Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D5500 Full Comparison

Which of Nikon’s entry-level DSLRs should you get? The D5500 or the younger D5600? Today, my focus will be on both cameras as I highlight all of the small details that could help you choose between the Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D5500 in this comparison.

Both cameras were released just 22 months apart.

While the D5600 was released to succeed in the D5500, the D5500 followed the D5300 as Nikon did not release a D5400. You’re probably thinking there isn’t much enough to separate these two. True, but I’ll touch the critical details that can help with your decision making.

Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D3500 Results Summary

 Nikon D5600Nikon D5500
Picture Quality9.59
Video Recording99
Features/Specs8.58
AF Performance98.5
Ease of Use8.58
MSRP$599.95
(body only)
$599.99
(body only)
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price
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price

This Nikon D5500 vs D5600 is one of my closest D5600 comparisons yet. I’m saying this because We’ve made a comparison of the Nikon D5600 with the D3500. And even more recently, I finished a D5600 vs D7200 review.

Here’s the truth, none of those comparisons ever came close to what I have here with the Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D5500. Just take a look at this chart below and see what I’m saying;

Nikon D5500 vs D5600 Specs Comparison Chart

 Nikon D5600Nikon D5500
Features/SpecsNikon D5600 vs D5500 ComparisonD5500 vs D5600 Buying Guide
Released20162015
Image Sensor24MP – APS-C CMOS Sensor24MP – APS-C CMOS Sensor
Image resolution6000 x 40006000 x 4000
ProcessorEXPEED 4EXPEED 4
AutofocusNikon Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor with 39 focus pointsNikon Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor with 39 focus points
Video resolution1920 x 1080 (Full HD), 60p No 4K capability1920 x 1080 (Full HD), 60p No 4K capability
Max FPS5fps5fps
ISO rangeISO 100 – BaseIS0 12,800 – MaxISO 100 – BaseIS0 12,800 – Max
Optical viewfinderYes, 0.55x magnification, 95% coverageYes, 0.55x magnification, 95% coverage
TouchscreenYesNo
ConnectivityBluetooth, SnapBridge,Wi-Fi, NFC, HDMI, USB 2.0HDMI, USB 2.0
GPSNoNo
Environmental SealingNoNo
Battery life970 shots per charge820 shots per charge
Size/Weight124 x 97 x 70 mm, 465 g124 x 97 x 70 mm, 420 g

Except for a few areas, both the D5600 and D5500 seem a lot similar when you compare their core features and specifications.

But beyond this, there are a few differences that could tip the scale of either camera in your favor. As they say, the devil is in the detail.

Related: Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D7200 Full Comparison

Body, Build, & Design Review

As with any camera, the first thing that strikes you is the appearance. And even in this area, both cameras have more similarities than differences.

The D5600 and D5500 are both available in red and black. These cameras have a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, and both lack environmental sealing.

There’s a swiveling 3.2” LCD touchscreen on both cameras.

And as a matter of fact, the D5500 was the first Nikon camera to feature a touchscreen display. Both of these cameras have optical viewfinders with a magnification of 0.55x and a coverage of 95%.

There are a lot of similarities here. However, the most noteworthy difference is that the D5500 has a lighter build compared to the D5600.

●  Nikon D5600 measures 124 x 97 x 70 mm and weighs 465g.

●  Nikon D5500 measures 124 x 97 x 70 mm and weighs 420g.

WINNER: Nikon D5500, by an inch!

Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D5500 Features Comparison

You’ve already seen how both cameras compare with regards to specifications and core features.

We already discussed how they both have many similarities, from having the same shutter speed to having 3.2” touchscreens that can be turned front-facing for vlogging and selfies, etc.

The D5600, as well as the D5500, use the EXPEED 4 image processor.

They both do not have anti-aliasing filters, so their pictures are super sharp and detailed. Both cameras have built-in intervalometers and can write their data to SDXC cards, along with a capacity to use UHS-I cards with up to 104 MB/s data transfer speed. With an intervalometer, you won’t need to buy an external camera trigger or software to capture timelapse sequences.

The only key difference in specifications here can be seen in connectivity, and we’ll discuss that in one of the parts below.

WINNER: Tie

Sensor comparison for Nikon D5500 vs D5600 DSLRs

Often, I’ve been asked to give a definitive verdict on Nikon D5600 vs D5600 image quality. I would prefer to say there’s no winner in this Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D5500 sensor tussle.

But if I have to choose, it will be the Nikon D5600, no doubt.

My submission is not because of any significant features differences. I just feel that the slight edge the D5600 enjoys is probably due to sensor technology advancements over the 22 months between their release dates.

