I have been shooting with the d810 as my primary body and decided to try the d5500 based on a few blogs I follow that suggested it was actually a very capable camera squeezed into a VERY small package. I could not agree more.
My first impression after un-boxing the body was how incredibly light it felt in my hand. I mounted an af-s 20mm 1.8g on it and immediately knew I had made the right choice with this body. The grip and button logic are really fantastic. I was worried that the lack of external controls would be a major hassle. It is not. I very quickly became accustomed to the controls and now feel like I have quick and easy access to almost every function.
The dynamic range and high ISO performance is just fantastic for a DX body. Do I lose something from the 810? Absolutely, but not nearly as much as I would have thought.
The D5500 rewards high quality glass. If Nikon had marketed this as a high end mirrorless alternative with the Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR no one would have complained one bit. As I see it with this camera you have almost all of the benefits of mirrorless, plus all of the native nikon glass. Truly fantastic. If you are on the fence with this one, don't be. Get it.
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Is it just me, but does anyone else find the size of most enthusiast DSLR's to be too bulky for comfort? I'm a 6' tall male with fairly large hands but find the grip of the D7200, D610 etc (and similar sized Canons) to be too bulky for optimal comfort and grip. By contrast though the D5500 grip is just right, shame about the viewfinder though...
I've been using m4/3 for the last 7 years and am pretty satisfied with my current camera (Panasonic G7) but wish it had the same IQ as the current crop of Nikon DX cameras with the latest sony sensors (also prefer the 3:2 format of APS-C). I prefer mirorless cameras in general, but the Sony system is lacking in decent APS-C lenses and the 24 mega-pixel Fuji's are too expensive so have been considering a Nikon DSLR again...
I used to have a D90 and don't recall the grip being an issue - so is my memory faulty or have the D90's successors bulked up somewhat? As it stands, whilst I'd like the D7200 mainly for the better VF, I think I'd choose the D5500 as its cheaper, has better ergnomics (for me) and has the swivel/touch screen too. If dealing with the size of the D7200, might as well go for the D610 and get the benefit of full frame...
I agree completely. I am 6'4" and the d5500 fits my hands great. So much better than I could have I imagined. As far as the view finder goes, I consider the fact that it exists at all to be a huge plus. Despite its small size it beats an EVF any day. I think the real competition for this camera is mirror less and from that standpoint it is such a phenomenal value. When paired with quality Nikon glass there is virtually no limit to the results you can achieve. Any way as you can tell I am quite happy with it as a DX body.
I'd have to disagree about the EVF though - to go back to a small dim OVF without live histogram etc just feels like a huge backwards step which is what gives me pause for thought about buying another DSLR...
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