Reviews |Is the Nikon D5600 better than the D5500?

Is the Nikon D5600 better than the D5500? Review

Is the Nikon D5600 better than the D3300?

Ever since Nikon announced its new mid-range entry-level DSLR several weeks ago, we’re sure many photographers are asking: is the Nikon D5600 better than the D5500?

The answer is yes, on paper, the Nikon D5600 does offer a few more advanced specifications over the D5500. But you have to ask yourself how valuable those new features are to your brand of photography.

And, of course, budget. Below we’ll take you through some of the key points of comparison between the Nikon D5600 and D5500 to help you make an informed choice.

What are the differences between the Nikon D5600 vs D5500?

The launch of the Nikon D5600 in November 2016 comes just under two years before the D5500 was announced in January 2015. This is about par for the course these days where entry-level and mid-range cameras seem to be replaced about every 18 months.

If we’re being honest, though, the Nikon D5600 looks to be a bit of a light refresh of the D5500 rather than a fully fledged upgrade. Both cameras bear a strikingly similar spec sheet.

Let’s start with what’s the same…

  • 24MP (23.5 x 15.6mm) APS-C CMOS image sensor
  • No Anti-aliasing (AA) filter
  • ISO 100 – 25600
  • Nikon F Mount
  • 3.2in fully articulated LCD screen
  • Optical (pentamirror) viewfinder
  • 5.0 fps continuous shooting
  • 1920 x 1080 video resolution
  • Built-in WiFi

Like our Nikon D3400 comparison vs the D3300, that may seem like a lot of similarities for a new camera to have with a camera that in a few days will turn two years old, but that’s also a testament to how great the D5500 was (and is).

The D5500 is one of the best beginner cameras on the market and much like we said about the D3300, Nikon has had the luxury of waiting for other manufacturers to catch up to it.

And if the D5500 is one of the best in its class, still, you could argue that a modest refresh is all it needs.

So now let’s take a look at what’s different between the D5600 and D5500…

SnapBridge. Like the D3400, the Nikon D5600 incorporates Nikon’s new SnapBridge functionality, which was first introduced in the Nikon D500 and the KeyMission 360 action camera.

SnapBridge enables the D5600 to connect wirelessly to your tablet or smartphone for on-the-fly image transfer. The way it works is that the SnapBridge app maintains a low-power Bluetooth connection between the D5600 (which also features built-in WiFi) and smart device so that you can, at any time, transfer your images automatically without the need to reconnect.

You can even transfer images when the camera is turned off.

Unlike the D3400, which doesn’t support WiFi, the D5600 does, which means you can use SnapBridge to its full potential! We found with the D3400 that some of the SnapBridge’s key features aren’t available due to its lack of WiFi support.

Remote photography with a smart device and still image transfer in original size and movie transfer aren’t possible with SnapBridge on the D3400, but this is possible with the Nikon D5600.

In use, we’ve found that the most useful part of SnapBridge, the automatic image transfer, works well with SLRs, but the remote control – if we’re honest – is a little bit hopeless with the iPhone. However, it works great on Android.

And we’ve had a bit more trouble using it to its full potential on the KeyMission 360 action camera. In short: SnapBridge is a nice idea but so far it often fails to work correctly.

If this is starting to sound like a review of SnapBridge that’s really because the key difference between the Nikon D5600 and D5500 is this bit of functionality.

The only other difference between the Nikon D5600 vs the D5500 is a Time Lapse Mode that the D5600 has inherited from the Nikon D7200, along with about 50g of extra weight.

SEE MORE: A connection guide to the Nikon KeyMission 360

Nikon D5600: price, release date, specs revealed

Should you buy the Nikon D5600 over the D5500?

The answer here really depends on how you plan to use your camera. Is wireless transfer of images a big deal for you? Do you need to transfer images from the field or share them straightaway?

If so, then yes, we suggest buying the D5600 over the D5500 despite the current limitations of the app. The app will only get better and Nikon is certain to work out the kinks.

But unless you’re dying to share or back-up your images straightaway, or time lapse is largely all you want to shoot, we’d suggest saving your £300 and purchase the D5500.

Or hold out a bit longer. The D5600 is only just on the shelves, and give it several months and that £799 Nikon D5600 price tag is bound to come down.

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T N Args
T N Args
5 years ago

I think the D5600 offers the following over the D5500:

– SnapBridge (i.e. photo synch even with camera turned off)
– NFC comms
– CLS flash directly supported without needing a commander unit
– Touch screen AF adjustment while using OVF
– Touch screen Fn button can toggle Auto ISO
– Time-lapse movie mode same as D7200
– Remote control via smartphone
– Location info stored on image files (phone required)
– Additional playback function (crop with touch; frame advance bar same as D5/500)
– 20% more rated battery life

5 years ago
Reply to  T N Args

T N Args, Does the d5500 have just as good image quality, and take pictures just as fast as the d5600? I was able to test out the d5600 in store and fell in love, but if the d5500 is exactly the same in those ways then Mabey I should save money, I don’t know. I am willing to pay the price for d5600, what do you suggest?

T N Args
T N Args
5 years ago
Reply to  Carrie

Hi Carrie, the D5500 has identical image quality and speed. Your only question to answer is how much do you want the new features I listed. Good luck.