REVIEW : Nikon's D5500 - Is This Your Best Choice for Your First DSLR?

 The awesome Nikon D5500 with AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm/3.5-5.6 G VR II Lens

The awesome Nikon D5500 with AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm/3.5-5.6 G VR II Lens

You want a camera.  Or you want to give someone a gift of a camera.  The decision is to go with a DSLR and now it's time to shop.  Then you go to the big box store, or the dedicated photo shop, or you sit in the kitchen shopping online, but in the end you come away frustrated because there are so many choices and when you find something that looks decent, you immediately find a review from someone who hates the thing.  Arrgghhh!   I cannot promise that this article will make your life easier, but if you are seeking a DSLR for the starting or growing photographer, you should take a long look at the D5500 from Nikon.

Let's preface the review with a short conversation about use cases.  I've been a photographer for over 40 years.  I don't specialize in any specific style or subject matter, but I do have very specific requirements that suit my work and my needs.  Most experienced photographers are in the same place.  The only issue that can arise is if a review is bound to the writer's use case which may not match your own.  Consequently, I've worked hard to eliminate any considerations for my own use cases in this review.

Nikon has two "consumer" families of DSLR.  The D3XXX and D5XXX lines are built to hit the price market points for entry level DSLR cameras.  It is a price point conversation because budgets are real.  Manufacturers also want people to be happy and upgrade over time and still be able to do so within a budget.  The D5500 is the present top of the line in Nikon's consumer lineup.  

Be clear, I use the word consumer because that's what the market calls it.  Cameras like the D5500 blow away pro cameras from five years ago pretty much across the board when it comes to features and functionality.  So let's agree not to get caught in segmentation verbiage and instead focus on what real people need and want.

A primary use case for many photographers is the containment of weight and size.  A camera is a tool, but is likely not to be the only thing being carried around.  For a lot of users, weight and bulk would relegate the camera to the closet or the drawer.  That's a waste on all sides, so Nikon made the D5500 small and lightweight.  It's physically smaller than the D5300 it supersedes and smaller than most of the competition.  It is super lightweight as well so it doesn't become a burden on the shooter's neck or shoulder.  This focus on size and weight will mean that the camera will be pulled out and used more often.

The D5500 comes with a "kit" lens.  Kit lens is not synonymous with "piece of crap" although I hear this from sellers all too frequently.  Kit lenses are not made entirely of plastic and even the parts that are made of plastic use very high quality polymers in their construction.  Plastic as a word has become an adjective indicating cheap crap.  If you believe that, go take a walk around your home and determine what you would still have without quality plastics, it's ok, I'll wait.

Plastic weighs less than metal.  For that matter it weighs less than wood, but no one is howling a for a wooden lens instead of plastic.  The focus and lens movement mechanisms are built from high grade plastics as is the lens mount.  It is true that if you abuse them, they will break, but perhaps your use case does not include using your camera body and lens as a sledge hammer.  What does matter is that these lenses are sharp, with excellent colour as well as being lightweight and versatile.  The base lens covers the range of 18mm to 55mm.  The D5500 is, as I'll cover in greater detail later, a crop sensor camera.  That means that if you want to be able to use a single lens for wider images such as landscapes or beaches or groups of people, the lens does that.  if you want to do portraits of friends and family or even just get a decent image of your pet, the lens does that too.  The maximum aperture range is f/3.5 to f/5.6.  The lens is not particularly optically "fast" but the lens is only part of the complete package so combined with an easy to use body and an excellent sensor, you will end up with better exposed and sharper pictures.  And these images will be way better than what you would have been able to get straight out of any camera of this price point two years ago.  It is possible to choose alternates for the base lens, we'll talk about that more as well.

