Nikon D600 In-Depth Review
The Nikon D600 is a very nimble and responsive camera with a wealth of external controls that put just about any shooting control you're ever likely to need a button-press away. You'll undoubtedly need to spend some time at the outset, however, configuring the camera's vast array of custom settings to your liking. Whether navigating through menu screens or using the command dials to change shooting parameters, you're never far off from being ready to capture an image. From power-on to first exposure with the camera in MF mode occurs in just under 0.3 seconds (approx) which is as good as instant, for any practical purpose.
Cycling among the 39 AF-area points can be done easily and quickly by 'feel' with the camera held to your eye in the shooting position. It should be noted, however, that the actual coverage of the D600's AF area is notably less than that of the D800, as we'll demonstrate further down this page.
Another area in which the D600 lags behind the D800 is its AF sensitivity in poor light. The D800 is rated for accurate focus in light as low as EV-2, which is approximately equivalent to moonlight. In use, we've found this to be true. The D600 is rated down to EV-1, and in normal use, with a 50mm F1.4 prime mounted, we've found that indeed, the D800 is the better tool in low light. But when shooting low-contrast targets at EV levels between 0-1, the difference between the two cameras is only noticeable at the point where we could barely perceive our subject in their viewfinders. The Canon EOS 6D has an AF system rated down to -3EV, and we will perform more in-depth comparisons between this and the D600 when the 6D becomes available.
In good light, the D600's AF system proved very capable in all of the environments in which we used it. In the hundreds of frames that we've shot with the camera, including images taken at night and in very poor interior lighting, only a handful are anything other than totally sharp. As usual, if you're working in marginal light the central AF point is your best bet, but in normal everyday shooting, the D600's AF system is very capable.
Continuous Shooting and Buffering
The D600 features dual SD card slots. You can specify either card slot as a primary storage source, with the remaining slot configured as overflow (default) or duplicate storage. When shooting in RAW+JPEG mode, you can also record raw files to card slot 1, with JPEGs recorded to slot 2.
As you'll see in the tables that follow, the number of images you can shoot with the D600 before filling its buffer varies according to the image quality settings. Crucially, you can still shoot single images as well as access all of the camera menus and shooting options while data is being written to the card. The D600 offers two drive modes; Continuous Hi and Continuous Lo. With a 5.5 fps speed in 'Hi' mode, the D600 bests the frame rate of the higher-resolution D800, falling just shy of the top speed of the 16MP D7000.
You can shoot the D600 in either a full-frame (FX) or 1.5x crop factor (DX) mode. Shooting in DX mode may be attractive for those who want significantly higher burst capacity and faster buffer-full rates, as you can see in the tables below.For the timing tests below we used a Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB Class 10 SD card (95MB/s). Active D-Lighting and lens distortion correction were disabled. Raw file output was set to the camera's default 14-bit, lossless compression settings.
FX Mode: Continuous Hi
|Frame rate||5.5 fps||5.5 fps||5.5 fps|
|Burst capacity||30 images||15 images||13 images|
|Buffer full rate||2.2 fps||1.5 fps max||.85 fps|
|Write complete||25 sec.||14 sec.||17 sec.|
DX mode: Continuous Hi
|Frame rate||5.5 fps||5.5 fps||5.5 fps|
|Burst capacity||100 images||30 images||20 images|
|Buffer full rate||4 fps||2 fps||1.5 fps max|
|Write complete||1 min, 8 sec.||27 sec.||16 sec.|
Frame rates are consistent regardless of image quality or crop mode. The smaller DX format image files do allow for substantially higher burst capacity and increased frame rates once the camera buffer is full.
Continuous Lo at 3 fps: FX mode
The D600 gives you the option of specifying the maximum frame rate when the camera dial is set to Continuous Lo drive mode. It can be set between 1 and 5 fps ,topping out just shy of the rate for Continuous Hi. The table below shows results at the camera's default setting of 3 fps.
|Frame rate||3.0 fps||3.0 fps||3.0 fps|
|Burst capacity||100 images||20 images||16 images|
|Buffer full rate||2.2 fps||1.5 fps max||.83 fps|
|Write complete||1 min, 8 sec.||19 sec.||20 sec.|
As you can see, the only real benefit of shooting at a slower frame rate is that it allows longer shooting bursts at maximum speed.
Of potentially significant concern for sports or wildlife shooters who shoot with Nikon's previous FX-format DSLRs is the size of the D600's AF area. Although the D600 is a full frame camera, Nikon has chosen to mate it with an AF system adapted that of the D7000, a DX format camera. As a result, the D600 has noticeably smaller coverage of the total scene area than its full frame siblings, the D4 and D800. This isn't unprecedented - the Canon EOS 6D offers an AF array smaller than Nikon's 51-point system too, for example, but it might fox someone who's simply become used to the focussing system in a D700 or D800 (or D4).
One way to minimize this limitation of course, is by shooting with the D600 set to its DX crop mode. This yields a very usable 10.5MP file and effectively allows the AF area to cover a significantly larger portion of the recordable scene. The point remains, however, that the D600's AF coverage is unusually small for a full frame DSLR and may indeed make the camera less appealing as a D800 backup for action shooters.
