Calling all D600/700 owners

Started Jan 13, 2013 | Discussions
Sutto Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Calling all D600/700 owners

I know this was touched on elsewhere in the beginning of things, so I hope this is not a re-hash - forgive me if it is?   However, now that the dust has settled, and all the hysteria is starting to die down, I have a question for those who have/had both of these cameras, now you have had a bit of time to use them both.  Notwithstanding all of the issues with dust on sensors etc, (that is a separate issue and scares the living daylights out of me), how much better really are the images from the 6, compared to the 7?

I have read lots of stuff of late - guys who are not keeping their 700s at this time and are swapping over to the 600.   Then I read other threads where guys say when it is all boiled down (image differences, handling difference, lack of hassles with a proven camera), that they are sticking with the D700.

As a semi-pro (I travel and shoot 6 months of the year, and have a real job the other 6), I really want some informed opinions from guys who are in the know.  Please don't hijack the thread and get off on a tangent slinging mud at each other, I hate that.   I am not interested in starting a war here, there are enough of those in the world already.   I just want to know from keen amateurs or working pro's, those who have both, an opinion on the daily workings of using the new 600 as opposed to the older, but proven 700.  Also, I would like to know the real differences that you see on Lightroom, with images form the two cameras when compared.  This is probably the most important thing and to me the only reason for a change,

You may wonder why I sound so anal over this, but in Australia we have no return policy.  We can only dream about the policy that you guys have in the States.   I have been down this road before, when you buy something here and walk out that door, you are stuck with it.   If there are ANY hassles, then it is totally up to the discretion of the camera store.  It can turn into a nightmare.

I need to know that there are real advantages of changing my beloved D700 for the D600, if I have to take the risk of buying into a new camera that has so much bad press.

Cheers

Sutto

philipsuttonphotography.com

Nikon D600 Nikon D700
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movielvr Contributing Member • Posts: 778
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners

Trust me...stick with the d700. No Doubt. I'm about to send my d600 back for the second time, due to splatter/spots on the low pass filter, as well as odd behavior with white balance and AF. All this in a little over three months.

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eNo
eNo Forum Pro • Posts: 11,744
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners
  • Lighter/smaller
  • Dual card slots

Those two things are real handy during a wedding, especially if you carry 2 of them. I'm keeping one of my d700 bodies for now, the other one is up for sale.

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Mario Mejia Contributing Member • Posts: 624
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners

I am in love with the D600 and you will love it as well, as long as you have sensor cleaning skills.

Spots do not show up in every shot, but they are there...

Therefore, you have 3  options:

1- Just purchase the camera and clean the sensor whenever you like or just clone the spots out.

2- Wait until you hit the 3000 shots mark  or just before your warranty expires and send it to Nikon, they will do it for free.

3- Wait until Nikon nails the issue. They will not accept it ever happened, however, users will let you know that the light turned to green.....

Good Luck

rpps Senior Member • Posts: 1,823
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners
1

I have both of these cameras and both of them can produce some great photos but up until today I was really unsure which camera I favour the most.

I wanted the D600 mainly because of the better dynamic range and I am so impressed in the way I can recover highlights and shadow areas when editing my RAW files, it's much better in this regard than the D700. Also I love the way I can crop a RAW file by half and still have plenty of pixels left to produce a wonderful Jpeg image.

The AWB is so much better than the D700 and I find I rarely have to alter the default setting.The only thing that has taken me time to work out was how to get nice sharp photos, with the D700 with all my lenses it produces a very sharp photo. With the D600 I felt the photos were a tad soft looking and lacking sharpness.

Today I Fine Tuned all my lenses using Reikan CoCal software and I was suprised with some of the results and adjustments I had to make but the end result was great, now my photos are nice and sharp similar to my D700.

My Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 lens needed -2 at 24mm and + 4 at 85mm, I decided to set it at +4 as I was finding the longer length of 85mm was pretty soft, now this lens is perfectly sharp and clear even at the wide end.

The 28-105mm lens needed -7 adjustment globally and my 50mm f1.8G needed -1.

So I really think when you buy this camera you need to have good lenses and make sure you Fine Tune them to get the best out of the camera, with the D700 it's less picky.

I laugh at all the dust and oil problems, I have had them but once I learnt how to wet clean the sensor myself it's become a non issue for me. I noticed today there is about 3 more marks top left hand side of the sensor so I might have to get the Pec Pads and Ecipse fluid out again, in all about a 5 minute job.

I seem to be grabbing the D600 more when I go out to do some shooting but my D700 is a great camera and I will never part with it.