I have average sized hands.  Small cameras with tiny buttons are hard for me to use.  That has nothing to do with use case, it has to do with user interface.  The D5500 is much smaller than the cameras I use every day, but the control layout is well thought out given the space constraints and I would say that anyone will be able to manipulate the controls without problems.  Many people are entering more serious photography from smart phones or point and shoots.  They are accustomed to large bright LCDs and may never have used a viewfinder before.  That's anathema to me, but if it works for you, you're going to love the speed and image quality you get from the D5500 when shooting in what is called "Live View".  It's the same idea as your smartphone, with the exception that however good your smartphone images are, the D5500 is so much better, you may start questioning your prior "awesome shots."

 The tilt and flip LCD display has a wide range of viewing angles and is very easy to see.

The tilt and flip LCD display has a wide range of viewing angles and is very easy to see.

The D5500 has a large bright rear LCD display.  This display is of the tilt and flip variety so it can be adjusted for when your subject is lot to the ground and you aren't, when you need to make a shot over the heads of the crowds in front of you, and of course the popular "selfie shot".  I'm not a selfie person, thinking of them as more the harbinger of doom, but lots of folks like them.  Where I do find this ability to see the panel from in front of the camera extremely useful is in shooting video.  If you and your family are all in the shot, you can see exactly what the camera is seeing and recording and this is a huge benefit.

Regular readers know that I am typically not a big fan of touchscreens on camera LCDs.  Mostly I find them to be a pain, but many folks coming to the D5500 will be accustomed to and desirous of a touchscreen.  The D5500 delivers and I will give Nikon a lot of credit here.  This one is pretty darn usable, to the point where a curmudgeon such as myself was using it regularly during the test.  Old dogs can be taught new tricks I guess.  My only frustration, and this is not unique to Nikon is that being a left eyed shooter who likes to use the eyebrow ridge as a stabilization point, my nose presses against the LCD.  It did not make any settings changes on the D5500, unlike other touchscreens I have used, but still tends to collect human facial oils and need a regular cleaning.  I keep a microfibre cloth in my bag for this purpose because no camera has solved this issue properly yet.

A lot of people want the simplicity of a point and shoot, but the ability to take on more control of how the picture will look.  "Look" includes composition, exposure, style and even certain effects.  The D5500 gives that kind of flexibility.  In Scene mode, it's as easy to use as your smartphone.  Pick the scene that fits and go to town.  You'll get much better pictures than you would ever get with a smartphone or point and shoot camera.  The D5500 also has what photo magazines like to call PASM.  Yup, yet another acronym.  It means, Program, Aperture Preferred, Shutter Preferred and Manual.  What it means to you is that you can exercise exactly how much or how little control you want to exert in the taking of the picture.   In essence, the one camera gives you everything from camera does everything other than point itself and take the shot, to you do every last little thing to make the photograph.  This isn't an exercise in planned obsolescence.

We also know that not every picture looks great when the light is dim, so we've had on camera or on smartphone flash for a long time.  Yes, we know it tends to look very flat and sometimes it really produces some ugly stuff.  But it also can make the difference between getting the shot and not getting the shot, so having a built in flash is very handy.  The flash is small and doesn't have a lot of power but will do the job in home and most family situations.  If you're up in the nosebleed section at a concert, the flash isn't going to do anything for you, so use a Scene mode. And you can feel superior to everyone blasting away with the point and shoot flash or smartphone flash since that light peters out after about 10 feet anyway.

So far this D5500 sounds pretty awesome doesn't it?  That's because it is pretty awesome.  In this next section, I'm going to drill down into some of the technical elements and try to explain where the camera sings, and where you may or may not find a gotcha.

We'll start with the sensor.  Megapixels is a horribly abused term.  It has so much spin placed on it, that you should be able to harness it as a power source.  Basically megapixel count is the number of photo receptors (light gathering devices) on the sensor.  More does not necessarily mean better.  The more pixels, the smaller each pixel is, and that usually means the poorer each pixel performs as the amount of light diminishes.  It's a balancing act.  This sensor has approximately 24,000,000 pixels.  That's more detail than the human eye will normally see by a good chunk.  You don't need more.  There are cameras with more, but they get silly expensive and their use cases become more narrow.  This doesn't mean that you should choose a smaller number of pixels either.  The receptors on this sensor do an excellent job and produce at least the same quality in low light as the sensors from competing products with lower megapixel counts, so no loss there.

