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Nikon D5500 vs D7200: Which Should You Buy?

For most photographers, the new Nikon D5500 will be more than sufficient, but certain photographers will need a couple of features that it lacks. I’ll explain below.

We have written an updated version of this article, comparing the new Nikon D5600 and the Nikon D7200. Click here to read the new article, or click here to open it in a new tab.

The newly announced Nikon D7200 has finally been given a significant performance boost, making the choice between it and the D5500 (a less expensive camera that provides identical image quality) a much more difficult one to make.  It’s also worth noting that the changes between the new D5500 and D7200 and their predecessors are not very significant, so you may prefer to save money and buy the older models while they’re still available. My general advice is always this: buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs, and buy the best lenses that you can afford. Below, I’ll cover the differences between these cameras and explain which types of photographers will find the different features useful.

New In the D5500

If you’re deciding between D5500 and older D5300, here’s the difference:

  • a touch-sensitive screen has been added to the D5500
  • built-in GPS have been removed in the D5500
  • the top of the ISO scale has been increased by a stop to 25600, though it may be more accurate to say that the “expanded” ISO of 25600 has been incorporated as “native”
  • its a millimeter shorter and narrower, 5mm thinner, and about 60 grams lighter (about the weight of an egg) than the D5300

That’s it! The D5500 and D5300 are virtually identical, otherwise, so as the price drops on the D5300, many photographers who don’t care about having a touch-screen or who want built-in GPS will be able to pick it up at a great price. Currently, the D5300 body costs $597 while the newer D5500 body costs $747.

The Nikon D5500, left, is slightly smaller than the D5300, and about 60g lighter.

The Nikon D5500, left, is slightly smaller than the D5300, and about 60g lighter.

Nikon D5500 vs D7200: What’s the Difference?

To begin with, we can take a look at the most significant specs for the D5500, D7100 and the new D7200.

 Nikon D5500Nikon D7100Nikon D7200



Price (body)
$746$796$1096
Price (with 18-140mm kit lens)$1046$1096$1396
Body MaterialSereebo, (carbon fiber reenforced plastic) body-chassisPartial Magnesium Alloy Frame, PlasticPartial Magnesium Alloy Frame, Plastic
Dust/Weather Sealed BodyNoneYesYes
Sensor Resolution24.2Megapixels
24.1 Megapixels24.2 Megapixels
Anti-Aliasing Filter
(Reduces sharpness, prevents moire)
NONONO
ISO Range100-25600100-6400
+12800
+25600
100-25600
Total AF Points395151
Cross-Type AF Points91515
AF Motor In Body
(For Using Older AF Lenses)
NOYESYES
AF Light Level Range-1 to +19 EV-2 to +19 EV-3 to +19 EV
Autofocus Fine Tuning
Adjustments
NOYESYES
Shutter Speed Range1/4000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
1/8000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
1/8000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
Expected Shutter Life100,000 Shots150,000 Shots
Max Frame Rate5 fps6 fps
(7 shots in 1.3x crop mode)
6 fps
(7 shots in 1.3x crop mode)
Max RAW Burst
(buffer size)
6 shots, compressed 14-bit7 shots lossless 12-bit
6 shots lossless 14-bit
18 shots 14-bit
Max JPG Burst
(fine, Large)
10033100
Flash Sync Speed1/200th sec.1/250th sec.
(1/320th* sec, or slower,)
1/250th sec.
Wireless Flash
(Built-in Commander)
NOYESYES
Auto FP Flash Mode
(High Speed Sync)
NOYESYES
Media Slots1 SD / SDHC / SDXC2 SD / SDHC / SDXC2 SD / SDHC / SDXC
LCD Size3.2"
1,036,800 pixels
3.2"
1,228,800 pixels
3.2"
1,228,800 pixels
LCD ArticulatedYesNoNo
LCD TouchscreenYESNoNo
Built-in GPSNoNoNo
Built-in WiFiYesNoYes
Body Weight420g (no battery)
470 (with battery)
675 (no battery)675 (no battery)
Body Size124 x 97 x 70 mm136 x 107 x 76 mm136 x 106.5 x 76 mm
Battery Life820 shots
CIPA Standards
950 shots
CIPA Standards
1,110 shots
CIPA Standards
Viewfinder Coverage95% Frame
.82x Magnification
100% Frame
.94x Magnification
100% Frame
.94x Magnification
Video CodecMPEG-4 / H.264
.mov
MPEG-4 / H.264
.mov
MPEG-4 / H.264
.mov
Video Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 50i, 30, 25, 24 fps)
1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps)
1920 x 1080 (60i*, 50i*, 30, 25, 24 fps)
1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps)
640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps)
1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps)
640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Video Length Limit29 min 59 sec.29 min 59 sec.29 min 59 sec.
Headphone JackNoYesYes
Internal MicStereoStereoStereo

back view nikon d7200 and d5500

Build Quality

Perhaps the most obvious difference between the D7200 and the D5500 is in their construction. The D5500 body is significantly smaller and lighter, built of carbon-fiber reenforced plastics (Sereebo), while the D7200 is heavier and built for durability, with a metal (magnesium alloy) back and top, and importantly, it is weather sealed. Since the D5500 also uses a smaller battery, the carry-around weight of the D7200 is about 40% more1 than the D5500.

