Nikon D5600 | Great DSLR camera for beginners

In early 2015, Nikon introduced their smallest and lightest DSLR to date in the form of the Nikon D5500, which combined a very good 24-megapixel APS-C sensor with an articulating touchscreen display. Everybody was very impressed with the entry-level DSLR so when Nikon announced its successor, the D5600. The addition of Nikon SnapBridge may be a major upgrade to some but to others, the sharing features aren’t reason enough for upgrading. While there may not be a lot of incentives for D5500 owners to spring for the D5600, for users looking to purchase their first DSLR, the D5600 represents an excellent value and is a great overall performer.

Key Specifications

  • Max resolution 6000 x 4000
  • Effective pixels 24 megapixels
  • Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
  • Sensor type CMOS
  • ISO Auto, 100 – 25600
  • Lens mount Nikon F
  • Articulated LCD
  • Screen size 3.2″
  • Screen dots 1,037,000
  • Max shutter speed 1/4000 sec
  • Format MPEG-4, H.264
  • Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
  • 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″)

Is the Nikon D5600 a good starting camera?

Yes, and even in today’s standards. While the D5600 is definitely a photography centric camera that’s best tailored to those already familiar with the workings of the Nikon ecosystem, It is also a great option for those ready to upgrade from a point & shoot camera to their first Digital SLR. It’s easy to operate, with a minimal yet effective control set and layout, while not overly difficult to master. And even in 2019, the D5600 remains competitive in image quality, interface, ergonomics, and features offered. 

The Nikon D5600 is a relatively minor update to the D5500, which was already an excellent SLR. The big addition is SnapBridge, which uses Bluetooth to make file transfers seamless, as well as adding GPS data to images. The same strong autofocus system and image sensor carry over, both of which deliver excellent results. There are some turn-offs for serious photographers, notably a small body that makes controls feel a bit cramped, but if you’re looking for an SLR to capture family memories and document your travels with quality that puts a smartphone to shame, the D5600 is right up your alley.

Pros
  • Small size
  • Shoots video at 1080p at 60 FPS
  • Good Live View performance
  • Great image quality
  • Has 39 autofocusing points, 9 of which are cross-type, which make overall AF performance and accuracy superb
  • Good overall battery life at 820 shots per charge
  • 3.2“ articulating touchscreen display
  • The optical viewfinder is bright, sharp, and provides coverage of 95% of the frame.
  • Has a superb menu and user interface
  • 24MP image sensor with no OLPF.
  • External mic support.
Cons
  • SnapBridge system still needs work
  • Limited external controls
  • It does not have a built-in focusing motor, meaning that all previously released Nikon D lenses are manual focus only.
  • Doesn’t support 4K video.
  • No dust or weather sealing.
  • The D5600 is only charged through a dedicated battery charger. While the camera does have a USB port, it cannot be charged nor powered through said port.

Conclusion

Using the diminutive Nikon D5600 is a world away from shooting with a bulky enthusiast SLR like the D7200 or D500. It’s light and unobtrusive, but its image quality is terrific, and the vari-angle screen makes it supremely versatile. The SnapBridge experience is disappointing, though, but now this camera is three years old and prices have dropped, there are some tempting deals on this DSLR.

Check prices and buyer reviews

Looking for other options? Check our compilation of top 5 best beginner cameras of 2020!

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