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Nikon D5500 and 2 New Lenses at CES

Nikon announced three new products at this year's Consumer Electronics show, and there's a little something for everyone- unless you were expecting point and shoots! The new DSLR and lenses are all compelling, and it's evident that Nikon is aggressively pursuing passionate photographers in a rapidly-changing market.

First up is a new upper entry-level DSLR, the D5500 (full specs here). This camera replaces the D5300 and combines advanced features with a beginner-friendly interface. At its heart is a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 39-mount autofocus system.
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More importantly, this camera has both built-in Wi-Fi and a touchscreen: a first for Nikon. Including a touchscreen was a great move, as such features are slowly becoming the norm for younger generations of users.

Compared to the D5300, the new D5500 is 12% lighter and not as deep (by a few millimeters). Its US launch price is $899 and it will start shipping in early February.

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Next up we have a new telephoto kit lens: the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm F4-5.6G ED VR II (full specs). This is a redesigned collapsible version of the previous 55-200mm lens. It's 10% lighter and about 2 centimeters shorter when collapsed.

We'll undoubtedly see it bundled in entry-level DSLR kits, but for now, it is only available for purchase separately for $349.
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Finally, and most interestingly, we have a new pro telephoto lens: the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F4E PF ED VR (full specs). This lens has just about every feature suffix you can think of: A/M, E, ED, IF, M/A, N, PF, SWM, SIC, and VR.

But one of those suffixes is new: PF. This new 300mm lens is the first Nikon lens to ever feature a Phase Fresnel element, a special type of optical element that further helps reduce aberrations. It also enables a super-compact design, as the new 300mm weighs in at only 755 grams: the lightest such lens in the industry. To put things in perspective, this is about 100 grams less that the weight of the 70-200mm F4G Nikkor, and half the weight of the old 300mm F4D lens, which is 50% longer. Heck, it's even lighter than the Pentax DA* 300mm F4 lens, which was not an easy task.

Half the weight comes at twice the price, though, as you'll have to shed $1999 to order this lens. This certainly isn't unreasonable for an innovative high-performance lens, but it doesn't change the fact that it's now up there with other premium lenses.
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