Whether this is an advantage or disadvantage depends on your photographic needs; some photographers (especially those with larger hands) prefer a larger camera with some ‘heft’ to it, while others prefer something more lightweight and easy to carry around, especially travelers and hikers. Needless to say, those who work in harsh conditions will also prefer the D7200’s weather sealing and heavier-duty construction, as a matter of practicality.

Nikon D7200 with grip

Nikon D7200 with optional battery grip

The Sensors : Exactly the Same

Like the previous generation, Nikon’s D5500 and D7200 both have 24-megapixel sensors, and neither one makes use of an anti-aliasing filter. Consequently, if you shoot RAW files, you will not be able to detect any difference in image quality between these two cameras, and since both cameras now use the same processor, the JPGs should be equally indistinguishable.

More AA Filter Info
The success of the D800e may have led directly to Nikon’s decision to produce an APS-C camera without an optical low-pass/anti-aliasing (OLP/AA) filter, but whatever led to the fact, the D7200’s sensor is naked. Before the D800e, all of the major SLRs produced their sensors with an AA filter: essentially an extra layer in front of the sensor that blurs the image slightly, in order to reduce the jagged edges and moire 1 that have traditionally been associated with digital capture. With modern improvements in image processing software, though, Nikon was confident that the moire and jaggies could be avoided without the AA filter, so they opted to remove it2 and allow the cameras to capture finer image detail.

With the success of the D7100, Nikon also decided to remove the AA filter from the D5300 and D5500’s sensors, and now the D7200. For all practical purposes, there is no difference between the sensors the D7200 and D5500, so there should be no difference in image quality if you shoot RAW. Though this lack of AA filter does provide the potential to for the camera to produce sharper images, don’t expect too much.

Why does that matter?
Comparisons of images produced by the D800 (AA Filter) and D800e (no AA Filter) have shown that the principle works; there are subtle improvements in fine detail in the D800e’s images. However, we should not expect such significant improvements in the D7200’s images. The receptors on the 24 megapixel sensor of the D7200 are already much, much smaller than those of the D800e. In fact, the D7200 and D5500 fit about 56% more pixels into the same sensor area as the D800e.

Why does that matter? Even with the much larger receptors of the D800, lens resolution has become a serious bottle-neck for image quality. Nikon has already produced a special list of lenses that can allow you make the most out of your D800 sensor. The dramatically higher pixel density of Nikon’s 24-megapixel APS-C sensors will tax lens resolution even more, meaning that the D7200 and D5500’s images won’t get much sharper unless lenses get sharper first.

Auto Focus Systems

Unlike most entry and mid-level SLRs, the Nikon D5500 has a very sophisticated autofocus system. While cameras like the Canon T6i and 70D have 19 autofocus points, the D5500 has 39, though only the central nine of them are cross-type 3 . This autofocus system, which also incorporates color information, has been adopted from the Nikon D7000.

The D7200, however, shares the same AF system with the flagship Nikon D4 and the D810: 51 AF points, including 15 cross-type… the best system available in a Nikon body.

For all but the most dedicated action photographers, the system in the D5500 will be more than sufficient, even if you’re buying a camera primarily for shooting sports. If your paycheck, however, is going to depend on your focusing system, the extra several hundred dollars will be well spent on the D7200.

Speed

When it comes to speed, the differences between the D5500 and D7200 are more modest that you might expect. The D7200 does have a top shutter speed that is one full f-stop faster than the D5500’s (ie, 1/8000th vs 1/4000th). When it comes to shooting bursts of photos, though, the D7200 only provides an additional frame per second over the D5500’s 5 fps (unless you’re shooting in 1.3x crop mode, in which case it will give up an additional frame per second).

However (unlike the D7100) the D7200 has a significantly larger buffer, allowing longer continuous bursts of shooting. While the D5500 (and D7100) can only shoot 6 14-bit RAW files in a row before filling the buffer and getting bogged down, the D7200 can shoot 18 RAW images in a row, three times more than the D7100 (though it still lags significantly behind Canon’s original 7D, which could shoot 25).

Shooting JPG gives you even more freedom to hold down that shutter button. The D7200 can shoot bursts of 100 frames or more (at 6 fps), just like the D5500. The D7100 was only capable of shooting 33 in a row.

The D5500’s Downfall

Flash. With the popularity of “Strobist” techniques over the past several years, flash photography has become increasingly important to amateur and semi-pro photographers, and this is where the D5500 falls short: it lacks high-speed-sync4 (Auto FP Flash, henceforth AFP) and external flash control with the built-in flash. External flash control may not be a big deal; many of us prefer to use radio-units instead… though the built-in IR system can be very useful with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS).

