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Canon M5 vs Nikon D5600

The Canon EOS M5 and the Nikon D5600 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2016 and November 2016. The M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D5600 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon M5 VS Nikon D5600
Canon M5 Nikon D5600
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF-M mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25600 ISO 100-25600
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.2" LCD, 1620k dots 3.2" LCD, 1037k dots
Tilting touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
9 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
295 shots per battery charge970 shots per battery charge
116 x 89 x 61 mm, 427 g 124 x 97 x 70 mm, 465 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M5 and the Nikon D5600? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon M5 and the Nikon D5600 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D5600 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the M5 is only available in black.

Size Canon M5 vs Nikon D5600
Compare M5 versus D5600 top
Comparison M5 or D5600 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5600 is notably larger (17 percent) than the Canon M5. Moreover, the D5600 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the M5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M5 nor the D5600 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the M5 gets 295 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the D5600 can take 970 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14a power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon M5» 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 iCanon M5
 
Nikon D5600« 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 n Nov 2016 699 iNikon D5600
 
Canon M50« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.8 oz 235 n Feb 2018 779 iCanon M50
 
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 iCanon 77D
 
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779iCanon M6
 
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499iCanon M100
 
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549iCanon SL2
 
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679iCanon M3
 
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499iCanon M10
 
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749iCanon T6i
 
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649iCanon T6s
 
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499iNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899iNikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799iNikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599iNikon D3200
 
Nikon D5200« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 500 n Nov 2012 749iNikon D5200
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D5600 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 29 percent) than the M5, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D5600 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (M5) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M5 and Nikon D5600 sensor measures

Even though the D5600 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the D5600 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the M5), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. The two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D5600 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The M5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS M5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The Nikon D5600 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

M5 versus D5600 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the D5600 has a markedly higher DXO score than the M5 (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and -0 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684Nikon D5600
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........Canon M50
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........Canon M6
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883Nikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181Nikon D3200
 
Nikon D5200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484Nikon D5200

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the M5 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D5600 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M5, the Nikon D5600, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n Canon M5
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5600
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Canon M50
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n Canon M6
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n Canon M100
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Canon M3
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n Canon M10
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D3200
 
Nikon D5200optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5200
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The Nikon D5600 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M5 and the D5600 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS M5 and Nikon D5600 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYNikon D5600
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYCanon M50
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3200
 
Nikon D5200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5200

Both the M5 and the D5600 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The D5600 replaced the earlier Nikon D5500, while the M5 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M5 or the Nikon D5600 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M5:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1037k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (116x89mm vs 124x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D5600:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (970 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (29 percent cheaper at launch).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D5600 comes out slightly ahead of the M5 (8 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

M5 07:08 D5600

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M5 and the Nikon D5600 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M5 or the D5600 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon M5+82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 iCanon M5
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 iNikon D5600
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779 iCanon M50
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 iCanon 77D
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779iCanon M6
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499iCanon M100
 
Canon SL2+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549iCanon SL2
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679iCanon M3
 
Canon M10......o4/5 Oct 2015 499iCanon M10
 
Canon T6i..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749iCanon T6i
 
Canon T6s+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649iCanon T6s
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499iNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899iNikon D5500
 
Nikon D5300+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799iNikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200+ +73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599iNikon D3200
 
Nikon D5200+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749iNikon D5200
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon M5:
Check Amazon price
Nikon D5600:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon M5 vs Nikon D5600

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M5 Nikon D5600
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2016 November 2016
    Launch Price USD 979 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon M5 Nikon D5600
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 7 EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 77 84
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.4 24.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.4 14.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1262 1306
    Screen Specs Canon M5 Nikon D5600
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification .. x 0.57x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 1620k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M5 Nikon D5600
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingNo Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon M5 Nikon D5600
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon M5 Nikon D5600
    Battery Type LP-E17 EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)295 shots per charge970 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 116 x 89 x 61 mm
    (4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
    124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 427 g (15.1 oz) 465 g (16.4 oz)

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