AF performance D600 vs. D800

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Questions thread
OP ZAnton Contributing Member • Posts: 592
Re: AF performance D600 vs. D800

gl2k wrote:

ZAnton wrote:

Hi everybody.

I am planning to switch from Canon to Nikon. The only question: D600 or D800?

I shoot landscapes, and portraits/family photos (including kids) in low light.

Why: I currently have 5DII. 5DIII has good AF, but has less DR then even 5DII. And it is much more expensive than both D800 and D600. I use Fill Light in LR often, also 5DII underexposes always as soon as ISO reaches 800 (usually by 1 stop). So Shadow noise is important.

Second, Canon’s latest pricing suggest, they are crazy, and I don’t expect it will change any time soon.

So my question is, how much better AF on D800 than on D600?

D800 has a wider AF field, but this alone could not justify price difference (for me). So the question is about speed and mostly precision in low light for central points and performance of outer (non-cross) points in bright to moderate light.


No scientific tests have been performed with regard to this feature. So all you'll get is hearsay with little to no substance.

I doubt that the D800 is far superior over the 5DIII in low light portrait photography. Considering that you probably own a bunch of lenses a transition to Nikon could become an expensive step. I agree though on the "ambitious" pricing model of Canon. Others might call it unreasonable or even shameless.

Also keep in mind that AF performance is not the only feature that makes a possible difference between D600 and D800. The D600 has a slightly denser AF point distribution making it even harder to place a face off center. D600 has no 1-click 100% preview.

Finally, if money doesn't object go for the D800. It's definitely more "pro-ish" than the D600.

I do not expect from D800 AF to be superiour than 5D3 AF. On the same level is good enough. Another reason to switch for me are lenses. Canon's 50mm, 28mm are very old. 35mm is okay, but Nikon's is better, 85mm - Nikon's is better, 70-200 - same good but cheaper (in germany at least). 14-24 - Canon doesn't have it. and so on.

I have Canon 50mm f/1.4, which is total crap. It focuses terribly. From thousands of photos with it I have 3-4 which are in focus (at f/1.8-2). At f/1,4 I have none in focus. I hope Nikon's 50G are better.

The second lens I have is 35L. It is good, after I paid 180 Euro for justage.

I also had 24-105, which had broken after 6 month of VERY moderate and accurate use (AF motor broken), and I sold it as soon as I got it from service center. But I didn't like it anyway.

 ZAnton's gear list:ZAnton's gear list
Nikon D600 Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon 85mm F1.8G Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD
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