The lack of AFP, however, is a serious problem. Consider this situation: you’re shooting a portrait outdoors during the day, and you want to use a large aperture to blur the background… perhaps f/2 or f/1.4 . This will push your shutter speed beyond 1/1000ths of a second, much higher than the camera’s 1/200th sec. maximum sync speed. So, if you want to use a flash to soften the shadows or create a catch-light in the eyes of your subject, forget it: the flash will not sync. The same is true if you want to use flash for sports and a high shutter speed, and while you can purchase external command modules or radio transmitters for off-camera-flashes, there’s nothing you can buy to work around the lack of AFP. You’d need to buy the D7200 instead.

In some instances, a neutral density filter can be used to bring the shutter speed down within the range of the D5500’s sync speed. There are several problems with the method, though: the image through your viewfinder can become quite dark, making it hard to frame your shot and making it hard for your camera’s AF system to pull focus, you lose flash power, if you’re shooting with a telephoto lens, shutter speeds at the camera’s sync speed might not be safe for hand-holding, and they’ll always be too slow for sports or fast action (if you’re balancing flash and ambient light).

Nikon SB-910, SB-700, and SB-500

A Nikon Flash Trio

All the Little Things

There are a few other assorted differences that deserve mention here, but they’re mostly the same differences that we saw between the D5100 and D7000. First, the D5500 does not have an autofocus motor built into the camera body, so it will not be compatible with the full range of (old school) Nikon lenses, while the D7200 does posses the motor. And speaking of “focus”, the D7200 is capable of micro adjustments to correct for front or back-focus problems on lenses, while the D5500 is not.

Nikon D5500 articulated screen

The Nikon D5500’s swivel screen.

As should be obvious from the images above, the D5500 has an articulated LCD screen, which some people find helpful for ground-level shots and video but others find a breakage hazard or amateurish.

The D7200 has dual SD card slots. It’s can be nice to have two slots if you want to record JPGs to one card and RAW to the other, perhaps sending JPGs to an Eye-Fi card, for example. However, if you only need storage space, a single slot is fine. These days, a single 64GB SDXC card costs only $30, and I rarely shoot more than 32GB per day, even at all-day events.

The D5300 has built-in GPS tagging, a feature that requires additional equipment with the D7200. This feature was dropped in the D5500, perhaps the result of the ubiquity of smartphones and apps such as GeoTag Photos Pro, but there are also reports of problems with battery drain using the GPS in the D5300, among other issues that I have yet to confirm.

Finally, if you are interested in video, the D7200 has been given a headphone jack for monitoring audio while you shoot. The jack is absent in the D5500 (and D5300, D7000). All of these cameras can shoot video at up to 1080p 60fps, except for the D7100, which can only shoot at 30fps at that resolution.

Which to Buy?

The Nikon D5300 and D5500 are great cameras, and I’d recommend them for the vast majority of amateur photographers, with the exception of those who need superior flash capabilities.

To summarize, you should buy the D5300 if you:

  • want a great, all-around camera
  • shoot primarily with natural light or studio strobes
  • need an articulated LCD screen for video or photos
  • want built-in GPS
  • want to save some money to buy the best lenses possible. At Amazon, the price for the D5300 body is $597

Buy the D5500 ONLY IF you:

  • really care about the weight of your camera. The D5500 weighs about 60g less than the D5300; that’s about the weight of a large chicken egg.
  • think you’ll really enjoy using a touchscreen.
  • find that the current prices are very similar. At Amazon, the price for the D5500 body is $747

Buy the D7100 if you:

  • don’t shoot bursts of action in RAW format and want the other features of the D7100
  • At Amazon, the current price for the D7100 body is $797

Buy the D7200 if you:

  • shoot lots of action, especially in long bursts
  • are hard on your equipment and need a more durable body
  • use flash for action or fill and need high-speed sync
  • use Nikon’s CLS and want to use the built-in command module
  • shoot macro (or other focus critical work) and need to make micro adjustments to your lenses
  • shoot a lot of video and want a simple headphone jack on your camera
  • don’t need to worry about spending a little more. At Amazon, the price for the D7200 body is $1097

For the sake of simplicity I’ve tried to focus on only the differences that, in my experience, will actually be important. There are, of course, numerous differences between the two cameras, though, and some features may be more important to particular photographers. If you think that I’ve left out something important, please feel free to let me know.

Please Comment!

If you have additional questions or comments, please let me know, below. I’ll do what I can to answer questions and clear up any confusion.

black friday at B&H

  1. Actually 38.6%
  2. To be more precise, the Nikon D800e does have an AA filter, but it also has an AA-canceling filter, so it does not have one in practical terms. The D810 does not have an AA filter at all, nor do the D5500 and D7200.
  3. If you’re not sure what cross-type points are, or why they’re important, check out our short video on the subject, here.
  4. For a quick explanation of what high-speed-sync is, watch our video here.

