Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600

Started Nov 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
D Knisely
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

anirbana wrote:

I ruled out a D800 as a replacement for my destroyed D700 due to physical size and the processing overhead of 36 MPixel files (I downloaded and processed a number of files, and it is agonizing on my current systems).  Also, U1/U2 + smaller size/weight makes the D600 ideal for me, almost regardless of the other drawbacks.  For the record, my main D600 drawbacks are:

- THE ONLY SIGNIFICANT LIMITATION FOR ME:  No built-in viewfinder blind.  That turns out to be way more important than I realized.  It is just plain very inconvenient for landscape/tripod work.

Minor drawbacks:

- Writing to both cards simultaneously (mirroring) seems to happen serially, and it limits the RAW buffer to only 4 shots with slow-ish cards.  I will have to purchase expensive very high speed cards and try it.

- Grip is slightly less comfortable vs. D700/800.  This is highly personal.

- AF-ON button (re-purposed AE-L button) is about 1 cm too far to the left for my thumb.  Much better than D7000, but not as good as the dedicated Dx00 AF-ON button location.

1. Max shutter speed of 1/4000. I know that with most photographers very few shots are taken above that speed. I know the limitation. My question is can it be overcome using ISO 50 and not ISO 100 in very bright sunlight? Does ISO 50 come with its own issues as it is not a real base ISO? I tend to think this as a simple solution, but the net is full of rant on the lack of a faster shutter speed on D600 when most cameras that are compared with have either 100 or 200 as base ISO . What are the other ways to overcome this limitation?

I have never encountered an issue.  Base ISO of 100 makes this equivalently "good" compared to the D700, and ISO 50 seems to have almost no negative consequences in my experience so far.  So, I'm really 1 stop up on the D700.

2. Flash sync speed of 1/200th of a second. I have read most Canons have it at 1/160 th or 1/180th of a second, but since the DX D7000/D300S and all other Nikon FX offers 1/250th sync speed people are not happy with the D600. Nikon might have thought about differentiating consumer and pro in their FX lineup, but this seems like a silly point on their side too.

This would annoy me with studio lighting, which I do not use.  I am a strobist-type small flash + modifiers on the run shoots with lighting, and it hasn't bothered me so far.  But I was not trying to kill the sun.  The net for me is OK since 1/200th vs. 1/250th is not THAT big of a sacrifice.  I have not yet tested my triggers to verify that I can actually use 1/200th (I normally needed to use 1/200th on the D700 anyway to get reliable sync with my remotes).

However, with the D600 nikon has decoupled Flash Exp comp with the Camera exp compensation just like Canon does and the only other Nikon camera that has this feature is the D4. My question is can this feature be used to overcome the max sync speed limitation on the D600 to a certain extent, by underexposing the ambient? If yes, how effective would that be?

This feature is great from a usability point of view!  This is so much more logical.  However, it won't help offset the 1/200th second sync limitation.

3. Aperture control in movie mode- I know there is no way to overcome this other than a firmware update (that too subjected to hardware design). Is there any hope on Firmware side?

I don't do movie mode, but the limitation applies in LiveView preview for stills as well.  I have to admit, that I don't use LiveView for DoF preview, but use it extensively for focus and composition on tripod.  I can deal with it, but it would be nice to be able to adjust on the fly.  Not a significant issue for me.

I don't do video, but I'm skeptical that videographers really need to change the aperture during movie preview all that much!  Video is usually so much more planned and pre-configured that it seems like this is the least of your worries.  But, I don't do video.

4. AF-ON - I see the AF-On button is missing and most D600 users has programmed the AF-AE lock button to AF-ON. My question is is it possible to programme any other button with AE-AF lock?

I am a 100% AF-ON shooter, and the D600 is fine (if not quite perfect).  I have found enough programmable buttons to get everything I need through direct access.  Contrary to a lot of commenters, I love the ISO button location and operation (you can change ISO and turn Auto-ISO on/off instantly, and the corner location makes it a muscle memory task).  I also like the new AF-mode control on the front.

I can still have AE-L and spot metering on the two front buttons in my main shooting configuration, and that is sufficient.  Bracketing, ISO, AF modes, etc. are all still available on dedicated buttons.

Thoughts and ideas appreciated. No dust or oil comments please. Please feel free to add additional limitations with hints on how it can be overcome partly or fully.

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