Nikon D5500 camera tested at DxOMark

Best DxOMark rated Nikon DSLR cameras

Best DxOMark rated Nikon DSLR cameras

DxOMark posted their Nikon D5500 DSLR camera ($796.95) review:

"Hard-core Nikon fans aren’t likely to find too much here to get excited about, especially as the company has traded the touchscreen LCD for the built-in GPS of the D5300. Now D5500 users will have to budget $250 extra for the GP-1 and have it take up the accessory shoe, or spend another $15 for the GP1-CL1 strap clip. Of course, you could possibly sync location data using the Wireless Mobile Utility app, but that’s another story. In terms of sensor performance alone, the Nikon D5500 is class-leading, and based on that and the feature set, it is an intriguing choice overall."

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  • Eric Calabros

    Yes, class-leading again

  • Eric Calabros

    Yes, class-leading again

  • HF

    Does the D7200 have the same sensor? Paired with it is should give great IQ and performance.

    • Photobug

      No it does not.

      • AlphaTed

        Source?

      • AlphaTed

        Source?

  • Hmm, over the D5300 it’s 0.1 stops of DR extra, and 100 “points” of high ISO extra. (which comes to what, 0.1 stops?)

    Do I sacrifice my built-in GPS for this, and a touch screen? Nope. Nice camera, for hobbyists and amateurs, but the D5300 is still more alluring to me as a serious photographer who is merely looking for something lightweight with killer image quality..

    • “Nope. Nice camera, for hobbyists and amateurs” Really? Why is that? Are professional shooters above entry class DSLRs? I know top-notch shooters who invest in good glass and shoot entry DSLRs because they are practically disposable anymore with the constant iterations of improved Nikon DSLRs every year.

      • Patrick O’Connor

        I don’t think that was his point but I could be wrong, I often am.

      • Wow, Justin, you really missed my point. Just keep reading after that out-of-context quote:

        “…But the D5300 is more alluring to me personally…”

        How did you miss that, and go straight to thinking that professional shooters are above entry class DSLRSs?

        My point was simply this: There’s a very good chance that a serious photographer, especially in my field of landscapes and adventures / travel, would much rather have GPS than a touchscreen.

        That’s all I was trying to say. The D5500 is Nikon’s natural progression of tweaking a feature set to target a specific market, and that market is less pro, more amateur.

        I’m sure there are plenty of serious / pro video shooters who might prefer a touchscreen over GPS, of course.

        Never over-simplify what someone says in passing on the internet. 🙂

        • KnightPhoto

          1. Based on market realities all cameras will have WiFi go-forward, so then if we are doing either or…

          2. Flippy Touch Screen (I like this based on my V3)

          3. GPS – as one of the guys pointed out (great idea) automate this to work seamlessly with the Smart phones in our pocket. Doesn’t always work for Landscape as you may be out of cell signal range of course.

          Anyhow I like flippy touch-screens, I hope the D400 has it – money already saved up. I passed on the D7200 and bought a used D7100 to tide me over.

          • jim Lustgarten

            Just to clarify, GPS does not need a cell signal to know where its at.

          • Agreed, I think that articulated LCD’s are one thing that many pros under-estimate as a amateurish feature- Once I got a D5300 and a D750, I HATE using a camera without one! Even for my professional work, mind you, not just the dinking around stuff.

            I’d buy a GPS app any day. I have Backcountry Navigator so even when I’m out of cell range, I can get a GPS lock on my phone. Using this, combined with the wifi on my cameras, I could theoretically get a GPS tag thing going for all my images, while potentially consuming less (camera) battery power than if the camera had its own GPS lock the whole time.

            Then again, there are GPS loggers that you can buy that run forever on a pair of AA batteries, and you can just sync the GPS data in post-production to any camera. That’s really the best solution, as long as your GPS logger stays with your camera. I often find myself setting up cameras hundreds of yards / 1-2 miles away from where I actually am sleeping for the night, lol…

