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Nikon feels out CES with the entry-level D5500, its first touch-enabled DSLR

Being that CES is geared toward general consumers, it makes sense Nikon would release its latest entry-level DSLR here. The D5500 is Nikon’s first-ever DX (APS-C) model with a 3-inch, high-res touchscreen display. It comes at sweet price too, with an SRP of $1,000 (AF-S 18-55mm kit lens included). It’s available in early-February and is offered in red or black. A second kit lens option, at $1,200, comes with an AF-S 18-140mm lens.

The utility of a touchscreen still remains to be seen for Nikon, but it’s not a rarity in interchangeable lens cameras. Like other touch-enabled DSLRs, the D5500 lets users choose a focus point with touch-enabled autofocus and check the focus with a pinch-in motion. It’s an intuitive feature that’ll streamline lots of the camera’s functionality.

Nikon D5500 3

Aside from the touchscreen, the D5500 draws heavily from past Nikon entry-level DSLRs, especially the D5300. (Mysteriously, Nikon decided to skip the D5400; it could be because the numeral 4 is an unlucky number in Japan). Both cameras are roughly the same size (17 x 3.8 x 2.8 inches) but the D5500 is a few ounces lighter than the D5300, weighing in at 14.8 ounces. Both cameras have a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, vari-angle LCD, Expeed 4 image processor, fast 39-point autofocus system with nine cross-type sensors, built-in Wi-Fi, and myriad advanced focusing modes. Video-capture is up to Full HD 1080 at 60p, with stereo-quality mics. DSLR newbies will appreciate the special-effects modes. The anti-aliasing filter has also been omitted in the D5500 to help deliver sharper images.

Related: For cameras, 2015 means faster connections, larger sensors, and 4K galore

Nikon also announced two new telephoto lenses, available early February. The first is the AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II ($350). The 3.6x zoom lens is designed as a companion glass for users who want an affordable telephoto lens. The second is the world’s lightest 300mm full-frame, fixed focal length lens, the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR ($2,000). It’s 30 percent shorter and 1.5 pounds lighter than the past iterations.