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

Started Oct 7, 2012 | Questions
kayone Regular Member • Posts: 316
Re: some thoughts which probably lead to D600

antoineb wrote:

I don't own either but would think about the following:

- D600 is smaller lighter which could be an advantage for what you do.  Though it of course will depend a lot on what lens you use.  If a big heavy lens then the advantage of the smaller lighter body is obviously lost

- D800 has a 100% viewfinder vs a 97% on the D600.  Frankly I personally find it painful if I try to compose carefully, then end up with a bigger photograph which I have to crop on my computer.  This being said maybe in your usual work you end of having to crop a lot anyway in which case this wouldn't matter

Sorry but this is wrong, both D800 & D600 have 100% coverage viewfinders.  The D700 on the other hand only had 97% VF coverage.

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.
2

shaunly wrote:

jimofcan wrote:

goshigoo wrote:

(I don't really own D600/D800, but I have used both of them extensively)
I think it is the same as D600 if you resize your D800 image to 24M ?

Please correct me if I am wrong
a 24M image resized from 36M should be sharper than a native 24M image.

Resizing an image from 36M down to 24M would, in my opinion result is a less sharp image than one from a native 24M sensor. Taking an image 7360 x 4912 pixels and reducing it to 6016 x 4016 pixels is taking 1.23 pixels and repackaging it as 1 pixel.

Seriously, where are you getting these information?

Resampling, like it is done for distortion correction to the same output size does reduce resolution/contrast at the finest scales. But since the conversion from raw into a viewable image already includes some type of resampling (and the AA filter already blurs the finest scales), a 24 MP image generated from a Bayer sensor with an AA filter already is blurred at the finest scales. The extra information that a 36 MP sensor provides more than compensates for the very slight re-sampling blur going from 36 to 24 MP. The only situation why you might see a difference would be 26 MP monochrome, AA-filter-less resampled to 24 MP compared to a 24 MP (monochrome, no AA filter) when viewed at 100%.

Which leads us to the most important point: 99.99% of the photos you are viewing are not going to be displayed or printed at 100%. Thus, both 24 and 36 MP images will almost always be re-sampled anyway. In the early days of digital imaging when resolution was in short supply both on the sensor and printer side, people did try to set up their printers to not do any re-sampling (or only integer steps re-sampling). Maybe some people still do, my practical printing knowledge is not too deep.

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: He's describing a personal aesthetic as 'more forgiving', and its not, really
2

moving_comfort wrote:

Fathom wrote:

...

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).

...

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")].

I do like Ming Thein's blog, but I think he's simply wrong in this case.

I suspect he's applying a personal aesthetic here, and describing it generally - as in, "I personally would rather see less resolution, where details are not even present, than see slight motion blur of those same details when viewing at 100%.  The former pleases me more."

There's nothing wrong with having that opinion, but he's describing that personal aesthetic as the lower-res sensor being 'more forgiving', which I think is misleading.

Nikon could make a lot of money selling a D800 that down samples in camera to 12 or 16 MP.

Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,893
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.
1

+1.

The D800 simply shows everything better. But if mirror is more dampened on D600 then the subject matter should be which camera has the least virbration when taking a shot?

Mirror lockup helps with both.

I have that on my D800E all the time. Its easy enough as Nikon has a dial for it - very convenient!

On a Canon its buried in the menus.

Greg.

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OP Fathom Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

kayone wrote:

As Robin Casady says, you are probably going to be happier using the D800 given the ergonomics more closely match that of the D700.  I own a D700 like you and recently picked up a D600 and used both recently as 2nd unit photographer at a wedding this past weekend.  I felt in low light, both cameras performed similarly, but whats interesting is even tho the D700 has its AF points spread out better, compared to the relatively tight cluster of AF points on the D600, that the D600 locked on focus just as capably as my D700 in similar low light situations.

However the shift in control layout and ergonomics between the two cameras as I rapidly shifted back n forth between the two bodies...was a bit disrupting at best as I was mentally pausing constantly to reorient myself to a different control layout each time, especially when I was capturing moments and images on the fly.  Since you expressed you like 'capture the moment' photos, this may be a serious consideration.

