Nikon D5600 Performance

Timing and Performance

Improved startup and AF speeds over its predecessor, but otherwise similar performance.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.2 second

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.2 second

Time until first shot is captured.

The Nikon D5600's startup time was very fast at 0.2 second, about twice as fast as the D5500. Switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was also very fast at about 0.2 second, unchanged from the D5500.


Shutter Response (Lag Time),
Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF (Center AF point)

0.111 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All AF timing measured with Nikkor AF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens).

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF Flash enabled

0.121 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, Auto Flash enabled.

Manual focus

0.083 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."


0.079 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Live View


0.259 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Nikon D5600's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was faster than average for a consumer DSLR, and about twice as fast as the D5500. The D5600 required only about 0.111 second for full AF using the center focus point compared to 0.201 second for the D5500. Enabling the flash raised full AF shutter lag only slightly to 0.121 second compared to 0.234 second for the D5500, reflecting the added delay caused by the metering preflash. Manual focus shutter lag was faster than AF as expected, at 0.083 vs 0.100 second for the D5500. When prefocused, shutter lag dropped to 0.079 second which is about average for a consumer DSLR and the same as the D5500.

When prefocused in Live View mode shutter lag was 0.259 second, more than twice as long as when using the optical viewfinder, but still quite fast for a DSLR in Live View mode. (The D5500 took just a bit longer at 0.280 second.) We no longer test autofocus speeds during Live View mode for DSLRs, since it's very lens dependent.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Average time per shot.

Single Shot mode
14-bit RAW + L/F JPEG

< 0.3 second

Average time per shot.

Early shutter

(Yes with Flash)

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.20 second
(5.09 fps);
100 frames total;
2 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 100 shot set limit.

Continuous H mode
14-bit RAW

0.25 second
(4.07 fps);
8 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 8 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.41 second or 2.46 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode
14-bit RAW + L/F

0.25 second
(4.04 fps);
5 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 5 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.60 second or 1.66 fps when buffer is full.

Flash recycling

1.9 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as Advanced D-Lighting or NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's dexterity and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm, so your results may vary. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.)

Continuous H mode speed when shooting best quality JPEGs was decent, at about 5.1 frames per second, slightly faster than Nikon's 5 fps claim and only slightly faster than the D5500's 4.9 fps result. When shooting 14-bit NEF files (the default RAW bit depth), the frame rate dropped to about 4 frames per second, very similar to the D5500. According to Nikon, if you switch to 12-bit RAW files the camera will continue to shoot at 5 fps, however we did not test with 12-bit NEFs. There is also a Continuous L mode rated at 3 frames per second, however we did not test that mode either.

Buffer depth in continuous mode was excellent when shooting just JPEGs at 100 L/F JPEG frames, the same as the D5500, though with 14-bit RAW files buffer depths were shallow at only 8 RAW frames or 5 RAW+L/F JPEG frames. The D5500 only managed 7 RAW frames and the same 5 RAW+JPEG frames. According to Nikon, shooting 12-bit RAW files should increase buffer depth by about 40% over 14-bit files.

Buffer clearing was very quick with our fast UHS-I SDHC card, ranging from only 2 seconds after 100 JPEGs to 4 seconds after a max-length burst of RAW+JPEG files, within a second of the D5500.

The D5600's built-in flash took an average of 1.9 seconds to recharge after full-power shots, which is very fast and also very similar to the D5500.

Bottom line, the Nikon D5600 turned in improved power-up and AF speeds compared to the D5500, but in most other areas, the D5600 performed very similar to its predecessor. The D5600's top JPEG burst speed remains at a decent 5 fps but the camera still slows down to 4 fps with 14-bit RAW files, however you can select 12-bit mode to maintain the same speed as JPEGs according to Nikon. Buffer depths when shooting just JPEGs remains excellent at 100 frames, however RAW buffers are still shallow, but that's not unusual for its class.


Battery Life
Excellent battery life for a compact DSLR.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Optical Viewfinder,
(CIPA standard)

The Nikon D5600 uses a custom rechargeable EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a dedicated charger. Battery life when using the optical viewfinder is excellent for a consumer DSLR, CIPA-rated at 970 shots per charge (with Bluetooth disabled), up from 820 shots for the D5500. Nikon does not specify battery life for Live View mode, though, which will certainly be a lot lower. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings, or when using Live View a lot.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))


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