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Nikon D5500 vs Sony a7 IV Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500 camera image

Sony a7 IV

Sony a7 iv camera image
Nikon D5500
Sony a7 IV
a7 IV
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
October 21, 2021
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Sony a7 IV emerges as the winner with a score of 84/100, outperforming the Nikon D5500, which scored 61/100. Both cameras share similarities in their announcement dates, release years, and launch prices. However, the Sony a7 IV, a mirrorless camera, excels in its overall performance and features, justifying its higher price of $2499 compared to the Nikon D5500’s $900.

The Nikon D5500, a DSLR camera, holds an advantage in its compact size and lighter weight, measuring 124 x 97 x 70mm and weighing 420g. Meanwhile, the Sony a7 IV is slightly larger and heavier at 131 x 96 x 80mm and 659g. Despite this, the Sony a7 IV’s superior score reflects its enhanced capabilities and modern technology.

Taking into account each camera’s specifications and performance, the Sony a7 IV is the more advanced choice, while the Nikon D5500 offers a more budget-friendly and portable option.

Nikon D5500 vs Sony a7 IV Overview and Optics

The Sony a7 IV outperforms the Nikon D5500 in optics, scoring 85/100 compared to the Nikon’s 65/100. Both cameras share features like CMOS sensors and compatibility with a wide range of lenses, but there are key differences that set them apart.

The Sony a7 IV boasts a higher megapixel count at 33, compared to the Nikon D5500’s 24.2 megapixels. This allows the Sony a7 IV to capture more detail and produce sharper images. Additionally, the Sony a7 IV has a faster shooting speed of 10 frames per second, double the Nikon D5500’s 5 frames per second. This makes the Sony a7 IV better at capturing fast-moving subjects and action shots.

The Sony a7 IV also has a superior sensor, with a DXOMARK score of 97 and a full-frame size, while the Nikon D5500 has an APS-C sensor with a DXOMARK score of 84. The larger sensor in the Sony a7 IV provides better low-light performance and a wider dynamic range. Moreover, the Sony a7 IV features in-body image stabilization, which the Nikon D5500 lacks. This helps reduce camera shake and improves image sharpness in handheld shooting situations.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5500 has a Nikon F DX lens mount, which provides access to a large selection of lenses. However, the Sony a7 IV uses the Sony FE lens mount and also offers a wide range of compatible lenses.

Given these factors, the Sony a7 IV clearly excels in optics, delivering higher resolution, faster shooting speed, superior sensor performance, and image stabilization. While the Nikon D5500 provides a decent performance, it falls short when compared to the Sony a7 IV. The Sony a7 IV is the clear winner in this comparison, offering photographers better optical capabilities and overall performance.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.2 MP
33 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
7008 x 4672 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
23.8 x 35.6 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
10 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
Sony E
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 4
Bionz XR
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
30 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)
Viewfinder Resolution
3,686,400 dots

Nikon D5500 vs Sony a7 IV Video Performance

The Sony a7 IV outperforms the Nikon D5500 in video capabilities with a score of 91/100, compared to the D5500’s 70/100. Both cameras share time-lapse functionality, allowing users to create stunning time-lapse videos with ease.

The Sony a7 IV boasts superior video quality with 4K resolution, while the Nikon D5500 only offers Full HD resolution. This means the a7 IV captures footage with a higher level of detail and clarity, as its max video dimensions are 3840 x 2160, compared to the D5500’s 1920 x 1080. Furthermore, the Sony a7 IV has a higher max video frame rate at 120fps, doubling the Nikon D5500’s 60fps. This allows for smoother slow-motion footage and better overall video performance.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5500 does not have any specific advantages in terms of video capabilities over the Sony a7 IV. It is worth noting, however, that the D5500 is a more budget-friendly option for those who do not require the advanced video features of the a7 IV.

Taking all factors into account, the Sony a7 IV clearly offers superior video performance, with 4K resolution and a higher frame rate. This makes it a better choice for videographers who demand the best quality and features. Meanwhile, the Nikon D5500 might be suitable for casual users or those on a tighter budget, but it lacks the advanced video capabilities of the a7 IV.

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.
MPEG-4, XAVC S, XAVC HS, XAVC S-I, H.264, H.265

Nikon D5500 vs Sony a7 IV Features and Benefits

The Sony a7 IV outperforms the Nikon D5500 in features with a score of 83/100 compared to the Nikon’s 59/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a touchscreen, flip screen, WiFi, and lack of GPS. However, the Sony a7 IV offers more advanced features that contribute to its higher score.

The Sony a7 IV has a slightly smaller screen at 3 inches compared to the Nikon D5500’s 3.2 inches, but it has a higher screen resolution of 1,040,000 dots compared to the Nikon’s 1,037,000 dots. This results in a sharper display for the Sony camera. Additionally, the Sony a7 IV includes Bluetooth connectivity, which the Nikon D5500 lacks. This feature allows for easier file transfers and remote control capabilities.

The Nikon D5500, despite its lower score, does have some advantages over the Sony a7 IV. Its larger screen size may appeal to photographers who prefer a bigger display for composing and reviewing images. However, this advantage is minimal due to the Sony’s superior screen resolution.

Taking these factors into account, it is clear that the Sony a7 IV is the superior camera in terms of features. Its higher screen resolution and Bluetooth connectivity make it more versatile and user-friendly. The Nikon D5500’s marginally larger screen size is not enough to outweigh the benefits of the Sony a7 IV. Therefore, photographers seeking a camera with advanced features should opt for the Sony a7 IV.

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
1,040,000 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 Sony a7 IV Storage and Battery

The Sony a7 IV surpasses the Nikon D5500 in storage and battery with a score of 76/100 compared to 35/100. Both cameras accept SD cards, but the a7 IV additionally supports CFexpress Type A and UHS-II compatible SD cards. Furthermore, the Sony a7 IV has two memory card slots, while the Nikon D5500 only has one.

The a7 IV’s superiority is evident in its USB charging capability, a feature absent in the D5500. However, the Nikon D5500 outperforms the Sony a7 IV in battery life, offering 820 shots compared to the a7 IV’s 580 shots. The D5500 uses an EN-EL14 battery, whereas the a7 IV relies on an NP-FZ100 battery.

Despite the D5500’s longer battery life, the Sony a7 IV’s overall storage and battery capabilities make it the stronger choice, providing greater versatility and convenience for photographers.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
CFexpress Type A, SD (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
580 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
25.4 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
14.7 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'

Nikon D5500 vs Sony a7 IV – Our Verdict

Nikon D5500 vs Sony a7 IV 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 Sony a7 IV:

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