The D5600 is the DSLR Nikon offers you if you’re a step-up from its most basic entry-level model (the D3400). It has a range of features which are designed to give you a little more from the camera, in a more expensive package.
Nikon D5600 review – At a glance
- 24.2-million-pixel APS-C (DX format) sensor
- 39-point AF system
- Wireless functionality
- ISO 100-25,600
- Records up to Full HD (1080p) video at 60fps
In terms of specifications, the D5600 is actually nigh-on identical to the D5500 with just a few small improvements. The biggest one, or at least, the one most worthy of mention, is the addition of SnapBridge – Nikon’s innovative Bluetooth technology (more on that later).
It’s also got improved touchscreen functionality, and the ability to record time-lapses in camera. Other interesting features brought over from the previous camera include a 24.2MP APS-C (or DX format) sensor, a 39-point AF system, and a monocoque construction (that’s a fancy word for single piece) which makes it both light and sturdy.
Nikon D5600 review – Design and Handling
Place the D5600 next to the D5500 and it’s going to be pretty much impossible to tell the difference – aside from the obvious clue on the camera’s nameplate.
The camera is actually one of Nikon’s smallest and lightest DSLRs, but of course, it’s still a DSLR so it’s pretty chunky. The handgrip is nicely coated and textured to give it a satisfying feel of quality, while a small indent helps it to feel comfortable in your hand. You should find that your forefinger sits naturally atop the shutter release ready to take your shots.
Although there are more buttons and dials on this camera than you’ll find on the more basic D3300, there’s still not enough to overwhelm the entry-level user.
There’s a large exposure mode dial, which has just a few options on it – helping to keep things nice and simple. There’s automatic and scene modes, while sectioned off is the more advanced “P,A,S,M” modes. Around this dial is a switch for flicking Live View shooting on (or off).
A dial is handily placed for your thumb to reach, and has a variety of different uses depending on the mode you’re shooting in. Let’s say you were shooting in aperture priority, it would control aperture. You can also use it in conjunction with other buttons, such as the exposure compensation button which sits just in front of it, to adjust those settings.
On the back of the camera we’ve got a fairly familiar set-up. There’s a navigational pad, with an “OK” button in the centre. There’s a range of other buttons which include the very handy “i” button. Give this a quick tap and you can change a variety of common settings without having to bother with the more extensive main menu.
Next to the lens on the left hand side of the camera there’s a few extra buttons which are useful, too. There’s a Fn button which can be assigned to a variety of functions, such as ISO or White Balance. There’s also a drive mode button which allows you to move between functions such as single shooting, continuous shooting and timer. You can also select Quiet shooting – which is designed for shooting in quiet locations. In reality, it sounds almost exactly as loud as the standard shutter release.
One of the new features of the D5600 is the inclusion of SnapBridge technology. This is something that has been added to a number of key Nikon products of late, and is a great way to connect to your phone. Basically, you can set up a Bluetooth connection with your phone, which is constantly maintained (at a low power). This means that every time you take a photo, a low resolution version of the photo is automatically transferred to your phone ready for you to upload to Instagram et al without the faff and hassle of having to go through a Wi-Fi connection and manual transfer.
There are still plenty who are of the firm belief that optical viewfinders are better than electronic viewfinders. As electronic viewfinder technology improves, those lines are understandably blurred, but, if you are in the camp which dislikes the electronic option, something like the D5600 is going to appeal.
The viewfinder is optical, of course, and it’s reasonably large, offering a bright view of the scene in front of you. However, you have to bear in mind that it offers only a 95% view of the scene. That means there’s a very real possibility of something creeping into one of the edges of the frame without you spotting it, or, for your compositions to just be ever-so-slightly off.
You should also bear in mind that any changes you make to settings won’t be viewable through an optical viewfinder, which is one of the most useful features of an electronic version.
The screen is a touch-sensitive, articulating device. That means that you can position it into pretty much whatever angle you want, and is super helpful when composing from awkward angles (and using Live View). You can use the touch screen for a number of different functions. When in shooting mode, you can tap an on-screen “i” to be granted access to some commonly used settings – you can then touch around the screen to make changes.
While in playback, you can use it to move through images, as well as zooming in and out of images. When shooting in Live View, you can tap the screen to focus, as well as take an image.