Nikon D5600 Technical Information


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.


Sensitivities on offer in the Nikon D5600 range from ISO 100 to 25,600 equivalents. That's the same range as was available from the D5300 and D5500. However, the entire range is available by default. That differs from the D5300, where sensitivities above ISO 12,800 were available only with ISO expansion enabled. The D5500, though, likewise allowed use of the entire range by default.


Also unchanged from the D5500 is the Nikon D5600's top burst capture rate, a manufacturer-claimed five frames per second for JPEGs or 12-bit RAW (NEF) files. When shooting 14-bit NEFs, the top burst rate drops to four frames per second. Buffer capacity remains the same for best quality JPEGs at 100 frames, but claimed 14-bit RAW buffer depth has increased slightly from 10 to 11 frames. (However we only managed 8 frames in the lab, up from 7 frames for the D5500.) When shooting 12-bit RAW files, the claimed buffer depth has increased to 17 frames versus 14 for the predecessor.

Nikon didn't mention anything about autofocus performance improvements in the materials they provided to us, however the D5600 tested almost twice as fast as the D5500 at AF-S shutter lag in the lab with the same lens. Startup and single-shot cycle times also improved. See our Performance page for details.


Like that of the D5500, the Nikon D5600's viewfinder is based around a pentamirror as used in most consumer DSLRs. It retains the same manufacturer-rated 95% coverage horizontally and vertically, and still offers 0.82x magnification, a 17mm eyepoint from the eyepiece lens, and a -1.7 to +0.5 diopter correction for those with less than perfect eyesight. Unusually for a camera with an optical viewfinder, there's also an eye proximity sensor. This is used to automatically disable the LCD monitor when you bring the finder to your eye, helping to avoid glare and save power as well. It's a common feature on cameras with an electronic viewfinder, where you need to switch between the main display and the finder, but not so in a DSLR camera. (Although again, all of this is unchanged from the D5500.)


The Nikon D5600's rear-panel LCD monitor, too, is much the same as that on the D5500, and in all but one detail, also the D5300. It's still mounted on a tilt / swivel mechanism -- Vari-angle, in Nikon parlance -- which allows it to be viewed from most angles, including from in front of the camera for selfies. And as in the D5500 and D5300, it can still be closed facing inwards, as well, providing a modicum of protection against minor knocks and bumps.

Also unchanged is the LCD panel size and resolution, which are 3.2 inches and 1,037,000 dots, respectively. However, there's one very important difference between the Nikon D5600's display and that of the D5300, which carries over from the intermediary D5500.

Touch screen

The difference from the D5300 is that the Nikon D5600's LCD is overlaid with a touch-sensitive panel, allowing it to be used as an input device. When the feature appeared last year in the D5500, it was a first for a Nikon DSLR at any level. Its presence means that the ways in which you can interact with the D5600 are rather more diverse. Smartphone users will feel right at home with the feature, and with the number of smartphone users around these days, it's a smart move to court them.

For one thing, you can trip the shutter by touching the screen in live view mode, rather than with the dedicated Shutter button, should you want. You can also "pinch" with your finger and thumb to zoom in or out of images during playback, and once zoomed you can also crop your images from the touch-screen. You can also swipe through a new frame advance bar when viewing full-screen images in playback mode, and can navigate and control all menus using swipes and taps, just as you do on your phone.

The D5500's Touch Function feature, which lets you use the touchscreen while using the optical viewfinder to adjust an assignable shooting setting by tapping or sliding your finger over the screen without removing your eye from the OVF, has been enhanced. Available functions on the D5600 are still: AF point selection, ISO sensitivity, Active D-Lighting, HDR, Auto bracketing, AF-area mode, Viewfinder grid display toggle and Aperture, but you can now also toggle Auto ISO when the ISO sensitivity function is selected.


As in the D5300 and D5500, the Nikon D5600 uses a 39-point Multi-Cam 4800 DX phase-detection autofocus module with nine cross-type points to determine focus. The system has a working range of -1 to 19EV, operates in single, continuous or auto servo modes, and includes a predictive 3D autofocus tracking function. In live view mode, face priority autofocus using contrast detection is possible.


Exposures are metered using a 2,016 pixel RGB image sensor, just as in the D5300 and D5500. Exposure compensation is possible within a range of +/-5 EV in either 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps, and an exposure lock function is provided, as is a 3-shot exposure bracketing function. The D5600 also supports White Balance and Active D-Lighting bracketing.

Exposure modes include Auto, flexible Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, Manual, Flash Off, and Scene, and Nikon's Scene Recognition System algorithms are included to detect from a variety of scene types automatically as appropriate.

User-selectable scene modes include Autumn Colors, Beach / Snow, Blossom, Candlelight, Child, Close-up, Dusk / Dawn, Food, Landscape, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Party / Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Sports and Sunset.

