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Nikon states that I should use either a UC-E17 or a UC-E6 USB cable with my D5200, and I'm not sure which to choose. Some sellers claim that the UC-E6 replaces the UC-E17, others that their cable is both and UC-E16.

What are the differences between those cables ?

  • I'd go with what Nikon says. In a superficial search I didn't find any technical details on the differences (if any) between these cables. There is a formal specification for USB cables, so I'm guessing that Nikon is playing a bit loose with the term. Otherwise they wouldn't have that plethora of "USB" cables. – Pete Becker Jul 19 '18 at 12:10
  • I don't know, but keep in mind that a cable that replaces another may not necessarily be different in any way whatsoever. It replaces the first cable in that you lost the first one (for example) and the replacement just takes its place. Personally, I would buy the cheapest one of either code that I could find. It's just a data cable, to transfer data digitally. One isn't going to give you more correct data or something. – osullic Jul 19 '18 at 12:23
  • @osullic I had USB2/USB3 (i.e. transfer rate) in mind, but reading a bit more it seems the small end would be larger in USB3, so I doubt either version is USB3. – Skippy le Grand Gourou Jul 19 '18 at 12:45
  • check the specs for both cables, that will tell you the differences. Easy to do yourself, no need to wait for someone else to do it for you. – jwenting Jul 25 '18 at 6:43
  • @jwenting Thanks for this very useful input. Had I found the specs on a reliable website, I wouldn't have asked. – Skippy le Grand Gourou Jul 25 '18 at 9:35
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I can't speak to the differences between the UC-E17 and UC-E6 cables, but since both cables are stated by the manufacturer to be compatible with your camera, they must either have the same connectors or be close enough to be interchangeable. Looking at the Nikon store pages, it seems that the UC-E17 cable may have been discontinued, which may be why some sellers are listing the UC-E6 cable as its replacement.

The UC-E6 cable has a USB Type A connector at one end and a non-standard USB UC-E6 connector at the other. Your D5200 will be compatible with any cable that has these connectors.

It is possible that the two Nikon-brand cables could have been different lengths, which might have meant one would be easier to work with than the other, but non-branded cables may be available in several lengths. All other things being equal, I would pick the cable with the shortest length that I could practically work with. (I don't like leaving my camera balancing precariously somewhere just because the cable is a little too short to place it on a more stable surface.)

(One of the cables supporting USB3 transfer rates is another possibility in theory, but while USB Type A sockets and connectors are both forwards and backwards compatible, it's unclear whether there is a USB3 version of the proprietary UC-E6 and whether it would be compatible with USB2 devices.)

  • Actually I am thinking of at least two potential differences which, while ensuring compatibility, could have a significant impact in terms of usability : it could be that they simply have a different length, or one of the cable could be USB3 (which seems unlikely, though, since USB3 type-B connectors are usually larger). – Skippy le Grand Gourou Jul 19 '18 at 12:38
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    The UC-E6 doesn't have a mini USB Type-B connector, or it wouldn't be compatible with the Nikon D5200. It is a proprietary design (see this picture : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_(Physical)#/media/…). – Skippy le Grand Gourou Jul 19 '18 at 12:40
  • Apologies, I hadn't found a clear picture of the smaller connector to confirm it was a proprietary design rather than the mini USB type B. I was sure I'd used a standard mini USB cable with my D3300 which is listed as being compatible with the same cables as the D5200, but perhaps I was mistaken. – Kat Jul 19 '18 at 12:54
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Apparently the 2 cables are interchangeable. View this post by someone who tested both cables with different camera models.

http://sharadaprasad.com/post/507/

Hope that helps.

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While this is not a direct answer to the differences between the cables, I just wanted to add to what's already been said. I assume you want to use the cable to transfer photos/videos from the camera to some other device. Since your camera has USB2.0, you would be better served by getting an external card reader that utilizes USB3.0. The benefit here is that USB3.0 transfers data 10x faster than USB2.0.

In addition to the increased speed, you're less likely to have connectivity issues that commonly associated with using the camera to download data.

  • If the camera only has USB2.0, as your answer states, using USB3.0 will not be of any benefit whatsoever. – Michael C Jul 19 '18 at 22:06
  • @MichaelClark This is not what Frank is suggesting, he is advertising the use of a USB3 card reader instead of the camera. – Skippy le Grand Gourou Jul 20 '18 at 7:45
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    @Frank Actually this is not my use case, my laptops have builtin card readers. I want to experiment with direct capture. – Skippy le Grand Gourou Jul 20 '18 at 7:47

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