That said, here’s how both sensors compare, on paper;

Same APS-C sensors

Both cameras have APS-C sensors with a format or crop factor of 1.5.

These sensors are not particularly large. They are mid-range at best, offering a decent balance of image quality and portability.

The D5600 and D5500 also have similar sensor resolutions, and consequently, the same pixel density and size.  No anti-aliasing filter is installed on both cameras, and they have the same ISO sensitivity range of 100 – 25,600.

Here’s the DxOMark Sensor test for both cameras;

 Nikon D5600Nikon D5500
Color Depth24.124.0
Dynamic Range13.9 Evs14 Evs
Low light ISO13061438
Total score8484

Finally, both cameras can record videos at a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1920, and up to 60p.

WINNER: Tie
Sensor quality directly impacts image quality

Connectivity options for Nikon D5500 and Nikon D5600

I care about the connectivity options available on my camera. And I know a lot of people who share the same sentiment. And in this part of the Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D5500 comparison, we finally have something we could call a really noteworthy difference.

Here’s the truth; D5600 offers more connectivity options than D5600!

On the Nikon D5600, you have a variety of options that includes Nikon’s SnapBridge Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity options, HDMI, as well as USB 2.0 options. Both cameras have an input port for microphones.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5600 only gives you a handful of options.

You get Wi-Fi but no NFC support. Again, there’s no support for SnapBridge or Bluetooth on the D5500, as well.

Both cameras, however, have ports for Hotshoe and microphone but none for headphones.

WINNER: Nikon D5600

Battery Life Comparison

When you have two excellent cameras like the D5600 and D5500, things like battery life, pricing, and the other small details are often the deal-breakers.

You need cameras that will give you enough juice for your shots.

The D5500 gives you a decent 820 shots on a single charge, according to CIPA standards. That seems impressive, but with the D5600, you get 970 shots on a single charge. That difference of 150 more shots per charge is no doubt a big deal.

WINNER: Nikon D5600

Price comparison

Both DSLRs belong to what many call the upper-entry class.

The good thing is that after many years on the market, each of these cameras has seen massive price cuts and can now be gotten at heavily discounted prices.

Both of these cameras can be found online at similar price ranges.

There are used models of the D5500 for about $382 (amazon.com/Nikon-D5500-DX-format-Digital-Black/dp/B00RUBJ7EW/) on Amazon.

The D5600, on the other hand, can be easily gotten for around $549 (amazon.com/Nikon-D5600-DX-Format-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B07K1K6JCP/) for a refurbished model. If you want even more value, there are Nikon D5600 bundle packages available online.  The same goes for Nikon D5500, as these bundles usually include other useful accessories you may need.

Regardless, the D5500 is the less expensive one of the two cameras since it’s spent a much longer time on the market.

WINNER: Nikon D5600

Lenses for the Nikon D5600 and Nikon D5500

Again, both the Nikon D5600 and the Nikon D5500 use the same type of Nikon F lens mount. That lens mount is compatible with 309 native lenses currently available on the market.

Need the best lenses for D5600 or D5500?

Fortunately, 106 of these lenses have optical image stabilization feature. This could be very helpful because both cameras lack a built-in image stabilization feature. In this area like many others, there’s no winner!

Nikon D5600 lenses and accessories
Image Credit: Nikon USA

Which is the best between the D5600 vs D5500?

We’ve compared almost every aspect of the Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D5500. So, which of these is the better option for you?

Both cameras offer similar image quality and sensor performance. But here are some of the key differences that can make one seem more admirable than the other.

Why choose the Nikon D5500 over the D5600?

 There are two key reasons why the older D5500 may be better than the Nikon D5600. These include;

●  The lightweight advantage (10% lighter) makes the D5500 slightly more comfortable to carry around than the D5600.

●  More time on the market has made the older D5500 significantly less expensive than the Nikon D5600.

Why choose the Nikon D5600 over the D5500?

The younger D5600 also has some advantages over the D5500. Some of these include;

●  More connectivity options for wireless connections and easy device pairing over short distances.

●  The longer-lasting battery of the Nikon D5600 gives you 150 more shots per charge, compared to the D5500.

●  Affordable pricing at launch, and now even more discounted, despite the slight technology improvements of the D5600 over the D5500.

Conclusion

It’s a good thing that these cameras will fit most budgets.

They are both excellent and have garnered mostly positive user reviews on Amazon and other online stores. Whichever one you choose, you’ll surely be in great company. However, your choice will depend on how much the slight difference in features in either camera matters to you.

Are you more a fan of the slight improvements in the D5600 or more attracted to the little savings the D5500 offers?

Once you decide what matters to you, you can easily pick your camera choice and start having the time of your photography life!

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