Nikon D5600 review: making connectivity a snap?

The D5600 is the company’s mid-range DSLR and it’s the smallest and best-connected, yet.

Nikon has been on something of a roll, making solid DSLRs with good ergonomics, dependable metering, some of the best image sensors, often very good (often industry-leading) autofocus and a JPEG engine that gives results that lots of people like.

However, falling camera sales and rivalry both from smaller mirrorless models and the convenient, perpetually available smartphone means that producing a really good little DSLR isn’t quite enough. The D5600 aims to address this by making it as painless as possible to get the images from the camera to your phone, meaning that you get the huge benefit of a large sensor camera but with as small an energy barrier as possible.

As such, the addition of SnapBridge is virtually the only change between this and the older D5500. It may sound like a minor change but, to us, we feel it’s likely to be the making or the downfall of this model and perhaps it makes more sense than adding an array of clever but bewildering additional features and modes, as many rival makers seem to do.




Key Features:

  • 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 39 point AF sensor with 9 central cross-type points
  • 2,016-pixel RGB sensor assists AF tracking and metering
  • Up to 5 fps continuous shooting
  • ‘SnapBridge’ Bluetooth/Wi-Fi communication
  • 1080/60p video capability
  • Time-lapse movie feature

SnapBridge

At its heart, SnapBridge is primarily a Bluetooth-based system which uses a low-energy connection to stay connected to your smart device (and sidestep the hurdles that mobile OSs might otherwise place in your way) and to transfer images. Although the camera is Wi-Fi capable, that capability is used solely for remote live view operation and video transfer.

We weren’t very impressed the first time we encountered SnapBridge: it seemed unfinished and not very well suited to the D500 where it first appeared. The high likelihood of the photographer wanting full resolution files and the camera’s propensity for generating lots of images made it a poor fit for that camera. However, on the mass-market D3400 it seemed much more likeable: you take the photos and 2MP versions appear on your phone shortly afterwards.

Nikon D5600 Specifications

Price
MSRP $700/€820 body only, $800/€930/£800 w/18-55 AF-P, €1090 w/18-105, $1200/€1140/£990 w/18-140
Body type
Body type Compact SLR
Body material Composite
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Other resolutions 4496 x 3000, 2992 x 2000
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 25 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Expeed 4
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
Image
ISO Auto, 100 – 25600
White balance presets 12
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal, Basic
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (Nikon NEF, 12 or 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 39
Lens mount Nikon F
Focal length multiplier 1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3.2
Screen dots 1,037,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD monitor
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage 95%
Viewfinder magnification 0.82×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Auto
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • portrait
  • landscape
  • child
  • sports
  • close up
  • night portrait
  • night landscape
  • party/indoor
  • beach/snow
  • sunset
  • dusk/dawn
  • pet portrait
  • candlelight
  • blossom
  • autumn colors
  • food
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up)
Flash range 12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
Flash X sync speed 1/200 sec
Drive modes
  • Single frame
  • Continuous (low, high)
  • Quiet shutter release
  • Self-timer
  • Interval timer
Continuous drive 5.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)
Format MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.1 LE and NFC
Remote control Yes (MC-DC2 (wired), WR-1/WR-R10 (wireless))
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 970
Weight (inc. batteries) 465 g (1.03 lb / 16.40 oz)
Dimensions 124 x 97 x 70 mm (4.88 x 3.82 x 2.76)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS Optional
GPS notes Optional GP-1/GP-1A




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