Preparing the Nikon D5600 Camera for Initial Use

By Julie Adair King

After unpacking your Nikon D5600 camera, you have to assemble a few parts. In addition to the camera body and the supplied battery (be sure to charge it before the first use), you need a lens and a memory card. Here’s what you need to know up front:

  • Lens: You can mount a wide range of lenses on your D5600, but some aren’t compatible with all camera features. For example, to enjoy autofocusing, you need an AF-P or AF-S lens. (The 18–55mm lens featured in this book and sold in a kit with the D5600 body is an AF-P lens.) The camera’s instruction manual offers details about lens compatibility. (The full manual is available online at the Nikon Download Center.)

    The AF in AF-S and AF-P stands for autofocus. The S in AF-S stands for a silent wave focusing motor; the P refers to an autofocusing technology known as a “stepping motor.” Both are designed to deliver faster and quieter autofocusing. How you implement autofocusing differs between the two types, however.

  • SD (Secure Digital) memory card: Your camera accepts only this type of card. Most SD cards carry the designation SDHC (for High Capacity) or SDXC (for eXtended Capacity), depending on how many gigabytes (GB) of data they hold. SDHC cards hold from 4GB to 32GB of data; the SDXC moniker is assigned to cards with capacities greater than 32GB.

With camera, lens, battery, and card within reach, take these steps:

  1. Turn the camera off.
  2. Install the battery into the compartment on the bottom of the camera.
  3. Attach a lens.

    First, remove the caps that cover the front of the camera and the back of the lens. Then align the mounting index (white dot) on the lens with the one on the camera body, as shown here. After placing the lens on the camera mount, rotate the lens toward the shutter-button side of the camera. You should feel a solid click as the lens locks into place.

    nikon-white-dot
    Align the white dot on the lens with the one on the camera body.
  4. Insert a memory card.

    Open the card-slot cover on the right side of the camera and orient the card as shown (the label faces the back of the camera). Push the card gently into the slot and close the cover. The memory-card access light, labeled in the figure, illuminates briefly to let you know that the camera recognizes the card.

    nikon-memory-card
    Insert the memory card with the label facing the back of the camera.
  5. Rotate the monitor to the desired viewing position.

    When you first take the camera out of its box, the monitor is positioned with the screen facing inward, protecting it from scratches and smudges. Gently lift the right side of the monitor up and away from the camera back. You can then rotate the monitor to move it into the traditional position on the camera back, as shown on the left, or swing the monitor out to get a different viewing angle, as shown on the right.

    nikon-monitor-positions
    Here are just two possible monitor positions.
  6. Turn on the camera.
  7. Set the language, time zone, and date.

    When you power up the camera for the first time, you can’t do anything until you take this step.

    The easiest way to adjust the settings is to use the touchscreen, which is enabled by default. To select an option or display a menu of settings, just tap it on the screen, just as you do with any touchscreen device. If you see an OK symbol in the lower-right corner of the screen, tap it to finalize your selection and return to the previous screen. To exit a screen without making changes, tap the exit arrow shown in the upper-right corner of the screen.

    If you prefer, you also can use the Multi Selector and OK button to navigate menus.

  8. Adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight.

    This step is critical; if you don’t set the viewfinder to your eyesight, subjects that appear out of focus in the viewfinder might actually be in focus, and vice versa. If you wear glasses while shooting, adjust the viewfinder with your glasses on.

    You set viewfinder focus by rotating the adjustment dial. After taking off the lens cap and making sure that the camera is turned on, look through the viewfinder and press the shutter button halfway. In dim lighting, the flash may pop up. Ignore it for now and concentrate on the row of data that appears at the bottom of the viewfinder screen. Rotate the dial until that data appears sharpest. The markings in the center of the viewfinder, which relate to autofocusing, also become more or less sharp. Ignore the scene you see through the lens; that won’t change because you’re not actually focusing the camera. When you finish, press down on the flash unit to close it if necessary.

    nikon-focus
    Rotate this dial to set the viewfinder focus for your eyesight.
  9. If using a retractable lens, unlock and extend the lens.

    The lens barrels of AF-P kit lenses, as well as some AF-S lenses, extend and retract. When you’re not shooting, you can retract the lens so that it takes up less space in your camera bag. But before you can take a picture or even access most camera menu items, you must unlock and extend the lens. A message appears on the monitor to remind you of this step.

    To extend the lens, press the lens lock button, highlighted here, while rotating the lens barrel toward the shutter-button side of the camera. To retract the lens, press the button while rotating the lens in the other direction.

    nikon-lens-lock
    If using a retractable lens, press the lens lock button while rotating the lens barrel to extend and retract the lens.

    That’s all there is to it — your camera is now ready to go.