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Kevin wild
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Kevin wild

I some years ago bought a D550, and was very close to up grading for the sake of it. I was disappointed with some of my photo results. I asked Matthew for advice as to what to go for, new to serious photographer at the time. He gave me good advice which saved me from making a big mistake, buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs, and buy the best lenses, which I see he still advises. I did buy a better lens and took on other well advise. The long and short of it is, I still have my D5500 and love it, would not change. Matthew gives very good advice that is not biased. My advice is go for the D5500, it is still a very good camera, and of course a lot cheaper now from when I bought.

sybarite 123
Guest
sybarite 123

Two comments: First I have the D5500. The touch screen has reduced the need, as far as Nikon is concerned, of large buttons for control. I find the touch screen an inconvenience. I don’t like the use of the touch screen to enlarge or reduce the size of the LCD image. It is less exact that button controls.
Secondly, I do like the D7200’s in-built motor(like the old D90). It gives me a greater range of lenses. I thought such motors were discontinued.
I don’t think the author made any mention of the new AF-P lenses. Also an important consideration. Thanks. I just bought the D7200 (Brand New) from Japan(Free Shipping) for only $900(CAD). It sells in Canada for $1,300,00. If I may add, I have been in amateur photography since 1953 — some 65 years! I’m a 79 year old retired priest. In 1956 I photographed my Mother on her 50th Birthday with a bracket & Flash Bulb. I still have that photograph. I must say it’s a classic! In 1986 I photographed my Mother again on her 80th Birthday — this time with electronic “bounce” flash. Photography has so improved with electronic flash and Digital photography to mention a few technological inventions. It’s hard now to keep up with the technology — I still have a Land Line & no Smart Phone, but I love my Chrome Book! Cheers! From Canada.

Rene
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Rene

This is a very old thread, but it seems to be still current. We now have fine full-frame compact mirrorless cameras, but they are way too expensive for the average amateur. The primary lightweight inexpensive Nikon with a lens mount is still the 5xxx series. I enjoyed this travel camera now for quite some time together with the outstanding Sigma 17-70 C. I still advise buying the 7xxx series only if you need its features (extra buttons, user settings, sync speed, flash control etc.) It is way bigger and heavier.

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Not sure if I can get a response in time, since I am trying to take advantage of Black Friday deals today. My daughter is just starting out with photography and would like to specialize in dance photography (although a second interest is botany/plant pictures). A company ballet photographer she knows recommended the D5500 to her as a good starting point. However, I came across your review here after looking at the 7200. I’m just wondering if the latter might be a better option for her since she will be doing a lot of low-light performance, movment photography.? Even $600 is too much if it isn’t going to do the job she needs to do and has to be upgraded in a few years, so even though the 7200 may not be a typical entry level camera, it might be better adapted to what she wants to do. She has just started a job at her college as an assistant photographer at their arts center using their Canon 6d, and even though she has no real photographic experience or training, her full light (i.e. not low light) photos are good. It has long been a strong interest for her, but she has never had the chance to develop it before now (she intends to take some photography classes at college).

Also, we were trying to figure out what to get her as a starter lens. We realize that she will need a f 2.8 eventually, but that may be too expensive for now. Would it be better for her to get the Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras rather than some of the package lenses that come with the bodies? Thanks!

Rene Grothmann
Member

For this kind of photography, your daughter will be more happy with the 7200. The 5500 is for travel or occasional photography because it is smaller. I prefer it for street photography. The sensor is the same, and the quality of the photos will be the same. The 7200 has additional options, however, like external flash control.

You might consider starting with a more expensive option, like a Sony Alpha in full frame if low light matters.

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Thanks for the additional information!

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

So, I was all set to purchase the 7200 yesterday evening, when I received input from a premier dance photographer in the US who pointed me in the direction of a used Nikon D3x due to its superior ability to work in low light etc. and still create superb quality images. Even though it is now an older model, I suppose it is a way to experience a full frame professional quality camera at a much lower price. There is one that is somewhat over $1000 that has 88,000 shutter count (less than a 1/3 of its life?).

I’m leery about purchasing from an individual online, however, even though I have the option to purchase a 1 or 2 year protection plan.

I’m also wondering if so much camera is overkill and potentially frustrating for a beginner who has yet to take her first college photography class, even though she has had some limited experience with the Canon 6d at her college (where she has been hired as an assistant photographer for their arts center) and a Nikon 3300 she has occasionally borrowed from a friend to take performance photos with. Even the 7200 had me wondering.

I am also wondering if the D3x , for all its many virtues and battle horse reputation, is starting to fall behind in terms of the latest tech innovations?

Any thoughts to share on whether it would be better to go with a new, 7200 with manufacturer’s warranties still in tact, or go nuke with this used pro-level version?

