Nikon D5500 Camera Review – CameraDeal.co.uk
All of you’ll remember that there are a lot of wide to moderately wide fastened-lens massive-sensor compacts offered; the alternatives in the twenty eight and 35mm vary are so diverse there’s sure to be one thing for everyone.
We tend to have everything from the extraordinarily compact Ricoh GR to the larger (however supremely versatile) Leica Q, and different niche cameras like the Fuji X10zero series, Sony RX1RII and Sigma DP0 and DP1. I’m positive there are most likely one or two others I’ve forgotten. Of these options, only the Sigma (in DP2 form, but that’s arguably another camera entirely) and Fuji (via teleconverter) offer any ability to achieve a extended focal length.
Most of the time, we will achieve the majority of the specified photographic results with no more than two views: one thing wide, and one thing in the long-traditional to short-tele vary. Preferably, both of cheap speed to maximise shooting envelope handheld. The problem is, there hasn’t been terribly a lot of within the latter camp. Granted, we have a tendency to have the mirrorless choices with compact lenses: M4/three and 25mm (the foremost compact of which is that the Panasonic GM series with a twenty or 25mm) – however tracking and low light-weight talents are questionable.
There’s the Sony A7 series, however they aren’t that little or light or responsive. And the wide cameras have serviceable crop modes, to a degree. However for a few reason, I’d never thought-about the more compact DSLRs – and here we are.
APS-C means that you’ll have a narrower field of read with a physically shorter lens, and maintain size; the entire body can be smaller, and the field of options is a very mature one. Shopper product cycles are therefore fast that if the current camera is missing something mission important, possibilities are the subsequent one can fix it.
And they’re therefore low-cost that if you wait a generation, you can get one for concerning the worth of a Leica lens hood – and that price most likely includes a kit lens or 2, too. I’d actually argue that for the volumes created, these items are actually nearly binary product: either they work properly, and all of the machines involved in manufacturing them are founded and calibrated correctly, or they don’t – they’re thus out of whack you’ll be able to tell right away.
For the foremost half, all of the consumer DSLRs I’ve had have worked flawlessly – even shrugging off unintentional accidents (falls, mostly) from heights that may have at least dinged a metal body, and quite probably put the mount, sensor and finder out of alignment.
Initially, I needed the even cheaper and a lot of basic D330zero, but two things stopped me: firstly, the camera’s pipeline is twelve bit compressed only, and the grip was nowhere near as comfy because the D550zero. The D550zero is the following logical improve, however prices almost twice as much (a whopping £five hundred or thus for body solely in the UK, however I’ve seen them below $five hundred in Asia). I balked as a result of relative values seemed somewhat skewed: that’s a ton of cash to get a tilting screen, better grip, and 14 bit pipeline. In truth though, that’s probably concerning what my A7RII depreciates during a few months.
The D5500 has two (perhaps 3, relying on the user) major limitations. Firstly, it’s a single command dial – this implies you have got to push a button and flip for exposure compensation, and there’s no simple approach to access exposure compensation in manual mode (I suppose of this as a deliberate meter bias). Secondly, the pipeline may be 14 bit, but it’s 14 bit lossy compressed. There are completely different compression regimes, of course – and it looks that Nikon’s isn’t quite as damaging as Sony’s.
From my experience with a few thousand files though, the data loss is in the deep shadows and solely visible if you push the shadow recovery, and generally for terribly long exposures. Secondly, there’s no AF fine tune function; this can be by way a bigger drawback as a result of it can impact the overall crispness of your images in a very far more visible approach since little focusing errors will quickly erode resolution.
I found that in daylight, autofocus was spot on out of the box with all of the Nikon G lenses I tried it with. However the camera would back focus dramatically below incandescent light; the warmer the source, the bigger the rear focus. I will only assume this has one thing to do with the section difference path length for extended wavelengths; I keep in mind even the D800 receiving a firmware update to rectify this at some point within the past.
My other Nikons do not show this downside, however it’s been a known issue with some of the midrange lineup and a number of the Pentax cameras, too. Sending the camera back to Nikon to be recalibrated failed to yield an improvement. There are really only two solutions here: a filter to chop the a lot of extreme wavelengths thus the AF system does not see them in the primary place; or shoot live read.
I suppose one may get another body and have it adjusted to front focus in daylight thus it might be correct in incandescent lightweight, but that appears rather extreme. You might after all just go mirrorless to start with, but you’d be forsaking the D550zero’s responsiveness and superior tracking ability in daylight (CAM4800DX, thirty-nine points, 9 cross kind).
