So, I have a 6D and a D600 in hand right now...

Started Dec 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
whyamihere
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Re: So, I have a 6D and a D600 in hand right now...
In reply to whyamihere, Dec 21, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Now that I've had a few days with both cameras, I'd like to offer some overall thoughts on the Canon 6D and comparisons to the Nikon D600:

• I'm still of the opinion that the Canon 6D is either for the advanced amateur, hobbyist, or semi-pro. This is a good studio camera, a good landscape/cityscape camera, a good event camera, and a great low-light photography camera (which I cannot stress enough). I would probably say much of the same about the Nikon D600, though the AF assist lamp needs to be turned on for low-light situations.

• I do not believe the 6D or the Nikon D600 were meant for fast, continuous action. My [admittedly imperfect] scientific tests did not yield good results when tracking anything that moved. In practical situations (e.g.: tracking a bike rider on the streets) I had more luck just pointing and shooting at moving subjects, to be completely honest. If asked to choose which was better, I'd say, "Probably the Nikon, but don't expect miracles. It's merely okay, not great."

• Given enough time, I was able to adjust settings without removing my eye from the viewfinder on either camera. There will be items where you have no choice but to look at the top LCD or rear display to make a change (white balance being a good example, as there's no indication in the viewfinder on either camera for what mode is being used), but things like ISO, metering, drive, AF point selection, and others can be done without taking your eye off your subject. That being said, at least all of that can be done on the 6D without moving your left hand from a supporting position.

• I was able to comfortably carry both cameras one-handed through the streets of my city one-handed for about an hour each without feeling discomfort. While the Canon grip feels like it was molded better (I especially like the recess for the index finger near the trigger), neither perfectly fit my medium-sized palms and long fingers. I constantly felt like I was carrying both by the force of my fingertips and thumb rather than saddling it firmly in my palm. The Canon was definitely meant for smaller hands, being decidedly narrower and shallower than the Nikon. I really didn't notice the weight difference, but that could be entirely due to the fact that I regularly carry heavier things in my hands than DSLR cameras.

• In regards to image quality, as I have mentioned before, the Nikon images have a little more detail while Canon has better color and white balance control. Adjusting the RAW files pretty much eliminates the latter two differences, so we're really talking minor differences in image detail overall. Their metering capabilities seem to be roughly similar, though I found I had to take some more active control over the Nikon to get good exposures. I didn't see any significant differences in noise at ISO 6400 (I never felt that I had to use any higher ISO to get an image). In the end, I would say, "If you really, really, really think you need that extra 4MP, go with the Nikon. I don't think it's enough to matter to most people, and few should waste time stressing over the differences."

As a person who's not invested in either system, I have to say that both cameras put up an impressive showing. So long as one recognizes that neither is perfect nor good at everything, you should be happy after purchasing either of these cameras. If there's something about either camera that offends your sensibilities, then you've already made up your mind about your purchasing decision. If you're still on the fence, you have to try both cameras out for yourself.

I'm still leaning Canon, but not so much as a result of my experiences with these particular cameras. It still appears to me that they produce better 1st party lenses than Nikon - at least in the L range - and the lenses have as much to do with overall performance as the actual camera. I don't think I'd be unhappy with the Nikon D600, but I'm not entirely enthused by their lens selection.

Cheers

Michael

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