        • Hi Astro, you’re right. I miss-read your comment. Sorry about that 🙂

          • No worries, it’s the internet. 😉

          • Well I didn’t misread it. You said “still more alluring to me as a serious photographer”, when you should have said as a landscape photgrapher who desires location data and doesn’t require the improved shot-taking efficiency the new touchscreen provides. Seems you think lack of GPS is the dividing point between something useful or not for “serious” photographers in this class of cameras, even though it’s the only Nikon DSLR to ever include one. You believe the flip screen has more value than many pros give it credit for (as do I), but fail to see how the touch screen is not as equally invaluable for anyone who uses it. Forget menu navigation, I’m talking about selecting a focus point with a quick touch when not in live view instead of using a d-pad, custom swiping to act as another F button, and pinch-zooming to quickly check for focus in a captured shot to see if you need to retake it. Slow focus point selection, not having the screen turn off when I put my eye to the viewfinder, and the shallow depth of the grip on my D5300 are limitations I believe that keep it “amateur”, whereas the D5500 addresses these issues, which pertain to getting the shot and ergonomics, which is ultimately more important than location data. Like you, I’m not sure what the 100 better “ISO points” on DxO Mark means exactly, but they do claim the D5500 has noticeably lower noise than the D5300 at ISO 100, and I’ve seen test shots at 12800 and 25600 on youtube that show improved performance that I would benefit from since my 12800 shots have been borderline usable in terms of noise. Not one update on the D5500 is enough to make me consider upgrading to it, but the sum total of them certainly is.

            Btw, the D5300’s GPS failed to lock the one time I wanted to use it, and that was on top of a mountain. With the “helper” data expiring every 2 weeks and the severe battery drain, I’m not overly disappointed to see it go. I expected they’d put it in the D7200 though, it would make more sense in that model imo.

    • Merv S

      Probably you are not the target market for the new D5500. Nikon could well be gathering marketing data, trying to see whether GPS is preferred, or if the touchscreen is preferred.

      • Agreed, Merv. I am not the target market for the D5500. That is why I said, it’s a nice camera for hobbyists and amateurs, but the D5300 is still more alluring to me personally, because of the specific things I do. (where GPS is worth more than any other bell / whistle they might add, including a touchscreen.)

        I’m sure they’ve done plenty of market research, and if they thought removing the GPS and adding a touchscreen would sell more cameras to their target market, then they made the right choice. I’m just glad that the D5300 got made “along the way”, because it’s the perfect camera for me as a serious landscape / travel / adventure photographer…

    • Piotr Kosewski

      So what’s the problem?
      I’m sure you can still use the D5300 – it won’t explode…
      Furthermore, you’ll still be able to buy D5300, because it will most likely remain in production until the “D5600” is released.

      If you expect every new Nikon body to be hugely different to the predecessor, you clearly don’t understand their lineup…

  • jim Lustgarten

    It seems like the ability to have the D5500 (which I have and love) query the Cell phone on your hip to get its GPS coordinates via WIFI interface, would be simple for Nikon to implement.

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    • Rhonda Johnson

      nice

    • Rhonda Johnson

      yes

    • El Aura

      A WiFi-only iPad (which in contrast to the cellular-modem one also does not have GPS) can automatically communicate with an iPhone that is in WiFi range to embed the location into the images take by the iPad.

    • Considering Nikon’s joke of an app for WIFI (I’m soooo glad to have found qDslrDashboard and digiCamControl), I wouldn’t hold your breath for that kind of firmware update. I love their superior attention to hardware engineering, but their software (both external applications and in-camera menus) always seem to lag behind the competition. Hopefully the well-implemented touch interface is a sign of more interfacing improvements to come.

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  • Photobug

    No surprise, slightly better than the D5200 & D5300.

  • Yes, Another Tweet

    Can’t believe that the 6-year-old D3s is still in third place for low-light (sports) performance (even beating out the D4 but not the D4s). And at less than $2500 on eBay they are becoming quite the bargain.

    • HF

      Individual measurement curves don’t show that really. DR is up to 1ev better for D4 at lower ISO and similar for high ISO, S/N ratio is almost equal. And then, it is only 12 MP. But it is still a very good camera.

      • Yes, Another Tweet

        I tried the D4 in the same low light settings I shoot my D3s and I was never impressed. Looked the same and sometimes worse. Now the D4s is a low-light monster. It makes ISO 25,600 look like the D3s at ISO 6400.

        But if/until the D5 shows a major improvement I think I will stick with the D3s and wait for the D4s to reach the same price level.

        • HF

          There are numerous comparisons outside, with images downsized to the same resolution. When I look at those I find the differences are very minor, especially if you account in slight differences in white balance, contrast, etc. I really wonder about these drastic differences you point to when comparing D3s and D4s. An example: https://photographylife.com/nikon-d4-vs-d3s-vs-d3-iso-performance-comparison.

