Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600

Started Nov 16, 2012 | Discussions
anirbana
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Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
Nov 16, 2012

First, this is not a D600 dust or oild thread. I just need some advice and thoughts in making an informed decision over some of the limitations of D600 (as it seems that way).

I am considering the D600 next DSLR. I am hobbyist and not a pro and I do landscapes, family people portraits, candids and off camera flash photography. I am coming from a D3100 (sold now)

I tried the D600 at the JEssops store in London and got some raw images on my card and I was impressed by the handling, feel and of course the terrific latitude in post processing due to remarkable dynamic range. I have read several threads on certain limitations of the D600 and want to understand your thoughts on these and how some of these can be overcome with simple techniques.

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?

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.

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?

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?

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?

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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lancespring
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

Young people today are so spoiled. Back in the '70's, '80's, and '90's in the days of film, plenty of photographers did fabulous work with the Nikon F2 and F3, both of which featured only a max 1/2000th speed shutter, and only 1/80th sec flash sync.

Very difficult for old photographers like myself to fret over petty issues like these.

The D600 does support Nikon's Auto FP feature in their Speedlight flashes. Although using Auto FP to get faster shutter speeds with flash does reduce your flash range significantly, it still can be effective in providing fill flash in bright settings. Refer to pages 234 and 235 of the Nikon D600 USA manual.

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primeshooter
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

anirbana wrote:

First, this is not a D600 dust or oild thread. I just need some advice and thoughts in making an informed decision over some of the limitations of D600 (as it seems that way).

I am considering the D600 next DSLR. I am hobbyist and not a pro and I do landscapes, family people portraits, candids and off camera flash photography. I am coming from a D3100 (sold now)

I tried the D600 at the JEssops store in London and got some raw images on my card and I was impressed by the handling, feel and of course the terrific latitude in post processing due to remarkable dynamic range. I have read several threads on certain limitations of the D600 and want to understand your thoughts on these and how some of these can be overcome with simple techniques.

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?

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.

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?

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?

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?

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.

50 is the same as 100 overexposed. 100 has x2 the latitude in the highlights. So put another way shooting at 100 and overexposing is the same as shooting at 50 and getting exposure right because in RAW you can claim back the lost highlight detail. Really in practice, even for long exposures with a 10 stop filter on my lens I never use 50 to increase exposure time. I just work out what the time for ISO 100 is and double it because I know I can get the highlight detail back. I don't see much use in the ISO 50 setting therefore, perhaps if you are in JPG mode but even then...

Flash sync speed is a limitation.

Aperture control in movie mode is coming in a firmware update.

Not sure on the last question.

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J Mankila
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Missing the point of progress...
In reply to lancespring, Nov 16, 2012

lancespring wrote:

Young people today are so spoiled. Back in the '70's, '80's, and '90's in the days of film, plenty of photographers did fabulous work with the Nikon F2 and F3, both of which featured only a max 1/2000th speed shutter, and only 1/80th sec flash sync.
Very difficult for old photographers like myself to fret over petty issues like these.

Perhaps the folk you're speaking for have never learnt to utilise the new possibilities and don't see the loss?

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lancespring
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You are missing the point of what is needed to take good photos
In reply to J Mankila, Nov 16, 2012

J Mankila wrote:

Perhaps the folk you're speaking for have never learnt to utilise the new possibilities and don't see the loss?

Dude, take a look at anirbana's own photo gallery. He has one photo taken at 1/640th second shutter, while everything else is at 1/125th sec or slower.

Being limited to a max shutter speed of 1/4,000th is not going to prevent anyone from being a good photographer.

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J Mankila
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Missing my point...
In reply to lancespring, Nov 16, 2012

lancespring wrote:

Being limited to a max shutter speed of 1/4,000th is not going to prevent anyone from being a good photographer.

I've seen a beautiful shot of a bird with such fast strokes that 1/4000 couldn't have stopped the motion, and 1/8000 was the answer. That's what the photographer said and I believe it. Not having shot the photo, or having some motion blur in the wings wouldn't have kept him from being a good photographer, but he was thankful of the fast shutter speed. Engineers at Nikon pushed themselves and the photographer pushed the boundaries of photos of that particular bird - that's progress.

