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Canon SL3 vs Nikon D5600

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (called Canon 250D in some regions) and the Nikon D5600 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2019 and November 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that 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 SL3
versus
Nikon D5600
Canon SL3   Nikon D5600
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/25p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200) ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.2 LCD, 1037k dots
Swivel touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
1070 shots per battery charge970 shots per battery charge
122 x 93 x 70 mm, 449 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 Rebel SL3 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SL3 and the Nikon D5600. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SL3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the D5600 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, red).

Size Canon SL3 vs Nikon D5600
Compare SL3 versus D5600 top
Comparison SL3 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 (6 percent) than the Canon SL3. Moreover, the D5600 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the SL3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL3 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (SL3) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5600).

Concerning battery life, the SL3 gets 1070 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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SL3 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 449 g 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
2.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
3.
 
Canon T8i 131 mm 103 mm 76 mm 515 g 800 n Feb 2020 749 i
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark II 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 387 g 305 n Oct 2020 599 i
5.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
6.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
7.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
8.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
9.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749i
10.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
11.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
12.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
14.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 470 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
15.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
16.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
17.
 
Nikon D5200 129 mm 98 mm 78 mm 555 g 500 n Nov 2012 749i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SL3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the D5600, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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 (SL3) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon SL3 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 SL3), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the SL3 is much more recent (by 2 years and 4 months) than the D5600, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 SL3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D5600 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

SL3 versus D5600 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon SL3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p23.913.4179182
2.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
3.
 
Canon T8i APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p24.013.5187383
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark II APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p24.013.6193983
5.
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p23.813.3168481
6.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p23.813.3168481
7.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
8.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
9.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.713.1158680
10.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
11.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
12.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
13.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
14.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
15.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
16.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
17.
 
Nikon D5200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SL3 provides a higher video resolution than the D5600. It can shoot video footage at 4K/25p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SL3 and the D5600 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D5600 has a higher magnification than the one of the SL3 (0.57x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SL3, the Nikon D5600, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Canon SL3optical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D5600optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T8ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.5 Y n
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark II2360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon M502360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T7optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon SL2optical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T7ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon SL1optical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
12.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D3400optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D5500optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D5300optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D3200optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D5200optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
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 Canon SL3 and the Nikon D5600 both have 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 SL3 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 Rebel SL3 and Nikon D5600 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SL3Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y-Y
2.
 
Nikon D5600Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
3.
 
Canon T8iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon M50Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Canon T7Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 77DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon SL2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon T7iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
10.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SL1Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D3400Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
14.
 
Nikon D5500Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
15.
 
Nikon D5300Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
16.
 
Nikon D3200Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D5200Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the SL3 and the D5600 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The D5600 replaced the earlier Nikon D5500, while the SL3 followed on from the Canon SL2. 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 what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SL3 and the Nikon D5600? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel SL3:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/25p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1070 versus 970) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D5600 launch.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5600:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.54x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in November 2016).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL3 comes out slightly ahead of the D5600 (6 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SL3 06:05 D5600

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SL3 and the Nikon D5600 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SL3 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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SL3..o4.5/579/1004/54/5 Apr 2019 599 i
2.
 
Nikon D56004/5..4/579/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
3.
 
Canon T8i4.5/5+3/580/1004/53.5/5 Feb 2020 749 i
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark II4/5..4/5..4.5/53.5/5 Oct 2020 599 i
5.
 
Canon M50..+4/579/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
6.
 
Canon T7..o....3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
7.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
8.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
9.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..3.5/580/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
10.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
11.
 
Canon SL14/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
12.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Nikon D34004/5+4/576/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
14.
 
Nikon D55005/5+..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
15.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
16.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
17.
 
Nikon D52004/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SL3:
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 SL3 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 SL3 Nikon D5600
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2019 November 2016
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon SL3 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 4K/25p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 8 EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 84
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 14.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1306
    Screen Specs Canon SL3 Nikon D5600
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.57x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SL3 Nikon D5600
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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 SL3 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 no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SL3 Nikon D5600
    Battery Type LP-E17 EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)1070 shots per charge970 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 93 x 70 mm
    (4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
    124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 449 g (15.8 oz) 465 g (16.4 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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