Where this camera's sensor kicks serious butt is in the area of dynamic range.  Your eye can see over twenty shades of grey.  Camera sensors used to struggle to see six.  Not anymore.  The sensor in the D5500 can readily see 14 shades of grey.  Competitors barely get to 11.  Here's the net.  Wider dynamic range is better.  Always.  And don't worry when I say shades of grey and you think "but I want colour".  Shades of grey is how bright or dark things are.  The wider the dynamic range, the more real the picture looks.

Camera sensors are not as sensitive as our eyes to different light levels so we have different ISO settings in the camera.  You can let it decide or make the choice yourself.  The good news is that the D5500 has an ISO range of 100 to 25,600.  That covers most any shooting situation.  The lower the number, the better the image quality, both in quality of colour and reduced amount of digital noise.  But there will be situations where getting an image at all is the important thing.  Perhaps your son or daughter is playing in a big game on an outdoor lighted field.  Your eye can compensate for the crappy light but many cameras cannot keep up.  A wider ISO range can mean the difference between getting the shot and not.  Understand that the higher the ISO, the less rich the colour and the more digital noise you'll see.  Also understand that you might actually get an image, instead of wishing for one.

As we choose to work on our photographic skills, the D5500 remains useful.  At first you may not care to know about exposure compensation at all, but if this photography thing becomes important, it will be good to find that the D5500 supports both ambient exposure compensation and flash exposure compensation, accessible through menus and buttons on the camera.  You might want to try your hand at High Dynamic Range (HDR) so the D5500 even supports Automatic Exposure Bracketing, specifically to allow you to take a sequence of the same image at different exposure values for the purpose of combining into an HDR or even just to learn when a certain type of compensation will make a positive difference.

The camera stores images on the ubiquitous SDHC and SDXC style memory cards.  If you're starting out, don't get sucked in to buying cheap cards.  Stick to SanDisk or Lexar and buy the fastest and largest cards you can afford.  Lots of small cards are a pain in the butt and slow cards will make you want to attempt the shot put with your camera as the shot.  You will hear a lot of bull on the web and in some retailers about how their house brand card is just as good.  No, it isn't.  That picture you take could be a lifetime memory and you shouldn't risk it to some junk card.  In today's marketplace, it's false economy to buy a card with less than 32GB capacity.

The other reason you want fast cards with lots of space is that the D5500 does outstanding video.  What's that?  You already have a video camera or you don't care about video?  If you have a video camera now, plan on never using it again once you see the quality of the video that the D5500 can shoot.  Don't care about video?  Try it out.  But be warned, it's addictive.  The video capability of the D5500 is 1080p60.  That means great images on your Full HD television set at a frame rate that looks like pro video because 1080p60 IS pro video.  There are built in microphones for recording audio and while you will never win a sound award with them, they will be the difference between hearing your child's first words and hand waving forever or just trying to remember what it was like.  DSLR cameras have been used for video by pros for years.  If you've watched a major TV show or major movie in a theatre in the last three years, you've seen video shot on a DSLR.  Since the sensor in the D5500 produces the same quality video as the sensors in higher end DSLRs that may be built tougher, you already know that you cannot tell the difference between cinema video and DSLR video unless you know exactly what to look for.  Video is here, it's built in, so what are you waiting for?  Oh and that video from your smartphone?  Plan on getting snobbish about poor quality video pretty quickly once you've shot it on the D5500.

In my use cases, I shoot everything in the RAW file format.  RAW means uncooked and I understand that EVERY single image will need post processing on the computer if I want it to look like something other than what the cat hacked up this morning.  There are plenty of people who hear the words "post-processing" and develop a cringe reflex.  These folks want amazing images right out of the camera with no, or very little post-processing required.  You know, just like a smartphone.  Excellent.  The D5500 is built to do that.  It will shoot in JPEG mode and has built in WiFi so you can upload images from your camera through your smartphone to your favourite social media sites.  The big difference is going to be in the image quality.  The D5500 image quality will be so far superior to anything coming out of the smartphone that you'll become more discerning, using your smartphone for some images, and your D5500 for the ones that really matter.  But wait, suppose you DO want to engage in post-processing, or you want 100% control over the output image?  No problem.  The D5500 can shoot in RAW.  You can even shoot RAW+JPEG at the same time so you get the best of both worlds.

