Nikon’s entry-level APS-C (DX) DSLR lineup is getting a boost with Bluetooth (SnapBridge) for automatic image backup, along with a few extras like a new time-lapse mode — and now it’s headed to the U.S. After announcing the camera in Japan late last year, Nikon on Wednesday announced the U.S. availability for the new D5600, a sibling to the Digital Trends-recommended D5500, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The new DSLR will be available in the U.S. this month, retailing for $699 for the body only. The camera will also sell with three different kit lens options — for $799 with a 18-55mm lens, $1,149 with a 18-55mm lens and a 70-300mm lens, or $1,119 with an 18-140mm lens.
Like the Nikon’s most affordable DSLR, the D3400, the D5600 now includes low-powered Bluetooth, as well as Wi-Fi, the latter of which the D3400 lacks. Unlike Wi-Fi, Bluetooth doesn’t have a significant energy drain, and allows the camera to maintain a constant connection to a smartphone or tablet. With that connection, the D5600 can send photos (JPEGs) to a smartphone or even back them up to cloud storage using Nikon Image Space. Wi-Fi is used for more heavy-duty tasks, like remote operation.
Nikon says the user can choose whether to transfer full-resolution files or 2-megapixel compressed versions, though for automatic uploads to the backup service, only the compressed files can be used.
The D5600 retains the same internal hardware found in the previous model, including the 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor without an optical low pass filter (increased sharpness). The camera will have the same burst speed as the D5500’s 5 fps max. That means we already have an idea of how the D5600 performs, based on our experience with the D5500: Quality still images, especially when the camera is paired with a really good lens.
Nikon’s D5000-series has long set itself apart from the brand’s other entry-level options, with a tilting screen not found even in the pricier D7000-series. Continuing the tradition of the tilting screens, the Nikon D5600 offers one with the same touch capabilities introduced in the D5500. Nikon says that touchscreen capability has also been enhanced with a new crop tool and a frame-advance bar that makes it easier to browse through the images inside the playback mode.
The D5600 also adds the time-lapse option found in the pricier D7200. Using automated shooting, photographers can set up an interval to take shots, with the camera automatically compiling those images into a time-lapse movie.
Within the Nikon APS-C DSLR universe, the D5600 is slotted above the budget-level D3400, released in September; the D5500 remains in the D5000-series lineup but will eventually be phased out once supply runs out. The D7200 offers a handful of more advanced features including enhanced autofocus, while the flagship D500 offers a 10-fps burst designed for action photography.
Updated by Hillary Grigonis on Jan. 4, 2017 to include U.S. availability and price.