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Nikon D5600 review: A mild update to an already excellent camera

Nikon D5600 front
Our Rating :
£783.70 from
Price when reviewed : £653
inc VAT

A subtle update, but the Nikon D5600 is a strong all-rounder at a reasonable price.


  • Outstanding image quality
  • Sophisticated autofocus
  • Long battery life


  • Some functions are awkward to access
  • Slow shot-to-shot times in live view mode

Nikon D5600 review: Image quality

Image quality is the Nikon D5600’s strongest asset. Its 24-megapixel sensor captures masses of detail and dynamic range, with remarkably low noise at fast ISO speeds. The kit lens pulls its weight, delivering sharp focus in the majority of test shots. Focus improves with the lens stopped down to around f/8 but that’s typical for a kit lens. Otherwise, autofocus is reliable and the metering system takes tricky lighting conditions in its stride.

Nikon D5600 sample 1

^ Rich colours, masses of crisp detail and an expertly judged exposure that captures the darkest and brightest parts of the image with aplomb (1/250s, f/8, ISO 100, 27mm equivalent)

Nikon D5600 sample 2

^ Another great result with pixel-sharp details on the water lilies and reeds but the more distant trees look a little vague on close inspection (1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 48mm equivalent)

Nikon D5600 sample 3

^ This shot shows superb detail levels in the centre of the frame, which is only slightly softer towards the edges (1/250s, f/8, ISO 100, 63mm equivalent)

Nikon D5600 sample 4

^ Shooting in the shade has pushed the ISO speed up to 500 here but there’s barely any hint of noise or noise reduction artefacts (1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 500, 82mm equivalent)

Nikon D5600 sample 5

^ Image quality is holding together extremely well at ISO 2500 (1/40s, f/4, ISO 2500, 40mm equivalent)

Nikon D5600 sample 6

^ Even shots at ISO 11400 look respectable (1/40s, f/4, ISO 11400, 37mm equivalent)

Nikon D5600 sample 7

^ Automatic settings have handled this backlit scene well, with the shaded skin tones appearing smooth and detailed (1/50s, f/4, ISO 100, 39mm equivalent)

Nikon D5600 sample 8

^ Skin and hair textures are a little grainy and soft at ISO 7200 but it’s a superb result (1/60s, f/5, ISO 7200, 60mm equivalent)

Nikon D5600 review: Verdict

In my review of the Nikon D5500, I found that the kit lens was the weak point in the image-quality chain, with a softness towards the edges of frames at narrow apertures and throughout the frame with the aperture wide open.

The D5600 uses the same kit lens but I’m happy to report that this particular sample performed much better. Pricier lenses will inevitably deliver sharper results but on this evidence, you won’t necessarily need to replace it straight away.

Nikon D5500 vs D5600

^ The poor focus from the D5500’s kit lens we saw two years ago wasn’t evident in the same lens that was sent out with the D5600

Elsewhere, the Nikon D5600 isn’t much different to the D5500 it replaces and compared with its main rival, the Canon EOS 750D, there’s also little difference. The Nikon holds the edge for image quality with slightly less noise at fast ISO speeds, whereas the Canon 750D has more elegant controls and faster live view performance.

The D5600’s 39-point autofocus sensor beats the 750D’s 19-point sensor, although the recently announced EOS 800D (review coming soon) ups this to 45 points. Ultimately there’s no clear victor so if you’re already a Nikon user, or tempted to become one, there’s nothing to hold you back.

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Sensor resolution24 megapixels
Sensor size23.5×15.6mm (APS-C)
Focal length multiplier1.5x
Optical stabilisationIn kit lens
ViewfinderOptical TTL
Viewfinder magnification (35mm-equivalent), coverage0.55x, 95%
LCD screen3.2in (1,036,800 dots)
Orientation sensorYes
Photo file formatsJPEG, RAW (NEF)
Maximum photo resolution6,000×4,000
Photo aspect ratios3:2
Video compression formatQuickTime (AVC) at up to 20Mbit/s
Video resolutions1080p at 24/25/30/50/60fps, 720p at 50/60fps, VGA at 25/30fps
Slow motion video modesN/A
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality)20m 0s
Exposure modesProgram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed range30 to 1/4,000 seconds
ISO speed range100 to 25600
Exposure compensationEV +/-5
White balanceAuto, 12 presets with fine tuning, manual
Auto-focus modes39-point (9 cross type)
Metering modesMulti, centre-weighted, centre
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modesSingle, continuous, self-timer, interval, AE bracket, W bracket, Active D-Lighting bracket, HDR
Kit lens
Kit lens model nameNikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
Optical stabilisationYes
Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths)3x (27-82.5mm)
Maximum aperture (wide-tele)f/3.5-5.6
35mm-equivalent aperturef/5.2-8.4
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus (wide)25cm
Closest macro focus (tele)25cm
Lens mountNikon F
Card slotSDXC
Memory suppliedNone
Battery typeLi-ion
ConnectivityUSB, AV, mini HDMI, 3.5mm microphone, wired remote
WirelessWi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
GPSVia smartphone app
HotshoeNikon TTL
Body materialPlastic
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables, neck strap
Dimensions (HxWxD)99x126x137mm
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price including VAT£653
Part codeVBA500K001

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