High-tech design meets upmarket features in this highly desirable yet easy-to-use D-SLR
Nikon D5500 + 18-55mm VR II
ontinuing the ‘monocoque’ design philosophy of the D5300 that it replaces, the D5500 has a one-piece body shell. As well as adding strength and rigidity, a bonus for travelling photographers is that it also makes the D5500 more robust than the D3300.
As it’s an intermediate-level camera it doesn’t have the D3300’s Guide shooting mode, and the various scene modes are arranged beneath a single ‘Scene’ position on the shooting mode dial. This makes the dial less cluttered, and more focused on high-end use. The layout of other controls is well implemented, making use of the top, back and sides of the camera; for example, buttons for flash, drive mode and a
Ccustomisable function button are arranged on the left-hand side of the body, just to the rear of the lens mount.
Various creative shooting controls have to be accessed via on-screen menus, but the D5500 wins out over the D3300 by featuring a vari-angle touchscreen that enables you to quickly power your way through menus. Built-in Wi-Fi is another nice feature that’s lacking in the D3300, but to keep the size down, built-in GPS hasn’t been carried over from the D5300.
The autofocus system is more refined than in the D3300, boasting a 39-point AF module in which nine points are crosstype, enabling more accurate autofocus away from the centre of the image frame. Images also tend to be slightly cleaner, with less noise, at ultra-high ISO settings. Indeed, the standard sensitivity range stretches all the way to ISO25600, whereas this is only available in ‘expanded’ mode in the D3300.