Ram
Guest
Ram

Hello Matthew,

I was looking to buy a Nikon D7200 but after reading through your impressive blog I am almost convinced to go for D5500. I am going to use it mostly for my soon to start food blog so it will be really helpful if you can recommend some good lenses for this purpose. Looking forward to your response.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Read all of the comments regarding the two cameras, good points of view on both. I own a d5500, have for last tword years and was thinking of changing, even thought the d5500 has served me well. Please advise what would be a good camera to upgrade to, regardless of make. I do enjoy landscape and portrait photography, and find I could do with a little more sharpness. Of course it may be that I am not using my D5500 to its full potential.

Mohammad Tabish
Guest
Mohammad Tabish

Hello sir ,
I am planning to buy Nikon d5500 , but i heard it has very slow autofocus . I just want to know it is due to its kit lens or the problem is with the camera body.
If i use another good lens the problem will be solve or not.
Or i consider mirrorless camera between olympus m10ii and lumix g7

Rogerio
Guest
Rogerio

Hi there!

Which one should I buy for low light shooting, image quality and jpg file saving? t7i or d7200? thanks!

d5500owner
Guest
d5500owner

BIG ERROR on this post, the D5500 DOES HAVE A MICROPHONE JACK!!

I have the D5500 and it has a microphone/headphone jack.

Sagi Hatan
Guest
Sagi Hatan

Hey thanks for this great info.
I’m about to buy my first DSLR and lens.

With your recommendation to buy the less expensive camera that meet my needs – Nikon D5500.

I know that most of my shootings will be portraits and some street and travel photography.

I thought getting the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 as my first lens and buy thr Nikon 50mm 1.8g in the future.

What do you think?

Fred
Guest
Fred

I’ve learnt the hard way that most parties happen in low light and that cheaper cameras just struggle to focus in that situation.
So for me being able to focus down to -3EV is crucial, all else is secondary.
Though I’d like to have the live view to be as responsive as the Canon 80D, I’d choose the D7200 if I were to choose a Nikon. I’m in that lucky position that I can choose a new system again.
Having looked at all the systems, it’s quite clear there’s no ideal camera – they all force you to compromise in some area or the other whilst gaining a few points over the competition in others.

Sue
Guest
Sue

I am looking to upgrade from my D50. I want to take close-up landscape/flower photos as well as action shots of wildlife. Any preference between the 3400 and 7200?

Tim
Guest
Tim

Hi Matthew,

Just wanted to say thank for your advice to buy the D5500. I’ve been using it now for a little over 3 months and I’m really happy. The image quality (and hopefully I) has really improved compared to the D5100. I’m really happy with the camera, so thanks a lot for your help!

Suri
Guest
Suri

Dear Matthew

I’ve spent the last couple of days reading many different blogs about Nikon cameras. But your website stands out… it is absolutely amazing, so informative!

I am an architecture student and really interested in capturing architecture, art and landscapes as well as portraits.

The options so far (here in super expensive Switzerland):
Nikon D5500 : 18-105mm f/3.5-3.6 – $899
Nikon D7200: 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 – $1200

This is going to be my first big investment in a camera and i am so confused which one i should pick.
I really care for good quality pictures that i can print quite big and sharp. Sports/wildlife isn’t really my thing but i don’t want to miss out on quality if i feel like it some time in the future.
At the same time for a student like me this is a big price difference. As already mentioned in a couple comments, i would like to get a good camera without regretting my choice one year later that i should have gotten the more expensive one.
What do you think about the combinations and lenses mentioned above?

Any advice/opinion would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Suri

Salina
Guest
Salina

I have the D5500 for the past year and I LOVE it! I am a growing photographer and upgraded from the D3200 to the D5500. I bought it with body only and bought a fixed 50. The combination works great for my portrait and landscape photography. Living in Alaska, I have the amazing opportunity to be surrounded by such beauty and find that the D5500 does a great job capturing it!
About the touch screen, I am absolutely for it. I wasn’t so sure at first, but it can get better control of zooming in on detail in my pictures when Im looking back on them with clients. The flip screen is also great because I can close it when I don’t want water/oils to get on it. I use it a lot when I film, so I can get a good view of subject I’m filming and the screen.
I vote if you are a photographer who is intermediate (or just beginning and have the extra money to spare) get the D5500 (and don’t forget that fixed 50!!). It’s a wonderful combination, and a wonderful camera. I haven’t been happier with a camera!

Leon
Guest
Leon

I’m thinking about getting the d5500 or the canon t6s. I’m a starter and just using it when I travel for landscaping, buildings, portraits etc.. would d5500 be good enough for me then? Ive read articles about the d5500 lags or has two clicks when taking photos in the live view mode. Just wondering if there is way to take faster photos without waiting 2 seconds each shots in the live view. Would changing the shutter speed make it not lag? Thanks!

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Hey Matt, I’m looking for a nature camera that I can take in any condition including snow, rain, wind, sand, etc. I was thinking of just getting the D5300 since it has the same specs as the D7200 but do you think its worth going for the 72 because of the weather sealing since it will be exposed to poor conditions more often than not? Thanks and awesome review. Super helpful

rodrigo
Guest
rodrigo

Hi,

I didn’t read all the coments… but i woul like to ask for help:

For landscape, street, both during the night and day, will the 7200 make any difference?

Thank you

su
Guest
su

Hi Matt,

I am new to dslr but want to take good quality pics (outdoor and portrait). Was already confused between 5300 and 5500 and now you gave me another choice of 7200. Which one should I go for and if I am going for only body, will Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC PZD lens will work on all these camera bodies? And will this lense works for both outdoor and portrait

or should I go for 2 seperate lens?18-140mm and another 50mm f/1.8G AF-S Standard lens?

TIA
Su

Rene
Guest
Rene

Thanks for the review too. It helped a lot. I have a D7000 and will “upgrade” to the “D5500” because of the weight and size. I use it for travel photography, mostly landscape and street. I rarely used the flash features I will be missing.

Jerry
Guest
Jerry

Thanks! The d7200 sounds right for me. I’ll just have to up my budget. This will be my first DSLR, after coming up the ranks of Lumix point and shoot and lots and lots of DJI Phantom 4 drone video work. Sound is a big issue for me. The headphone jack really makes the difference.

Excellent review.

Olga
Guest
Olga

Hi,
I was hoping you could help me. Recently my Nikon D80 has had some issues, so I’ve decided it’s time for an upgrade. I am torn between then d5500 and the d7200. Originally I was going to go with the d5500 because It’s slightly lower price point and good reviews, but then I stumbled upon a review that caused me to think twice. I would say I’m an amateur photographer. I typically shoot in manual and in RAW. One feature I loved about the D80 is the dials for shutter and aperture. As I’m learning to shoot in manual i need easy access and pretty immediate access to those. It looks like the d5500 does not have those as easily available? What were your thoughts when using them? I have read a lot of reviews, but most people use automatic settings so it doesn’t appear to be something that matters to them.

John
Guest
John

Great article. It helped me choose the D5500 over the D7200. I did go try both in an airport shop to see how they felt. I was initially put off the D5500 as it was so light it felt like I’d damage it, however I do a fair bit of travelling and running up mountains so I’m more likely to take a lighter camera out with me. The price was also £463 with 18-55 VRII which was £170 cheaper than just the body of the D7200, this means I can get another lense for the same price. I’m upgrading from a D5000 so having a larger sensor, WiFi and touch screen should make quite a difference. Thanks

Gond
Guest

Just want to know that which one you do advice? D5500 or T6s! Ive been searching all your comparisons but couldnt find any difference between nikon and canon! So please tell me which one is more suitable for an amateur like me? Nikon 5500d or canon t6s/i ?
Thanks you

Pilar Perez
Guest
Pilar Perez

Dear Matt,
I am interested in night sky photography (stars + Milky Way).
Would the Nikon D5500 be a good bet or would I need to go for the D7200?
Thanks!

Pete
Guest
Pete

Great article. I’m currently upgrading a D60 to accommodate my desire to capture my twin daughters’ high school volleyball and basketball games. Lighting is miserable and as I’ve learned by both experience and research I need a fast lens and high ISO. I rented a 70/200 2.8 this weekend and learned that even at the 1600 highest ISO or the extended mode, I couldn’t get shutter speeds fast enough for great shots without underexposing. Burst is currently an afterthought as light is the bigger bottleneck right now. Flash isn’t really an option. Do you think the 5500 can handle this application with the right lens or do I need to look higher? I can pretty much buy what I want, but don’t want more than I need. Thoughts?

olwe
Guest
olwe
Tim
Guest
Tim

Hi Matthew,

Thanks a lot for this review. I currently own a D5100 and did several photography courses in class and I’ve been reading books looking up stuff online. I believe in getting the shot right in the place rather than editing in Lightroom. Though I feel my images don’t pop and are not the sharpest.

I own the following lenses:
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm 1:1,8G (love that for street photography and some portraits shoots)
Sigma 10-20 mm F3,5 EX DC HSM ( I like the wide angle but feel it lacks sharpness though I use it around f8-11)
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300 mm 1:4,5-5,6G ED VR (for wildlife)
Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3,5-5,6G ED II (kit lens, I stopped using it)

I would like to upgrade the body, wanna stick to the DX and have considered both cameras. I could pick them up with the 18-140mm (to replace my 18-55) for 800 USD (D5500) or 1000 USD (D7200)

I also like to take videos, I have a GoPro Hero 3 and just started to use my DSLR for the last trip and I like to mix both the GoPro and the 5100 which turned out quite well. I read that the 7200 can’t really produce 1080/60pf (it crops by 1.3) whereas the 5500 can.