There, your argument is officially busted.

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lock
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Third question
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

Since the first two are discussed already.

Yes, you can also use the FN-button and the DOF preview button. Depending on your holding technique, you could use the FN-button as well. You can also program these buttons to take over AEL/AEF.

You do need to remember that Nikon changed the implementation of focus priority compare to the previous range of FX cameras and pro DX camera (e.g. D300/D300s). It may surprise you.

lock

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sd40
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

You can assign the Fn or DOF Preview button to AF-ON.

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Albert Silver
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Re: Third question
In reply to lock, Nov 16, 2012

lock wrote:

You do need to remember that Nikon changed the implementation of focus priority compare to the previous range of FX cameras and pro DX camera (e.g. D300/D300s). It may surprise you.

lock

Can you elaborate?

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Fred Mueller
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AF-on
In reply to lock, Nov 16, 2012

I have programmed my AE-L/AF-L button to "AF-on" and moved exposure AE-L "lock-hold"  to the preview (top) button, and usually have "FV lock" assigned to the preview (bottom) button on my D600.  This is the setup I like.  The placement of the AE-L/AF-L button is better than it was on the D7000, but still a nudge too far to the left, but you quickly learn to compensate.  AF-on works just fine for me there now - but I still prefer the ergonomics of my D700, but the files coming out of the D600 are just a step up, so that is the camera I reach for now - D700 is my backup, except maybe for very fast action (not my thing generally anyway).

New in this gen Nikons is that when you activate focus from a reprogramed button, VR in a VR capable lens also activates; which of course makes perfect sense.

About the 1/4000 and 1/200th limits - not a big deal IMO - in exchange for a reduced top shutter/sync speed you get a much much quieter shutter (compared to D700/D3/D800) on the D600 ... and that IS quite significant in some or even many circumstances - the smallness and quietness of the 600 can be a real advantage ... and 1/3 stop flash sync is hardly noticeable ... more important is the new FV comp. ability, custom setting "e4", where you can choose either "whole frame" i.e.. "flash and ambient", or "background only" i.e. "just ambient"t ...

I won't go into this in depth, but this has real ramification for event shooters who use flash a lot, and this function is not on the D800 oddly - (so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600) ... so regarding flash photography, the D600 is really Nikon's leading camera at the moment despite the slightly reduced flash sec speed

best

Fred

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Nikonparrothead
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

anirbana wrote:

First, this is not a D600 dust or oild thread. I just need some advice and thoughts in making an informed decision over some of the limitations of D600 (as it seems that way).

I am considering the D600 next DSLR. I am hobbyist and not a pro and I do landscapes, family people portraits, candids and off camera flash photography. I am coming from a D3100 (sold now)

I tried the D600 at the JEssops store in London and got some raw images on my card and I was impressed by the handling, feel and of course the terrific latitude in post processing due to remarkable dynamic range. I have read several threads on certain limitations of the D600 and want to understand your thoughts on these and how some of these can be overcome with simple techniques.

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?

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.

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?

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?

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?

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.

You're asking a lot of personal preference questions here (3 and 4 especially aren't relative to my needs).

As for No. 1: 1/4000 at ISO 50 is basically a toss-up vs 1/8000 at ISO 100. Not sure I've ever had a critical use of 1/8000 of a second. For the wide aperture in bright sunlight crowd (without HSS fill) it's a wash. For those who really need 1/8000 of a second it'd be a deal breaker (much as if you need F 2.8 then F 4.0 won't do).

No. 2: That's the one that has me in a quandry as a D700 user. The D800 files are too big and the price only borderline manageable; the D4 would be idea except for the high price that goes with pro bodies; the D200 has that partial stop shutter speed thing on the flash sync.

As for underexposing the ambient, the Sunny 16 rule for proper daylight exposure would say that proper exposure is in the ballpark of 1/50 or 1/60 at ISO 50 at F16 That specs out to @ F 5.6 at ISO50 at 1/200. Overpower the ambient with flash? Sure, but it depends on your F-stop of choice. A friend of mine does it all day with his 5D MarkII and its 1/200 flash sync but he's well into the double-digits in F-stops for his look of choice.

