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Nikon D600 Review

Nikon D600 Review
0
Review / 07/24/2014
Author: Photoleet avatarPhotoleet
recommendations 1, rating 4


 

 

 

TIMELINE

 

Not so long ago, at times it seemed that the 35mm cameras outside the high-end class would gradually yield before the invasion of the "fancy" APS-C DSLRs of all relevant manufacturers, and that impression was additionally intensified after the market had been aggressively attacked by the so called MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) systems, which additionally messed up the calculation.. And, of course, the actual situation indicated such a trend – why would anyone want a big, heavy system, when one could get an easier, more portable and inconspicuous system of an equal potential? But is that quite so?

If we are to judge by the recent events in the photo industry, still the leading duo, Nikon and Canon, disagree on that! As a support to their claims that the main driving force of the progress in the upcoming period should be 35mm full-frame cameras, they decided to refresh their supply with a new concept – a full-frame sensor in the body of an entry level camera. The new class should stand for that which Canon's Rebel has been representing for years in the lower class of APS-C DSLRs – a cheap, small camera, with relatively modest pretensions, but with an excellent sensor and a potential that classifies it as something more than a déclassé. And all that after they, under the apparent pressure, presented their idea of the “mirrorless” systems with interchangeable lenses. Is that only a reflection of meager ambitions towards the MILC concept or serves to buy some time for future undertakings, is a question for another occasion, and we will focus on the cameras of the newly established class of DSLRs, that will be used by the leading duo to encourage the uncertain ones to go to the next level, even if they cannot afford to spend enormous amounts of money. For, if we are to believe in the announcements (that will prove to be true) – one could have never bought a 35mm camera for less money than now! 

And here we are, we are currently testing the first models from this class. The first one is Nikon D600, and the next in line is Canon EOS 6D.

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

The list of specifications is the only truly unique mark of every camera. However, it doesn't always encompass everything. Furthermore, it usually can’t demonstrate the most important of a camera, but it is nevertheless a mandatory reference for comparing cameras from different generations, and for the comparison of rival models. Let us have a look at the specifications of Nikon D600 compared to the rival Canon EOS 6D:

 

 

Nikon D600

Canon EOS 6D

Announced January 13, 2012 September 12, 2012
Type DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex)
Sensor 24 MP Sony CMOS, 3:2 aspect ratio;
Full-frame 35.9 x 24mm (8.62 cm²)
Pixel density 2.81 MP/cm²
20.2 MP Canon CMOS, 3:2 aspect ratio;
Full-frame 36 x 24mm (8.64 cm²)
Pixel density 2.34 MP/cm²
Formats RAW (NEF) and JPEG RAW (CR2), TIFF and JPEG
Resolution RAW

6016 x 4016

5472 x 3648; 4104 x 2736; 2736 x 1824
Resolution JPEG

FX (3:2): 6016 x 4016; 4512 x 3008; 3008 x 2008;

DX (3:2): 3936 x 2624; 2944 x 1968; 1968 x 1312

5472 x 3648; 3648 x 2432; 2736 x 1824; 1920 x 1280; 720 x 480
FOV (crop factor) 1.0x
Mount

Nikon F

Canon EF
ISO range

100 - 6400 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV increments,

extended - L1.0 (50), L0.7 (64), L0.3 (80), H0.3 (8000), H0.7 (10000), H1.0 (12800) and H2.0 (25600)

100 – 25600 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV increments,

extended – L (50), H1 (51200), H2 (102400)

Processor Nikon Expeed 3 Canon Digic 5+
A/D Convertor 14-bit
Color Space Adobe RGB, sRGB
In-body Stabilization N/A
Electronic Level System

Virtual Horizon in two axes and both orientations;

LV and OVF

Electronic Level in one axis; only in horizontal orientation;

LV and OVF

Dust Reduction

Image Sensor Cleaning;

Software Image DustOff reference

EOS Integrated Cleaning Unit;

Software Dust Delete Data

AF System

Multi-CAM 4800FX Phase Detection;

39 AF points, 9 cross-type, 7 central sensitive to f/8;

operational range -1 to +19 EV

TTL-SIR 11 AF points, the central is cross-type to f/5.6;

the central is double sensitive;

operational range -3 to +18 EV

AF Modes

Single-servo AF (AF-S);

Continuous-servo AF (AF-C);

Auto AF (AF-A)

One-shot AF;

Al Servo AF;

Al Focus

AF Methods

Auto; Single; Dynamic Area AF (9; 21; 39)

3D-Tracking

Auto; Single

AF-Assist Internal AF flash strobe, external flashgun External flashgun
AF Micro Adjustment For 12 lenses in ±20 increments For 40 lenses in ±20 increments
Internal flash Yes; GN12 at ISO 100, compensation -3 to +1 EV N/A
Wireless Flash Control Yes, for i-TTL compatible flashes N/A
Flashgun

i-TTL Hot-Shoe & sync, synchronization 1/200;

compensation -3 to +1 EV

e-TTL II Hot-Shoe & sync, synchronization 1/180;

compensation -3 to +3 EV

Light Metering

2016-pixel TTL RGB sensor

63-Zone Dual Layer TTL

Light Metering Modes 3D Color Matrix Metering III;
Center-weighted (75% at the center of the frame);
Spot (~1.5% at the center);