To me, the main reason to put up with these fairly major limitations is because it ticks the vital boxes I had in mind for a tool of this purpose: it had to deliver tight image quality, be responsive in all ways that, lightweight and tiny enough, and supply the correct lens selection. There’s a bit of a catch to the second demand, though: too little and too light would compromise ergonomics and stability, and a little sensor doesn’t extremely cut it for printing or shopper applications. (I was also thinking if this might in some method replace another D800/810 body and sometimes used tele zoom for location work, then I’d gladly take the weight saving.)
I suppose Nikon have done a nice job with the grip and button placements: the camera’s overall size is tiny, weight negligible at 420g and grip comfortable even with terribly massive lenses like the Otus 85 pictured higher than.
Like all Nikons, it powers on and shoots instantly, and there’s virtually no lag between 0.5 press and capture. Unlike the upper finish cameras, it will not appear to have parallel processing therefore you must wait for the buffer to finish writing before reviewing an image (though all different functions work as normal). Fortunately, write times are very quick and there’s nearly no wait in apply if you are employing a sufficiently speedy card.
Battery life is very good, too: I’ve not been able to empty one absolutely in a very day, and that i estimate somewhere around 900-1000 shots/charge in practical use.
What I notice very perplexing (or surprising, depending on whether you’re using the D550zero or something else) are the options that are found on this camera only, and never created it to the professional bodies:
- Totally articulated LCD.
- Touch implementation – terribly well done, with a responsive interface and no unnecessary virtual button muddle.
- There’s touch to focus, touch to shoot and swipe to browse, but curiously double faucet to zoom is missing.
- The LCD’s touch portion remains active even when the LCD is deactivated; you’ll use it to regulate exposure compensation, aperture, or move your AF point around sort of a trackpad (kind of like the Panasonic cameras).
- The latter function is astounding for tracking moving subjects or dynamically changing composition. I’d say it’s simply as sensible because the Leica SL‘s joystick, or higher.
- IR remote, with receiving ports on each back and front (I’m trying at you, Sony). Why we tend to should be restricted to the cable only or an upscale resolution that blocks the hotshoe is beyond me – surely that $15 button is nice enough, and an IR receiver can’t cost that abundant?
- Manual focus rangefinder, showing you how far out of focus you’re, and that direction to flip the ring. I find this gives me a very sensible idea of the depth of field transition of the lens and after I’m really in-focus – the hit rate with this camera and it’s little finder seems above the binary left arrow/OK/right arrow of the D810.
- Live read implementation: firstly, there are guide marks for 16:nine side ratio (presumably for video use, however additionally useful for cinematic stills) and secondly, due to the touch screen, you’ll both quickly move the main target/zoom box to anywhere in the frame, and return to centre instantly (D-pad centre button). The pro cameras are terribly slow to scroll, and you either have come to centre or instant zoom, however not both.
- Carbon fiber body: the D550zero inherits this from the D750, however it’s an interesting haptic feel: lightweight like plastic, however not hollow or creaky. The body is terribly rigid and feels good in the hand.There also are masses of niggling things in addition to the big ones mentioned previously I don’t like, but will live with:
- No mirror lockup or EFC
- Unnecessarily crippled manual metering: unless your lens has a chip, you’re one hundredpercent manual solely. Even in live read.
- Smallish raw buffer: simply seven shots at 5fps and then an obvious wait even with terribly quick cards; pace your shooting and you’ll be fine, though.
- Drive mode defaults back to single or continuous when one shot with the timer, and it doesn’t keep in mind the remote possibility if you cycle power.
- Useless button duplication: the ‘i’ and ‘information’ buttons do pretty much the same thing. Why not make at least one of these programmable?
- No way to toggle auto ISO from the shortcut screen or buttons.
- No double tap to zoom to 100 percent in playback.
- Post-capture review doesn’t perpetually show automatically.
- Compressed raw.
- Notchy shutter unleash
And then I bear in mind it’s a shopper body that will most likely drop to the $400-450 price purpose by next year. It’s nearly low cost enough to own a couple of them permanently founded differently for different shooting conditions.
Lens choices are one among the other elementary reasons why you’d select one of those over mirrorless. The D550zero has no designed in focusing motor, which means that you only get AF with AF-S/SWM lenses; however manual focus implementation is nice, and you’ve got that rotating screen for waist level shooting and fairly responsive live view. I’ve been using it mainly with the AFS 35/one.8 DX G, the AFS 55-two hundred/4-5.six DX VR II, and sometimes the AI-P forty five/2.eight and Sigma 18-three hundred/3.5-six.3 C and 18-thirty five/1.8 lenses.