Now why didn't I buy the D800?  Pretty simple, the 36+ MP resolution turned me off as I have no need for files that large nor desire to put the unnecessary additional demands on the computer CPU for post processing or storage space.  I do not do commerical print work and thus have no real need for files that large.  Plus the price.  I only do serious photography on the side and personally couldn't justify paying $3K+ for a body whose resolution was too ridiculously high for my needs anyway.  Now if it had been a camera like the D4 with its more modest resolution but surpremely fast burst speeds and insane ISO range, yes I would have considered forking out $3K, but since that camera is priced more like $5K, again, I cannot justify.

The D600 to me is definitely a compromise as a FX camera compared to its pro body brethern, but it is also the first of its new class and an amazing value for the price at the same time, and shooting for 7 hrs straight, I can say it is definitely a capable and high quality shooter and probably more versatile than the focused D800.  But this doesn't mean you shouldn't discount the D800 for your needs if it better suits the style of shooting and workflow you do.

Hi kayone

Nice analogy. I'll take it into consideration. I'm sure you're enjoying your D600. Thanks a lot.

OP Fathom Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

tomnorth wrote:

Here is another example.

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the portraiture. Gives me an idea that the D800 could actually do with low light. One has just to be aware much of the time of the 1/2X shutter speed (or maybe 3X). Thanks again.

BPImages New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

Hi Fathom,

I am in same boat.. confused between this two camera.. I have used D7000 before and now upgrading to FX camera.. Now D600 looks good.. but it does lack at some point like AF Point 39 vs 51... and shutter speed which is 1/4000 vs 1/8000...

Would like to know what was your final decision and why?

Thanks

BPI

garyhgaryh Contributing Member • Posts: 551
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.
1

I've upgraded from a d5100 to a d800e and I took both cameras on a hiking trip.

At first it was difficult to get non-blurred shots from the d800e, but with better technique I was able to do so (for example, as funny as it sounds, I do not breath when I push down slowly and lightly on the shutter button.  My left elbow is on my ribs and left hand holding the lens).

I also check the sharpness with the full zoom option using the [ok] button.

It's easier to see blurs on the d800e because the images are much larger so blurs are obvious than at 16MP (which is about half the size).  It's like looking at a photo of your car on a monitor.  At 16mp you may see the entire car on your screen, but when you're looking at a 36mp image, you only see half the car and it doesn't look as sharp because it looks zoomed in.  If you zoom out, you get a better comparison.

I don't doubt that mirror slap causes blur.  When I got the d800e, taking a picture was like firing off a gun.  But the heaviness of the d800e helps dampen the mirror slap.

I got the d800e over the d600 because I can always shoot at a lower MP or use a DX lens and get a smaller file, but I can never get a 36MP shot on a d600 if I ever wanted more MP.  It's all about options.

Gary

MCSweg New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

Ok now I am confused ..... It has taken me a while to choose between the Nikon and the Canon...and now the D600 has betrown own into the mix. But it do agree more options. So tell me how you choose between the 2 D 800 cameras.

Shannon H New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

garyhgaryh wrote:

I've upgraded from a d5100 to a d800e and I took both cameras on a hiking trip.

At first it was difficult to get non-blurred shots from the d800e, but with better technique I was able to do so (for example, as funny as it sounds, I do not breath when I push down slowly and lightly on the shutter button.  My left elbow is on my ribs and left hand holding the lens).

I also check the sharpness with the full zoom option using the [ok] button.

It's easier to see blurs on the d800e because the images are much larger so blurs are obvious than at 16MP (which is about half the size).  It's like looking at a photo of your car on a monitor.  At 16mp you may see the entire car on your screen, but when you're looking at a 36mp image, you only see half the car and it doesn't look as sharp because it looks zoomed in.  If you zoom out, you get a better comparison.

I don't doubt that mirror slap causes blur.  When I got the d800e, taking a picture was like firing off a gun.  But the heaviness of the d800e helps dampen the mirror slap.

I got the d800e over the d600 because I can always shoot at a lower MP or use a DX lens and get a smaller file, but I can never get a 36MP shot on a d600 if I ever wanted more MP.  It's all about options.

Gary

Gary,

Is the full zoom using the [ok] button a custom setting? I have played with the d800 a bit and didn't see that option (I am coming from Canon and was used to the 100% zoom on the Mark III, so I really missed this option. Knowing it's there is nice!) Also, does it auto zoom in to the AF point you used? I sure hope so.

