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Flash

The pop-up flash on the D600 has the same specs as its counterpart on the D800 with a guide number of 12m at ISO 100. Flash exposure compensation can be set from -3 EV to +1 EV.
As on the D800, you can also use the D600's built-in flash to wirelessly trigger up to two groups of Nikon Speedlite flash units. Last-generation flashes like the two SB-800s pictured here can be picked up cheaply on the used market, and make great slaves for tabletop macros or outdoor portraits.

Shadow noise

Nikon's DSLRs have gained a well-earned reputation for outstanding noise performance. In the comparison below we've drastically opened up the shadows using Adobe Camera Raw (a beta version of 7.3) with sharpening and noise reduction turned off, to shine a light on the sensors' inherent capabilities. We've compared the D600 with two full frame rivals, the 24MP Sony SLT-A99 and the 22MP Canon EOS 5D Mark III. All three cameras were shot at ISO 100.

Nikon D600 - ACR +3.0EV 100% crop
Canon EOS 5D Mark III - ACR +3.0EV 100% crop
Sony SLT-A99 - ACR +3.0EV 100% crop

As you can see, the D600 and the Sony SLT-A99 perform similarly, with the former showing a bit less chroma noise in the shadows and greater detail in the spools of thread. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is displaying noticeably more prominent chroma noise than either the Nikon or Sony models.

Real world sample

While the results of our studio scene reveal interesting information about the sensor's maximum capabilities, it's important to place those results in the context of real-world photography. Below is an image shot outdoors under daylight conditions at ISO 100. We've taken the same file, converted from a .NEF raw file and converted it in ACR 7.3 beta three times - once at ACR's default exposure settings, and twice more with the Basic Panel adjustments detailed below.

ACR default settings with NR off 100% crop
ACR with Exposure +.45, Highlights -50, Shadows +70, Whites -20 and Blacks -10 with NR Off 100% crop
ACR with Exposure +1.10, Highlights -60, Shadows +70, Whites -40 and Blacks +30 with NR Off 100% crop

As you can see, the default conversion blocks some shadow details. In the second conversion we were able to boost exposure and open the shadows with very little noise penalty and still maintain a pleasing overall exposure. In the third attempt we purposefully made an extreme adjustment to open the shadows as much as possible. Obviously this veers towards a more surreal HDR-like overall exposure. Yet if you did need to pull this much information out of the shadows, in creating a multi-image composite for example, it's important to know that this much data exists within a single exposure in the D600.

In short, the D600's raw file shows an impressive ability to withstand luminance boosts in the shadows, revealing usable detail while keeping noise at very low levels. This is one of the biggest strengths of Nikon's current-generation CMOS sensors compared to older cameras like the D300S and D90.

Overall image quality

The D600's image quality is very impressive throughout its standard ISO sensitivity span of 100-6400. Critically, files from the D600 are hard to tell apart from images captured from the 36MP D800, when they are examined at 100%. At high ISO sensitivities the D600 does a good job of retaining fine detail while minimizing chroma and luminance noise.

As we've come to expect from Nikon DSLRs, the default JPEG settings of the D600 produce files that lean more towards a more natural, 'unprocessed' look, avoiding sharpening-induced edge halos and overly aggressive smearing at high ISOs. This means that at high ISO settings, JPEGs tend to be gritty, but relatively detailed. The camera's matrix metering mode delivers well-exposed images in a variety of lighting scenarios and the auto white balance setting is consistently accurate. If AWB gives you images that look a little too neutral, the Auto2 setting is on hand to give a little warmth back.

While the D600's default parameters offer a reasonable starting point, discerning users will want to tweak the D600's JPEG output to taste. And if you're interested in that sort of thing, the D600 offers a comprehensive range of color, contrast and sharpening settings that can be adjusted with a minimum of fuss. For the greatest degree of editing flexibility, however, you'll want to edit the raw files which can withstand more extreme exposure edits like the ones we've demonstrated here.

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Comments

Total comments: 19
SxeHunKA77
By SxeHunKA77 (4 months ago)

What UI did Nikon install in this camera?

0 upvotes
carton dinis machado
By carton dinis machado (6 months ago)

how to compare Nikon D600 versus nikon D7100

1 upvote
Mike FL
By Mike FL (6 months ago)

The new D610 has the same problem that Dust spot issue continues.

0 upvotes
amestigon
By amestigon (6 months ago)

Today, D600 was ordered to be off sale by Government in China. 2014/03/16

0 upvotes
tallguy600
By tallguy600 (7 months ago)

Law Firms Lining Up to File Class Action Lawsuits Over the D600 Dust/Oil Issue:

http://petapixel.com/2014/02/25/law-firms-lining-file-class-action-lawuits-d600-dustoil-issue/

0 upvotes
tallguy600
By tallguy600 (7 months ago)

Great camera but the oil spots, sold all my Nikon equipment and got a Canon 6D instead.
Now much happier with great Wi-Fi implementation, made in Japan better camera body....

