The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas generally isn’t the hottest trade show for photography news, but this year has seen a few relatively big announcements. Nikon’s D5500 is the company’s replacement to the D5300, holding down the position between the entry-level D3300 and the enthusiast-focused D7100. While most of its features and specifications are familiar, there are a couple of new ones certainly worth pointing out.
Like its predecessor, the D5500 uses a 24MP DX-format (APS-C) sensor that forgoes the traditional antialiasing filter for improved sharpness. With a 39-point AF system and the capability to shoot up to 5 frames per second continuously, it’s not a bad entry-level action camera. Other features we’ve come to expect, like WiFi and a fully-articulating LCD monitor, are of course present, but the real selling point of the camera (like it or not) is the touch screen. This marks the first Nikon DSLR to use a touch screen, a feature that people seem to either love or never use at all. On the video side, full HD video can be recorded at 24, 30, and 60 FPS, giving plenty of options for the average videographer.
Perhaps more interesting is that the D5500’s body design takes a cue from the full-frame D750 by employing a monocoque chassis. It seems like a subtle change at this model level, where the cameras are already pretty small and light, but this should give the camera slightly improved ergonomics while potentially making it more durable.
Nikon also announced a new lens along with the D5500, a replacement 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 that utilizes the latest VR technology and a new, compact design. Like the latest 18-55mm kit lens introduced along with the D3300, the new 55-200 retracts into itself to save space when not in use. Combined with the weight savings of the monocoque body, it looks like Nikon is making a strong case that mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras aren’t the only cameras that can be compact and powerful.
The D5500 will be available in three configurations, starting with the body-only at $899.99. Additional kits will be available either with the 18-55mm or 18-140mm lenses. The new 55-200mm will sell separately for $349.99.