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lock Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
I'm not a D700 owner. I rented it several times next to my d300.
1

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.

lock

PS Great shots from the far east!

lock

IrishhAndy
IrishhAndy Contributing Member • Posts: 868
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners

Sutto wrote:

I know this was touched on elsewhere in the beginning of things, so I hope this is not a re-hash - forgive me if it is? However, now that the dust has settled, and all the hysteria is starting to die down, I have a question for those who have/had both of these cameras, now you have had a bit of time to use them both. Notwithstanding all of the issues with dust on sensors etc, (that is a separate issue and scares the living daylights out of me), how much better really are the images from the 6, compared to the 7?

I have read lots of stuff of late - guys who are not keeping their 700s at this time and are swapping over to the 600. Then I read other threads where guys say when it is all boiled down (image differences, handling difference, lack of hassles with a proven camera), that they are sticking with the D700.

As a semi-pro (I travel and shoot 6 months of the year, and have a real job the other 6), I really want some informed opinions from guys who are in the know. Please don't hijack the thread and get off on a tangent slinging mud at each other, I hate that. I am not interested in starting a war here, there are enough of those in the world already. I just want to know from keen amateurs or working pro's, those who have both, an opinion on the daily workings of using the new 600 as opposed to the older, but proven 700. Also, I would like to know the real differences that you see on Lightroom, with images form the two cameras when compared. This is probably the most important thing and to me the only reason for a change,

You may wonder why I sound so anal over this, but in Australia we have no return policy. We can only dream about the policy that you guys have in the States. I have been down this road before, when you buy something here and walk out that door, you are stuck with it. If there are ANY hassles, then it is totally up to the discretion of the camera store. It can turn into a nightmare.

I need to know that there are real advantages of changing my beloved D700 for the D600, if I have to take the risk of buying into a new camera that has so much bad press.

Cheers

Sutto

philipsuttonphotography.com

I love my D700

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OP Sutto Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Re: I'm not a D700 owner. I rented it several times next to my d300.

Hey Lock - thanks so much for taking the time to write such an informed comment.   You even analyzed my pic's and then commented on them - much appreciated.

I was interested in the stuff you said about the added definition in the highs and lows.  That would certainly be appreciated.  Also the autofocus comments as well.  Yes, you can see from my site that I mainly photograph people - I guess we call that environmental portraiture.  I am not really into landscapes and the like.   That is why I wondered if the 12mp of the D700 would still be enough.

Cheers

Sutto

philipsuttonphotography.com

Funduro
Funduro Contributing Member • Posts: 983
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners

Great tread till the nincompoop hijacked it.

IMHO Nikon is damaging its reputation severely not addressing the D600 dirty sensor issue. By that I mean, Nikon should be stating what is the route cause of the oil/foreign objects that reappear in the same general location time after time. it shouldn't take lens rental firm or individuals to research and publish their findings & opinions. The manufacture will lose more then just camera body sales, like $2,000+ lens sales and the like.

BTW Nikon did "remove" features on purpose from the D600, in order to justify the lower price. Sure the D600 has several specs that outshine the D700's, every photographer has to decide what will be the acceptable compromises when they can own only one FF DSLR at a time. I actually bought a new "older" technology D700 over "new & improved" because I suspected the new would come with a factory manufacturing issue and less robust build. Sure their are some rather good images with the new kid on the block, specially in certain situations.

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lock Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
12 mp

This forum has a purpose. One of them is to help others as much as we can. So Let me say : "My pleasure !"

From the internet I cannot see how much you cropped and reframed the scenes. But I expect you are capable enough to frame well. And in that sence you are right to question if 24 Mp is really neccesary with what you are doing.
There are two things of importance about the 24 Mp though. First, it lets you losen up the demands to frame properly. Some pictures you missed because of the tight frames with 12 Mp may now be retained simply because you used a a lower focal length or take the shot from a larger distance. This means lower iso or higher shutter speeds. Compared to the D700 you can crop at 1.4 without giving up pixels. 
Second, if you do frame tightly, you have an abundance of pixels to work with. And this helps with sharpening and NR, but also with color (personal experience, not something tthat has been mentioned earlier).

The improved DR is such that in some pictures I actually go up to 80% increase in the shadows without needing extra NR. And I can get away with that up to iso 800. Above that, some polishing is neccessary but nothing dramatic. Getting the highlights back is less improved if you meter neutrally. I would have liked a more gradual roll off of the curve in that highlight area. Using portrait mode basically only gives you more room in the shadows. You could use ADL, but this rules out raw PP outside CNX 2. From that point, I decided to go for a -1/3 stop as default, but I haven't been able to test the camera enough to know if that balances the options to gain details in the high lights enough. I will do more testing once the body is back. Btw, I always use standard mode. If I need to alter the colors, I will do so per color, or by altering the mode in the raw and per color in PP.