In addition to Scene modes, the D5500 also comes with a number of Picture Styles built in.  Picture Styles are prewritten processing recipes for the the JPEG files that the camera produces.  Want a portrait look?  Choose Portrait!  Want to see punchy colours?  Choose Vivid.  Want to get black and white images?  Choose Monochrome.  You could do all this stuff in post processing, but if your goal is to spend your time taking pictures and not in the digital darkroom, Picture Styles can save you a lot of time.  Don't worry about what other people tell you to do, take the pictures you want the way you want to take them.  The great news is that the D5500 will accommodate you, regardless of where you stand in most all situations.

The magic of a DSLR is that you can change lenses.  Nikon makes over 200 different lenses and most of them can be used on the D5500.  You may not mount a $20,000 800mm on the D5500 but you could.  Nikon has an excellent reputation for lens image quality.  So you have a lot of choices.  There's also a thriving third party lens pantheon that will mount to the D5500.  

Now remember that chat about sensor size in the D5500 being WAY larger than in the smartphone and the point and shoot?  That does mean that you will never see the massive optical zoom ranges in a single DSLR lens that you will see in cameras with teeny tiny sensors.  You choose a DSLR because image quality is more important than zoom range.  So you may find yourself thinking about more than one lens.  Good for you!

 The AF-S Nikkor 55mm-200mm /4-5.6 G II ED Lens

The AF-S Nikkor 55mm-200mm /4-5.6 G II ED Lens

When you purchase your D5500, you will be presented (at least I hope that you will) with a variety of options.  The most common is the combination of the body and the aforementioned 18-55mm zoom.  It's an excellent value.  Next up is the same kit with the addition of the 55-200mm zoom.  This, by the way is what the kind folks at Nikon provided for this review.  One body, two lenses and most every scenario that the average photographer will encounter is completely covered.  Another option is the body, the 18-55mm and a 55-300mm lens.  This pairing costs a bit more than the first one, but the 55-300mm gives another 100mm of reach with no sacrifice in lens speed, and it uses Nikon's proven ED (extra low dispersion) glass for superb image quality.  The longer lens is a tiny bit heavier, but not so much that you won't take it with you.  The primary difference is cost.  Another option is the D5500 body with the 18-140mm lens.  This kit is designed for the user who doesn't want to be carrying multiple lenses and hopes to get everything in one place.  I confess that this is not my favourite all around lens, and this leads me to the final option, to buy the body alone and add the lens you want.  In my mind, for the photographer who wants lots of focal length flexibility at minimum weight and is willing to spend a bit more money, this is the way to go.  Couple the D5500 with Nikon's superb 18-300mm zoom and you have a single system that will cover pretty much any shooting situation you could encounter.  You will have to go to a proper photo store if you go this route as the big box stores tend only to carry pre-packaged kits.  In my experience, you'll be better served at a speciality camera store anyways.

 My favourite Nikon DX all around lens, the AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm/3.5-6.3 G ED VR

My favourite Nikon DX all around lens, the AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm/3.5-6.3 G ED VR

Note that all the Nikon zooms mentioned here include Nikon's VR, or vibration reduction, capability.  What VR does is help to address the camera shake inherent in all of us.  VR works to counter this shake and produce sharper images.

