Nikon D5600 Review: Entry level or not?

Hello. Welcome to my Nikon D5600 review. This model of Digital SLR camera is targetted at entry level enthusiasts and I ran it through its paces a few days ago. I am sharing my observations to help guide people who may be interested in finding out more about this camera.

Nikon D5600 review | Fotosavvy.com

Nikon D5600 DSLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED (paid link)

The Nikon D5600 Digital SLR Camera comes with:

– 18-55 VR kit lens

– Strap

– Re-chargeable Li-ion battery

– Battery charger

Headlines of my Nikon D5600 review

First the headlines…

Very cool: impressive all rounder with touch screen controls

Not so cool: pricey

My overall take: excellent choice for even advanced novices or casual photographers looking for quality images

Nikon D5600 review | Fotosavvy.com

Adding bells and whistles to Nikon’s D5000 series

Yes, the price isn’t cheap. But with its excellent image quality and touch-screen convenience, the Nikon D5600 is definitely a worthwhile camera in the under 700$ segment. The family photographer who also loves to travel and return with fantastic images in the bag will find it a fine general purpose camera.

The D5000 series from Nikon is a well respected line of cameras aimed at beginners and the D5600 is no exception.

Some time ago, the D5300 was a significant upgrade over the even earlier D5200. Nikon added extra battery life, a sharper screen, GPS and Wi-fi. Later, in the current D5600, Nikon has added a touch screen and some more battery life but no GPS. Whether this counts as a significant upgrade or not we’ll leave it to the internet warriors to battle.

The D5600 comes out of the box with a lot going for it as a total package. (Although some folks think it sad they dropped the GPS functionality, me included.)

Let’s glance at the fact sheet for a thorough Nikon D5600 review.

Sensor resolution

24 Megapixels

Image size

6000 x 4000 pixels

Image processor

EXPEED 4

Focus points

39

Continuous shooting

5 frames per second

Base ISO

100

ISO range

100 – 25,600

Touch screen LCD

Yes

LCD tilting

Yes

LCD size

3.2” diagonal TFT-LCD

Battery performance (single charge)

970 shots

Battery type

Lithium-ion

Built-in Bluetooth

Yes

Built-in Wi-fi/NFC

Yes

Built-in GPS

No

Maximum shutter speed

1/4000

Shutter durability

1,00,000 cycles

Video max. resolution

1920 x 1080 (FullHD)

Built-in flash

Yes

Face detection

Yes (in live view)

Weight

465g

More power to you

Just the top 3 lines alone put a lot of power in the novice’s hands. 24.2 MP resolution for a single image is not a joke. The max image size (6000 x 4000 pixels) is more than ample for taking large, crisp prints. Also, Nikon’s EXPEED 4 processor is a well regarded one for its speed and performance.

The processor’s power translates to shooting 5 frames per second with a single press of the shutter button. Which is good for freezing a slice of the action – with one of the ample 39 autofocus points locking on to the subject firmly.

The ISO range is quite good for low light shooting in this class of cameras, when you have to push up the ISO to get a usable (faster) shutter speed.

Straight off then, the basics are solid and cannot be ignored. You have in your hands a powerful, performance-oriented and fast camera.

Just touch the touch screen

At first sight, the Nikon D5600 looks like buttons and knobs are lacking. And the back of the camera seems to have stuff missing. However, in reality, a lot of the features are now accessible from within the touch screen.

Touch the screen to make things happen. Swipe, pinch, zoom and also set the focus with your fingers. You read that last bit right – touch the image on the screen and that object springs into focus and camera takes the shot.

Less buttons, less knobs and more touch-screen functionality is a welcome feature for today’s generation, weaned on smart phone screens. That’s why, to young shooters especially, the Nikon D5600 should feel like a second home.

Nikon D5600 camera back view

Nikon D5600’s reticulating screen is its leading highlight. On-screen image simulated

The touch screen is a fully reticulating one. It flips open to the left of the camera. Not only that, the screen can also be adjusted at any angle that suits the shooter. It can even be turned all the way round so that it faces the subject. Which is so useful if the subject in question happens to be you!

Dog walk

Dog Walk. Single-shot Full Auto mode. I only pointed and clicked. Although the dog’s tail and the front leg have ghosting, I didn’t mind it! It showed motion.

Sample images

I walked around my apartment block in morning light with the Nikon D5600 in Full Auto mode. This is not a basic camera and it can do far more than basic things. Even then, I decided to set it in auto mode nevertheless, where the camera judges the light and calculates all exposure settings with no help from me.

So I only pointed and clicked, just like a total novice might, for I could then gauge the relevance and effectiveness of the choices it was making.

I’m posting a few of the random images I shot that morning in Full Auto mode. They came out more than fine in my opinion, pretty sharp with good clarity and detail.

