The image quality on the Nikon D5600 is very impressive – in line with the best you’ll find today on an aps-c (DX) camera sensor.
Indeed, the main disadvantages of the Nikon D5600 have nothing to do with image quality. This D5600 has, for all practical purposes, equally good image quality as that of much higher-end cameras, such as the $1900 Nikon D500 (slightly favoring the D5600 at low ISOs, and slightly favoring the D500 at higher ISOs – by about 1/3 stop, which is a non-issue). The reason for the difference in price is purely because of things like build quality, speed, features, etc., and not the quality of the sensor.
Here are sample images from the Nikon D5600 from ISO 100 to its maximum of ISO 25,600. Please keep in mind that these are extreme, 100% crops of RAW photos, taken from a very small area of the D5600’s sensor:
This is quite impressive! Personally, I would be comfortable using the Nikon D5600 up to ISO 1600, and I would not be afraid to push it to ISO 3200 if necessary. Even ISO 6400 is workable, although it is something I would only use in rare cases. The settings beyond that exist mainly for laughs.
You will capture the best image quality the D5600 has to offer if you shoot 14-bit RAW, although the resulting files will be larger than a compressed JPEG file. Personally, I am happy with that tradeoff, although your situation may differ. Certainly, a number of photographers who shoot with the Nikon D5600 will be happier with JPEG photos, since it is a more familiar file type that does not require editing in post-processing software to look good. (See more at RAW vs JPEG.)
Last, the most important steps to improve your image quality have nothing to do with the camera itself, but are entirely about your technique. The Nikon D5600 is capable of wall-sized prints with impeccable levels of detail, but you need to use it right.
With that out of the way, how does the Nikon D5600 stand up against other cameras on the market? Those comparisons are what we will cover in the next section of this review.
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