Nikon 5600 on a round wicker stool

A Travel Camera Review of Nikon D5600 DSLR

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Looking for a camera for your travels? I am reviewing the Nikon D5600’s suitability as a travel camera.

After our last proper trip, I decided it was time to upgrade from our original Nikon D3300 and 18-55mm lens and get something with some additional features and range. We loved our camera and it was a fantastic beginners DSLR but with the amount, we were using it and the trips we are going on we could justify upgrading.

Monkey eating a big banana

A monkey with a banana, how cliche.

The upgrade, the D5600, comes with everything you can expect from a lower mid-tier DSLR camera. I’m not going to go into too much detail on the higher end features with this camera as this is a travel review and I’m going to focus on features important to travellers.

I am in the process of writing a beginners guide to DSLR travel photography so stay tuned for more information about that. Suffice to say the Nikon D5600 has the ability to take beautiful pictures at a high resolution but this completely depends on you as the photographer and the lens you have.

Large white cottage with long driveway and grass either side

A very well preserved french cottage.

Connectivity

An important feature for many travellers seems to be connectivity, the ability to take pictures and instantly have them on your phone.

With older DSLR’s you took the picture, connected it to a laptop and then had to put it on your phone to upload it to Instagram (Instagram only allows you to upload on portable devices). This means that the vast majority of your Instagram pictures will be from your phone camera as you can’t be bothered with the hassle.

With the D5600 you connect it to your phone after downloading the Nikon SnapBridge app and choose individual pictures to have on your phone, or another portable device, as soon as you have taken the picture. Phone cameras are good but cannot compare to a shot from a good DSLR.

Portability and Size

Strangely enough, the D5600 is smaller and lighter than the camera I had before, even though it has more features. I put this down to technology getting smaller and faster over time.

Obviously, if you buy a huge lens and stick it on the end then portability is going to come straight down. However, the camera itself is very travel-friendly. When coupled with our Nikon 35mm prime lens it’s extremely light and a pleasure to use.

A man holding the Nikon 5600 with the extendable screen out

The flip screen on all of Nikon’s cameras is vastly superior to the Sony’s mirrorless range.

If you were to go up a range and look at the Nikon 7 Series or another brands equivalent, I believe the weight would start to become an issue. Walking around the woods, climbing mountains and even a stroll in the city can start to become tiresome with a camera too heavy.

It’s also difficult to tell in a shop because all the cameras feel light enough when you pick it up for 5 minutes. Remember you will be holding this camera for hours at a time.

Rotatable Screen

We have all been there when we need to balance the camera on a rock and we can’t see where the camera is facing or if it’s pointing the right way.

Stone wall with patterns of people and carts

The sensor is a standard 24mp cropped sensor you’ll find in all cameras of this price point.

Sometimes you’ve got the camera above your head so can’t see the screen or the viewfinder and your just guessing where to point. Or you’re taking a picture of you and your friends and you have to take 2 or 3 pictures before everyone is in the shot.

The Nikon D5600 comes with a rotatable screen so you can always see what the camera can see wherever you are. If you’re too far away you can even turn on remote photography on your mobile device and you get a live feed of what your camera is seeing. Then you can simply tell the camera when to take a picture.

Nikon 5600 with extendable screen and a photo of a woman and a man on it

It’s light enough to hold for a selfie but you’ll need a very wide lens to be able to get more than just your faces in.

This has helped immensely for me. Before I wouldn’t even bother trying to get certain shots as people can’t always be arsed to faff about long enough to get the right picture.

The screen can be turned around for storage so it won’t get scratched on that long haul flight or when it’s kicked under that train seat.

Battery Life

We have never run out of battery on this camera. I would advise to turn the touch screen off always as it’s a useless feature that they have added for no reason. It drains battery and is not as fast as using the buttons whilst also sometimes doing things when it touches your clothes.

Windsor Castle with some tourist in front

The quality is exactly what you expect from a beginner-intermediate DSLR.

If you’re planning on doing something with no power outlets for more than 2 days then get another battery.

If you have been looking at mirror-less cameras as an alternative to a DSLR then this is the one point where the DSLR range is definitely better. Mirrorless cameras use significantly more power as there are more electronic components. In time this difference may reduce but so far it hasn’t.

Lenses

It is difficult to recommend a lens as it entirely depends on what you’ll be doing. We have an 18-300mm super-zoom for when we don’t know what we will see. It gives us the ability to photograph on a huge range of zoom. However, it is heavy and can get tiresome.

We also have a 35mm prime lens which is tiny and lightweight. It is also capable of taking some absolutely beautifully artistic pictures due to its low aperture.

2 glasses of prossecco on a wooden table in windsor england

I would highly recommend getting at least one lens with an aperture of 1.8 or lower to help get some more artistic shots.

If you are looking to travel and have no idea what you might see, for example, a leopard in the distance one second and then a snap of your lunch the next, then go for a superzoom. Either an 18-200 or 18-300mm.

I would advise looking at some guides and recommendations specific to your needs.

Conclusion

I would give negatives if there were any. It’s light, small and has a very good range of features. I love the ability to instantly have pictures on my phone and I have had no issues with the Nikon SnapBridge app. The screen is still in perfect condition because we can fold it away when we travel and it takes gorgeous images.


Do you have any questions about the D5600? Have you recently reviewed or have experience with other travel worthy cameras (in particular mirror-less)? Please let us know in the comments below.

Comments

  1. This is a great post! Its so important when you’re travelling to have a camera you can depend on, after all you’re going to take pictures to last a lifetime! It’s also so important to be able to carry it and transport it easily, its a key feature!

    1. Couldn’t agree more! I hope you have a good setup 🙂

  2. Hello!

    Thank you for the review! It was very helpful!

    As for lenses, you recommend the 18-200 mm or the 18-300 mm, along with a 35 mm prime lens…
    Were these separate purchases or were any a part of a kit lens?

    Thanks!

    1. I am very sorry for the late reply, I actually bought the 18-300 with the body as part of a deal. I used to have the 18-55 kit lens but found it very lacking so when I picked up the 5600 I got it with the 18-300. You will definitely be able to find a bundle that comes with one of the telephotos and then easily pick up the Nikon 35mm prime.

  3. Really appreciate your article! Have you used the D5600 in any cold winter conditions. If so, any problems with the tactile screen? I live in northern Quebec, Canada where winters are cold! Thanks!

    1. I recently visited Iceland with it which only got down to -5celcius and I also used it during the Beijing winter which got down to -15celcius, however that wasn’t extensive. I never had a problem with it in either condition. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Great article !! I currently have D7000 but its missing one key feature, snapbridge. Which is nice to have to upload pictures to social media on the fly. Judging from your review, it seems like D5600 will do well for my family Europe trip in few months.

    1. Snapbridge gets a bad name on so many sites I’ve looked at. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do. You have to get used to its little issues (for example, you cannot be in live view before pressing the remote photography button otherwise it freezes) but after you get used to it it’s exactly what you need. Also, you’ll be amazed about the size, mirrorless cameras are smaller but I’m assuming you have Nikon DSLR lenses so that’s not an option.

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