Nikon gives midrange DSLRs night-vision in the D5500

CES has barely begun, but we haven’t exactly seen a plethora of new cameras, and Nikon looks good to start it off, with a new camera that shouldn’t cost too much and yet will offer the chance to peer into darkness.

Nikon’s latest take on the DSLR is to put the whole thing on a diet, making it smaller, slimmer, and lighter than other comparable models with a vari-angle screen,. and catering to what positively appears to be the middle of the market.

The new camera is the D5500, and while this won’t vie for attention in the eyes of prosumers, amateurs and enthusiasts are who Nikon is looking at with this camera, a relatively compact digital SLR packing in the megapixels, low-light sensitivity, and ditching that optical low-pass filter to make images sharper.

Inside the camera, you’ll find a 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor continuing the “DX” lens format Nikon uses on its not-so-full-frame cameras (FX for the full-frame cameras), with that sensor able to capture images using a sensitivity rating of between ISO100 to 125600, almost letting you peer in the dark even when you don’t have a special low-light specific lens.

Auto-focus relies on a 39-point system, and an improved contrast-detection system is apparently 20 percent faster than a previous model, while images will be shot at a maximum of 5 frames per second.

Video is also possible here, with 1080p Full HD able to be captured here at 60p, with ISO up to 25600 and a built-in stereo microphone.

One thing that might surprise you is that it’s not a totally plastic camera, like so many budget options out there. In fact, for the D5500, Nikon is using a material that combines plastics with carbon fibre, resulting in a composite material called “Sereebo” that aims to be as solid as plastic normally is, but a touch lighter, as carbon fibre tends to be.

WiFi is also built into the camera, making it easy to be controlled using using iOS or Android, but for those who like to go hands-on, there’s a 3.2 inch touchscreen LCD able to be flipped and switched around at various angles, as well as the regular button controls you’ve come to expect from a camera.

Pricing for the Nikon D5500 isn’t something Nikon will give us, as it doesn’t tend to release local RRPs (and hasn’t for some time), instead telling us to look at retailers for those details, but we’re seeing a body-only price of roughly $1000 for the new camera, with an expected availability date of February 5.

Meanwhile, Nikon will also have two new lenses arriving alongside the camera, with a new travel lens sporting a zoom range of 55-200mm over f/4-5.6 and with Nikon’s second-generation vibration reduction (VR II), as well as a lightweight fixed telephoto coming in the form of the Nikkor 300mm f/4E ED VR, which sports vibration reduction, albeit an earlier version.

Neither are priced yet, but you should find them in stores alongside the D5500 in February.