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (9 months ago)

Something that amazes me is that the Sony A99 actually performs better at high ISO settings, like ISO 1600 and ISO 6400, than this camera and the D610. I didn't expect that. If you doubt me, just take a look at the photos here with the studio shot comparison tool. Be sure to set the ISO settings for both cameras and make sure you look at the playing card and the writing on the red square under the dime. Those areas REALLY show the noise. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/studio-compare#baseDir=%2Freviews_data&cameraDataSubdir=boxshot&indexFileName=boxshotindex.xml&presetsFileName=boxshotpresets.xml&showDescriptions=false&headerTitle=Studio%20scene&headerSubTitle=Standard%20studio%20scene%20comparison&masterCamera=nikon_d600&masterSample=dsc_4526_03&slotsCount=4&slot0Camera=nikon_d600&slot0Sample=dsc_4526_03&slot0DisableCameraSelection=true&slot0DisableSampleSelection=true&slot0LinkWithMaster=true&slot1Camera=sony_slta99&slot1Sample=dsc00049&x=-0.378464142966364&y=0.34409159041539195

0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (9 months ago)

I am sure you , thinking a little about it, must realize they produce with profit in mind, not love for you, who are merely contributors to their profits for them.
That is all you are, and all even the greatest photographers are- a means of supporting their incomes and assuring the wealth and value of the yen against the euro, pound, and dollar.

Nikon knew pre-release, surely, that this problem existed, as they extensively test new machines. Therefore, it follows, surely, that this was all done on purpose, as was designing lenses that do not cover more than APS-C properly (24-70 NahNo!) because they delude themselves that we are all so pleased to own a Nikon that we will even buy plastic mount lenses for it!! Made of plastic, and according to one reviewer taped inside with sticky tape as iPhone lenses are with glue.

They think we are that jackdaw stupid. They are correct. We are so stupid we cannot make cameras at all!!!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Frank C.
By Frank C. (10 months ago)

No recall from Nikon because of their abysmal recent quarter(s), if this would have happened in 2010 I'm sure Nikon would have replaced the shutter mechanisms for free under guarantee but is it stands now Nikon is struggling, there's no money in the pot to recall and fix the d600

0 upvotes
tallguy600
By tallguy600 (11 months ago)

How do you explain the D610 and the lack of recall of the D600?

One doesn't need a PHD in damage control; the way Nikon handled this issue and it's customer base are a shame.
The D600 should have been fixed, full shutter issue disclosure should have been provided.
Is the D610 shutter mechanism the same as the one on the D600 where it was replaced?
Simple questions, there should be answers but of course no, nothing.

4 upvotes
Andrew770
By Andrew770 (11 months ago)

DP Review is a professional organization and their review of the Nikon D600 meets professional standards. It is impressive how much better the Nikon D600 camera performs than Canon and Sony's high end cameras. The D600 is clearly the winner in the DP Review comparison of these top end cameras. For me the D600's handling of ISO images sets it apart from the competition and is one reason why Nikon is the #1 camera brand.

Apparently the early production run of the Nikon D600 had some cameras whose shutter mechanism was faulty. Nikon gave an advisory in February 2013 for those affected to take their cameras to their service centers and many had their camera's shutter mechanism replaced.

Canon's top end camera also experienced a light leak issue from its early production run. Apparently providing a fix was much more involved because it was a structural problem. Apparently Canon's solution was to put a tape inside the camera to cover the light leak.

Finally, the D600 is awesome!

1 upvote
Segaman
By Segaman (11 months ago)

For some its awesome, for others its their worst nightmare.
As long as your happy everything is fine, if there is a 610 there is a big reason for that.....

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (8 months ago)

You seem to trust DP Review's "professional standards" so much that you forget to use your own critical sense. Look closely at the studio shots, JPEG at 100 and 3200 ISO and tell me that the Nikon is not overly soft and lacking detail compared to the Sony or Canon, especially on the playing cards.

0 upvotes
Noogy
By Noogy (11 months ago)

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikon-d610/

Cheers to DPR for the gold rating of D600 - a clearly defective camera by design and component. The link above is the implied admission from Nikon. Next time raters from DPR, it is better that you state "we withhold any final rating on this camera at this time until we see a conclusive fix from Nikon" or something like that and save yourselves the embarrassment.

4 upvotes
gmortiz
By gmortiz (Aug 23, 2013)

D600 nightmare: After three weeks a few spots appeared. After four weeks a MASSIVE number of spots appeared and I sent it in to Nikon's New York repair facility. Two weeks later I received it, they had replaced the shutter mechanism and cleaned the low pass filter. I took some blue sky test shots which revealed spots still on the sensor. Back to Nikon for the second time. I received the D600 back from Nikon and the workorder shows all they did was re-clean the already cleaned sensor. Test shots show the exact same spots present as when they received it.

How ridiculous is it that an untrained consumer can see a serious problem in 5 minutes, and Nikon's service center has now twice sent out a camera with a damaged sensor.

One more thing: HEY NIKON - can we end the fantasy that the problem is dust? From the owner's manual: "Note, however, that the filter is extremely delicate and easily damaged." And apparently it is damaged when lubricant from the shutter mechanism hit it.

5 upvotes
nekrosoft13
By nekrosoft13 (Sep 5, 2013)

the "trained" technician is stuck in some poorly lit building. Is not like they can go outside and take shots of blue sky.

2 upvotes
hovirag
By hovirag (11 months ago)

Nikon comes clean over the dust and oil problem – meaning they fixed it. Nikon users also mentioned even before the Nikon announcement that these issues disappear after the camera has been run in.
Source: http://bubbajuju.com/get_nikon_d600_on_sale/
where there are two comparison grids of the most popular cameras to date.

0 upvotes
socaltrevor
By socaltrevor (2 months ago)

they didn't fix it

0 upvotes
jengord
By jengord (2 months ago)

No they havent fixed it. What they are doing in Australia is fitting a new D600 shutter, cleaning your sensor and sending it back, then surprise surprise after about 500-1000 shots the oil is splattered thickly again, not the normal one or two spots but multiple,this is not normal! after about 4 returns they send you another D600. So then your back on the round-about. I dont think I will buy NIKON again.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 19