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Nikon D5500 vs D780 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500 camera image

Nikon D780

D780 camera image
Nikon D5500
Nikon D780
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
January 06, 2015
February 12, 2020
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D780 is the clear winner with a score of 81/100, while the Nikon D5500 scores 61/100. Both cameras are DSLRs and have similar features. However, the D780 excels in various aspects compared to the D5500.

The Nikon D780, released in 2020, is a more advanced camera with an impressive launch price of $2,299. It is larger and heavier, measuring 144 x 116 x 76mm and weighing 850g. This makes it more robust and suitable for professional use.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5500, released in 2015, has a lower launch price of $900. It is more compact and lightweight, measuring 124 x 97 x 70mm and weighing 420g. This makes it a better option for casual photographers and travelers.

While the Nikon D780 surpasses the D5500 in overall performance, the D5500 remains an excellent choice for those who prioritize portability and affordability. In contrast, the D780 is a superior option for professional photographers seeking top-notch quality and features.

Nikon D5500 vs D780 Overview and Optics

The Nikon D780 emerges as the winner in optics, scoring 77/100, while the Nikon D5500 trails behind with a score of 65/100. Both cameras share certain specifications, such as their CMOS sensor type, Nikon lens mounts, and the absence of image stabilization. However, there are a few key aspects that set these two models apart.

The D780 boasts superior specifications in terms of megapixels, shooting speed, processor, DXOMARK score for the sensor, and sensor size. With 25 megapixels, the D780 captures slightly higher resolution images than the D5500, which has 24.2 megapixels. The D780 also has a faster shooting speed of 12 compared to the D5500’s 5, allowing for better performance in fast-paced situations. The D780 uses the advanced Expeed 6 processor, while the D5500 relies on the older Expeed 4. This difference in processors leads to better image processing and overall performance for the D780. The D780’s sensor also receives a higher DXOMARK score of 97, compared to the D5500’s 84, indicating better image quality. Lastly, the D780 features a full-frame sensor, while the D5500 has an APS-C sensor, which gives the D780 an edge in low-light performance and depth of field control.

On the other hand, the D5500 has the advantage of a smaller and lighter body, making it more portable and easier to carry around for casual photography. This may be a determining factor for some users who prioritize convenience and portability.

Taking all of these factors into account, the Nikon D780 proves to be the better choice in terms of optics, outperforming the D5500 in several key areas such as image quality, speed, and sensor size. However, the D5500 remains a viable option for those who prioritize a compact and lightweight camera for everyday use.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.2 MP
25 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6000 x 4000 px
6048 x 4024 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.6 x 23.5 mm
23.9 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
5 fps
12 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F DX
Nikon F
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 4
Expeed 6
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
900 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentamirror)
Optical (pentaprism)

Nikon D5500 vs D780 Video Performance

The Nikon D780 outperforms the Nikon D5500 in video capabilities, with a difference of 21 points in their respective video scores (91/100 for the D780 and 70/100 for the D5500). Both cameras share some common specifications, such as built-in time-lapse functionality, which allows for creative and dynamic video capture.

The D780 excels in video quality, offering 4K resolution with maximum video dimensions of 3840 x 2160, whereas the D5500 only supports Full HD with maximum dimensions of 1920 x 1080. This difference in resolution results in the D780 delivering significantly sharper and more detailed videos. Additionally, the D780 boasts a maximum video frame rate of 120fps, allowing for smoother slow-motion capture, while the D5500 is limited to 60fps.

On the other hand, the D5500 does not have any distinct advantages over the D780 in terms of video capabilities. Its lower resolution and frame rate make it less suitable for professional or high-quality video production.

Considering the differences in video resolution, dimensions, and frame rate, the Nikon D780 is the superior camera for videographers seeking high-quality and versatile video capture. The Nikon D5500, with its lower video score and capabilities, is more suited for casual users or those not prioritizing video quality. The D780’s advanced features make it a more reliable choice for capturing stunning videos, while the D5500 remains a budget-friendly option for those with less demanding video needs.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
120 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Nikon D5500 vs D780 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D780 outperforms the Nikon D5500 with a feature score of 87/100, compared to the D5500’s score of 59/100. Both cameras share several specifications, such as a 3.2-inch screen size, touchscreen functionality, flip screen, no GPS, and WIFI connectivity.

The D780 has a higher screen resolution of 2,359,000 dots, while the D5500 has a lower resolution of 1,037,000 dots. This difference results in sharper and clearer image previews on the D780. Additionally, the D780 has Bluetooth connectivity, which the D5500 lacks. This feature allows for easier pairing with compatible devices and remote control options.

On the other hand, the D5500 does not have any distinct advantages over the D780 in terms of features. Both cameras share the majority of their specifications, with the D780 having a few additional features that make it superior.

The Nikon D780’s higher feature score signifies its superiority over the Nikon D5500. With a better screen resolution and Bluetooth connectivity, the D780 offers more advanced and convenient options for photographers. The D5500, while still a capable camera, does not have any standout features that make it preferable to the D780. Therefore, the Nikon D780 is the better camera in terms of features between these two models.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
1,037,000 dots
2,359,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D5500 vs D780 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D780 outperforms the Nikon D5500 in storage and battery with a score of 97/100, compared to the D5500’s 35/100. Both cameras share compatibility with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. However, the D780 has the advantage of two memory card slots and UHS-II compatibility, providing increased storage capacity and faster transfer speeds.

The D780’s battery life is also superior, offering 2260 shots per charge with its EN-EL15b battery, while the D5500 provides 820 shots with its EN-EL14 battery. Additionally, the D780 supports USB charging, making it more convenient for on-the-go use.

The D5500 does not have any advantages in storage and battery compared to the D780. The Nikon D780’s stronger storage features and longer battery life make it the clear winner in this category. This result further solidifies the D780 as a better camera choice for those prioritizing storage capacity and battery performance.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
820 shots
2,260 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
24.1 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
14 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Alternatives to the Nikon D5500 and D780

Nikon D5500 vs D780 Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D5500 or the Nikon D780:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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