Thanks!

Shannon

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 61,420
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.
1

MCSweg wrote:

So tell me how you choose between the 2 D 800 cameras.

If you like the 'crunchy' look of the false detail introduced by aliasing, go with the E, otherwise get the standard version.

-- hide signature --

Bob

Fastmikefree Regular Member • Posts: 445
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.
3

Good morning

Being a D800 owner and not having touch a D600, looking at your needs (handheld mainly), I would recommend the D600 over the D800 if you don't care too much about the resolution difference that you will only see on big prints r if you like to crop, and magnesium body.

My main reason is that the D800 is the first camera that I have so many difficulties to get sharp shots handheld compare to my previous cameras. Is that due to the resolution increase as some are suggesting, I don't know, but I am missing more shot than usual with that baby. Don't misunderstand me, I love the D800, but just want to share my personal experience with it when taking handheld pics.

Hope this helps

Phil

OP Fathom Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

BPImages wrote:

Hi Fathom,

I am in same boat.. confused between this two camera.. I have used D7000 before and now upgrading to FX camera.. Now D600 looks good.. but it does lack at some point like AF Point 39 vs 51... and shutter speed which is 1/4000 vs 1/8000...

Would like to know what was your final decision and why?

Thanks

BPI

Hi BPI,

Thanks for writing. My reservations were extended as the Nikon distributor informed me about a D600 demo-test unit that I could use to assess and make my final decision. So it took off some pressure.

Yes, the D600 looks good though I'm kind of leaning towards the D800. It's because, probably, I will learn to grow in shot discipline with the latter. And at the same time, it's magnesium body translates to it being more robust and subject to longevity than the D600 (But it's really up to the user on how he'll be able to take good care of his/her camera. I'll let you know my final decision.

OP Fathom Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

garyhgaryh wrote:

I've upgraded from a d5100 to a d800e and I took both cameras on a hiking trip.

At first it was difficult to get non-blurred shots from the d800e, but with better technique I was able to do so (for example, as funny as it sounds, I do not breath when I push down slowly and lightly on the shutter button.  My left elbow is on my ribs and left hand holding the lens).

I also check the sharpness with the full zoom option using the [ok] button.

It's easier to see blurs on the d800e because the images are much larger so blurs are obvious than at 16MP (which is about half the size).  It's like looking at a photo of your car on a monitor.  At 16mp you may see the entire car on your screen, but when you're looking at a 36mp image, you only see half the car and it doesn't look as sharp because it looks zoomed in.  If you zoom out, you get a better comparison.

I don't doubt that mirror slap causes blur.  When I got the d800e, taking a picture was like firing off a gun.  But the heaviness of the d800e helps dampen the mirror slap.

I got the d800e over the d600 because I can always shoot at a lower MP or use a DX lens and get a smaller file, but I can never get a 36MP shot on a d600 if I ever wanted more MP.  It's all about options.

Gary

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your insight based on actual experience. I'm really keen on learning to be more disciplined in the technique. In fact, our techniques are identical. Let's just hope we can improve more and capture stellar sharp images. And with that note, yes, I'm more leaning towards the D800 as it maybe a better investment. Too bad the D800E is not available here with the Nikon official warranty or else that would've been my choice. Thanks again.

OP Fathom Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

Fastmikefree wrote:

Good morning

Being a D800 owner and not having touch a D600, looking at your needs (handheld mainly), I would recommend the D600 over the D800 if you don't care too much about the resolution difference that you will only see on big prints r if you like to crop, and magnesium body.

My main reason is that the D800 is the first camera that I have so many difficulties to get sharp shots handheld compare to my previous cameras. Is that due to the resolution increase as some are suggesting, I don't know, but I am missing more shot than usual with that baby. Don't misunderstand me, I love the D800, but just want to share my personal experience with it when taking handheld pics.

Hope this helps

Phil

Hi Phil,

Hey! Thanks for giving me head on the D800's performance during handheld situations. Yes, there are quite a number who find it difficult to get tack-sharp images off the D800 without a tripod. It really requires higher shot discipline to achieve those desired sharp images. One post here mentioned the same technique I'm using. Maybe in time, I could really achieve great images by being more disciplined on capturing shots (It's because my mind is somehow set into investing in the D800 but still, I can change my decision and get the D600 instead and save the change in investing on a lense).

