Nikon D5600 Review
|Full model name:||Nikon D5600|
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||Optical / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 - 25,600|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 25,600|
|Shutter:||1/4000 - 30 seconds|
|Max Aperture:||3.5 (kit lens)|
4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in.
(124 x 97 x 70 mm)
includes batteries, kit lens
|Full specs:||Nikon D5600 specifications|
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The 24-megapixel Nikon D5600 DSLR delivers the same great image quality as its predecessor but now comes equipped with Nikon SnapBridge functionality. While not without its limitations, sharing images has never been easier and the D5600 remains a compelling compact DSLR for budding photographers. Image quality is excellent and overall performance is good for an APS-C DSLR in its class, especially considering its US$700 body-only price tag (with a pair of kits being available for under US$1,000).Pros
Compact camera body; Very good touchscreen display; Excellent image quality for its class; Good overall performance.Cons
Not many improvements compared to its predecessor, with some downgrades; No 4K video recording.Price and availability
The Nikon D5600 has been available since January 2017 and can be purchased body only for under US$700. The D5600 can be purchased in three different kits as well. You can purchase the D5600 with an AF-P 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens for around US$800. If you want a longer lens, the D5600 can be purchased with an AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for under US$1,000 on sale (it is regularly $1,200). Finally, there's a two lens kit with the 18-55mm lens and an AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED lens for around US$900, which is $250 less than its regular price.Imaging Resource rating
4.5 out of 5.0
Nikon D5600 Review
11/10/2016: Technical Info added
01/04/2017: US pricing and availability announced
01/13/2017: First Shots added
03/17/2017: Field Test added
06/14/2017: Performance page added
08/02/2017: Image Quality Comparison & Print Quality posted
08/04/2017: Conclusion posted
Sharing: In a nutshell, that's the story of the Nikon D5600 DSLR. Thanks to an overhauled, more comprehensive wireless networking setup, the D5600 will help you share your images more quickly and easily than the D5500 in whose footsteps it follows. And there's sharing of a more tangible kind, too. In most respects other than wireless networking, the D5600 shares most of its features -- including its body and entire imaging pipeline -- with last year's model.
So what's new in the 24.2-megapixel Nikon D5600's wireless networking feature set? There are a few changes, but all come under the banner of Nikon's SnapBridge technology for simple image sharing, which is rapidly expanding across the company's entire lineup.
The Nikon D5600 now sports quick-and-easy SnapBridge sharing tech
The Nikon D5600's SnapBridge sharing setup uses a new Bluetooth Low Energy radio to communicate with your Android or iOS smartphone, phablet or tablet. This allows it to transfer every image you capture straight away, without any user intervention. When you want to share some of your photos on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site -- or even if you still rely on email to stay in touch with friends and family -- those images will already be waiting for you on your phone, albeit at greatly reduced two-megapixel resolution.
For social networking and the like, though, that reduced resolution likely isn't an issue, especially when you consider the advantage it brings. With all of your photos already transferred to your phone at capture time, you won't have to sit and manually connect to the camera, choose which photos to transfer and then wait on them to make their way to your phone -- perhaps at full-resolution and still needing to be downsampled -- before they can be shared.
Best Lenses for the Nikon D5600
What lens should you buy?
And since it's using Bluetooth Low Energy technology, SnapBridge shouldn't reduce the battery life of either your phone or camera by too much, either. If you want to transfer full-resolution versions of some images, you can still do so manually much like you would with any other camera, but you shouldn't need to manually establish the connection between devices. Instead, the Bluetooth Low Energy connection will be used to establish a faster, more power-hungry Wi-Fi connection for your full-res transfers.
And for Android users, even the initial pairing process should be extremely quick and easy. That's because as well as its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios, the Nikon D5600 also includes a Near-Field Communications radio that can communicate with the NFC hardware in most modern Android devices. With a range of just a few inches, this allows you to establish your initial connection and to locate the necessary Android app for installation, all by simply bumping your phone against the camera body a couple of times.
At the same time as SnapBridge features have been added, Nikon has removed built-in infrared remote control support from the D5600 body. Where its predecessor had twin infrared receivers on the front of the handgrip and at top left of its rear panel, the Nikon D5600 has neither. Remote control can done via SnapBridge instead, essentially using your phone as the remote control device instead of requiring a standalone one. The D5600 also supports Nikon's MC-DC2 remote cord, and WR-1/WR-T10/WR-R10 wireless transmitters and receivers.
The Nikon D5600 brings with it some firmware tweaks, as well
Obviously, the updated SnapBridge setup is the big news here. That's not to say it's the only change, though. There are some changes in firmware as well.
Perhaps the coolest of these, for our money, is the new frame advance bar, a feature inherited from the higher-end D5 and D500 models. This allows Nikon D5600 owners to quickly scrub through their images in full-frame playback mode using the touch-screen display, so you can search out the shots you're after more quickly. It's very intuitive, and a welcome addition at the entry level end of the market.
There's also a new crop function which cleverly works hand-in-hand with playback zoom, letting you pinch to zoom the image and then drag to pan to the area you want cropped. One more tap confirms your chosen area, and the image is cropped for you automatically in-camera.
Nor is that all. You can now also toggle automatic ISO sensitivity control on the touch screen while using the viewfinder in addition to the touch shooting functions the D5500 offered, and Nikon says that use of the display alongside viewfinder shooting has been improved in other ways too, although it doesn't say just how this has been achieved. Nikon has also added the in-camera time-lapse movie function we've seen in other recent models.
In other respects, the Nikon D5600 is much like its predecessor
As noted previously, other details look to line up pretty closely with the D5500.
