Nikon D5600

With the D5600, Nikon introduced the successor of the D5500 at the end of last year. There aren’t many changes to the well-equipped Hobby DSLR, which ranks above the recently tested D3400. The D5600 now supports Nikon’s Snapbridge technology, which is based on Bluetooth and WLAN and was introduced last year. In addition, the solid equipment, such as the APS-C sensor with 24 megapixel resolution or the 39-point autofocus as well as the rotatable and swivelling 8.1 centimetre touch screen with touchpad function, remains the same. In the test the Nikon D5600 must now show what it is good for.

The 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, the 39-point autofocus and the 8.1-centimetre, rotatable and swivelling touchscreen are just a few of the features that remain. New, however, is Snapbridge, which Nikon introduced at the beginning of the year and is equipping more and more cameras with it. Thanks to Bluetooth, there is a permanent connection to the smartphone to transmit images and retrieve position data.

The Nikon D5600 is slightly above the beginner class in the hobby class and offers a larger range of functions than the D3400. With this DSLR, Nikon wants to win smartphone photographers as new customers, among others, who can share their photos and videos online at any time via smartphone thanks to Snapbridge. The Nikon D5600 with its 24 megapixel APS-C sensor promises a high image quality with many details and thanks to the interchangeable lenses a great flexibility to adjust to the subject with the appropriate lens. As a DSLR, the D5600 offers a single-lens reflex viewfinder that works with a Penta mirror design. The viewfinder covers 95 percent of the image field and magnifies 0.82x, which is equivalent to 0.55x magnification for a small image. The fast phase autofocus with its 39 measuring points is only available when the viewfinder is used, of which nine work as high-quality cross sensors. The Nikon takes five continuous shots per second with autofocus tracking (AF-C).

In Live View the autofocus is slower, but the photographer can use the 8.1 centimetre large, rotating and swivelling touch screen, which has a resolution of 1.04 million pixels. By the way, the touch capability is also active when looking through the viewfinder, so that the autofocus point can be conveniently selected with the finger. A new feature is the scroll bar in playback mode taken over from the D5 and D500, which is intended to facilitate scrolling in large image quantities. The D5600 records videos at maximum Full HD resolution with up to 60 frames per second. Thanks to built-in stereo microphones and an external microphone connection, there is also a good sound to the video. A new feature is the ability to combine photos taken with the interval shooting function into a time-lapse video.

But the biggest innovation of the D5600 is Snapbridge. This is a bundling on Bluetooth and WLAN, also NFC controls the Nikon. Bluetooth provides an energy-saving, durable connection to the smartphone. In the background, the GPS data from the smartphone is transmitted to the camera and images in a resolution of less than 2 megapixels (or larger if desired) are transmitted to the smartphone, so that they are available at any time, for example for sharing in social networks. WLAN is activated for the transmission of high-resolution images and videos. The WLAN connection is also used for the remote control function. The app, available free of charge for iOS and Android, then displays the live image of the camera and enables wireless remote triggering

Ergonomics and workmanship

The housing of the 465 gram light Nikon D5600 is made of well processed plastic (660 grams with the set lens AF-P 18-55 VR). The workmanship makes an overall good impression with only small, but not always even gap dimensions, generous rubber leathering and the pronounced handle with the deep engagement between grip bead and bayonet. The case doesn’t give way even with a hefty grip and doesn’t make any trust-reducing noises either. For small to medium-sized hands, the handle also offers enough space for the little finger. The thumbwheel is very easy to use, but Nikon unfortunately does without a second wheel. If you look at the SLR viewfinder, you’ll see that it’s quite a good viewfinder with a lot of information including grid fade in, but it’s not particularly large with 0.55x magnification equivalent to a small picture. The slightly too small exit pupil provides a slight shading in the corners of spectacle wearers, the diopter correction is somewhat sparse. Too bad, because the viewfinder is one of the central arguments for a DSLR.

The Nikon D5600’s 8.1 centimeter touchscreen can be swivelled and rotated. The characteristic single-lens reflex viewfinder, on the other hand, is somewhat puny.

  • Nikon D5600

    The D5600 is aimed at hobby photographers who expect a little more equipment than in the entry-level class and want to make use of Nikon’s wide range of lenses.

