Nikon D600 – Affordable Full-Frame

In September 2012 just before the Photokina 2012 show, Nikon announced the Nikon D600, the cheapest full-frame DSLR. This budget full-frame is a combination of specs from both D800 and D7000, being positioned just between these two.

Let’s punch out the main features of this new-comer.

In terms of looks, D600 looks and feels pretty much like a semi-pro DSLR. Smaller and lighter then D800 but larger the D7000,  the D600 measures 141 x 113 x 82mm and weighs 850g with the battery and card in place. For the sake of comparison, the equivalent from Canon, the Canon EOS 6D measures 145 x 111 x 71mm and weighs 755g. The grip is smaller than D800’s but nevertheless is a pleasure to handle. The build is tough and will easily withstand a light rain, dust and/or humidity. The controls on the back are pretty similar to the ones on the D800.

The viewfinder is as big as the one on D800, humongous compared to any DX camera. Compared to D7000 the autofocus points are squeezed in a much smaller area.

The menu system is pretty much like any other Nikon DSLR but there are some features that will make the difference. There are two programmable presets on the camera U1 and U2 which customize the camera for any needs. These preset modes can be switched between just by rotating the left top switch. Other features worth mentioning are the enhanced Auto ISO and the Exposure Delay (with up to 3 seconds delay) mode initially implemented on D800.

With regards to sensor performance the D600 has been “blessed” with the marvelous 24.3Mp FX sensor. Based on some certain reviews and comparisons this sensor comes in second after the D800’s but a little better than D4’s which says a lot about D600’s performance.

The D600 is available body only or as a kit with the AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G ED VR zoom lens which will add-up to the weight.

The D600 has a new metering system which uses a 2016 pixel sensor and scene recognition to help determine the correct exposure. The shutter speed range runs between 1/4000 and 30 seconds, the same as the EOS 6D. The D600 borrowed also the bracketing button  which controls exposure, flash, Active D-lighting or white balance bracketing depending on the custom menu setup. There’s also a new Quiet shooting mode and an HDR option lifted from the consumer line where two exposures up to 3EV apart are combined into a single image in an attempt to boost dynamic range.

The Nikon D600 can shoot at 5.5 frames per second, which is pretty impressive compared to 5 f/s of D7000, 4 f/s of D800 (but with 36.3Mp files) and 4.5 f/s of Canon 6D and also considering that it has 24Mp of information to process.
The D600 can film 1080p at 24, 25 or 30fps, 720p at 25, 30, or 50fps, offering full manual control over the exposure, letting you record for almost 60 min. Packs an external microphone jack and headphone socket for monitoring and features uncompressed HDMI output (8 bit, 4:2:2), allowing you to connect a larger and more detailed monitor, or capture the feed with a higher quality external recorder.

Bottom-line, with the second best sensor in the world, with a lot of features borrowed from its older brothers D800 and D7000 but at a considerably lower cost,  D600 is a quite impressive piece of technology that will have a numerous fun-club. To put it another way, Nikon produced another winner.

Nikon D600 - Source


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