when shooting for an extended period. It is also helpful when you need to shoot moving objects as well as far distances.

This feature keeps your shutter manually open for as long as you desire. Unlike cameras without this feature, the shutter of the Nikon D5500 and the D5600 doesn’t close automatically after some minutes.

Remote Controlling

The flexibility of usage, creativity, and convenience are some of the benefits you enjoy from having a camera that has a remote controlling feature.

The D5500 and the D5600 can be controlled remotely via a paired supported smartphone. When the app is installed on your smartphone, you can easily change the settings of your camera using your smartphone.

Learn how to set up the remote control on the Nikon D5500 in the video below.

HDMI Port

To some people, the 3.2 inches LCD screen sported by both cameras may not adequately cause them to appreciate the images taken. This is where a camera with an HDMI port feature comes in handy.

The HDMI port allows you to connect your camera via an HDMI cable to a larger screen or a monitor.

A larger screen like the Neewer F100 7-inch IPS Screen Camera Field Monitor allows you to view your images with a wider frame. It further enables you to detect certain flaws better than you would with a smaller screen.

Unique Features – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

When we discuss unique features, we focus more on features that are present in one camera and absent in the other. For features and functions present in both cameras but different in operation or value; we put them in the unique pros section.

To that effect, the Nikon D5500 as good a camera as it is, it does not have features that are absent in the D5600. It only has those with better performance levels than the D5600. You’ll see these features in the unique pros section.

Due to this absence of unique features, let’s go straight to unique features of the D5600 that the D5500 lacks.

Unique Features – Nikon D5600

NFC

The Near Field Communication Technology allows for easier connectivity and sharing of files with devices. It functions mostly in association with Wi-Fi.

The D5600 boasts of this function and as such is a great camera for easy connection.

Built-in Bluetooth

Another connection feature that distinguishes the D5600 from the D5500 is the Bluetooth function.

The Nikon D5600 easily connects with other Bluetooth devices. This allows for better connectivity as well as flexibility usage.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5500 Now!
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SnapBridge

This is another connectivity function that the D5600 has which its predecessor lacks.

The Nikon SnapBridge technology facilitates an easier wireless connection to your supported smartphone. This allows you to transfer images to your smartphone with more ease.

This function works in association with your camera’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for certain unique functions. This means, for the snapbridge to work, your camera must have the built-in Bluetooth feature.

The snapbridge application enables your camera to maintain a low-power connection with your smartphone. It further eliminates the need to constantly reconnect whenever you want to transfer images. You can share images while your camera is off. (How cool is that?)

This can also be used to an extent to remote control your camera. It is a bit selective depending on the phones. It tends to work well with android smartphones than with an Apple iPhone.

Unique Pros – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Unique Pros of Nikon D5500 – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Lighter Weight

One major factor that influences people’s decision in choosing a camera is the weight of the camera they are considering.

When it comes to the Nikon D5500 and the D5600, both cameras are pretty much lightweight. However, the predecessor weighs less than its successor by 45g. The D5500 weighs 420g while the D5600 weighs 465g.

Even though the Nikon D5500 is lighter than the Nikon D5600 by 45g (10%), we do not consider this a major deal-breaker. This is because, despite the additional weight, the Nikon D5600 is still lightweight when compared to other cameras.

Yet, the addition of other accessories and attachments like lenses, external flash, etc could significantly add to your camera’s weight. At this point, having an additional 45g weight would not be as appealing as when no attachments or accessories were added.

Better Low Light ISO (ISO Performance)

The ISO performance determines how well your camera’s sensor responds to light. The higher the value of your camera’s low light ISO, the faster it responds to light.

The D5600 does better in this regard with a better ISO performance than its successor. It has a low light ISO of 1438 while the D5600 has a 1306 low light ISO.

This makes the D5500 a bit better than the D5600 in capturing moving images as it can expose a picture in less time. To this end, we recommend the D5500 for sports photography over the D5600.

Another situation whereby the low light ISO gives a practical advantage is in shooting in low light conditions. The D5500 with its higher values will do better than the D5600 in low light conditions. And it also reduces the occurrence of noise in your images.

Cheaper

Given the similarities shared between both cameras, we believe the price of both cameras to be fair enough.

Though the D5500 is a bit less expensive than the D5600; you can get it for $33 less in most cases. As far as price is concerned the D5500 has this one also in the bag.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D5500 Now!
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Unique Pros of Nikon D5600 – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Faster Startup

A faster startup means the D5600 switches on and is operational faster than the D5500. It has a startup of 0.20 seconds while the D5500 has a startup of 0.40 seconds.

Less Shutter Lag

The Nikon D5600 has a shutter lag value of 0.11 seconds while the D5500 has a shutter lag value of 0.20 seconds. This allows the D5600 to focus faster and it can take photos faster than the D5500.

Better Battery Life

Battery longevity is another area where the D5600 does better than its predecessor. It can last up to 970 shots after a single charge while the D5500 lasts for just 820 shots. This is a much-needed improvement.

Unique Cons – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Unique Cons of Nikon D5500 – Nikon D5500 vs D5500

i. No NFC.

ii. No built-in Bluetooth.

iii. No SnapBridge.

Common Pros – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Nikon D5500 Nikon D5600
Supports RAW formats The D5500 is fitted with a RAW support function that allows the camera to shoot and store pictures RAW format.

This format means you get your pictures shot and stored in the best-uncompressed quality.