Again, all of this is unchanged from the D5500.


As you'd expect of a camera aimed at consumer and enthusiast use, the Nikon D5600 includes both a hot shoe and built-in, popup flash strobe. The built-in flash is rated with a Guide Number of 12 meters or 39 feet at ISO 100 (the same as in the D5300 and D5500), and flash sync is possible at up to 1/200 second. The D5600 uses Nikon's 2,016-pixel i-TTL flash metering with the built-in strobe, and with compatible Speedlight strobes. Flash exposure compensation is possible within a range of -3 to +1EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments. Nikon's Creative Lighting System is supported, too, though the built-in flash cannot act as a commander.


Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Standard, Vivid, Flat and user-customizable picture controls are available in the Nikon D5600, just like the D5500 before it. Each allows tweaking in finer-grained quarter-steps, for more precise control over the look of your images. You can also adjust brightness, clarity, or mid-tone contrast of your images.

There are also a healthy selection of Special Effects modes, including Super Vivid, Pop, Photo Illustration, Night Vision, Toy Camera, Miniature Effect, Selective Color, Silhouette, High Key and Low Key, the same as offered on the D5500.


As well as still images, the Nikon D5600 can capture Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) or HD (1,280 x 720 pixel) movies using H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression in a .MOV container, complete with Linear PCM audio. HD movies have a frame rate of 60p or 50p frames per second, while for Full HD capture, rates of 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p or 24p frames per second are available.

High and Normal Quality options are still offered and clip length limits remain the same as the D5500. High Quality at 1080p60/50 clips are limited to 10 minutes and lower frames rates or resolutions are limited to 20 minutes. In Normal Quality, 1080p60/50 is limited to 20 minutes, and the other modes are limited to 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

Standard-def VGA (640 x 424) capture is no longer possible, perhaps since the camera's standard-definition connectivity has also been removed.

Audio is recorded courtesy of an onboard stereo microphone, or an optional external stereo mic with 3.5mm jack, and a sensitivity adjustment is provided.

The D5600 adds a new Time-lapse Movie mode where the camera captures stills at a programmable interval and duration, and combines them into a silent Full HD or HD movie for you. There's even an Exposure Smoothing option to mitigate abrupt changes in exposure in the resulting time-lapse movie.


To help get your images off the camera and onto social networks, the Nikon D5600 includes an updated variant of the company's SnapBridge technology, building on its predecessor's functionality. As well as the existing Wi-Fi radio, there are now Bluetooth Low Energy and NFC radios in the D5600's body.

This should make for quick-and-easy pairing on Android devices, and super-simple sharing on social networks. Using its Bluetooth Low Energy radio, the Nikon D5600 will transfer to your phone a low-res two-megapixel copy of every image you shoot. This is nicely sized for social networks or email, but if you want a full-res copy for any given image, you can opt to have a Wi-Fi connection established automatically for quick transfer of the full-res file. You can even transfer movies via Wi-Fi. Bluetooth can also used to obtain location data from your phone to geotag images on the camera.

Nikon has however reduced the D5600's Wi-Fi line-of-sight range spec from 30 meters / 98 feet down to only 10 meters / 32 feet.


Although there is no built-in GPS receiver, Nikon's optional GP-1 or GP-1A GPS units can be used to geotag images, and this connects via the accessory terminal. Ports on the D5600 include Micro USB 2.0 High Speed data, Type-C HDMI high-definition video output, 3.5mm stereo microphone jack, and the accessory terminal which also works with the optional MC-DC2 remote cord.

Nikon has removed built-in infrared remote control support from the D5600 body. Where its predecessors had twin infrared receivers on the front of the handgrip and at top left of the rear panel, the Nikon D5600 has neither, so the ML-L3 infra-red remote control is no longer supported. 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 WR-1 wireless remote controller and WR-T10/WR-R10 wireless transmitter/receiver.

As mentioned previously, the standard-definition composite A/V output is no longer offered in this model.


The Nikon D5600 uses the same proprietary EN-EL14a battery as in its two most recent predecessors. CIPA battery life is rated at 970 shots per charge (with Bluetooth disabled), which is a nice improvement over the already very generous 820 shots the D5500 could manage from the same battery pack.

The Nikon D5600 ships with a dedicated MH-24 battery charger and an optional EH-5b AC adapter requiring an EP-5A dummy battery power coupler are available. In-camera battery charging is not supported.


As in the D5300 and D5500, the Nikon D5600 stores images on Secure Digital cards and has a single card slot. Both the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC types are supported, as are the faster UHS-I types.

Still images can be recorded and stored as JPEG, 12 or 14-bit compressed RAW (NEF) and RAW+JPEG files. Videos are recorded and stored as H.264/MPEG-4 AVC MOV files with stereo sound.


Editor's Picks