 

Squirrels on tree

Squirrels in Full Auto mode. To test the original hi-resolution, I heavily cropped this image. Overdid it 😉

Key aspect of any Nikon D5600 review: Entry-level or not?

The D5600 is rightly classified by many as something more than a basic, entry-level camera. And I have to say I agree with that.

The hi-resolution sensor with its image detail, the reticulating touch screen, the 39-point autofocus system, its fast continuous focus to follow moving subjects are among the top features that make the camera not only easy to handle for rank beginners but also very reliable and a joy to use for advanced novices.

As a beginner learns more and more about technique and the art, the Nikon D5600 will keep pace with the learning. Naturally, as you pick up more and more advanced photographic jargon, you can actually try them out on the camera for hands-on learning.

Discovering manual mode for better control? Want to turn on Auto ISO? Learning about back button focussing? HDR shooting? Time lapse photography? No problem. Your D5600 is waiting and ready for whatever jargon you want to throw at it! For me, this was a surprising (and welcome) aspect of this camera’s feature list, making it much more than a basic entry-level camera.

It should give you good company for at least a couple of years. Also, I think it’s a serious contender as a back up camera for advanced travel shooters, because it is light and portable.

Additionally, for people who are casual shooters and do not want to take up photography full time, the Nikon D5600 is a high quality camera to cover important occasions.

(Amazon US) (paid link) Nikon D5600 with 18-55 kit lens + 70-300mm

SnapBridge connectivity to your smart phone

In these days of connectivity, the SnapBridge feature in the Nikon D5600 lets you transfer selected shots from the camera to your smart phone or tablet. From there, you can be post your images on Facebook or Instagram almost instantly for the benefit of your friends or fans.

Also, you can use your camera or tablet as a remote shutter release to shoot selfies or group shots which include you. However, at least for now, you can’t control any other button or feature on the camera with your phone. Till the engineers at Nikon (or Canon or Sony) come up with the next technology leap 😉

Plant in window sill photograph

Plant on window sill – in Full Auto mode of the Nikon D5600. There is hardly any noise in the dark areas.

Classical Guitar in indoor light

Guitar shot in Full Auto mode in indoor light. Good clarity, contrast and detail

Minor stuff that makes it a major all rounder

More than a big feature like the vast number of AF points or the fast processor or the touch screen, I think the Nikon D5600 is best thought of as an excellent all rounder. Because, to my mind, it offers small benefits and features that add up to something very significant overall.

– very impressive battery performance: 970 shots

– light weight and compact, solid feel

– touch object on screen for instant focus (live view)

– convenient button on the front to change from single shot to continuous mode

– decent ISO range for low light situations: 100 to 25,600

– memory card has its own slot, not shared with the battery

– external mic facility for recording

– internal mic has L and R inputs for stereo recording

Is video your thing?

The last two points above make this camera useful for YouTubers and vloggers as well. The FullHD video quality with choice of selectable frame rates are good for quality video work. But there is a big opinion on the internet that Nikon is basically still photo oriented while Canon gives better video quality also.

I must confess that my own comment on this is, “No comment!” because I am more of a purist still photographer and not much of a videographer. You will have to read some other blog to make up your mind, if video is your thing.

Overall, I must conclude my Nikon D5600 review by noting its impressive all-round abilities. I’ve shot for enough years to know that there is no such thing as a perfect camera. Because it depends on what you’re looking for and what factors are important to you. No matter, this one comes close.

It should certainly be in the final consideration set of anyone who is a) starting out in photography or b) is an advance novice or c) is a casual photographer wanting quality family or travel photos. Because, as a general purpose camera, it’s a hard one to beat.

(I have written a review of the Canon 1500D if you want to check out a more basic beginner’s camera with solid features. Sure, there’s no touch screen or fancy features, but it is at a more affordable price point. So much so, I was impressed by its bang for the buck.)

Summary of my Nikon D5600 review

Pros

– camera for beginners and advanced amateurs

– good back-up travel camera for advanced shooters

– 39 point autofocus

– impressive battery life (970 shots per charge)

– 5 frames per second

– touch screen technology for ease of us

– good for bloggers, you tubers because of external mic jack

– surprising advanced features like time exposure, auto ISO, etc.

Cons

– pricey

– some users may prefer more buttons/dials rather than touch menus

– why did they drop the GPS feature of the earlier model?

This is a seriously good camera, no less. However, like many people who start photography with intent, you too will soon find that the 18-55 mm kit lens, though of good quality, is limiting. The maximum reach of 55 mm doesn’t get you close enough on many occasions.

I recommend the Nikon 70-300 mm lens for more reach you will clearly use and enjoy.

Nikon D5600 DSLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED (paid link)

Happy clicking!

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