It also lets you edit your images easily. Changes such as altering the white balance and other such editing are easily one in RAW format.
Same with the Nikon D5500
Has Timelapse Recording Time-lapse recording is an incredible function that unleashes a photographer’s creativity.

This function allows you to combine a series of photos to form a short video.

These photos are of the same object taken repeatedly over time. The time-lapse function is used to show the progression of changes.

The D5500 has this function.
Same as the Nikon D5500
Has AE Bracketing It comes in handy in shooting in environments with harsh lightning and HDR.

The Nikon D5500 has the AE bracketing function that allows the camera to automatically adjusts its settings depending on the kind of environment you are in.

When you move from a poorly illuminated area to a well lit one, the camera easily adjusts settings to meet up with this change. It removes the need to manually adjust settings.
Same as the Nikon D5500
Face Detection Focus Present This face detection focus function is used to identify the faces of people as you prepare to take a shot.

When this is done, the camera then gives the face the right kind of exposure it needs.

Cameras with this function are useful when taking portraits photographs. That’s why we recommend the D5500 as a reliable portrait camera.
Same as the Nikon D5500
Live View This feature allows your camera to maintain continuous autofocus. That means the subjects in your shot will look sharp despite their position in the frame.

The D5500 has this function and we are glad as it comes in handy during video recording.
Same as the Nikon D5500
Adequate Focus Points 39 focus points in an entry-level DSLR? That’s something.

The D5500 boasts of this function as its autofocus can easily enhance the subject’s exposure.
Click Here to Get the Nikon D5500 Now!
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Common Cons – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Nikon D5500 Nikon D5600
No Image Stabilization A shake during shooting is not a strange occurrence, especially when you have to move a lot. This, in most cases, affects the picture’s quality as blurs appear.

Certain cameras are equipped with an image stabilization function that prevents such shaking. However, the Nikon D5500 is not one of such cameras.

To prevent a blurred image while shooting, you must not shake. That’s a lot of pressure, especially for an amateur photographer right?

Well, you can also get any of the 88 supported optical stabilization lenses for the D5500. These lenses afford you the stability you would normally get from the image stabilization function. But note that the better the lens, the better stabilization you get.
Same as the Nikon D5500
No Environment Sealing The lack of environment sealing function in cameras sometimes attests to the level of that camera.

Since the D5500 is an entry-level camera, it is thought that the user (amateur photographer) wouldn’t shoot in harsh weather conditions. Shooting in such conditions is considered to be for the professionals. Yet, we know that even a professional can also make use of an entry-level DSLR camera like the D5500.

The lack of this function means you shouldn’t shoot in bad weather conditions: Your shots will be poor and you could damage your camera.
Same as the Nikon D5500
No Fine Tuning Option AF (Auto Focus) Micro Adjustment is a function that enables a camera to fine-tune its autofocus. The Nikon D5500 lacks this function. Same as the Nikon D5500
Single Storage Card Slot Storage space is everything. To this effect, certain cameras offer the option of a double card slot.

The D5500 does not offer that option has it has just a single storage card slot. This means your storage capacity is limited.

Apart from storage, having dual card slots grants certain storage flexibility. A typical example is that you could store your pictures in one memory card and your videos in another.
Same as the Nikon D5500
No Built-In GPS A built-in GPS offers certain benefits. Chief among these is the ability to easily geo-tag photos.

The D5500 lacks this function which means you won’t be geo-tagging any of your photos
Same as the Nikon D5500
No Headphone Jack With a headphone jack, you can easily connect your camera with a headphone.

This is extremely useful in monitoring the precision and quality of your audio during video recording. Such monitoring isn’t possible with the Nikon D5500.
Same as the Nikon D5500 except for the presence of a built-in Bluetooth feature in the D5600 could come in handy here.

The Nikon D5600 can still make use of a headphone that possesses the Bluetooth feature.
No Top Deck Display The top deck display feature allows you to access and check your camera’s settings easily.

With a screen at the top of the camera, the settings can be viewed and altered as desired.

The D5500, however, lacks this feature.
Same as the Nikon D5500
No Slow Motion The D5500 is incapable of shooting videos in slow motion as it lacks this function Same as the Nikon D5500
No Panorama A panoramic photo is a stitching together of several pictures. The Nikon D5500 cannot make a panoramic photo as it lacks this function. Same as the Nikon D5500

General Feeling among Users – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Nikon D5500 Nikon D5600
Users praised the Nikon D5500 for its reliability and functionality. They attest to it being one of the best amateur cameras in the market. The Nikon D5600 was also lauded by users for its reliability and functionality. However, the downgrade on the low light ISO put off some users.
The only connectivity option the D5500 boasts of is a built-in Wi-Fi. This isn’t much of a big deal to its users as they still can share and connect wirelessly. If there is one aspect of the D5600 that users truly appreciate, that would be the connectivity options.

With a built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and SnapBridge, this camera was designed to connect and users love it for this.

Our Take – Nikon D5500 vs D5600

Nikon D5500 Nikon D5600
The Nikon D5500 is a worthy amateur DSLR camera. Its features and functions rank it among the very top entry-level cameras out there.

If you need an amateur camera that is known for its excellence in image production, we recommend this camera.
There are few entry-level cameras out there that offer you a wide array of connectivity options like the Nikon D5600.

If you want connection and a high ranking amateur camera, this can be your camera.
Click Here to Get the Nikon D5500 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D5600 Now!
Victor

Victor is a student of mass communication with special focus on digital media. He has an insatiable craving for knowledge. When he is not learning new things, he is busy writing about them.

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