Nikon D5600 Review – A Best Beginners Camera to Handle
Despite only being a very modest upgrade to the D5500, the D5600 is still a very capable advanced entry-level DSLR. This is a camera which is very much a sum of its parts rather than having one single standout feature. There’s a high-resolution 24.2MP sensor which produces very detailed images, an articulating touchscreen, a decent 39-point AF system and polished handling are some of the highlights that make the D5600 one of the most well-rounded entry-level DSLRs available.
- Excellent image quality
- Comfy handgrip
- Decent AF system
- Touchscreen interface
- SnapBridge needs work
- Only 1080p video
- Pricey compared to rivals
- Excellent APS-C CMOS sensor with a 24.2MP resolution
- Nice and large 3.2-inch, vari-angle touchscreen
- Only 1080p video capture
NIKON D5600 SPECS
Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS
Lens mount: Nikon F-mount
Screen: 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots
Burst shooting: 5fps
Autofocus: 39-point AF
Video: Full HD 1080p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
Battery life: 820 shots
As far as features go, the specs for the D5600 are pretty much identical to those of the D5500. Resolution remains the same at a decent 24.2MP, with the APS-C-sized CMOS sensor again shunning an optical low pass filter in the quest to pull out even more detail from the data recorded.
The D5600 also uses the same EXPEED 4 image processor, with a native sensitivity range running from ISO100 to 25,600 meaning it should be quite comfortable shooting in a range of lighting conditions.
The optical viewfinder provides coverage of 95% of the frame (pretty standard on a entry-level DSLR), so for some key shots you may want to double-check the composition on the rear display to ensure that nothing unwanted has crept into the extreme edges of the frame.
Speaking of the display, there’s the same 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen display with a 1,037,000-dot resolution, although its operation has been improved. It now offers the frame-advance bar we’ve seen on both the D5 and D500 to speed up toggling through images, as well as a crop function for use during playback.
Build and handling
- Polycarbonate construction
- Design virtually identical to D5500
- Well-proportioned handgrip
Nikon has used a monocoque construction for the D5600, as seen in both the D5300 and D5500, with the shell of the camera forged from a single piece of material – in this case, a strong polycarbonate.
This has enabled Nikon to reduce the number of parts used and keep the weight down – the D5600 tips the scales at 465g, body-only) exactly the same as the D5500. And it’s not only the weight that’s the same, as the body appears to be pretty much identical to its predecessor – even the dimensions are the same, at 124 x 97 x 70mm.
This means the body retains its narrow portion between the lens mount and grip – if it wasn’t for the need for a reflex mirror, the depth of the D5600 would surely put some mirrorless rivals in the shade. The D5600 also keeps the well-proportioned handgrip, which makes the camera fit nicely in the hand and provides a very comfy grip.
The top of the D5600 isn’t overly cluttered with buttons, with a mode dial on the top of the camera that features the switch to activate Live View around its collar – it’s quick and easy to flick on and off whenever you need to use the rear screen to shoot.
- 5fps burst shooting not as fast as mirrorless rivals
- 820-shot battery life is excellent
- SnapBridge connectivity needs work
The D5600’s Matrix metering system copes well with a range of lighting situations, although you might need to dial in some negative exposure compensation in high-contrast scenes to retain highlight detail, and recover shadow detail in post-processing if necessary.
Alternatively, the D5600’s Active D-Lighting system can be useful in such situations, retaining more detail in both the highlights and shadows when shooting JPEG files.
What We Say
As an upgrade to the D5500, the D5600 is a touch underwhelming – just like the D3400 update to the D3300, the changes are modest at best, while the SnapBridge technology featured still needs to be refined and become more stable.
Forgetting the D5500 for a moment, and viewed against its rivals, and the D5600 is a very good mid-range DSLR.