I'm sure you still love the D800 especially when you get those jaw dropping images right. If ever I got the D800, let's hope for the best in learning to reach our goal of becoming better in shooting techniques in obtaining stunning sharp images. Thanks again for your testimonial Phil!

Luke Lim Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

The way I read this original post of this thread, it is more of a question, which body D800 or D600 has better high ISO performance.

Camera shake can be compensated to a certain degree by having a good hand holding technique, another certain degree by technology such as VR and to a large extent by camera handling expertise. Like choosing the right balance of ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

So assuming 1/250s can get motion blur free images, depending on how well lit is the ambiance, it will determine what is the ISO and aperture.

I have D700 and D800E. I do not have D600. Between D700 and D800E, I personally find that D800E has better high ISO performance in terms of noise control. For D700 I find ISO 1250 to ISO 1600 generally safe to use. Certain times, up to ISO 2500 is usable and at rare times, ISO 3200 is usable. But for D800E, I can shoot up to ISO 6400 and with NR tools, the quality of noise reduction with details still intact is amazing. This is well before any down-sampling.

I do not know if D600 is the same. And not sure if D800E and D800 is the same. So my advise is to get D3S or D4. They are most certain to have better noise control if you are sure you will always sure at low light conditions, hand holding.

antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
I stand corrected: both 100% indeed

Thanks kayone

I had been misled by one of the review sites.

The D600 indeed has 100% viewfinder coverage.  So with this, and the very useful ability to recall full settings with "custom" positions, and enough rather than too much resolution, the D600 looks very good.  Its only weakness would be the fact that the AF points are very close together in the center (given that the AF sensor comes from the D7k which is just APS-C).

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OP Fathom Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.

Luke Lim wrote:

The way I read this original post of this thread, it is more of a question, which body D800 or D600 has better high ISO performance.

Camera shake can be compensated to a certain degree by having a good hand holding technique, another certain degree by technology such as VR and to a large extent by camera handling expertise. Like choosing the right balance of ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

So assuming 1/250s can get motion blur free images, depending on how well lit is the ambiance, it will determine what is the ISO and aperture.

I have D700 and D800E. I do not have D600. Between D700 and D800E, I personally find that D800E has better high ISO performance in terms of noise control. For D700 I find ISO 1250 to ISO 1600 generally safe to use. Certain times, up to ISO 2500 is usable and at rare times, ISO 3200 is usable. But for D800E, I can shoot up to ISO 6400 and with NR tools, the quality of noise reduction with details still intact is amazing. This is well before any down-sampling.

I do not know if D600 is the same. And not sure if D800E and D800 is the same. So my advise is to get D3S or D4. They are most certain to have better noise control if you are sure you will always sure at low light conditions, hand holding.

Hi Luke,

Thanks for the advise Luke. I'm sure the D3s would be awesome, if only my pocket's deep enough. Well, I guess Nikon strategically played it "smarter" supposedly on their pro-body line up this time. It's clear that they wouldn't be releasing another D700-like body that would make everyone swarm over it leaving the others hovered by mosquitos on their display shelves.

John Motts Veteran Member • Posts: 5,653
Re: You still don't seem to understand

Fathom wrote:

The question here is that how many keepsake photos will I be able to obtain when the D800 is compared to the D600. Blurry (caused by me or an inappropriate lens to the camera) or not blurry. Forgiving or unforgiving. With appropriate or mediocre handholding technique. And I'm just assessing user responses. That's all. Thanks for your input though. Much appreciated.

Once again, neither camera will be any more "blurry" than the other. Camera shake is caused by, well, camera shake. It has nothing to do with resolution.

John Motts Veteran Member • Posts: 5,653
Re: Which is better? A Nikon D600 or D800? Mostly using it HANDHELD & with low light.
1

Fathom wrote:

Thanks for the portraiture. Gives me an idea that the D800 could actually do with low light. One has just to be aware much of the time of the 1/2X shutter speed (or maybe 3X). Thanks again.

You don't need to use faster shutter speeds with the D800, except for the fact that you can reproduce D800 files at huge sizes. The D800 does not move any more than other cameras when you press the shutter.

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