    But the D5600 with its 8.1 centimeter large, rotatable and swivelling screen knows how to convince. Once pulled on the practical Live View lever, it shows a clear, colourful and high-contrast image; without Live View, it serves as an informative status display. With the AF-P 18-55 VR used in the test, the 39-point autofocus is extremely fast, and regardless of the focal length selected, it focuses and triggers within 0.17 seconds. Especially when you consider that half of the time is needed to fold up the mirror, close the aperture and open the mechanical shutter.

    This, of course, only applies when looking through the viewfinder, because with Live View the D5600 has to fall back on the contrast autofocus, because the fast autofocus sensor, which makes up a DSLR next to the viewfinder and interchangeable lens bayonet, is “blind” in Live View through the upturned mirror. But thanks to Nikon’s improvements and the lens optimized for contrast autofocus, even with Live View, “only” 0.7 to 0.8 seconds pass before the image is in the box, including focusing. The release delay of a quarter of a second has a considerable part to play here. This makes the D5600 very fast compared to earlier DSLRs in Live View, but still no real joy. The Live View is still not suitable for action motifs, but offers more flexibility thanks to the movable screen.

    The display is a touch screen, whose touch sensitivity is also active while looking through the viewfinder. Thanks to the proximity sensor above the viewfinder, the screen display switches off automatically. While looking through the viewfinder, the touchscreen can be used as a simple giant function button or as a clever autofocus touchpad so that you can move the focus point with your finger on the screen when looking through the viewfinder. If you don’t particularly like the screen on your DSLR, you can also flip it upside down with the D5600, which also protects the screen from scratches. In addition, the D5600 has a number of other dedicated controls such as the magnifying glass buttons, a video recording button, the important AE-L/AF-L button and three additional buttons on the bayonet side. The flash button not only unlocks the flash, but also allows you to select the flash program when you press it again.

    Unfortunately, there are no specific buttons on the case, for example to adjust the white balance or ISO sensitivity. The latter in particular is regrettable, since ISO sensitivity is an important recording parameter in modern cameras in addition to exposure time and aperture. Fortunately, there is not only the screen as a “function key”, but also another function button, which – the engineers have thought along – is preset with the ISO sensitivity setting. What is definitely missing, however, and is actually part of the basic equipment of a DSLR, is a dipping button; such a function cannot be programmed on the function button either. This means that the photographer has no chance of getting a preview of the depth of field, an essential design feature of a camera with a large image sensor and a fast lens. For other important recording parameters that are not accessible via buttons, there is a quick menu that can be called either via the “i” button or the “i” button on the information screen. Other important recording parameters can be adjusted here.

    The D5600 is also equipped with plenty of interfaces. On the handle side there is the mini HDMI socket (type C) for a slide show on the home flat-screen TV. On the left side of the housing there is a micro-USB interface that does not charge the battery. In addition, a stereo microphone and a cable remote release connection can be found here. An infrared receiver for remote triggering is no longer available! The lithium-ion battery is located in the handle and can be removed from below for charging in the supplied plug-in charger. One battery charge is sufficient for a sumptuous 970 shots according to the CIPA standard, even though the integrated flash with a guide number of twelve is ignited with every second shot. However, the Live View and the wireless functions are not taken into account; both are not at all to be sneezed at power guzzlers, while the Bluetooth still holds back well thanks to the energy-saving functions.

    • Nikon D5600

      Thanks to the pronounced grip, the Nikon D5600 fits very well in the hand.

    The SD memory card is conveniently removed from the side so that it can also be accessed on the tripod. In addition, the tripod thread is located in the optical axis and far enough away from the battery compartment so that it is not blocked by a quick-release plate. With the memory card, it’s worth taking a quick UHS-I model, as we were able to determine a write speed of just over 72 MByte per second. Especially in view of the somewhat small buffer memory, a fast card is doubly worthwhile.

