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

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

Billx08 wrote:

Fathom wrote:
 . . .

I do hope if ever I plunge towards the D800, I would get a unit that's AF issue free. I'm just really interested if people can really shoot this handheld during low light situations. Indoors, and people socializing and kids playing and still get tack-sharp images with or without a flash.

Since you're interested in both the D800 and D600, I'd say that shooting in very good light with the best shot discipline and a good, solid tripod if necessary, you and I and most people would have to look veeery carefully at 100% or higher to see significant differences between the D800 and the D600. I recall a number of new D3x owners complaining about not being able to see higher IQ compared to what they were getting from their D3, and that difference should have been far easier to see. This was about the time when many DSLR users started taking shot discipline much more seriously.

Indoors in low light, the camera motion due to shooting hand held will produce so much more blur compared to shooting on a tripod that it would totally swamp the differences between the 24mp and 36mp sensors. You might be able to see a slightly better image from the D800 if the flash is used, the focal length isn't too long and the flash is using somewhat less than full output power. But even then I doubt that you'd be able to see a difference unless you're pixel peeping on a monitor or looking very closely at huge prints.

If you have shot in low light and handheld, maybe you could help me decide by posting images. Because a D800 would be my choice given its features and longevity... as long as there are no issues shooting it handheld and of course, the dreaded AF issue. Thanks for replying on this question thread.

Examining hand held photos won't help you very much because it's not like comparing two different cameras, both shooting at 1/500th second or both using an f/2.8 aperture. The ability to hand hold cameras steadily varies tremendously from person to person and for a given person from shot to shot, and as I think that I showed above, motion blur will usually be too great to allow the D800 to outshine the D600. They both would be able to produce better images than a D700, but that's only because they have similarly better high ISO performance. The reasons you gave for preferring the D800, features and longevity, could well make it worth the higher price, especially if you prefer the larger, heavier D800 body. But since you've already stated that if you could afford the D4 you'd prefer it despite its much lower resolution, I can't really understand why the D600's even higher resolution would be a concern just because it's not as high as the D800. So it seems a bit simpler. Just put a price on how much you value the D800's features and additional longevity and the decision should be easier to make.

Hi Billx08

Thanks for replying, Bill. Actually, the concern is that which body would offer more usable to keepsake images (it has to be as sharp as it could process). Just like what I replied to a comment on this thread, I would not want to regret the decision in choosing the wrong camera.
I'm examining a friends' shoot at a bar with a band playing. It's extremely low light and I'm seeing quite a number of blurry images. But I do see some keepsakes images that to my eyes are slightly blurred but definitely worth giving to clients. If there would be a way to know that the D600 performed similarly, then definitely the D800 would be a better investment in this case (again, as long as the unit has no problem with its AF, aka the infamous left focus issue).
Many are already giving the D600 positive reviews (of course some are negatives especially with the oil/dust issues on their sensors evident even if newly bought) on which AF performance is near-problem free as opposed to the D800 with people having a challenging time getting tack-sharp images.
Adding to which is that the reason it's hard to really make a decision is that our country does not have a return or exchange policy on cameras once the shutter starts counting.

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