So what are the downsides?  Surely there must be some.  There are, but remember the context of use cases.  The camera is built from high performance plastics but if you are a photojournalist shooting in a war zone, it's not as likely as a D4s to hold up to wear and tear.  If you are shooting 200,000 images a year, the shutter in the D5500 won't last you all that long.  If you want to leverage Nikon's excellent Creative Lighting System to control off camera flash, you will not find that capability in the D5500.  That one missing element bugs me more than it probably should.  Nikon uses excellent CPUs in its cameras so the decision to leave out CLS is a marketing one, not a technical one.  If a buyer wants CLS they have to jump substantially to the D7X00 series.  Please Nikon, stop the silliness and put your awesome CLS in everything you make.  If you are looking for thousands of images on a single battery, that's not going to happen.  If you have lenses without built in autofocus motors from Nikon, they won't do autofocus on this camera, although manual focus will work.  That is a legitimate reason to move up to the D7200 by the way because there is more in the camera to justify the price jump.  If you want maximum feature programmability and button customization, that's not in the D5500, you need to be looking at a more expensive model.  I'm not a fan of on camera flash at any time, and if you aren't either, you'll want to consider adding a hotshoe mounted flash unit.

If none of these downsides matter to you, then they aren't downsides at all are they?  You can find the body and 18-55mm selling for around $930 to $1250 for the 18-55 and 55-300 kit.  Body alone price is around $820 and you are looking around $950 for the compact Nikon 18-300/3.5-6.3 lens.

Sample Gallery

I found myself carrying the D5500 around a lot during the evaluation, it's lightness and speed being a very nice boon to all the other stuff I have to haul around.  I shot it indoors and out, and the gallery shows what you can expect from the camera.  All images were recorded using either the 18-55 or 55-200, all in RAW and all outdoor images were handheld, even at some potentially too slow shutter speeds.  Because I shot in RAW, all images have had some digital darkroom work done as is required for any RAW images.  All the processing was done in Lightroom, with one exception of removing an annoying sign in Photoshop.  I used my standard workflow in every case and didn't spend more than three minutes on any image.

The landscape images were shot on the same day as the sun was going down and before the winter chill hit.  The image of my wolf-dog was shot outdoors using a Metz 44 flash with a Nikon compatible foot mounted as I did not have a Nikon flash at hand.  No light shapers were used so you get a sense of how the camera handles on camera flash, and I think it does a great job.

Conclusions

There are certainly a lot of entry level cameras in the market to choose from.  Your own use cases should be your guide, not primarily what I or other reviewers have to say.  That said however, my personal opinion is that the D5500 is the camera to beat for the 2015 holiday season.  It has a much wider selection of lenses than the otherwise excellent Sony offering in the same price point and I find it easier to handle.  Canon's offering is very well laid out, but the sensor offers lower resolution (not a big deal) and much less dynamic range (a very big deal).  Were I in the position to be starting out, or buying a camera for someone who was, or looking to help someone upgrade from a smartphone, point and shoot or whatever, the D5500 is the one I would choose.  If it were for me, I would likely go with the body and the 18-300 or the two lens kit with the 18-55 and 55-300.  In addition to the camera, I would add a second battery since having a spare is just smart and Nikon doesn't rob you for their batteries, but I would ONLY choose a Nikon branded battery, never a third party offering.  A couple of 32GB high speed cards would be a good place to start unless there was a good sale on a single 64gb SDXC card from either SanDisk or Lexar.  Given the quality of Nikon lenses and their relative low cost, I would probably do without a protective filter, since buying a filter of acceptable quality would add at least $60 per lens after tax, and I've only ever had the situation once where a filter saved my lens.   A generic filter will only degrade your image quality, so there's no benefit there.  However, I would definitely be buying a hood for every lens if one did not come in the box with the lens.  A hood provides some frontal protection and definitely reduces glare improving photo quality.  I would probably add a speed light flash, because I am a flash kind of guy.  All the price estimates are in Canadian dollars because I live in Canada.  If you live in the United States, your prices will be a bit less right now.

Thanks for reading and until next time, peace.

