The D5600 is the company’s mid-range DSLR and it’s the smallest and best-connected, yet.
Nikon has been on something of a roll, making solid DSLRs with good ergonomics, dependable metering, some of the best image sensors, often very good (often industry-leading) autofocus and a JPEG engine that gives results that lots of people like.
However, falling camera sales and rivalry both from smaller mirrorless models and the convenient, perpetually available smartphone means that producing a really good little DSLR isn’t quite enough. The D5600 aims to address this by making it as painless as possible to get the images from the camera to your phone, meaning that you get the huge benefit of a large sensor camera but with as small an energy barrier as possible.
As such, the addition of SnapBridge is virtually the only change between this and the older D5500. It may sound like a minor change but, to us, we feel it’s likely to be the making or the downfall of this model and perhaps it makes more sense than adding an array of clever but bewildering additional features and modes, as many rival makers seem to do.
- 24MP APC-S CMOS sensor
- 39 point AF sensor with 9 central cross-type points
- 2,016-pixel RGB sensor assists AF tracking and metering
- Up to 5 fps continuous shooting
- ‘SnapBridge’ Bluetooth/Wi-Fi communication
- 1080/60p video capability
- Time-lapse movie feature
At its heart, SnapBridge is primarily a Bluetooth-based system which uses a low-energy connection to stay connected to your smart device (and sidestep the hurdles that mobile OSs might otherwise place in your way) and to transfer images. Although the camera is Wi-Fi capable, that capability is used solely for remote live view operation and video transfer.
We weren’t very impressed the first time we encountered SnapBridge: it seemed unfinished and not very well suited to the D500 where it first appeared. The high likelihood of the photographer wanting full resolution files and the camera’s propensity for generating lots of images made it a poor fit for that camera. However, on the mass-market D3400 it seemed much more likeable: you take the photos and 2MP versions appear on your phone shortly afterwards.
The needs of the D5600’s users are likely to lie somewhere between these two extremes, so we’ll see how well it does.
|Review based on a camera running firmware v1.0. All SnapBridge commentary amended to reflect the behavior of firmware v1.1 and both iOS and Android app version V1.20|