If one is into the Pocket Wizard Control TL system or some other system that lets you shoot higher shutter speeds with flash because of its version of hypersync, then the 1/200 is a non-issue -- though I'd like to see how the camera works with the triggers once firmware is developed.

If that (PW compatibility) becomes a non-issue then I'd lean more towards the D600 when it's time to retire my D700. Your choice depends on what you shoot and what you need when you shoot.

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clarnibass
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

1. Yes, shooting at ISO 50 at 1/4000 is the same exposure-wise as ISO 100 at 1/8000. As was suggested you can also over expose at ISO 100 and correct the exposure on the computer. If this is a critical issue (e.g. you need to stop even faster motion) then maybe a different camera is better. I haven't had a situation where faster than 1/4000 was needed.

2. I'm not an expert with flash but I'm pretty sure the D600 can get to 1/250 with flash in some situations (not sure when). Look in the menu and manual, I think I remember seeing something about it. Most Canons get to 1/200 AFAIK, at least my much cheaper APS-C Canon does and it doesn't feel like a limitation to me on the D600.

3. There is a rumor that this will change in a firmware update. True or not, who knows...

4. I think this is possible, check the manual and the menu, if I remember there is a place where you can assign the different buttons. I prefer to use the shutter button for focusing anyway because I wear glasses and using the thumb button is not the most comfortable (plus I prefer to use just one finger regardless).

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DRode
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

This is a non-issue except in the rarest of cases where, for example, someone wants to stop extremely fast action with a 1/8000 shutter.

D300s/D700/D3/D3s base ISO 200 max shutter speed 1/8000

D600 base ISO 100, max shutter speed 1/4000

These are the exact same exposure values. The same is tru for minimum ISO D300s/D700/D3/D3s minimum ISO was 100 using (Lo1), the D600 is ISO 50.

The D4 and D800 are better in the respect but the D600 is hardly lacking.

anirbana wrote:

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?

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eNo
eNo
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

I don't think most of these are significant or even relevant limitations...

anirbana wrote:

First, this is not a D600 dust or oild thread. I just need some advice and thoughts in making an informed decision over some of the limitations of D600 (as it seems that way).

I am considering the D600 next DSLR. I am hobbyist and not a pro and I do landscapes, family people portraits, candids and off camera flash photography. I am coming from a D3100 (sold now)

I tried the D600 at the JEssops store in London and got some raw images on my card and I was impressed by the handling, feel and of course the terrific latitude in post processing due to remarkable dynamic range. I have read several threads on certain limitations of the D600 and want to understand your thoughts on these and how some of these can be overcome with simple techniques.

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?

No one complained about 1/8000 at base ISO200, so the equivalent 1/4000 at base ISO100 loses nothing.

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.

Pretty much ditto here, when one considers that these high sync speeds are really mostly necessary in outdoor situations where base ISO 100 does far more to assist in balancing daylight vs. flash light power.

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 shoot movies, so I can't really speak for how "crippling" this is. If you want aperture control, though, there's always AI/AI-S lenses.

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?

From my perspective the AE/AF-L button usage for AF-ON works just fine. Combining this with AF-C gives you a virtual AF-L, and shooting manual takes care of AE-L for me. I believe the Fn button can be assigned to AE/AF-L if you must have those functions on a button?

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Leo360
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Re: AF-on
In reply to Fred Mueller, Nov 16, 2012

Fred Mueller wrote:

I won't go into this in depth, but this has real ramification for event shooters who use flash a lot, and this function is not on the D800 oddly - (so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600) ... so regarding flash photography, the D600 is really Nikon's leading camera at the moment despite the slightly reduced flash sec speed

Fred, you wrote

"(so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600)".

How should I read it?

Leo

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AllOtherNamesTaken
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Re: AF-on
In reply to Leo360, Nov 16, 2012

Leo360 wrote:

Fred Mueller wrote:

I won't go into this in depth, but this has real ramification for event shooters who use flash a lot, and this function is not on the D800 oddly - (so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600) ... so regarding flash photography, the D600 is really Nikon's leading camera at the moment despite the slightly reduced flash sec speed

Fred, you wrote

"(so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600)".