Comparing the two cameras' bodies, the Nikon D5600 seems to be near-identical to its predecessor, with only a couple of minor changes to fill in holes for the now-removed infrared remote receivers, and to the screen-printed labeling on the camera body to reflect these changes. (There's no longer a remote control icon next to the drive button, and a Bluetooth logo has been added next to the Wi-Fi logo on the camera's left side.)
As mentioned previously, the imaging pipeline is unchanged. The D5600 still has 24.2-megapixel resolution with no resolution-sapping optical low pass filter in front of the sensor. It also retains an EXPEED 4 image processor, providing for burst shooting at up to five frames per second with a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600-equivalents.
Also retained are a 3.2-inch vari-angle articulated LCD monitor with 1,037,000-dot resolution, and a 39-point autofocus system complete with nine cross-type points. And just as in its predecessor, the Nikon D5600 will provide a two-shot in-camera high dynamic range function, as well as support for movie capture at up to Full HD (1,920 x 1,080-pixel) resolution with a maximum capture rate of 60 frames per second.
As in the D5500, you can use the full sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600-equivalents for movie capture, and can apply some in-camera special effects functions like miniature, etc. There's also both a built-in stereo microphone and support for external stereo mics as well. Battery life for still imaging is CIPA-rated at 970 shots on a charge, up from 820 shots for the D5500 using the same EN-EL14a battery pack.
Nikon D5600 Pricing and availability
The Nikon D5600 started shipping in the U.S. in January 2017 for a suggested retail price of about US$700 body-only, or for US$800 bundled with the AF-P 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens. It is also available in a two-lens kit option, including the AF-P 18-55mm VR and AF-P DX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 lenses, for a suggested retail price of about US$1,150. The Nikon D5600 is also sold with an AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens for a list price of US$1,200.
Nikon D5600 Field Test
A compact, affordable DSLR that builds upon its excellent predecessor
Overall, the updated Nikon D5600 does not bring a lot of new features to the table compared to the D5500 predecessor, which debuted in early 2015. Then again, there wasn't a lot of room for improvement; the D5500 was already a great camera. The biggest difference between the D5600 and the D5500 is Nikon SnapBridge, which comes to the D5600 thanks to its new Bluetooth Low Energy capability. This feature allows for instant and seamless transferring of images from the camera to your smart device.
Beyond this, there are a few minor differences which I will get into during this Field Test, but essentially the D5600 is an incremental upgrade over the D5500. In the case of the D5600, its predecessor was excellent in many ways, and the D5600 is simply building upon a perfectly stable foundation. Let's dig into the Nikon D5600 and see what it can do in the field.
Nikon D5600 Technical Insights
A closer look at Nikon's mid-range DSLR details
At the heart of the Nikon D5600 is a 24.2-megapixel, APS-C sized image sensor. (That's DX-format in Nikon parlance.) As in the D5300 and D5500, which had the same sensor size and resolution, there is no optical low-pass filter over the sensor, ensuring maximum possible resolution, but perhaps at the risk of moiré or false color artifacts with certain subjects.
The D5600's sensor hands off data to Nikon's proprietary EXPEED 4 image processor, the same type as used previously in the D5300 and D5500.
Nikon D5600 Image Quality Comparison
See how the Nikon D5600's image quality compares to rivals
Here we present crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing Nikon D5600 image quality to its predecessor, the D5500, as well as against several competing models at similar price points or in similar categories: the Canon T7i, Olympus E-M10 Mark II, Pentax K-70 and Sony A6000.
NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved: click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page...
Nikon D5600 Print Quality
Find out how it looks on paper
Print quality and image quality are similar but not identical, because what you see on a print isn't always the same as what you see on the screen. Our print quality analysis answers the important question: "Just how big can I print my photos at higher ISOs?"
The Nikon D5600 continues in the tradition of this mid-level DSLR line in producing superb prints for the price point. While the imaging pipeline remains the same as that housed in the D5500, we can confirm that our sample held true to that high imaging performance level across the board and delivered worthwhile prints at every available ISO. This is a camera that you can very much have confidence in for both general purpose and higher-end printing.
Nikon D5600 Conclusion
"If it ain't broke"
In early 2015, Nikon introduced their smallest and lightest DSLR to date in the form of the Nikon D5500, which combined a very good 24-megapixel APS-C sensor with an articulating touchscreen display. We were very impressed with the entry-level DSLR so when Nikon announced its successor, the D5600, we were interested to see what upgrades Nikon would bring to entry to mid-level market. The answer proved to be something of a mixed bag. The addition of Nikon SnapBridge may be a major upgrade to some but to others, the sharing features aren't reason enough for upgrading. While there may not be a lot of incentives for D5500 owners to spring for the D5600, for users looking to purchase their first DSLR, the D5600 represents an excellent value and is a great overall performer. Let's look at how the Nikon D5600 performed in our laboratory and real-world testing.
In the Box
The Nikon D5600 retail kit with 18-55mm lens (as reviewed) contains the following items:
- Nikon D5600 Body
- NIKKOR AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens
- EN-EL14a Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
- MH-24 Quick Charger
- DK-25 Rubber Eyecup
- AN-DC3 Camera Strap
- BF-1B Body Cap
- BS-1 Hot-Shoe Cover
- LC-55A 55mm Snap-On Lens Cap
- LF-4 Rear Lens Cap
- Warranty Cards
- Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card. 16GB Class 10 should be a minimum, USH-I recommended.
- Extra EN-EL14a Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery (~US$45)
- Additional lenses
- Nikon Speedlight flash
- Small to Medium DSLR bag
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