The primary 2 make for a terribly light and versatile pair; resolving power is high and also the shooting envelope is fairly large. They’re additionally extremely cheap; in Japan the D550zero is bundled with the 35, 55-two hundred and eighteen-fifty five for under $900 – that’s insanely smart value for additional than enough capability to cover simply about every photographic situation imaginable.
The 18-fifty five could be a bit of a dog and can’t adequately resolve for the sensor at seemingly any aperture. The 45/2.8 I extremely needed to like on this camera for size and weight reasons, however it appears to be outgunned by the sensor till f5.vi or so, limiting usefulness. I’d rather carry the 55-two hundred with a little additional bulk (but curiously, not a lot of additional weight) for the flexibility and stabiliser.
A word of warning, though: a 24MP APS-C sensor is a demanding issue. Equivalent to something like 57MP full frame – you’re really going to want a lot of better lenses than you’re thinking that. Unsurprisingly, the Otuses still sing, as will the 180 APO-Lanthar and a couple of/135 APO, however alternative lenses that are very good even on the D810 – like the forty five PCE and 85 PCE – are starting to indicate their limitations. The humble twenty four-one hundred twenty/4 VR will well, but the sixteen-eighty/two.eight-four was a disappointment. Lastly, the Sigma eighteen-35/1.eight reveals itself to be a terribly, very impressive bit of optical engineering – it’s actually better than the opposite primes I’ve came that range, and simply as quick. Better still, if you invest within the USB dock, you currently also have AF fine tune capability – at four points in the zoom vary and four subject distances, too.
It’s time to talk regarding the elephant in the room: image quality. All other considerations are secondary if the camera will not deliver here; fortunately, it does. Sony continues to once again demonstrate they will make an extremely spectacular sensor, but fail to totally exploit its potential themselves. The 24MP unit has an impressive amount of dynamic range – in practice, it looks to be quite close to the D810 (that I’d rate at 14.5 stops or so). You probably lose one/a pair of-2/3 stop at the shadow finish, that is an impressive performance considering the pixel density.
Nikon has also managed to retain some of the tonal response characteristics of the D810, i.e. a very gradual/natural highlight rolloff and good color accuracy. Acuity is high, however not as high as the larger pitch sensor; you’ll want a touch additional unsharp mask to induce to the same perceptual sharpness at the pixel level (say 250 vs a hundred and eighty or 200; however it’s capable of getting there with the proper lenses).
High ISO/low lightweight performance is similarly encouraging: I’d use it while not hesitation up to 160zero; up to 320zero with careful exposure (exposing to the correct is extremely important to keep noise down within the shadows, irrespective of the final brightness intention). This puts it concerning a 0.5 a stop to a stop behind the D810, which is in keeping with the dynamic range performance and suggests each sensors are ISO-invariant to a degree. With correct exposure, the camera retains terribly pleasing tonal characteristics even at the higher end of the spectrum; filmic is typically overused however came to mind during this case.
All in all, it’s safe to say you’re not going to be disappointed with the image quality of this issue. It’s a cut above M4/three, pretty much at the state of the art for APSC, noticeably on top of the 5D-series at low ISO (much higher dynamic range, no AA filter) and a hair on top of the D750/D610 in each detail and dynamic range (again, no AA filter, newer sensor technology). It matches the Q in acuity with the proper lens, and by extension, the SL.
I went back a range of years to match it with files from previous cameras, and honestly, it left the D3x in the mud, too. The repeated feeling I had was that this was really a sixty sixpercent of a D810 for about 25% of the value.
I initially bought this camera mainly as a result of I wanted a extended lens partner to the Q, but something a touch a lot of responsive, fun and lighter than the A7RII. I then discovered it really had an entire bunch of features that weren’t even in my D810, which image quality was way beyond initial expectations (however conjointly demands on optics) and more than good enough as a second camera for a lot of my professional work, too.
I didn’t have terribly high expectations going in, given the value point and meant target market – but I’m now convinced that Nikon have done themselves a huge disservice by not marketing this issue properly. It’s not a mirrorless camera, but it’s a extremely sensible reason why mirrorless has still got some way to travel before it will unseat DSLRs even at the low finish of the market.
Even though the D5500 lacks a ton of bells and whistles, but maybe because of that it is a very sensible camera; it gets the photographic part of things very, terribly right. I fancy shooting with it a lot of a lot of than I initially expected, and keep coming back away with 2 thoughts: firstly, it’s remarkable how so much the consumer level product has come back since the early cheap DSLRs, which even at this level, there’s a firm feeling that the camera is way a lot of capable than the operator.
It makes me question why we are willing to pay several times additional for not that much more utility. It felt like an enabler instead of an onerous drag – little question helped by the ‘less serious’ feeling that in flip encourages experimentation – and for that reason alone I suppose it deserves a sturdy recommendation.