Nikon finally adds a touchscreen to a DSLR with the D5500

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The Nikon D5500 has a 3.2-inch vari-angle LCD touchscreen with 1,037k dots

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Nikon has revealed its first DSLR to feature touchscreen capabilities, the entry-level D5500. While its predecessor, the D5300, was the first Nikon DSLR to boast built-in Wi-Fi, it's the D5500 which finally adds the option of touchscreen operation to the firm's DSLR line-up. A couple of new lenses were also announced, the affordable 55-200-mm F4.5-F5.6G ED VR II, and the surprisingly compact 300-mm F4E PF ED VR.

At the heart of the Nikon D5500 is a 24.2-megapixel APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) CMOS sensor which has been designed without an optical low-pass filter to produce sharper images. This is paired with an Expeed 4 image processing engine to keep things moving along quickly and help produce quality images in a variety of lighting conditions. As such, the camera has an ISO range of 100 to 25600, and a respectable maximum burst rate of 5 fps.

Autofocus should also be fast enough to keep up with most quick-moving subjects as it's dealt with by a 39-point phase-detection autofocus system which includes nine cross-type points. The D5500 is also capable of shooting Full HD 1080p video at 60/50/30/25/24 fps and has inherited the option of shooting a "Flat" color profile (for better post-processing) from higher-end models like the D810 and D750.

However, it's the addition of a touchscreen which is undoubtedly the biggest upgrade from previous models, and around back there's a 3.2-inch vari-angle LCD touchscreen with 1,037k dots. This can be used to navigate camera settings with the option to tap the screen to focus and shoot, or pinch to zoom in and check focus. In playback mode users can swipe to scroll through images and pinch to zoom in.

Slightly smaller than the D5300, the new camera measures 124 x 97 x 70 mm (4.9 x 3.9 x 2.8 in) and by using a monocoque structural skin manages to weigh just 470 g (16.6 oz) with battery and memory card. The camera has built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing to compatible smart-devices, but GPS is now only available via an optional accessory.

On the glass front the big news was the introduction of a new surprisingly compact NIKKOR 300-mm F4E PF ED VR lens which is being described as the world's lightest 300mm full-frame AF lens. Measuring in with a 89 mm (3.5 in) diameter, and at just 147.5 mm (5.8 in) long, it's 30 percent shorter than its predecessor, and weighs just 755 g (26.6 oz). Also announced was a NIKKOR 55-200-mm F4.5-F5.6G ED VR II which is designed as a companion to the 18-55-mm kit lens.

The Nikon D5500 will be available from February in red or black, with a number of kit options. Body-only it will cost US$900, while bundled with a 18-55-mm F3.5-F5.6G VR II it will be $1,000. With the more versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140-mm F3.5-F5.6G ED VR it will cost $1,200.

Also available in February, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200-mm F4.5-F5.6G ED VR II will set you back $350, and the AF-S NIKKOR 300-mm F4E PF ED VR will cost $2,000.

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