D700 users who have bought D600 - Thoughts and comments?

Started Dec 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: I'll just add my comments to the heap
In reply to Fred Mueller, Dec 20, 2012

Fred Mueller wrote:

700 pluses:

- Frames per second : With the MB d10, the 700 does 8 frames per second. This is a major reason why I will hang onto mine. It makes the 700 a credible sports shooting or fast action rig.

It does but unless I need the higher ISO of the D700, I use the D300 with MB D10 for this purpose.  AF points cover more of the image just as fast.

- The 700 tracks action better: Side by side there is no comparison really, The older 51 point system not only has more spread, but just returns more hits. I have not tried to quantify this, but I don't need to personally, it's obvious. For portraiture, the 51 point spread is just barely adequate in the 700 - (remember all the comments on how much better the 51 point spread was in the 300 by comparison when the 700 was released?). The bunched 39 points in the 600 are really kind of a joke. It is, for most purposes, a focus and recompose camera.

Hadn't thought about this but makes sense.  Not a major issue though because "focus and recompose" is my usual technique though adds an element of difficulty when you do are tracking something fast.  Sayi that, it is expected that the 51 point AF system of the D300/D700 is better.  You just confirmed it.

- Ergonomics: for me the button layout on the 600 is just too fiddly. I still fumble to find the AF area button on the front side of the camera, as well as the bracket button (I use a lot). While it is true that you can see AF adjustment in the viewfinder of the 600, with the 700 I can just "feel" it by switch position while the camera is at eye point , or just look at the position of the AF area switch to confirm its setting. You have to press a hard to find button to check the 600 - really bogus. And you can flick the AF area switch on the 700 in an instant. While the reprogramed AE-l/AF-L button works well as AF-on, but I would prefer to have the dedicated AF-on button of the 700 as well. The dual purpose of the ISO, QUAL, and WB buttons on the 600 makes those function buttons clumsy. Seems like a small detail, but if you are in picture review, you have to half-press the shutter, then press one of those three to get where you need to be. I prefer the single purpose buttons, and their position on the 700. I also find it clumsy to press the iso button on the 600 and roll the body enough to see the top lcd and then manipulate the wheels to make a setting - really awkward. Why can't there be a choice to have the rear lcd come on whenever you hit iso, qual, or WB on the 600? Finally, I prefer the mode button on the 700 to the locked mode dial on the 600.

There is no getting around it.  The D700 is built for speed and fast handling.  I like it but in truth, rarely am I presented with situations that I need/use it.  I am not a working pro.

- the 700 viewfinder is brighter and clearer or actually just sharper, not by a lot, but side by side, you can see it and this is one of the subtle qualities of the 700 that just make it feel more right

That is a surprise.  I would have expected the D600 to have the edge with the 100% viewfinder.  I will have to check when mine arrives.

- finally, you will notice the processing overhead 24 mix requires, and a well done 12 mix file, especially well done D700 files, have tons of detail. More is not always better or necessary.

but, 600 pluses:

- the D600 is quieter - this is a bigger deal than I thought it would be ... (check out the Canon 5D3 if you really want to be impressed - or the 3200 - or the Sonys). When I pick up the 700 now - ouch that's loud!

- far far better JPG output from the 600 - the 700 is, for me, a RAW shooter's body only. Its JPGs are just too contrasted in general, and throw away too much of the 700s still considerable dynamic range. When you turn on ADL in the 700, "contrast" and "brightness" are disabled in the pic style dialogs, where as now in the 600 they are still active - a big and unremarked difference. I am quite happy shooing JPGs with the 600 now in many less critical situations, or at least shooting RAW/JPG and finding I can just toss the RAWs. The 700 is just not there for me in this respect.

Valid point.  I can get decent jpg's from my D700 but to really get the look that I want, I have to PP.  But my reference point is different.  Prior to migrating to Nikon system, I shot a Pentax 10D (Pentax user for over 25 years).  The K10D jpg engine was very substandard.  I shot everything in JPG+Raw, culling the images and having to PP all the keepers.  With D700, I only go to JPG+Raw when it is something important and/or lighting is tricky.  It would be nice to have a camera that can produce better JPG but in the end, probably would not change anything because I would still shoot JPG+Raw if it is something important.

- live view is much improved and the LCD is brighter and clearer with better color, so much so that you might actually mistakenly think the 700 files are "broken" by comparison. Not true when you get them into your computer where, although the 600 files are higher in resolution and, subtly, dynamic range, the 700 files are still quite impressive.

- U1 and U2, but really there needs to be a U3, why so stingy Nikon ??

From what I have read, this is a compelling feature.  Must be if you are now wanting more!

- the 600 with the MD D14 attached is a nearly "perfect" size rig for me the 700 with grip is getting huge). Handles my 14-24 beautifully (better than my non gripped 700), and will go all day shooting stills. (Live view and video - still need to bring spares), but without battery grips, I still really prefer the "fullness" of the 700 ...

I am the opposite.  I like to travel light.  I only attach the grip when I have a specific purpose.  Saying that, one of the nice things about my current rig is the interchangeability of accessories (batteries, releases, grip, etc.) between the D300 and D700.

If I could only have one - yikes! - I would very very begrudgingly choose the 600

Excellent post.  Seem very fair and even handed.  Thank you for taking the time to put it all down.  The one item that is troublesome is where you started out....and how you finished.  Even though you say that you would "very very begrudgingly choose the 600", you still have both.  Once again confirms the dilemma that prompted my posting and what we all seem to acknowledge in one way or another.  The D600 is not a replacement/upgrade of the D700.  Two different cameras targeted at different users. Unless you need video and the extra resolution, the D700 more than holds it own.

On the bright side, I am reminded that we are truly in a golden era of photography!

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