What I forgot to say is the AWb is much improved. Though I never really worry about WB given the lot you can do a lot in PP, D600 AWB is very often close to perfect in various light circumstances. With fluorescent light being the worst as I can remember.

There is something that tells me the AA filter of the D600 could be considerably weaker. In some occasions I find the detail a bit hidden. Very specific sharpening is needed with upping the micro contrast is needed, but with the dange of causing artefacts. That's why I bought the book from Fraser and Schewe (Image sharpening).
In the end, if no hardware faults are found with your D600 body, it is a very, very capable camera. Pretty allround, but if you learn to handle it well you can make it dedicated to portait, landscape, macro and even to sports (apart from the fps). To me, the lack of a pro Dx and this versatile user concept made me decide to go for the D600. So far...

lock

MOD TOF guy Forum Pro • Posts: 14,883
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners

Funduro wrote:

BTW Nikon did "remove" features on purpose from the D600, in order to justify the lower price.

Isn't that true of all camera manufacturers ? In fact true about pretty much anything we buy ?

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Thierry - posted as regular forum member

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rpps Senior Member • Posts: 1,823
Re: 12 mp

lock wrote:

This forum has a purpose. One of them is to help others as much as we can. So Let me say : "My pleasure !"

There is something that tells me the AA filter of the D600 could be considerably weaker. In some occasions I find the detail a bit hidden. Very specific sharpening is needed with upping the micro contrast is needed, but with the dange of causing artefacts. That's why I bought the book from Fraser and Schewe (Image sharpening).

I was interested reading your part about the AA filter on the D600, one thing it has taken me a while to get use to about the IQ from the D600 is the smooth lookig image. Compared to the D700 it doesn't look as contrasty or be as sharp but since doing a Fine Tune on my lenses has helped heaps, when I process my RAW files in CNX2 I find myself upping the contrast to about 21 and sharpening set around 32,5,4. I use Standard on the picture control.

On the D700 I find I don't have to up the contast or sharpening controls near as much, so this could be the difference with the strength of the AA filter.

I'm quiet pleased with the IQ of the D600 now but it has taken me a while to achieve this, I recommend anyone to try the Reikan FoCal as it has improved my D600 and lens combination.

As I said in a previous post I love the way i can crop a photo now and still have a great looking image left, in these two examples I used my Nikon 28-105mm lens. It's like now having a  lens with a focal legth of 200mm if the need arises.

Nikon 28-105mm lens 24mm

Crop made from the above photo

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lock Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
We share the sharpness experience.

I had the chance to compare the D600 with the filterless Pentax K5IIs. Pixel density is higher on the K5, so I need to be carefull when judging the sharpness. But it's definitely sharper than the D600. Even with a Xenon 55-200 mm zoom there is more detail in the K5 than the D600 manages with its 70-200 VR. But.. it sharpens up nicely , whereas I get sharpening artefacts quite easily with the Pentax (maybe it's my skills ..huuh). Anyway, it more or less confirms my suggestion there could be more in the D600 sensor than we actually see in the d600.

lock

Peter Jonas Veteran Member • Posts: 3,539
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners

Funduro wrote:

Great thread till the nincompoop hijacked it.

Who/what is nincompoop?

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Cheers,
Peter Jonas

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OP Sutto Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners

Yes I wondered the same thing.  I had hoped we could have had a sensible discussion without any childish name calling or vitriol.

Sutto

philipsuttonphotography.com

Peter Jonas Veteran Member • Posts: 3,539
Re: Calling all D600/700 owners

Sutto wrote:

Yes I wondered the same thing. I had hoped we could have had a sensible discussion without any childish name calling or vitriol.

I think the discussion is still constructive. Especially (with the possible exception of movielvr's post) up to 's contribution it was objective and void of emotional outbursts.

I follow it with interest. The concensus seems to be that they are different cameras with a different target market. They both excel in different attributes. Which one is for you depends entirely on your personal preferences for the camera you need or want.

Undoubtedly the D700 is still an exceptional camera today, with excellent build quality, ergonomics and handling. However, the sensor used in the D600 is trully excellent.

Once you have a clear understanding of the capabilities of these cameras and of your priorities, you'll be able to make your decision.

Discussions like this will help you with both.

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Cheers,
Peter Jonas

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