As a result, deciding which one would best meet your requirements might be a bit tough, but don’t worry. In this article, we’ll go through the features, capabilities, and disadvantages of both cameras.
By the end of this comparison, you’ll know everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision, on which camera you should choose.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Sony a7 Vs Nikon D5500 — Comparison Overview
Looking at the bodies, both cameras are completely different. Furthermore, they are from two completely different companies; Sony and Nikon.
Both companies have been in business for quite a while. Over time, they have become well known and respected in the photography industry. Nikon, however, is older than Sony, and more experienced in the industry. As a result, it’s the stronger brand when it comes to cameras.
But don’t count Sony out just yet. Unlike Nikon, Sony’s influence is seen in various industries, such as gaming, music, and entertainment.
The Nikon D5500 is surprisingly light for a DSLR. In fact, it weighs less than the Sony a7, which is a mirrorless camera. Normally, DSLR’s weigh more than mirrorless cameras because of their mirror mechanisms.
When it comes to battery life, the clear winner is the D5500. DSLR’s have much longer battery life than mirrorless cameras. With the Nikon D5500, you get more than double the shooting time of the Sony a7.
When it come to focusing however, the Sony a7 is the winner. it gives you 78 more focus points than the D5500. Furthermore, since it’s a pro camera. the fact that it has weather sealing is no surprise.
Unsurprisingly, the Nikon D5500 is more affordable. Nevertheless, despite a price gap of about 200 bucks, both cameras give you good value for their price.
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – Comparison table
|Date announced||January 22, 2014||January 6, 2015|
|Light sensitivity||100 – 25600 ISO||50 – 25600 ISO|
|Screen type||3-inch tiltable screen||3.2-inch fully articulating screen|
|Continuous shooting speed||5fps||5fps|
|Sensor type||Full-frame CMOS||APS-C CMOS|
|Sensor resolution||24 megapixels||24 megapixels|
|Time-lapse recording||Yes, with optional app||Yes|
|Battery life||340 shots||820 shots|
|Face detection focus||Yes||Yes|
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – What situation is each best for?
The Sony a7 can be used for sports photography. However, this would not be possible without certain features.
The first feature which makes the Sony a7 good for sports photography is, its frame rate.
Compared to many other cameras, a frame rate of 5fps is not a lot. However, you’ll still be able to capture a decent amount of the action.
Secondly, the a7 has 117 autofocus points. With this many AF points, you’ll get wide area coverage when focusing.
With this, the camera will be able to remain focused on the subject.
Next we have the electronic viewfinder. An EVF helps you stabilize the camera, since it’s held close to the body when in use.
Furthermore, it’s very handy when it’s too bright to see what’s on the LCD.
Finally, we have weather sealing. Everyone knows that sports are held in all types of weather.
Cameras however, do not work well in all of them. That’s why your camera needs to have weather sealing.
With it, elements such as water and dust won’t damage your camera.
Same as the a7, but has fewer autofocus points, an optical viewfinder, and no weather sealing.
To get good portrait shots, your camera needs to have certain features.
First, it needs to have a high sensor resolution. The Sony a7 has a 24 megapixel sensor.
With a sensor resolution this high, your portraits will have a large amount of detail in them. Furthermore, you’ll have more room for cropping.
Another feature which plays a major part in getting good portraits is, a large sensor.
The Sony a7 has a 35.8 x 23.9 mm sensor. A sensor this large gives your images a nice blurry background, and shallower field depth.
Same as the Sony a7, but has a 23.5 x 15.6 mm sensor.
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – Common features
Viewfinders have many advantages. First of all, they help you stabilize the camera. When using a viewfinder, the camera is held close to the body. As a result, camera shake is reduced.
The Sony a7 has an electronic viewfinder, while the Nikon D5500 has an optical viewfinder. So, what’s the difference? With an optical viewfinder, what the camera sees is what you see.
An electronic viewfinder on the other hand, shows you what your picture will look like, even before the shot is taken. With this, you can see how your settings affect the image.
Having an articulating screen on your camera is very handy. If you’re going to do stuff like photographing over crowds, or shooting in more flexible positions, then you’re in luck both the Sony a7 and the Nikon D5500 have tiltable screens.
However, the screen of the Nikon D5500 is fully articulating. This means that you will be able to shoot at more a wider range of angles with this camera.
