AF performance D600 vs. D800

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Questions thread
olyflyer Forum Pro • Posts: 24,269
Re: AF performance D600 vs. D800

ZAnton wrote:

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.

Compare the specs, go to a store to check out both and buy the one which feels best in your hands.

The D800 beats the D600 in resolution and high ISO and also DR. It has CF/SD cards instead of SD/SD. It has better and more sensitive AF module, 51 points vs. 39, and since the D800 AF area is larger, it is pointless to compare the outer AF points of the D800 with the outer points of the D600. AF accuracy is difficult to compare scientifically, I have the D800 and have no problems with the accuracy anywhere. The light level is not as important for AF as the type of target and contrast. I use the camera in fairly low light also and have zero problems with it. The D800 is a full mag alloy body, the D600 is not. The D800 is heavier, which is good if you plan to use heavier lenses because it provides better stability and less camera shake caused by the mirror slap. The D800 has PC sync and 10-pin remote contacts, the D600 has not. The D800 has more direct access buttons than the D600, and most of all, it has dedicated AE-L and AF-ON buttons, which I think is very important. The D600 has only AE-L, which you can program to be AF-ON but then you lose AEL. The D600 has PASM dial, which I am happy to be without, the ISO, WB and BKT buttons on the D800 are more important for me. I even use the QUAL button more often than I ever used on the D300s because I used the D300s with the highest quality all the time. The D600 has a quick selection to user settings U1 and U2, which can be useful. I'd like the D800 to have that feature as well, but it is not implemented.

The D800 provides excellent IQ even at reduced quality. The D600 will give you 10MP in DX crop mode, the D800 15.4MP, in 1.2x crop mode 25MP. The D600 has only two modes, FX and DX. The D800 has FX, DX, 1.2x and 5:4 modes. The D800 has a different RGB sensor, 91000 pixels while the D600 has a 2016 pixel sensor.

The highest shutter speed you can get with the D800 is 1/8000s, while the D600 stops at 1/4000s. Flash sync speed is 1/200s for the D600 and 1/250s for the D800.

There are plenty other differences, so having a look at the specs and compare them on your own is the right thing to do. Download the manuals and read them, only you can answer which features are important for you. Here is the D600 manual  and here is the D800 manual . There is also a Technical guide for the D800 . Download and read them.

Remember that both cameras are excellent, so it really depends on what you need, want or wish to pay for.

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