 

Specifications (Courtesy Nikon Canada)

 Type

  1. Type

    Single-lens reflex digital camera

  2. Lens Mount

    Nikon F bayonet mount

 Image Sensor

  1. Picture Angle

    Nikon DX format

  2. Effective Pixels (Megapixels)

    24.2 million

  3. Sensor Size

    23.5 mm

     

    x 15.6 mm

  4. Image Sensor Format

    DX

  5. Image Sensor Type

    CMOS

  6. Total Pixels

    24.78 million

  7. Dust-reduction system

    Image sensor cleaning
    Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX-D software required) 

  8. Dust-Off Reference Photo

    Yes

  9. Image Area (pixels)

    DX-format
    (L) 6,000 x 4,000 


    (M) 4,496 x 3,000 


    (S) 2,992 x 2,000 

 File System

  1. File Format Still Images

    JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx 1:4), normal (approx 1:8), or basic (approx 1:16) compression
    NEF (RAW): compressed 12 or 14 bit
    NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

  2. Storage Media

    SD
    SDHC
    SDXC

  3. Card Slot

    1 Secure Digital (SD)

  4. File System

    Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0
    DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) 
    EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras
    PictBridge

 Viewfinder

  1. Viewfinder

    Eye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder

  2. Viewfinder Frame Coverage 

    95% horizontal
    95% vertical Approx.

  3. Viewfinder Magnification

    0.82x Approx.

  4. Viewfinder Eyepoint

    17mm (-1.0 m¯¹)

  5. Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment 

    -1.7 to +0.5m¯¹

  6. Focusing Screen

    Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VII screen

  7. Reflex Mirror

    Quick-return type

  8. Mirror Lock Up

    Yes

 Lens

  1. Lens Aperture

    Instant-return type

  2. Lens Compatibility at a Glance***

    AF-S and AF-I CPU lenses only

  3. Compatible Lenses

    Autofocus is available with AF-S and AF-I lenses. 
    Autofocus is not available with other type G and D lenses, AF lenses (IX NIKKOR and lenses for the F3AF are not supported), and AI-P lenses. 
    Non-CPU: Can be used in mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster

 Shutter

  1. Shutter Type

    Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane

  2. Shutter Speed

    1/4000 to 30 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

  3. Fastest Shutter Speed

    1/4000 sec.

  4. Slowest Shutter Speed

    30 sec.

  5. Flash Sync Speed

    Up to 1/200 sec. 
    Synchronizes with shutter at 1/200s or slower

  6. Bulb Shutter Setting

    Yes

  7. Shutter Release Modes

    Continuous low-speed [CL] mode; 1-3 frames per second
    Continuous high-speed [CH] mode; 1-5 frames per second
    Delayed remote (ML-L3) 
    Interval timer photography supported
    Quick-response remote (ML-L3) 
    Quiet shutter-release
    Self-timer mode
    Single-frame [S] mode

  8. Continuous Shooting Options

    DX-format
    CH: Up to 5 frames per second

    CL: Up to 1-3 frames per second

  9. Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution

    5 frames per second

  10. Self-timer

    2, 5, 10, 20 sec.; 1 to 9 exposures
    Timer duration electronically controlled

 Exposure

  1. Exposure Metering System

    TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor

  2. Metering Method

    Centre-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8mm circle in centre of frame
    Matrix: 3D Colour Matrix Metering II (type G, E and D lenses); Colour Matrix Metering II (other CPU lenses) 
    Spot: Meters 3.5mm circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point

  3. Metering Range

    0 to 20 EV (3D colour matrix or centre-weighted metering) 
    2 to 20 EV (Spot metering at ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens at 20°C/68°F)

  4. Exposure Meter Coupling

    CPU

  5. Exposure Modes

    Aperture-Priority (A) 
    Auto
    Auto (flash off) 
    Manual (M) 
    Programmed auto with flexible program (P) 
    Scene Modes
    Shutter-Priority (S)

  6. Scene Modes

    Autumn Colours
    Beach / Snow
    Blossom
    Candlelight
    Child
    Close-up
    Dusk / Dawn
    Food
    Landscape
    Night Landscape
    Night Portrait
    Party / Indoor
    Pet Portrait
    Portrait
    Sports
    Sunset
    Special Effects Mode (Night Vision, Colour Sketch, Toy Camera, Miniature Effect, Selective Colour, Silhouette, High Key, Low Key, HDR Painting)

