Minor updates appear to be the name of the game for Canon and Nikon at this year’s CES. Case in point: Nikon’s D5600 is a mid-level DSLR (remember them?) announced back in November as an upgrade to last year’s D5500. However! this camera has a trick up its sleeve that will change the way we use and share our photos. Read on to find out why…
D5600: specs and sensor
It’s a perfectly inoffensive DX (APS-C) format DSLR with a 24.2MP sensor and an image stabilised 18-55mm VR kit lens. Like most kit lenses it’s got a variable aperture: f/3.5 at 18mm which closes down to f/5.6 by the time you’ve zoomed in to 55mm. There’s a viewfinder that offers 95% coverage of the frame, and a 720 x 480 pixel variable angle touchscreen LCD for composing your snaps at arm’s length. The screen will also flip round to face the front of the camera for selfies or vlogging.
Tucked inside is Nikon’s Expeed 4 image processor which allows the camera to shoot stills at 5fps and HD video at up to 60fps. That slow motion capability might sound tempting but it’s not a great choice for videographers. You can attach an external microphone but there’s no headphone jack to monitor sound through.
All in all it’s very similar to last year’s D5500, with the exception of the camera’s connectivity options.
Connectivity: Wifi, NFC and Snapbridge-branded Bluetooth low energy
Bluetooth low energy looks set to be added to pretty much every new camera from the major manufacturers from now on. Nikon’s implementation is called Snapbridge and makes it much easier to share photos you’ve taken on your ‘proper’ camera on your smartphone. Wireless connections on cameras are nothing new but this latest version of Bluetooth aims to ‘just work’ and take the hassle out of pairing your devices. Your phone remembers the connection to your camera even when the camera is switched off, and you can choose when and how many images you transfer over.
This sounds like a small thing but I think it’s going to be a great improvement to how we get the pictures off our cameras and share them online. No more mucking about with menus to set up ad-hoc Wifi networks like on the Sony A7s. No more hit-and-miss stopgap solutions (Eye-fi cards I’m looking at you). Just embedded, always-on connections between high quality imaging sensors and fast, always-on internet access.
D5600: The DSLR spec wars are over, long live Snapbridge
Pick up any recent DSLR and you’ll be able to make decent pictures with it – certainly it’s likely to give you much more control and image quality than your smartphone. With Snapbridge and Bluetooth low energy we’re seeing a greater emphasis on why we take pictures and who we want to share them with. A refreshing break from the Megapixel wars of the past few years.
Nikon D5600: Pricing and availability
Already available in the UK the D5600 costs around £749 including kit lens
In the US the camera is now available and will cost $799.99 including kit lens
Our coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you in partnership with Hire A Camera