          • Yes, Another Tweet

            The difference might be in the fact that when I use a camera I actually go outside and shoot in real-life settings and not inside a studio, or house, and shoot still-life objects. I shoot high school football stadiums that are so dark that the ball disappears into the shadows when the punter kicks the ball a bit too high. And lights so bad that the phase cycles are almost a full stop of difference and half of your pictures are cycled out. I actually use my camera to post my images pretty much everyday where everyone can judge them and see how dark these places are.

  • Fox “News” Lies

    Super, I own the third one, D800, on this list, bronze medal ain’t all that bad. 😉

    • Dennis

      I own a couple of D810 as my primary bodies, so I’ll occur with their choice and accept the gold.

  • In other news, in my opinion DXO needs to de-emphasize Color Depth in their overall ratings by a significant amount.

    Look at the D5500 versus the D7100, and the D5500 versus the D5200. How does a 0.1 difference (0.4%, out of ~24?) manage to bias an overall score that much?

    The other measurements (ISO and DR) are an order of magnitude greater than 0.4%…

    This is why I pay zero attention to DXO’s overall scores, for both lenses and sensors. Not that they’re intentionally misleading or scientifically inaccurate, …they just aren’t useful, at all.

    I do glance at DXO’s numbers on an individual scale, when I’m curious to see how overall brands / lines are faring, or if there’s a significant difference in sensor dynamic range, or lens sharpness, or high ISO performance, between this or that. But that’s about as far as I take it, and I don’t think any serious, real-world photographer should take it much further than that either.

    • Captain Megaton

      I’m the same way, or perhaps even less so. I was interested to know how the 24MP D600 compared with the 18MP Df at high ISO and looked that up data at DxO. It’s nice to have those numbers, but an aggregate score – even if it was properly weighted – is still just someone’s arbitrary Figure of Merit.

    • Even the ISO score is a kind of overall score as well. Reading further into their written review and looking at the comparison chart of DR over the ISO range helped me understand better how the camera tested at various ISOs, but it’s the tests I can see with my own eyes performed by reviewers I’ve grown to trust on youtube and other sites that ultimately holds weight with me. Apparently even a 1 bit difference in color depth can make a difference in overall image tonality, so maybe .1 is worth noting. I think DxO’s scores are useful insofar as showing us how the raw data from camera bodies compares to others quality-wise. I find their results seem to be consistent with the image comparisons I’ve seen elsewhere.

  • Wade Marks

    The D5500 is a really great camera and it’s super lightweight, all at a reasonable cost. In fact, if one compares its size/weight/cost/performance to some of the better known mirrorless cameras, like the Oly OMD-EM1 or Fuji XT1 the D5500 seems like the better option.

    As to touchscreen vs GPS…of course it is a personal choice based on user need / want. However, for me, the touchscreen is a great leap forward in usability, and a feature that I believe eventually every camera will have. The GPS is a battery hog, and one can easily use a smartphone app to achieve the same thing. However, I certainly respect the opinion of those who value the GPS feature, as articulated by Astro Landscapes.

    • Dennis

      I don’t ever want or need Nikon to integrate their lower functionality GPS features into the camera bodies I use. I have Solmeta GPS units that are far superior in every way to provide this function every time I shoot.

  • Captain Megaton

    The freaky thing about the D5500 is how thin they made the body! It’s this big central cone running back from the lens mount, terminating in a thin plate to which the grip and LCD are attached. The whole camera feels far smaller than the D3300 even, though I can’t say I like the handling all that much. Too much of a good thing maybe.

    • Yes it seems as though they are making a real effort to compete with the mirrorless market by making it is tiny a possible. In what way do you not like the handling? I’ve yet to get my hands on one but thought it would handle better than my D5300 based on the deeper grip and minor repositioning of the dial and some of the buttons.

      • Captain Megaton

        Scooping out the material between the grip and the lens mount makes this narrow slot for your fingers, and pushes the lens center-of-mass even more forward relative to your hand. It’s hard to explain, but imagine your D5300 got anorexia and you are half there…

        • Hehe, I think I get what you mean, I have fairly small fingers so it might be fine for me. I’ll have to travel to Best Buy soon for a real hands-on.

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