  7. Exposure Compensation

    ±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

  8. Exposure Bracketing

    3 frames in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

  9. Exposure Lock

    Yes

  10. Picture Control

    Flat
    Landscape
    Monochrome
    Neutral
    Portrait
    Standard
    User-customizable Settings
    Vivid

 Sensitivity

  1. ISO Sensitivity

    ISO 100 -

     

    25,600 

  2. Lowest Standard ISO Sensitivity

    100

  3. Highest Standard ISO Sensitivity

    25,600

  4. Long Exposure Noise Reduction

    Yes

  5. High ISO Noise Reduction

    Low
    Normal
    High
    Off

  6. Active D-Lighting

    Auto
    Extra High
    High
    Normal
    Low
    Off

  7. D-Lighting Bracketing

    2-3 frames
    2 frames using selected value for one frame or 3 frames using preset values for all frames

 Focus/Autofocus

  1. Single-point AF Mode

    Yes

  2. Dynamic AF Mode

    Number of AF points: 9, 21, 39 and 39 (3D-tracking)

  3. Auto-area AF Mode

    Yes

  4. Autofocus System

    Nikon Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection

  5. Detection Range

    -1 to 19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)

  6. Lens Servo

    Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status
    Manual focus (MF): Electronic rangefinder can be used

  7. Focus Point

    Can be selected from 39 or 11 focus points

  8. AF-area Mode

    9, 21 or 39 point Dynamic-area AF
    Auto-area AF
    Single-point AF
    3D-tracking (39 points)

  9. Focus Lock

    Focus can be locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
    Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF)

  10. Focus Modes

    Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A) 
    Continuous-servo (AF-C) 
    Face-Priority AF available in Live View only
    Full-time Servo (AF-A) available in Live View only
    Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder
    Normal area
    Single-servo AF (AF-S) 
    Wide area

  11. Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points

    39

  12. Autofocus Sensitivity

    -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)

 Flash

  1. Built-in Flash

    Yes

  2. Built-in Flash Distance

    Approx. 12/39, 12/39 with manual flash (m/ft, ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F)

  3. X-Sync Speed

    1/200

  4. Flash Control

    TTL: i-TTL flash control using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, SB-400 or SB-300; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and centre-weighting metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering

  5. Flash Sync Modes

    Auto
    Auto with red-eye reduction
    Auto slow sync
    Auto slow sync with red-eye reduction
    Fill-flash
    Rear-curtain sync
    Rear-curtain with slow sync
    Red-Eye reduction
    Red-Eye reduction with slow sync
    Slow sync
    Off

  6. Flash Compensation

    -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

  7. Flash-ready Indicator

    Lights when built-in flash or optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output

  8. Accessory Shoe

    Yes

  9. Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

    Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700 or SB-500 as a master flash or SU-800 as commander; Flash Colour Information Communication supported with all CLS-compatible flash units 

  10. Flash Sync Terminal

    Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 (available separately)

 White Balance

  1. White Balance

    Auto
    Cloudy
    Direct Sunlight
    Flash
    Fluorescent (7 types) 
    Incandescent
    Preset Manual
    Shade

  2. White Balance Bracketing

    3 shots in steps of 1

 Live View

  1. Live View Shooting

    Photography Live View Mode  
    Movie Live View Mode

  2. Live View Lens servo

    Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time-servo AF (AF-F) 
    Manual focus (MF)

  3. Live View AF-area mode

    Face-priority AF
    Wide-area AF
    Normal-area AF
    Subject-tracking AF

  4. Live View Autofocus

    Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)

