Nikon announced the D5600 DSLR in November, but the Japanese company waited until just now at CES 2017 to let us know when the camera is coming stateside. Good news! It’s soon. As in, the camera will be available starting this month for $799 with an 18-55mm kit lens.
It’s been hard to get excited about entry-level DSLRs for a while now, but the Nikon D5600 has an ace up its sleeve in Snapbridge. Snapbridge is how Nikon is branding the always-on Bluetooth connection in its newest cameras, which is fantastic when it works. (Some users have had troubles that seem related to specific devices, and Android compatibility is still limited.)
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections in cameras aren’t new, but Snapbridge is different enough that it feels like the next evolution of connected cameras. When you have it enabled, a Snapbridge-equipped camera can instantly beam the photos you shoot directly to your phone, or if you don’t want everything sent you can quickly access the images you’ve shot — no more clunky Wi-Fi connections and passwords. Better yet, the connection remains even if you turn the camera off.
As for specs, the D5600 isn’t all that much different from the D5500 that Nikon unveiled at CES in 2015. The D5600 has the same 24.2 megapixel sensor and image processor as its predecessor, and the same 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen. The touchscreen on the D5500 was Nikon’s first on any DSLR, and the company is saying that the one on the D5600 should offer better performance and more robust features.
But the D5600 will be a great test for Snapbridge’s popularity, as it’s a feature that’s only previously been available on a limited number of cameras. From my experience with it, removing the pain points of connecting to cameras totally changes the experience of shooting and posting images on the go. A camera full of images that I can always access from my phone — without waiting — is a camera I’m much more likely to carry around with me. And that’s Nikon’s big bet with Snapbridge.