    Equipment

    The Nikon D5600 has a program selector wheel with eight positions. Three of these are reserved for beginner automatic functions, such as the fully automatic, the 16 motif programs and the effects programs. However, a panorama function is missing. In contrast to the automatic programs, the photographer has more influence on the shooting parameters in the classic creative programs P, A, S and M. The automatic programs are not as easy to use as the automatic ones. For example, the aperture or the exposure time or, optionally, both can be manually preselected. If you want to use the ISO automatic, you have to activate it in the menu. Here the D5600 behaves quite confusingly. If the ISO automatic is activated in the creative programs, you can still set the ISO sensitivity. Then the camera uses the highest ISO sensitivity. So if you set ISO 100 and the automatic control wants to control ISO 400, the automatic control wins. If you set ISO 800 and the automatic system wants to set to ISO 400, the manual setting wins. This also works with manual exposure, even with exposure compensation, which in this case must be set via the quick menu. Only in the motif programs does it work as you would expect it to. Below ISO 100 is the position for the ISO automatic, so that you can conveniently switch between automatic and manual setting with the function button programmed to ISO and do not have to poker which setting “wins”.

    The D5600 records exposure series with a maximum of three images, whereby the gradations between 1/3 and 2 EV can be finely selected. Those who like to take HDR shots can have them taken by the camera, which takes two photos and automatically charges them. How strong the HDR effect should be can be pre-set or left to the automatic control. The Active-D-Lighting function, which brightens the shadows in selectable levels or also by automatic control and thus makes more details visible, offers no real HDR effect, but an image improvement with hard contrasts.

    The continuous advance function works at a rate of just five frames per second. What used to be regarded as fast is now almost slow in the age of mirrorless system cameras, which sometimes reach twice the speed in this class. The D5600 only has a small buffer memory, which only holds 9 raw or 21 JPEG images. Thus, it is possible to record some reasonably long series in JPEG, especially as with a fast memory card, even with a full buffer, one still achieves more than four series images per second. After 100 pictures at the latest, however, it’s over why Nikon has built in this limit. By the way, those who choose 14 bits instead of 12 bits color depth in the raw data format have to be content with four instead of five serial images per second. In any case, the 39-point AF is able to easily follow a moving subject with the help of the AF-C.

    Of course, a video function should not be missing with a modern DSLR. Despite the 24 megapixel resolution of the sensor, however, this is limited to the Full HD resolution, but at least with a smooth 60 frames per second. The integrated microphone records in stereo and the level is also shown on the display. An external stereo microphone can be connected on request. However, continuous autofocus (AF-F in Live View) works only moderately well in video recording. It reacts with a slight delay to changing recording distances and then adjusts the sharpness with a slight pumping action. Sometimes he doesn’t focus either and keeps filming out of focus. The video function is therefore still not a strength with DSLRs, at least not for automatic videographers. The aperture setting has no effect on video recordings, by the way, but the integrated microphone picks up operating noises all too clearly.

    Nikon D5600

    The APS-C large image sensor of the Nikon D5600 delivers with its 24 megapixels resolution up to ISO 1.600 a very good image quality.

WT-7 support and Snapbridge error correction Firmware updates for numerous Nikon DSLRs and accessories

Nikon provides new firmware updates for download for the DSLRs D3400, D5600, D7200, D500, D750, D810 and D810A as well as for the system flash SB-5000 and the WLAN module WT-7. The versions C 1.11 for the D3400, C 1.01 for the D5600 and C 1.12 for the D500 only fix a connection problem of the camera to the Snapbridge app under iOS 10.2. The D7200, D750, D810 and D810A now support the WLAN adapter WT-7, in addition numerous bugs are fixed.

The WLAN adapter WT-7 itself also requires a firmware update to version 1.1 to support the four new DSLRs. In addition, a problem has been fixed which prevented PASV mode connections to certain FTP servers and the HTTP server mode is now available in Turkish.

The firmware update C 1.02 for the Nikon D7200 ensures, besides the support of the WT-7, that for photos taken in Live-View with lenses with electromagnetically controlled aperture (lens types E and PC-E), the exposure is now optimal, which was sometimes not the case before. In addition, a problem with Auto-Distortion Correction is fixed. Although this was enabled, distortion could be visible at the edges of photos taken with the image quality setting to NEF (RAW) + JPEG Fine and the image size setting to M. Also, sometimes no images were recorded at all. It should also be noted that the settings are lost during this firmware update. However, it is possible to save them to a memory card beforehand using the corresponding menu function and reload them after the firmware update.

The D750 also struggled with the problems of image recording and distortion correction, which the firmware update C 1.11 fixes. In addition, the RGB histogram display is corrected during playback because it sometimes displayed incorrect values. In addition, the setting selected for Individual function f5 (dials) > Function assignment in the Individual functions menu of group f (controls) was not saved if the Save settings command was executed in the System menu under “Settings” on memory card.

