D5500_BK_18_55.webBilled as significantly lighter, and much slimmer, than its predecessor, the new DX-format DSLR is claimed to be easier to handle, partially thanks to its ‘deep grip’.

Nikon also claims that the D5500’s contrast-detect AF is 20% faster than the D5300 when shooting in live view.

Priced £639.99, body only, and due in shops on 5 February, the Nikon D5500 measures 124x97x70mm and weighs 420g (without battery and memory card).

‘Since the explosion of smartphone technology, there has been a huge wave of innovative and creative photography worldwide,’ said Simon Iddon, a group product manager at Nikon UK.

‘The D5500 is a chance for people to really expand on their photography skills while providing outstanding results,’ he claimed.

The 24.2-million model features an ISO range of 100-25,600 and a 39-point AF system – with nine cross-type sensors at the centre.

Also on board is a five-frames-per-second burst rate and Nikon’s Expeed 4 image processor.

The 3.2in vari-angle screen carries a resolution of 1.037 million dots.

The touchscreen can be used to focus and shoot, or to adjust aperture, shutter speed and ISO, for instance.

A Touch Fn function is designed to allow the user to ‘quickly adjust key settings with a finger wipe’ while using the viewfinder. Up to eight settings can be assigned to the Touch Fn mode.

D5500_BK_18_55_-_top.webFeatures also include a new Flat setting to help maximise dynamic range, 10 special effects, Full HD video and a built-in stereo microphone.

Images can be shared using the built-in Wi-Fi mode, which also allows the photographer to control the camera remotely from a smartphone, for example.

To coincide with the launch, Nikon has unveiled a new 55-200mm zoom for DX-format cameras.

The AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II contains Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system, designed to allow the user to shoot at up to four stops slower.Nikon 55-200mm CES 2015

The lens, which is also due out on 5 February, is set to cost £279.99.

See our video of the Nikon D5500: