Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

Started Oct 7, 2012 | Questions thread
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Fathom Junior Member • Posts: 48
Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.
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Hi DPreviewers

I'm having a hard time deciding which camera I'll be investing in. The D600 or D800? Hope you can help given the following situations:

I have a D700 and it’s really a stellar performer. Though I’m planning to invest on a 2nd body to shoot kiddie parties, reunions, portraits, engagement shoots & on some occasions, as a 2nd team wedding photographer. The second body would either be designated as a primary body or a back-up unit.

And honestly, I’m dumbfounded as to which to body to choose: A D800 or a D600 for the matter. Of course with the subjects I shoot, the camera would mostly be handheld and I’m usually in the hunt for those “momentous candid shots.”

I’ve inquired from Mr. Ming Thein, a famous photography blogger in our region, with regards to the D800′s capturing performance and he said that I’m better off with the D600 as the D800 will require “higher shot discipline” in a reportage scenario (which is synonymous to candid moments I presume).

I usually shoot in manual mode and Auto Focus (specifically AFS). Mr. Thein said that I need to have higher shutter speeds & optimal apertures to avoid camera shake & softness (given the D800′s resolution).

Though I’ve read in other posts that you would still need that higher shot discipline for the D600 because of its 24 MPX resolution. The difference is that the supposed motion blur that could produce in the D600 when shooting handheld is that if it’s “hidden” on the D600, it’s going to be “tiny” on the D800. So, Ming Thein, , still recommends a 1/2X focal length for shutter speed settings to avoid motion blur on the D600 [which is roughly the same as that of the D800, though the conclusion here is that it would be more "forgiving")].

Honestly, I’m leaning more towards the D800 for the following reasons:
a. It has a magnesium alloy body (I had a D7000 before, and it unfortunately fell from 3ft. attached to a tripod and the middle portion, which is hard plastic polycarbonate, cracked open, ripping off the mount from the camera body. Maybe a magnesium body would not result to the same situation as it did to my D7000 but still I know there are magnesium bodies that cracked as well).
b. Live view movie mode Aperture control can be adjusted.
c. I have the following lenses: [Which all could be well-suited for the D800 as I’ve read from forums and with some of your comments (Though I’m not sure, though it is well documented that at 24mm and f/1.4, the AF Left focus issue of the D800 would be revealed assuming that the D800 you purchased has that problem).

To those who have used both the D800 and D600, what will be your recommendation? (Given also that I heard from a thread that while shooting at a wedding with low light, the D600 is kind of struggling autofocusing on the target. But you might have a different experience with your unit).

Your prompt response would greatly be appreciated. [It's because I had one D600 and D800 reserved until today, Oct. 8 (I live in Southeast Asia)]. Thank you!

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Nikon D600 Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 Nikon D800
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