How should I read it?

Leo

The D800 must have gone into development before the D600.  That much is obvious thanks to the sentence before it.

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AllOtherNamesTaken
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Re: Overcoming some of the limitations of a D600
In reply to anirbana, Nov 16, 2012

anirbana wrote:

First, this is not a D600 dust or oild thread. I just need some advice and thoughts in making an informed decision over some of the limitations of D600 (as it seems that way).

I am considering the D600 next DSLR. I am hobbyist and not a pro and I do landscapes, family people portraits, candids and off camera flash photography. I am coming from a D3100 (sold now)

I tried the D600 at the JEssops store in London and got some raw images on my card and I was impressed by the handling, feel and of course the terrific latitude in post processing due to remarkable dynamic range. I have read several threads on certain limitations of the D600 and want to understand your thoughts on these and how some of these can be overcome with simple techniques.

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?

The same "issue" existed on the D3/D700/D300 and nobody complained about it.  Base ISO of 200 and 1/8000 is the same exposure as ISO 100 and 1/4000.  ND filters are cheap, or you could drop to ISO 50 and lose minimal DR, or stop down once.  I have never taken a single photo at 1/8000.  I understand for some extremely specific scenarios (maybe F1.2 in extremely bright sunlight?) 1/8000 is useful but it hasn't been a problem with any previous camera where the base ISO was 200 and the exposure was the same.  I think the number of users absolutely requiring 1/8000 to stop motion for their work are few and far between, but yes, those may be better served by a D700 or D800.  From an exposure-only standpoint, there are numerous workarounds and it is the same as the previous generation of cameras.

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.

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?

The flash sync isn't much of an issue.  I'm not sure of a photo that would be "make or break" with 1/200 vs 1/250.  I've personally never been in that situation.  The Canon 5DM3 only has 1/200 sync, and the 5DM2 was more like 160-180/sec.  Obviously the option of 1/250 or faster would be ideal, but I hardly consider it a limitation, especially compared to the far more expensive competition.

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?

The current rumor is that a firmware update is coming down the pipes very soon to fix this exact complaint.

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?

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.

You can use the AE-L button as AF-on and program one of the Fn buttons to be AE-L if you need it regularly.  Very easy workaround.

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Leo360
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Re: AF-on
In reply to AllOtherNamesTaken, Nov 16, 2012

AllOtherNamesTaken wrote:

Leo360 wrote:

Fred Mueller wrote:

I won't go into this in depth, but this has real ramification for event shooters who use flash a lot, and this function is not on the D800 oddly - (so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600) ... so regarding flash photography, the D600 is really Nikon's leading camera at the moment despite the slightly reduced flash sec speed

Fred, you wrote

"(so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600)".

How should I read it?

Leo

The D800 must have gone into development before the D600. That much is obvious thanks to the sentence before it.

Obviously, you did not read your own post before hitting "Post" button

Leo

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lock
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Re: Third question
In reply to Albert Silver, Nov 16, 2012
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AllOtherNamesTaken
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Re: AF-on
In reply to Leo360, Nov 16, 2012

Leo360 wrote:

AllOtherNamesTaken wrote:

Leo360 wrote:

Fred Mueller wrote:

I won't go into this in depth, but this has real ramification for event shooters who use flash a lot, and this function is not on the D800 oddly - (so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600) ... so regarding flash photography, the D600 is really Nikon's leading camera at the moment despite the slightly reduced flash sec speed

Fred, you wrote

"(so the D600 must have gone into development before the D600)".

How should I read it?

Leo

The D800 must have gone into development before the D600. That much is obvious thanks to the sentence before it.

Obviously, you did not read your own post before hitting "Post" button

Leo

I don't follow?  I said exactly what I meant to say.  My understanding was you were asking for clarification on Fred's typo which included "D600" twice when you said "How should I read it".  Correct me if I'm wrong.  He clearly meant it the way I said it, as evidence by his previous comment.  If the D600 has a feature the D800 does not, he is guessing that the D800 went into development before the D600.

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