I like shooting landscape, like waterfalls & lakes, wildlife and a bit of portraits. I’m not into sports photography. I can afford both but would also consider to upgrade my lenses if you have some recommendations. I just feel the D5100 has been a nice way to get in there but can’t produce the sharpness I want but maybe that is just a feeling. I think my focus is right, there’s usually no camera movement (tripod or otherwise I know my limitations when I shoot handheld)

Cheers
Tim

Stephen young
Guest
Stephen young

Hi, i’m considering the D5500 plus Nikon 300mm F4e PF Ed vr with tc14e 111 converter for a light weight kit for bird/ wildlife photography and occasional butterfly macro stuff.. My concern is the lack of AF fine tune. Is this likely to be an issue with this lens?

Ronny
Guest
Ronny

Hello Matthew, thanks for highlighting and letting us know the main differences between these cameras, I have a nikon d90 that it is getting real old now and i want to replace it, trying to decide between the d5500 and the d7200. i like that the d5500 is a lot lighter than my d90 for when going on vacation and waking around… I when to the store to check them out and they both feel great in your hands. I bought the sigma 18-35 1.8 waiting to be deliver and I own a couple of lenses (sigma 50-150mm f2.8, nikon 70-300mm vr1, nikon 35mm 1.8) my question is that all this lenses are pretty big, would they feel kind of out of balance with the d5500? and would it be a worthy upgrade from the nikon D90? I am feeling that I should go straight to the d7200 for an upgrade…. all i do is taking pictures of my kids when playing sports inside and out and also portraits, a lot of low lights situation

michelle
Guest
michelle

Hi Matthew,
I’m very fresh to photography and contemplating between the d550 or d7200. I am looking at doing a photography course to learn all about everything so a real freshy. I will mainly be doing my children with props ect in my home and also landscape shots both with and without children and adults in them. Looking for some advice on which camera is best and which lens. From what I have read in the comments cheaper body and most expensive lens, so thinking the d550? but unsure on which lens’s to- get could you give some advice? I have no idea, there are a few I have seen you name Nikon 35mm f1.8, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8uc usd, sigma 18-35 f/1.8) thanks

John
Guest
John

Hi Matthew
I’m looking to purchase a new camera but would be a major upgrade for me as for many years just used Panasonic TZ series going for the great zoom advantages.
The choice has really got my head done in seeing diff comparisons then reading another and making me look at others.
I’ve had no experience with these type of cameras and only know when going to Disney the photographers there use a Nikon 7100 and the shots are great….see told you i was a novice. I tend to snap away at anything I find interesting and do many videos but those could still be done with the Panasonic.
I seem to have nailed it down to Nikon 5500/7200…saying that I was looking at 3300/7100 but thought that if newer models available then would be better to get as opposed to buy older model just to upgrade shortly afterwards.
Reading your replies to others comments shows how much you consider everything.
Many Thanks

Abe
Guest
Abe

Dear Mathew,

I am in a confused state of whether to pick T6i or Nikon D5500. Saw lots of videos and also personally went to store and check, and end result, again mixed bag of doubts. Where i like the light weight and the smart touchscreen in D5500 i also liked the video and live mode functionality in T6i.
And since i am interested in portraits, landscape and wildlife pics i also like to have some nice quality videos also to be taken.

1 Also while comparing the pics in both dslrs, i found pics taken from 5500 a bit deviated from the original skintones (a bit overexposed) where as the pics from t6i maintained the originality.

2. The videos taken in dim light using 5500 after say about iso 1200> there appears to be grains where as T6i again gave nice quality comparatively.

3. Is the livemode and video recording that painful in NikonD5500 as we cant change the aperture size ?

4. Also would like to know since NiKON has intriduced the new lens AF-P VR can the noise be reduced while video shooting and what is its effect on video quality and focus department ?

James
Guest
James

Hi Matt,

I’m keen on the D5500 – I think it with the 18-140mm zoom and a 50mm prime looks an ideal initial set-up for me, since I’d prefer a lightweight body.

The one thing I’m concerned about is I’ve heard about front/back-focusing issues, particularly with fast prime lenses. I was looking at getting the 50mm f1.4 (and intending to use it at f1.4 quite a bit), and possibly a macro lens in the future. Do you know if this is a big issue for the D5500, and is AF fine-tune a key feature in your opinion?

Thanks!
James

Arvind Rathore
Guest
Arvind Rathore

Hi Matthew!

I would like to upgrade from a point and shoot camera to a DSLR. I would be capturing nature and wildlife with the new camera, still photos and videos. Which camera should I buy?
My list includes D5300 / D5500 / D7200 / D750.
Which one is the most suitable of the above considering the auto focus capability while shooting videos?

Thanks in advance!

