Nikon D600 Review: Full Frame, Full Features, Smaller Size
Digital Camera Review
23 February 2013
Summary: Conclusion The Nikon D600's release (along with that of the Canon 6D) has made full-frame shooting available to a broader market than ever before. This is particularly important for Nikon users since photographers with DX cameras don't have to buy new lenses when stepping up to the D600.
Pros: Excellent image quality, Full feature set, Dual SD card slots, Good performance, especially given its 24 megapixel sensor, Trickle down features from the D800, e.g., advanced video options
Cons: Slow AF in Live View, Smaller AF coverage (compared to D800), Dual SD card slots vs. CF/SD, Wi-Fi and
Conclusion: This is hands-down one of the best DSLRs we’ve ever tested. Picture quality is simply great, with accurate colors that really pop. You can enlarge a nicely exposed shot 100 percent and spend hours pixel-peeping, appreciating all the detail. Noise is barely an issue even at levels like ISO 6400. Toss in first-rate autofocus, metering, and response and you have a serious package in your hands. Is it perfect?
Pros: Outstanding stills with lush “analog” feel, Excellent low-light shooting, As sophisticated, flexible as you want it to be
Cons: Even “affordable” full-frame cameras are still very expensive, Heavy, bulky, Delivers quality movies but not the finest available
Summary: The D600 is Nikon's first 'affordable' full frame DSLR. This puts it in a pivotal position in the Nikon line-up. In one sense it's a pared back verson of the D800, in another it's an upscaled version of the D7000. One thing's for certain: it's going to be a very attractive proposition for both existing D800 and D4 owners looking for
a back-up body as well as for aspiring amateurs for whom full frame digital photography is now just about within reach.
Pros: 24.3 Megapixel FX CMOS sensor., 39-point AF with 9 cross-type sensors., 5.5fps full-frame continuous shooting., Compatible with DX lenses., 1080p30 and uncompressed HDMI out., Built-in AF motor for non AF-S lenses.
Cons: Resolution drops to 10.5 MPix in DX mode., No exposure control during movie recording., Bracketing limited to 3 frames., Wifi and GPS are separate accessories.
Summary: For many photographers, Nikon has it the sweet spot with the D600 - a perfect blend of size, image quality, performance and price. Virtually identical in size to the D7000, the D600 is noticeably smaller than any other full-frame DSLR we've seen, yet still feels well-made and comfortable to hold. The full-frame chip that they've managed to squeeze into it delivers excellent results, with the level of detail, noise performance and colour reproduction really impressing.
Conclusion: It's a pity the Nikon D600's larger sensor commands such a price premium over the Nikon D7000, but assuming it sees the kind of price reductions that the D800 has undergone, we're in for a treat.
Summary: The Nikon D600 brings full frame functionality to the masses along with dual SD card slots and 100% viewfinder coverage. Image quality at high ISO sensitivities is outstanding and a wealth of customization options enables quick access to shooting controls.
Pros: Outstanding low and high ISO performance in both JPEG and Raw files, High quality JPEG images at default settings, Wide dynamic range Raw files, Consistently pleasing metering and white balance results, Very solid build quality and good ergonomics / handling, Fast, responsive camera when adjusting settings, Weather-sealing comparable to higher priced D800, Dual SD card slots, Built-in flash can act as Commander for multi-flash setups, Comprehensive camera customizatio...
Cons: Small coverage area of AF array compared to its peers, Slow AF in live view and video modes (but good compared to its DSLR competitors), Rear LCD prone to glare in bright sunlight, despite new design, Uncompressed video output over HDMI is not full frame, with black borders around image area *, No 'live' aperture control in live view or video mode, Sensor appears unusually prone to dust spots, No histogram in live view, When shooting in live view, rear screen is black...
Summary: The D800's little bro packs most of the same awesomeness, but with a more manageable number of megapixels and a more palatable price. On paper there's a ton of power per pound, with that 24.3MP full-frame sensor, a built-in flash, dual SD card slots, 39-point autofocus, 5.5fps continuous shooting... The list goes on and on, so it's clear that Nikon wasn't pulling any punches with the D600.
Summary: Buy this camera if: - You want images with a wide dynamic range. - You want relatively noise-free high ISO settings. - You’re prepared to shoot and edit both JPEG and NEF.RAW images. - You need a DSLR that can produce broadcast quality video. - You have a suite of high-quality Nikkor lenses. - You're upgrading from a consumer level DSLR and want a full-frame camera with a similar user interface.
Pros: You want images with a wide dynamic range., You want relatively noise-free high ISO settings., You’re prepared to shoot and edit both JPEG and NEF.RAW images., You need a DSLR that can produce broadcast quality video., You have a suite of high-quality Nikkor lenses., You're upgrading from a consumer level DSLR and want a full-frame camera with a similar user interface. Buy this camera if:, You want images with a wide dynamic range., You want relatively noise-free high...
Cons: You require a tough, weather-resistant camera body., You need high continuous shooting speeds. Don’t buy this camera if:, You require a tough, weather-resistant camera body., You need high continuous shooting speeds.
Conclusion: The D600 isn't perfect, and perhaps this is because it's a blend of so much from two distinctly different camera markets - pro and enthusiast. Certain elements of the camera feel clunky, but then you're dazzled by the blistering performance elsewhere. Put these grumbles aside and what you've got is a truly impressive DSLR, which for a reasonable price offers exceptional image quality.