Nikon D5600 Hands-on Review — First Impressions

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Sharing: In a nutshell, that’s the story of the Nikon D5600 DSLR. Thanks to an overhauled, more powerful wireless networking setup, the D5600 will help you share your images more quickly and easily than the D5500 in whose footsteps it follows. And there’s sharing of a more tangible kind, too. In most respects other than wireless networking, the D5600 shares most of its features — including its body and entire imaging pipeline — with last year’s model.

So what’s new in the 24.2-megapixel Nikon D5600’s wireless networking feature set? There are a few changes, but all come under the banner of Nikon’s SnapBridge technology for simple image sharing, which is rapidly expanding across the company’s entire lineup.

Nikon D5600 Camera Officially Announced

The Nikon D5600 now sports quick-and-easy SnapBridge sharing tech

The Nikon D5600’s SnapBridge sharing setup uses a new Bluetooth Low Energy radio to communicate with your Android or iOS smartphone, phablet or tablet. This allows it to transfer every image you capture straight away, without any user intervention. When you want to share some of your photos on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site — or even if you still rely on email to stay in touch with friends and family — those images will already be waiting for you on your phone, albeit at greatly reduced two-megapixel resolution.

For social networking and the like, though, that reduced resolution likely isn’t an issue, especially when you consider the advantage it brings. With all of your photos already transferred to your phone at capture time, you won’t have to sit and manually connect to the camera, choose which photos to transfer and then wait on them to make their way to your phone — perhaps at full-resolution and still needing to be downsampled — before they can be shared.

Nikon D5600 Review -- Product Image

And since it’s using Bluetooth Low Energy technology, SnapBridge shouldn’t reduce the battery life of either your phone or camera by too much, either. If you want to transfer full-resolution versions of some images, you can still do so manually much like you would with any other camera, but you shouldn’t need to manually establish the connection between devices. Instead, the Bluetooth Low Energy connection will be used to establish a faster, more power-hungry Wi-Fi connection for your full-res transfers.

And for Android users, even the initial pairing process should be extremely quick and easy. That’s because as well as its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios, the Nikon D5600 also includes a Near-Field Communications radio that can communicate with the NFC hardware in most modern Android devices. With a range of just a few inches, this allows you to establish your initial connection and to locate the necessary Android app for installation, all by simply bumping your phone against the camera body a couple of times.

There’s no more built-in infrared remote control support

At the same time as SnapBridge features have been added, Nikon has removed built-in infrared remote control support from the D5600 body. Where its predecessor had twin infrared receivers on the front of the handgrip and at top left of its rear panel, the Nikon D5600 has neither. 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 MC-DC2 remote cord, and WR-1/WR-T10/WR-R10 wireless transmitters and receivers.

Nikon D5600 Review -- Product Image

The Nikon D5600 brings with it some firmware tweaks, as well

Obviously, the updated SnapBridge setup is the big news here. That’s not to say it’s the only change, though. As of press time, we’re still awaiting detailed specifications for the Nikon D5600, so it’s possible there could be other hardware changes. But even if not, there are some changes we’re aware of in firmware.

Perhaps the coolest of these, for our money, is the new frame advance bar, a feature inherited from the higher-end D5 and D500 models. This allows Nikon D5600 owners to quickly scrub through their images in full-frame playback mode using the touch-screen display, so you can search out the shots you’re after more quickly. It’s very intuitive, and a welcome addition at the entry level end of the market.

There’s also a new crop function which cleverly works hand-in-hand with playback zoom, letting you pinch to zoom the image and then drag to pan to the area you want cropped. One more tap confirms your chosen area, and the image is cropped for you automatically in-camera.

Nor is that all. Nikon has also added the in-camera time-lapse movie function we’ve seen in other recent models. You can also now enable and disable automatic ISO sensitivity control through the touch-screen display, and Nikon says that use of the display alongside viewfinder shooting has been improved too, although it doesn’t say just how this has been achieved.

Nikon D5600 Review -- Product Image

In other respects, the Nikon D5600 is much like its predecessor

As noted previously, we’re still awaiting more detailed information on the Nikon D5600. However, other details look to line up pretty closely with the D5500.

Comparing the two cameras’ bodies, the Nikon D5600 seems to be near-identical to its predecessor, with only a couple of minor changes to fill in holes for the now-removed infrared remote receivers, and to the screen-printed labeling on the camera body to reflect these changes. (There’s no longer a remote control icon next to the drive button, and a Bluetooth logo has been added next to the Wi-Fi logo on the camera’s left side.)

As mentioned previously, the imaging pipeline is unchanged. The D5600 still has 24.2-megapixel resolution with no resolution-sapping optical low pass filter in front of the sensor. It also retains an EXPEED 4 image processor, providing for burst shooting at up to five frames per second with a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600-equivalents.

Also retained are a 3.2-inch vari-angle articulated LCD monitor with 1,037,000-dot resolution, and a 39-point autofocus system complete with nine cross-type points. And just as in its predecessor, the Nikon D5600 will provide a two-shot in-camera high dynamic range function, as well as support for movie capture at up to Full HD (1,920 x 1,080-pixel) resolution with a maximum capture rate of 60 frames per second.

Nikon D5600 Review -- Product Image

As in the D5500, you can use the full sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600-equivalents for movie capture, and can apply some in-camera special effects functions like miniature, etc. There’s also both a built-in stereo microphone and support for external stereo mics as well. Battery life for still imaging is unchanged at a CIPA-rated 820 shots on a charge, using the same EN-EL14a battery pack as in the D5500.

Not announced in the US, but on the way in some overseas markets

Nikon has not announced the D5600 in the US market as of this writing, although we understand it will be sold here at a later date. The camera will initially be available in some overseas markets, but as of this time, we don’t know pricing or availability. We do know that it will be available in a kit with the new AF-P 18-55mm lens, however. The U.S. availability for the camera will be announced at a later date.

Nikon D5600 Camera Officially Announced

Basic Specifications
Full model name: Nikon D5600
Resolution: 24.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
Kit Lens: 3.05x zoom
(27-83mm eq.)
Viewfinder: Optical / LCD
Native ISO: 100 – 25,600
Extended ISO: 100 – 25,600
Shutter: 1/4000 – 30 seconds
Max Aperture: 3.5 (kit lens)
Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in.
(124 x 97 x 70 mm)
Weight: 23.6 oz (670 g)
includes batteries, kit lens
Availability: TBD
Manufacturer: Nikon




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