You probably do not need full frame. But you want it. It’s a dark object of your desires, the reason why you keep returning to review websites at 2 a.m. and drool over bokehlicious cat samples on Flickr… If you recognized yourself in previous description, you have probably suffered from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) which can be fatal for your wallet and marriage peace. Luckily, I’m not married.
Now to be serious; D600 is actually really a camera you want to have. What’s not to like about 24 megapixel full frame sensor inside a feature-stuffed and relatively cheap DSLR? Smaller sensors still cannot quite match full-frame high ISO noise performance, dynamic range and especially shallow DOF.
Nikon D600 SPECS:
- Announced: 2012.
- Type: DSLR
- Dimensions: 141 x 113 x 82 mm
- Weight: 850 (with battery)
- Sensor: CMOS, 24 MP (6016 x 4016 pixels)
- ISO range: Native 100 – 6,400, Extended 50 – 25,600
- Image stabilization: No
- Dust and moisture protection: Yes
- Flashlight: hot-shoe + pop-up flash
- Continuous shooting: 5.5 fps
- LCD screen: 3.2″, 921,000 dots
- Memory card: SDXC x2
- Battery: Li-Ion EN-EL15
- Video: 1920 x 1080 @ 30, 25, 24 fps, 1280 x 720 @ 60, 50, 30, 25 fps
- Connectors: USB 2.0, mini HDMI, 3,5mm mic input, 3,5 mm headphone output, GPS
CONSTRUCTION AND HANDLING
Although Nikon D600 has a full frame sensor, it is a smaller camera than D800 or D700. Button layout is more similar to APS-C sized D7000; as is the case with overall felling and grip shape. Most users will find it excellent, but I would like to see more protruded grip like on Canon 6D (just a personal preference). D600 has also a traditional mode dial with lock function (D800 has Mode button).
D600 has lost a few buttons compared to its bigger brother – the D800: separate AEL, AF-ON buttons and metering switch, but I found I could live without them just fine.
Another feature which makes D600 more appealing than Canon 6D or Sony A99 is a built-in pop-up flash. Yes, it’s always better to use separate flash, but I like to have this one just in case. It is possible to wirelessly control other Nikon flash units with built-in one – a very important detail.
NIKON D600 VIEWFINDER
Viewfinder is large and bright and offers 100% frame coverage. It can show a framing grid and has a virtual horizon options. Sadly, viewfinder has only single-axis electronic level and uses EV status line as a guide. In live-view mode D600 offers proper dual-axis electronic level. Nikon D800 has better implementation of electronic levels – separate indicators at the bottom and right side of viewfinder.
LCD has a standard 3.2″ diagonal and 921,000 dots. There is nothing to complain here; it is clear and sharp. It’s still not tiltable though; that would be a welcomed addition.
24 megapixel sensor is one of the best on the market. I found it perfectly usable up to ISO 6400, colors and dynamic range are excellent, and there’s a lot of headroom in RAW for both shadow lifting and highlight pull-back.
Auto ISO implementation is the same as on other Nikon cameras. There is an option to choose maximum ISO and minimum shutter speed. If shutter speed is left to “Auto”, D600 will choose its own values depending on focal length of the lens attached. Auto ISO is available even in manual mode.
Native ISO range is 100 – 6,400, but it can be extended to 50 (Low 1) or up to 25,600 (High 2).
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