2012-09-28

Nikon D600 review


Working within the photography industry occasionally has its minor annoyances, such as constantly being asked about new cameras that have not yet even been announced. The rumours of the Nikon D600 have been developing for a long time, so it did not come as much of a surprise that Nikon chose to launch it at the biannual Photokina. With more than 1,250 exhibitors and 180,000 visitors it is the world’s largest photographic show, and a great place to launch any new product.

The D600 is the first full frame camera with a recommended price below £2,000 which, in my opinion can only be a good thing. It seems to have taken a long time for full frame cameras to get to a “reasonable” price point, and unlike the early days of APS-C cameras when the Canon D60 was undercut by the 10D within a year, full frame cameras have been slow to drop in the same fashion.

Nikon certainly haven’t been pulling any punches in the last few years and have been slowly clawing back fans after the fairly ill received D2H, and the below par low light performance of the D2X, the last few generations of Nikon camera have been a breath of fresh air.

With every recent generation, Nikon have been refining the body of their cameras, the D600 has the unmistakable look of the D7000. Underneath this sleek exterior it shares many features with the D800. As the camera is marketed towards the enthusiast /hobbyist the camera is the first full frame from Nikon to feature the “Auto” mode, somewhat looked down upon by hardened pro’s. This feature has always been available in previous cameras, but requires some changes to the menu which may have gone unnoticed by many amateurs.

This is indicative of most of the camera, the Nikon D600 Digital SLR shares much of the design and size of the D7000, and in hand a similar grip to the D800, whilst it lacks the solid metal feel and weight which I previously thought made it reassuringly heavy, now the D800 feels somewhat bulky in comparison. Although the camera would be a little front heavy with a 24-70mm, it balances extremely well with a prime lens or lower end zoom like the 24-85mm. Some may find the camera a little big, personally the camera suits me, but I’ve always been happy with the size of Pro cameras.

 The autofocus is fast and accurate, but maybe not quite as punchy as the D800 - however due to sharing the same processor and smaller file size (due to the lower number of pixels) the D600 boast a greater continuous shooting rate over its big brother.

For a professional this would certainly make a great back up, the image quality is unsurprisingly excellent, but due to the lack of metal chassis I would question its long term durability in comparison to the D800. For its target market I find it hard to fault, in a perfect world I would have liked built in WIFI and GPS (like the new Canon EOS 6D).

Likes
Lock button to stock you changing modes by knocking the top dial
Dedicated Live view button
Same battery as D7000 & D800
Dual Card Slots

Dislikes
Small viewfinder (compared to other Nikon FF Cameras)
Dedicated picture control button
Lack of built in WiFi and GPS
I can’t afford one

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