Evaluative;

Partial (8% at the center of the frame);

Center-weighted Average;

Spot (~3.5% at the center of the frame)

Min Shutter Speed 30 seconds, bulb
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s
Drive Modes

Single; Continuous-Low; Continuous-High; Self-Timer; Mirror-Up

Single; Continuous; Silent-Single; Silent-Continuous; Self-Timer; Mirror-Lockup

Burst 5.5 fps
Shutter 150,000 actuations 100,000 actuations
Buffer

16 RAW, 57 JPEG or 20 RAW+JPEG images in FX;

38 RAW, 100 JPEG or 30 RAW+JPEG images in DX

17 RAW, 73 JPEG or 8 RAW+JPEG
Exposure Compensation -5 to +5 EV in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV increments
Viewfinder

Optical, pentaprism, 100% frame coverage; 0.7x magnification factor; eyepoint 17mm

Optical, pentaprism, 97% frame coverage; 0.71x magnification factor; eyepoint 21mm; Eg-A II focusing screen (interchangeable)

Internal Processing

Active D-Lighting; HDR; Processing and developing RAW

Auto Lighting Optimizer; HDR and developing RAW

Display

Fixed, 3.2“ TFT-LCD, 3:2 aspect ratio, 921,000 pixel resolution, with a light sensor

Fixed, 3.2“ TFT-LCD, 3:2 aspect ratio, 1,040,000 pixel resolution

Live View

Yes, 100% coverage;

Image sensor metering

Live View AF

Contrast Detection (CDAF);

Single-Servo AF (AF-S); Fulltime-Servo AF (AF-F)

FlexiZone-Single; Face-Detection; Quick-AF

Video

1920 x 1080 @24/25/30 fps;

1280 x 720 @25/30/50/60 fps;

640 x 424 @24 fps

1920 x 1080 @24/25/30 fps;

1280 x 720 @50/60 fps;

640 x 480 @25/30 fps

Remote Control Yes, 10-pin remote connector; IC port Yes, N3 connector; IC port
Wi-Fi

N/A

Yes; Remote control, transfer of images and preview on Wi-Fi/DLNA and smartphone devices; Remote LV; Print

GPS Optional, with Nikon GP-1A adapter

Yes, geotagging and logging the route

Storage Dual slot Secure Digital (SD) Secure Digital (SD)
Interface

USB; HDMI Type-C; Stereo 3.5mm microphone input; Stereo 3.5mm audio output; GPS/Remote

Combined USB/AV-out; HDMI Type-C; Stereo 3.5mm microphone input; N3 Remote

Weather and Dust Sealing Yes
Battery EN-EL15 Li-Ion, 1900mAh LP-E6 Li-Ion, 1800mAh
Battery Endurance (CIPA) ~900 ~1090
Grip MB-D14 for one EN-EL15 or 6 AA Ni-Mh batteries Canon BG-E13 for two LP-E6 batteries or 6 AA Ni-Mh batteries
Body

Body made of magnesium alloy and plastic;

141 x 113 x 82 mm; 850 g

Body made of magnesium alloy and plastic;

145 x 111 x 72 mm; 755 g

Technical characteristics: Nikon D600 compared to Canon EOS 6D

 

The first impressions definitely lead to a conclusion that the D600 is not even closely "mangled" as the first rumors assumed. Especially not to the extent that the red pen was used with the rival EOS 6D. Sure, something had to be sacrificed in order to place the camera in a lower-price-range, and to still offer a 35mm sensor. However, the most important thing was left unharmed, and that is – the sensor. AF system was taken from the D7000, instead from a cheaper model; there is also an excellent display, remarkable speed, a high-definition video, and a built-in AF motor with a screwdriver, as a support for older AF lenses without their own motor! One could say – no room for remarks. Let us have a more detailed look...

 

PACKAGE

 

If we disregard the obvious model label, the package is identical to the most other Nikon DSLRs:

 

Nikon D600, content of the basic “body only” package

 

Content of the box depends on the package offered, and there are two options with Nikon D600. The basic option includes only the body, and the kit variant is delivered in somewhat bigger box, with a new AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens. The basic package, which we tested, besides the body with a bayonet cover, contains the following elements: EN-EL15 Li-Ion battery with MH-25 charger and a AC/DC cable; AN-DC8 wide strap; USB cable; BS-1 Hot-Shoe cover; BM-14 protective display cover; DK-5 eyepiece shield; the usual accompanying disk with ViewNX application for browsing and basic conversion of RAW shots, and a disk with a digital user manual.