The image recording and distortion correction were also a problem with the D810, which is solved with the firmware update C 1.12 in addition to the compatibility to the WT-7. Also, multiple exposures were not recorded correctly, and the RGB histogram display showed incorrect histograms for some images during playback. Furthermore, photo shots could be incorrectly exposed immediately after changing the lens. Also, the Protected Files icon was not displayed correctly. Another problem was the Auto Distortion Correction turned on: it could happen that the camera stopped responding if the user wanted to take pictures with the following settings: NEF (RAW) + JPEG Fine for image quality, S for NEF (RAW) settings > image size and RAW primary, JPEG secondary for secondary memory card slot function. The last problem resolved was the exposure times for the “electronic 1st curtain shutter”, which were sometimes shorter than 1/2000 sec.

  • Nikon D5600

    Nikon SB-5000

However, the changes in firmware update C 1.02 for the D810A are minor: The camera sometimes stopped responding when a WR-R10 radio remote control with firmware version 3.00 was installed.

The firmware update 14.002 for the SB-5000 fixes a problem with the zoom function that did not work as expected at low temperatures. In addition, the AF Assist Light was not activated when the flash mode was set to AF Only (no flash transmission, only AF Assist Light mode) after the camera was turned on or woken when the shutter-release button was pressed until the first pressure point.

The firmware updates can be downloaded from the Nikon website and installed by the user according to the instructions provided there. Anyone who does not have the confidence in this process should be able to get help from their specialist dealer or the Nikon service.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Nikon
Model D5600
Sensor CMOS APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5
)24.8 megapixels (physical)
24.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 3.9 µm
Resolution (max.) 4.496 x 3.000 (3:2)
Video (max.) 1.920 x 1.080 60p
Lens Nikon AF-P 18-55 mm 3.5-5.6G DX VR (Zoom Lens)
Reflex viewfinder Mirror viewfinder, 95 percent image field coverage, 0.82x magnification (sensor-related), 0.55x magnification (KB equivalent), 17 mm eye distance, diopter correction from -1.7 to 0.5 dpt, fixed focusing screen
Monitor 3.2″ (8.1 cm)
Disbandment 1.037.000 pixels
tiltable
rotatable yes
swivelling yes
Touchscreen yes
AV connector HDMI Mini Output (Type C)
Fully automatic yes
Automatic motif control
Motif programmes 16
Program automation yes
Program shift yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
Manual yes
Bulb long time exposure yes
HDR function yes
Panorama function no
Exposure metering Matrix/multi-field measurement (2,016 fields), center-weighted integral measurement, spot measurement
fastest shutter speed 1/4.000 s
Lightning bolt built-in flash
Synchronous time 1/200 s
Flash connection Hot shoe: Nikon, standard center contact
WLAN yes
NFC yes
GPS external, permanent smartphone connection|wired or plug-on receiver
Remote release yes, cable release, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet
Interval shooting yes
Storage medium
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
Sensitivity
automatic ISO 100-25.600
manually ISO 100-25.600
White balance
automatic yes
manual measurement yes
Kelvin input
Fine correction yes
Autofocus yes
Number of measuring fields 9 Cross sensors30
Line sensors
Speed Phase auto focus: 0.17 sLive View auto focus
: 0.73 s to 0.77 s
AF auxiliary light LED
Dimensions (mm) 124 x 97 x 70 mm
Weight (ready for operation) 465 g (housing only
)661 g (with lens)
Tripod socket in optical axis
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manual on lens
Battery life 970 images (according to CIPA standard)
– = “not applicable” or “not available”

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Good ergonomics with distinctive handle
  • Mobile touch screen with AF touchpad or Fn function
  • Very fast autofocus
  • Very good image quality up to ISO 1.600

Cons

  • Small viewfinder
  • No dimming function (depth of field preview)
  • For today’s conditions old serial picture function (only 5 fps for only 9 raw pictures)
  • Actually not so slow contrast autofocus in video occasionally overtaxed