  5. Live View Scene Auto Selector

    Aut mode
    Auto (flash off) mode

 Movie

  1. Movie Metering

    TTL exposure metering using main image sensor

  2. Movie Maximum recording time

    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 60 fps (10min. High / 20min. Norm) 
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 50 fps (10min. High / 20min. Norm) 
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 30 fps (20min. High / 29min. 59sec. Norm) 
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 25 fps (20min. High / 29min. 59sec. Norm) 
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 24 fps (20min. High / 29min. 59sec. Norm) 
    HD 1,280x720 / 60 fps (20min. High / 29min. 59sec. Norm) 
    HD 1,280x720 / 50 fps (20min. High / 29min. 59sec. Norm) 
    VGA 640x424 / 30 fps (29min. 59sec. High / 29min. 59sec. Norm) 
    VGA 640x424 / 25 fps (29min. 59sec. High / 29min. 59sec. Norm)

  3. Movie File Format

    MOV

  4. Movie Video Compression

    H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

  5. Movie Audio recording format

    Linear PCM

  6. Movie

    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 60 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 50 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 30 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 25 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 24 fps
    HD 1,280x720 / 60 fps
    HD 1,280x720 / 50 fps
    VGA 640x424 / 30 fps
    VGA 640x424 / 25 fps

  7. Movie Audio

    Built-in microphone, stereo
    External stereo microphone (optional - sold separately) 
    Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted

Monitor

  1. Monitor Size

    3.2 in. diagonal

  2. Monitor Resolution

    1,037,000 Dots

  3. Monitor Type

    Wide Viewing Angle
    Vari-angle Touch TFT-LCD
    Eye Sensor Control 

  4. Monitor Angle of View

    170 -degree wide-viewing angle

  5. Monitor Adjustments

    Brightness adjustment and eye-sensor controlled on/off

 Playback

  1. Playback Functions

    Auto Image Rotation
    Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 12, or 80 images or calendar) 
    Highlights
    Histogram Display
    Image Comment
    Location Display
    Movie Playback
    Movie Slideshow
    Photo information
    Playback with Zoom
    Slideshow

  2. In-Camera Image Editing

    Colour Balance
    Colour Outline
    Colour Sketch
    D-Lighting
    Distortion Control
    Edit Movie
    Filter Effects
    Fisheye
    Image Overlay
    Miniature Effect
    Monochrome
    NEF (RAW) Processing
    Perspective Control
    Quick retouch
    Red-Eye Correction
    Resize
    Selective Colour
    Side-by-Side Comparison
    Straighten
    Trim

  3. Image Comment

    Yes

 Interface

  1. Interface

    Accessory Terminal: Remote Cord: MC-DC2 (available separately); GPS unit: GP-1A (available separately) 
    HDMI Output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
    Hi-speed USB
    Stereo Microphone Input
    WR-1 and WR-R10 wireless remote controller (sold separately)

  2. Wi-Fi Functionality

    Yes (Built-in)

  3. GPS

    GP-1A GPS unit (sold separately)

Menus

  1. Total Custom Settings

    21

  2. My Menu

    Yes

  3. Recent Settings

    Yes

  4. Supported Languages

    Arabic
    Bengali
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Bulgarian
    Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) 
    Czech
    Danish
    Dutch
    English
    Finnish
    French
    German
    Greek
    Hindi
    Hungarian
    Indonesian
    Italian
    Japanese
    Korean
    Marathi
    Norwegian
    Persian
    Polish
    Portuguese
    Romanian
    Russian
    Serbian
    Spanish
    Swedish
    Tamil
    Telugu
    Thai
    Turkish
    Ukrainian
    Vietnamese

  5. Date, Time and Daylight Savings Time Settings

    Yes

  6. World Time Setting

    Yes

 Power

  1. Battery / Batteries

    One EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery or EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery

  2. Battery Life (shots per charge) 

    820 shots (CIPA)

  3. AC Adapter

    EH-5b AC Adapter; requires EP-5A Power Connector (sold separately)

  4. Battery Charger

    MH-24 Quick Charger

Miscellaneous

  1. Tripod Socket

    0.64 cm

  2. Approx. Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth)

    124 mm x

     

    97 mm x

     

    70 mm

  3. Approx. Weight

    420 g

    camera body only

  4. Operating Environment

    0–40 °C