Calling all D600/700 owners

Started Jan 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
lock Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
I'm not a D700 owner. I rented it several times next to my d300.

Today, I try to do my shooting with a D600. So I do not have side-to-side comparison for you. But I can tell you some things that may be of interest to you.

First of all, it looks like you are a life portrait man. You like to show the people you meet on your trips. You also use speed and motion to gain dynamics in your portrait, and you use low light and bright light with huge contrast differences to make things pop out. Take the picture of the anchor boy. On the one hand the D600 would have given you a lot more details in the dark parts (top right). On the other, you use these dark parts of the scene to make the object stand out. This is a trick you use very often, deliberately metering tightly on the subject I think. llike the in the harmony picture. So the high DR at the iso's you use may not alway bring you that much more than you would have expected. Of course, either way you can darken the shadows and blacks and balance the high lights better in LR/ACR, and you can easily  mimick the result a the D700. The other way around, e.g. brightning the dark areas with the D700 picture, will be less easy compared to the D600.
Nevertheless, the hi DR across thee etire iso range is a huge bonus to the D600.

The ergonimics on the D600 is a step down to be honoust. But I did not suffer much from it. The whole line of Nikon cameras has changed in terms of activating AF modes, so if you go you will have to live with that anyway. The lockable left dial is an oké 'work around'.
The AF-ON button is missing, but you can reprogram the buttons. I never had to program both front buttons with the D700/D300, with the D600 I now have to but it does not bother me.
Fully zoomed out the D600 lcd does not impress me. It lacks detail given what you see if you zoom in. This is of course the result of twice the amount of Mp, so a higher spec LCD would have been more pleasing. I do miss the one lick 100% view on the D600. Mind blowing why they left this one out... You cannot reprogram the camera to get it otherwise (the D800 does have it though).

AF. Well, there has been lots of debate about it but I think you will not notice a difference. The AF area is a bit less wide and high, true. But if I look at your pictures I do not think it will bother you. Speedwise, its oke until you need it in EV6 and lower. I have all features and specialties off (NR,lens correction, auto iso), and still I do get the feeling it's running behind the D300/D700. If my horses pass me from left front to the right side behind me, I get a lower fraction of  frames in focus with a D600 indoors. Moreover, you do experience the difference of the limited fps in such moments. The latterwould not have bothered me if it wasn't for the lower % in focus...Outdoors, it is amazingly good.
I also feel I get less feedback from the camera how the AF is doing, but this may have something to do with the silent shutter compared to the D700/D300. I do need that feedback to decide if I use dynamic mode with a certain number of sensors. I guess, I still searching here...

As a body, I would like to stress the pros and cons of the construction of the D600. It's lighter, much lighter and it still balances decently up to a 200 lens (my 70-200 VR is the limit in terms of balance without a grip for me). But it's not a strong as a D700. I feel the D800 isn't either. The handholding of the camera took me some time to get used to. But now I do not mind the difference very much. The difference for me is that I feel I need to put a finger on the top side now. This introduces a weird experience with the d600. Laying the finger on the top/back edge, probably to keep it from tilting is fine given the layout of the back. But the tip of the finger automatically ends on the shutter. Well, what's wrong with that ? This is what happens. In AF-S and focus prioirity mode, holding a D700 in the same manner, incidentally tripping the shuter button would not cause a frame to be recorded if the lenshood was on. With the D600 it does. No focus acquired, yet the black picture is there. If you carry the D600 facing down your lens ( and e.g. you use a 70-200 with its minimal focus distance preventing you to acquire a focus lock) you get plenty of accidentally taken pictures. This would not have happened with a D700. I have been deleting several OOF pictures with the D600 and the 70-200, simply because the soft shutter button firing off a frame.

This brings me to the last of the differences you may be interested in. Maybe you use focus trap on your trips, I do not know. The previous difference I described is directly related to the way Nikon now implements focus priority. And this leads to the fact that focus trap no longer works.


PS Great shots from the far east!


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