Nikon D5600 Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5
)24.8 megapixels (physical) and 24.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 3.9 µm
Photo resolution
4.496 x 3.000 pixels (3:2)
4.240 x 2.832 pixels (3:2)
2.992 x 2.000 pixels (3:2)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Colour depth 36 bits (12 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard (version 2.0)
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 60 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 50 p
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)
Audio format (video) LPCM

Lens

Lens mount
Nikon F

Focusing

Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 9 cross sensors, autofocus working range from -1 EV to 19 EV, contrast autofocus
Autofocus Functions Single Auto Focus, Continuous Auto Focus, Tracking Auto Focus, Manual, AFL Function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Magnifier

Viewfinder and Monitor

Reflex viewfinder Reflex viewfinder (95 % image coverage), 17 mm eye relief with 0.82x magnification (0.6x KB equivalent), diopter compensation (-1.7 to +0.5 dpt), grating can be faded in
Monitor 3.2″ (8.1 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 1,037,000 pixels, viewing angle 170°, anti-reflective, brightness adjustable, tiltable 180°, rotatable 270°, with touch screen

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 2,016 fields, spot measurement (measurement over 3% of the image field), AF-AE coupling
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (automatic
)1/4,000 to 30 s (manual)
Bulb function
Exposure control Fully Automatic, Program Automatic (with Program Shift), Aperture Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual
Bracketing function Bracket function with maximum 3 shots, step size from 1/3 to 2 EV, HDR function
Exposure compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size from 1/3 to 1/2 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 25.600 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 25.600 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, cable release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Motives Flowers, Twilight, Indoor, Candlelight, Kids, Landscape, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Close-up, Portrait, Sunset, Food, Sports/Action, Beach/Snow, Animals, 1 more Picture Programs
Picture effects High Key, Low Key, Miniature Effect, Selective Color, Toy Camera, Vivid, 4 more Image Effects
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sun, White balance bracket, Fine-tune, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp with 7 presets, Incandescent lamp, Manual
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting 5.0 fps at highest resolution, 4 frames per second (14-bit RAW)
Self-timer Self-timer with intervals of 2 or 20 s, Features: 1 to 9 shots
Timer Timer/interval recording with max. 9,999 recordings, start time adjustable
Shooting functions Mirror lock-up, AEL function, AFL function

Flashgun

Lightning bolt built-in flash (hinged
)flash shoe: Nikon, standard center contact
Flash range Flash sync time 1/200 s
Flash number Guide number 12 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, Fill-in flash, Flash on, Flash off, Slow sync, Flash on second shutter curtain, Red-eye reduction by lamp, Flash exposure compensation from -3.0 EV to +1.0 EV

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
GPS function GPS external (permanent smartphone connection|wired or plug-on receiver)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Nikon EN-EL14a (lithium ion (Li-Ion), 7.3 V, 1,230 mAh
)970 pictures according to CIPA standardNikon
EH-5a power supplyNikon
EH-5B power supply
Playback Functions Red eye retouching, video editing, image cropping, image rotation, image protection, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier, image index, slide show function, zoom out
Voice memo Voice memo (LPCM format)
Face recognition Face recognition
Picture parameters Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, Noise Reduction
Special functions Grid can be faded in, orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: Bluetooth, USBUSB-Type
:USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (Type: B, G)
NFC: available
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output Mini (Type C
)Audio input: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pin))
Audio output: no
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″ in optical axis
Features and Miscellaneous Active D-Lighting Contrast adjustment (5 levels) incl. exposure bracket, eye sensor, time lapse, SnapBridge

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 124 x 97 x 70 mm
Weight 465 g (ready for operation)

Other

included accessories Nikon AN-DC3 Storage AccessoriesNikon
BF-1B (Case Cover)
Nikon DK-24 (Eyecup)
Nikon EG-CP16 Audio / Video CableNikon
EN-EL14a Special BatteryNikon
MH-24 Charger for Special BatteriesNikon
UC-E23 USB Cable
optional accessory Nikon BF-1B (Case Cover
)Nikon DK-25 (Eyecup)Nik
on

EH-5a Power SupplyNikon
EH-5B Power Supply

Nikon

GP-1 (GPS Receiver)
Nikon MC-DC2 Cable Remote TriggerNikon
ME-1 (Microphone)Nik

on

MH-24 Charger for Special BatteriesNikon
WR-1 (Wireless Remote Control)
Nikon WR-R10 Wireless Remote Control

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