Do you prefer a superzoom camera or an entry-level DSLR? Well, that can be the question when choosing between Nikon Coolpix P900 vs Nikon D5500, but the answer is not that simple. It depends on what you are going to use the camera for. Some people may specifically need a superzoom camera, which can give outstanding zoom levels, whereas others prefer a DSLR camera for general photography. But then again, these two cameras also offer different features. Below, we will try to compare Nikon Coolpix P900 against Nikon D5500 to help you determine which the best camera is.
Size and Weight
The first thing that we need to consider when choosing between Nikon Coolpix P900 vs Nikon D5500 is whether you are fine with a big, bulky camera or not. Nikon Coolpix P900 has a bulky and heavy body for a superzoom camera, measuring 140 mm x 103 mm x 137 mm and with a weight of 899 grams (that is very close to 1 kg!). The size and weight are comparable to some DSLR models, but don’t forget that it has an integrated lens – meaning that you won’t have to carry any more pounds for a set of lenses. Also, take a look at Nikon Coolpix P900 vs B700 if you want to get a superzoom camera.
Nikon D5500, on the other hand, measures 124 mm x 97 mm 70 mm and weighs about 420 grams. However, we have not included the lens. You can get it with. When paired with the lens, Nikon D5500 becomes about as bulky and heavy. Typically, when working with a DSLR camera, you want to have your own set of lenses. And those lenses are pretty heavy to carry around.
We have talked about lenses quite a little above, but let’s make things clearer here. One of the reasons why Nikon Coolpix P900 is very popular is because the camera is equipped with a Nikkor zoom lens that can provide up to 83X optical zoom, equivalent to 24 – 2000 mm F/2.8–6.5. It has built-in image stabilization. This is among the very best lenses in the superzoom camera segment. If you purchase the lens separately, it can easily cost thousands of dollars. So, this product is a very good value for the money.
As mentioned before, you can choose to buy Nikon D5500 with an 18 – 55 mm lens, an 18 – 140 mm lens, or a set of 18 – 55 mm and 70 – 300 mm lenses. Nikon D5500 has the Nikon F lens mount. Don’t forget that purchasing a new lens can cost at least hundreds of dollars.
Display and Viewfinder
Both Nikon Coolpix P900 vs Nikon D5500 come with fully articulating display screens. With an articulating display screen, you can easily take selfies, and maybe shoot photographs from difficult angles. However, Nikon D5500 offers a slightly bigger display screen.
Both models are equipped with viewfinders, but they come with different types of viewfinders. Nikon Coolpix P900 has an electric viewfinder with a resolution of 921k dots. An electric viewfinder has some advantages that it will never obstruct your view, it can simulate motion blur, and it can boost brightness when in a very dark scene. However, being an electronic viewfinder, it has some delay that proves to be a challenge when shooting a moving subject.
On the other hand, Nikon D5500 comes with an optical pentamirror viewfinder. An optical viewfinder also offers unique benefits. First, it can give you an instant view of the scene without any delay – the major reason why many professional photographers greatly prefer an optical viewfinder. Second, it can give much better dynamic range and clarity.
The next thing that one should consider in choosing between Nikon Coolpix P900 vs Nikon D5500 is the image sensor. They have different resolution, sensor size, and ISO range.
Nikon Coolpix P900 is equipped with a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor with a resolution of 16 MP. The ISO range is only 100 – 6400, expandable to 12800. You see, it is pretty good, but it is definitely not impressive. A serious photographer is probably looking for higher specifications. Due to the small sensor size, the low-light performance is not very good.
Nikon D5500 is definitely on a higher level. Coming with an APS-C CMOS sensor, Nikon D5500 is ready to give you better color depth and dynamic range. It also has a significantly wider ISO range, 100 – 25600, and the low-light performance is also much better.
Are you going to use your camera for making videos? Because, if you do, you probably want to choose Nikon D5500. Well, it still has the same maximum video quality as Nikon Coolpix P900, which is Full HD (1920 x 1080). However, it has a microphone port, allowing you to record videos with better, clearer sound.
Dedicated photographers may also prefer Nikon D5500 because it supports RAW as well as JPEG. It has AE bracketing, which I useful for HDR and when facing difficult lighting. And it has a touchscreen.
Well, Nikon Coolpix P900 also offers some special features. Although both models have built-in Wi-Fi, only Nikon Coolpix P900 supports NFC and smartphone remote control. It also has a higher continuous shooting speed of 7.0 fps (Nikon D5500’s continuous shooting speed is only 5.0 fps).
You don’t want your camera to run out of battery in the middle of a photo hunting trip, do you? That’s why we should also take a look at these cameras’ battery life.
Nikon D5500 has a significantly longer battery life. It can take up to 820 shots before needing to recharge. Nikon Coolpix P900 only has a maximum battery life of 360 shots.
If you are a dedicated photographer, choosing the entry-level DSLR Nikon D5500 is a wise idea. It comes with better features – the optical viewfinder and RAW support are among the most notable ones. It also has a better image sensor, allowing better image quality and performance. Indeed, Nikon Coolpix P900 is an excellent value for the money due to the awesome lens, but the other specifications are not as great. You can choose Nikon Coolpix P900 if you really need the zoom lens.