High sensor resolution
Both the Sony a7 and the Nikon D5500 feature 24 megapixel sensors. This increases the amount of detail you get in your photos. You can also get beautiful enlargements. Furthermore, you can crop your photos without losing a lot of detail.
To get good quality audio recordings, your camera needs to have a built-in microphone. If not, it should have a microphone port, which you can use to attach an external microphone.
Face detection focus
Face detection focus is very useful, especially when doing portraits. So, what does it do? Face detection focus scans the frame for faces, and locks focus on them. With this, your portrait shots will always be in focus.
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – Unique features
117 autofocus points
With this, you have wider frame coverage when focusing on subjects.
With a headphone port, you can connect your headphones to the camera. This helps you properly monitor your camera’s audio.
Weather sealing is very important when shooting outdoors. If you are a sports or wildlife photographer, you know that the job involves shooting in very unfavorable conditions.
With the Sony a7’s weather sealing, you can shoot in tough weather conditions without dust and moisture spoiling the camera.
With NFC, you can connect wirelessly to other compatible devices.
Nowadays, it’s normal for a camera to have a touchscreen. So, it would have been foolish to leave this feature out of the D5500. It has a touchscreen, which you can use to control the camera, and change the settings.
Battery life of 820 shots
Since the D5500 is a DSLR, it’s not surprising that it has longer battery life than the a7. With the a7, you get only 340 shots, whereas the Nikon D5500 gives you almost a thousand shots.
With the Nikon D5500, you can shoot all day without missing any action, due to low battery.
This was a bit surprising. Since the Nikon D5500 is a DSLR, it was expected that it would be heavier than the Sony a7, which is a mirrorless camera.
But that’s not the case. The Nikon D5500 weighs about 50g less than the Sony a7. This means that it will be easier to carry this camera.
This isn’t much larger than the a7’s 3-inch screen. Nevertheless, the Nikon D5500 gives you a slightly larger display.
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – Unique pros
Wider area coverage when focusing.
Improved video control.
Can be used in tough weather conditions.
Longer battery life.
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – Unique Cons
Shorter battery life.
Fewer focus points.
Has no headphone port.
No weather sealing.
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – Common pros
Better framing and control.
Flexible shooting positions.
High image quality.
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – Common cons.
No built-in stabilization.
Sony a7 Vs NIKON D5500 – How users feel about both
Users were very pleased with this camera. One particular thing many people mentioned was the ergonomics.
They found it very comfortable in the hand, and easy to hold. Considering the fact that this camera is heavier than most mirrorless cameras, users were impressed with how light it was.
One thing which people didn’t like about this camera was, the poor battery. Being a mirrorless camera, this wasn’t a surprise. However, it was still disappointing.
Another thing about the Sony a7 which some people complained about was the price. Some people found it too expensive.
Those with the budget however, had no problem buying this camera. However, not many people complained about the price, since the value it gave was worth it.
Similar to the Sony a7, users were very impressed with this camera. It had amazing features and high functionality, despite being an Entry-Level DSLR.
It’s simple design and controls made an ideal camera for beginners. The touchscreen was a nice addition. it made it easier to access different functions, and control the camera.
However, there were also a couple of things which they didn’t like. Since it has a small body, (for a DSLR) it’s the buttons and dials were reduced. Some people also complained that the optical viewfinder was a bit too small.
Overall, despite the few issues they had with this camera, users feel that the Nikon D5500 is an amazing camera which both pros and beginners can use.
Despite the difference in type, both cameras have quite a lot in common. For instance, both cameras have a sensor resolution of 24 megapixels.
Because of this, you get a lot of detail in your photos.
Furthermore, both cameras have a pretty average continuous shooting speed of 5fps. We’ll admit that this isn’t the best out there, but you’ll still be able to capture a decent amount of action.
Now on to their unique features. The Sony a7 has an electronic viewfinder, while the Nikon D5500 has an optical viewfinder.
Furthermore, the Sony a7 has weather sealing, while the Nikon D5500 does not. This means that you can use the a7 in harsh weather conditions.
When it comes to battery life, the Nikon D5500 is the clear winner. With the D5500, you get 820 shots. Furthermore, it weighs less than the Sony a7.
Both cameras lack image stabilization, which increases the chances of getting blurry photos.