Jason
Guest
Jason

Matthew,

Thanks for putting together such a great review. If you have time, I have (what I think will be) a pretty quick question. I’ll never really understood DSLR cameras, aperture and hoe they work together. Recently I have been taken a class and have come along far enough to be comfortable shooting in manual mode. I’m coming from a d3000 and am looking at the D5500 and D7200. I think the pictures taken by either would be indistinguishable from each other.

Specifically, I am looking at the differences between the 2 cameras when shooting manual. Are the adjustments (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focusing and metering modes) on the D7200 easier to reach/adjust than the d5500, or does the touch screen on the D5500 make adjustments as quickly as the d7200, just in a different way?

Thanks in advance,

Jason

Gabe
Guest
Gabe

Hi Matthew,
Your article was very helpful and really helped me understand some of the differences between these camera bodies. But, I still have a few questions you could hopefully help me with.

First things first, I’m a recent college graduate, so I’m not made of money and would like to save wherever I can, but I also want to take great photos that I can potentially make prints of. I’ve been shooting with a Nikon 5000 for the last 6 years or so and I feel like it’s probably time for an upgrade (plus I’m going on a safari in Kenya with my family soon, so I’d like to take the best photos I can while I’m there).

I’ve been pondering whether to go for the 5500 or the 7200 because I mostly enjoy wildlife, landscape, and the occasional sports photography. I could see the amount of bursts I could take with the 7200 being particularly useful with wildlife, but at the same time, I feel like I can do adequately by just timing my shots and taking the 6-burst with a 5500. So, I think, between the 5500 (currently $797) and the 7200 (currently $1,097), I’m leaning towards the former. However your article made me think about potentially trying to save money on my body with the 5300 ($697).

I also would like to upgrade the lenses I currently own: Nikon 18-55mm non-VR, Nikon 55-200mm VR, and Nikon 55-300mm VR. I am considering the following lenses: Nikon 35mm f/1.8 (standard affordable high-aperture prime), Nikon or Tamron 70-300mm VR/VC (decent telephoto for wildlife and Kenya), Nikon 24mm f1.8 (more expensive high-aperture prime), and the Nikon 12-24mm f4 (one of the best wide angle lenses from what I’ve read)

Sorry for such a long post, but now on to the questions:
1) Which of the bodies do you think fits best with my situation? (I’m currently thinking 5300, unless there’s some other significant change that would make the 5500 better for me)
2) Do you think a Nikon/Tamron 70-300mm VR/VC would be good enough for my Kenya trip? (I’d really prefer not to have to spring for a lens like the 70-200 f/2.8 since that’s probably out of my budget)
3) Do you have a preference between the Nikon 70-300mm VR vs. the Tamron 70-300mm VC? (I have heard people claim that the Tamron is sharper)
4) Would you specifically recommend or warn against any of the lenses I’m considering?
5) Which few lenses (maybe three?) would together form a good kit for me? I’m currently leaning towards Nikon 35mm f1.8 (sharp, good for low-light), Nikon 12-24mm f4 (good for landscapes, architecture), and Tamron 70-300mm VC (good for wildlife)

Thank you in advance!
Gabe

steven
Guest
steven

Hi, my son plays youth football, other outdoor sports. We will be using it mainly for action shots, and family pictures while on vacation. Trying to decide on the D5500 or D7200. What do you suggest?

Thanks.

Lillian
Guest
Lillian

Hi Matthew, just wanted to say thanks! I’m amazed at the time and thought you put into your content and all your responses. You’ve got to be the friendliest expert I’ve run across in photography research and I’m definitely bookmarking your site. You rock!

Dean
Guest
Dean

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for the great review. I currently shoot with a Sony rx100 iii. I have been thinking of moving up to a DSLR before an upcoming trip to Iceland. Most of my photography is landscape and architecture with some video. After doing my research I am pretty much settled on the D5500 with the 18-140mm kit lens and I was looking at also getting the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 ART lense for low light and night shots. I know the sigma lense does not have image stabilization and was wondering if there is another lense similar to this one that has the stabilization.

I imagine that I would probably use this lense mostly on a tripod in low light situations so it should not be a huge deal not having stabilization, however I was just wondering what else is out there. I’ll probably continue to use my rx100 iii for video and when I don’t want to carry around the DSLR.

I was also wondering if you heard anything about an upcoming d5600. I was wondering if they will fix the lack of being able to change Appature in live view

Thanks

Dean

Andy
Guest
Andy

Hi Matthew –

My questions primarily pertain to speed. I take a lot of photos of hummingbirds and was wondering if you thought the additional speed of the 7200 would be beneficial for such shooting. I have read some online tutorials that also suggest use of flash and didn’t know if that may also improve when using the 7200 vs the 5500. Finally, I have a son that ski races and didn’t know if that might also benefit from the spec bump on the 7200.

Other than the issue of speed, the other real draw for me to the 7200 over the 5500 is the weather sealing. I understand most lenses are not sealed but I have to imagine that acts as an insurance policy might be worth the couple hundred more. Also, studier build is appealing to me. Thank you for your feedback!