Something we've noticed when shooting in very low-light conditions is that focus acquisition is much more successful when using the central AF points. We've consistently seen instances where the AF points in the central 3 x 3 grid can lock focus quickly, yet attempting to focus on the same subject with outer AF points leads to focus hunt and ultimately a failure to confirm focus at all. We stress that this is limited to very low light situations and it's certainly not unreasonable to expect improved AF performance towards the center of the array. Shooters who work often in low light should be aware, however, that there are conditions under which these outer AF points will be of little practical use.
An issue that has been reported widely on the web concerns the unusual frequency with which the D600 attracts dust and/or oil residue on its sensor, particularly in the upper left area of an image, which of course corresponds to the bottom right portion of the actual sensor. And sure enough, shortly after we received our review sample and began our studio testing we found we had to conduct a rudimentary non-invasive sensor cleaning.
In the first image below, debris is visible in the upper left corner even at this reduced thumbnail size. Click through to see a full resolution version which we've enhanced with an extreme contrast adjustment to make the debris more visible. We've paired the 'dirty' image with one taken using the same sensor immediately after being cleaned by a professional lens rental shop near our Seattle office*. As you can see, the difference before and after the cleaning is striking. Bear in mind that our D600 arrived new and at the time when we got its sensor professionally cleaned, we'd been shooting with the camera for only about four weeks, under conditions no different than our typical review process.
|Sensor after normal use (~ 1 month)||Sensor after professional cleaning|
We can only speculate at this point as to the cause of the issue. What we can say is that simply blowing air did not remove all of the debris; a wet clean was required, suggesting that some contaminant may have found its way onto the sensor. We are of course, pursuing this issue with Nikon directly, and will update this review as more information comes to light.
* Our thanks to the lens rental department of Glazers Camera in Seattle.
Nov 9, 2015
Oct 24, 2015
Oct 30, 2015
Oct 20, 2015
|And I'm feeling all fingers and thumbs by Dutch Newchurch|
from Your City - Coffee Break
|Stitch that - macro by Beatsy|
from Household objects- Macro only
|Fiddling Around by garyjb|
from Concert musician playing
|wet red by George Veltchev|
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.
PDN sat down with Ahmed Fakhr, director of photography at RollingStone.com, to talk about how the famed publication is adapting to the changing photo and video needs of the modern era and how he 'evaluates the skills of potential contributors.'
Kudos to Canon. Earlier today, the camera giant announced that it had produced its 90 millionth EOS camera and 130 millionth EF-series lens.
The ROV Slider is a portable, motorized slider that promises to bring 'beautiful cinematic video and time-lapse' shooting to anybody with a smartphone, GoPro or DSLR that weighs less than 5lbs.
The new Surface Book 2 laptops come with Intel's 8th generation quad-core processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 GPUs. In other words: they pack a serious punch.
Leica is resurrecting a portrait lens from the 1930s: the Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. This lens features just 4 lens elements, and was famous for its spherical aberration that creates extremely soft images.
Google's Visual Core is an Image Signal Processor designed to power and accelerate HDR+ processing and other imaging tasks in the new Pixel 2 devices (and beyond).
The Google Pixel's camera is among the best we've reviewed, and its successor has already been hailed as class-leading. With expectations set high, the Pixel 2 has nonetheless left a very good first impression on us as we shot some initial sample images.
Leica is one of the oldest names in photography, and has long been one of the most prestigious. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit Wetzlar, to see for ourselves how Leica's lenses are put together.
Canon went and put an APS-C sensor in a G series compact. The result is a mighty tempting camera for travel.
Google Photos is adding a few pet-friendly features that will make it easier to find photos of your favorite pooch. Now, you can organize your pet photos by facial recognition, and you can even search your library by breed.
Colorful tripod maker MeFOTO has launched a new tripod... and a whole new brand name. Meet the GlobeTrotter travel video tripod, the first product to be released under the MeVIDEO brand.
If you own a Moto Z, you'll soon be able to attach a Polaroid instant printer to it. Check out the unreleased Moto Mod, which was leaked earlier today.
DJI has developed a technology called AeroScope that allows law enforcement to identify and track airborne drones that are breaking UAV regulations, while simultaneously addressing privacy concerns.
The Nikon D850 is a 45.7MP full-frame DSLR with an autofocus system lifted wholesale from the pro-sports focused D5. 4K capture, continuous shooting at 7 or 9 frames per second make it sound like the ultimate all rounder. Is it all that these specs suggest?
The Mate 10's Kirin 970 chipset with integrated AI processing allows for object recognition, motion detection and automatic scene selection in the camera app.
DxO has announced version 3.0 of the iOS app for its 'One' connected camera. It adds support for multi-camera Facebook Live broadcasting and both time-lapse still and video capture. Android users will be pleased to hear that a One for their platform is on the way, as well. Several new accessories are available, including a battery pack.
Canon has introduced the PowerShot G1 X Mark III, which borrows the 24MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel AF system from the company's recent mirrorless and DSLR cameras, adds a 24-72mm equiv., F2.8-5.6 lens and puts them into a lightweight body – but it'll cost you quite a bit.
It's not often that we see a genuinely interesting compact camera, and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is one such beast. We've pulled out the top features of the camera and tell you why they matter – and put the Mark III up against the competition.
Apple's HDR effect in the iPhone 8 Plus is on by default and more aggressive than in previous generations. It's also good enough to convince DPR contributor Jeff Carlson to leave it on all the time.
Canon's 28mm F2.8 IS USM may be small in size, but it's big on fun. We wrote about our experience using it as our only lens in Big Sur, California, but in case you missed out on our full gallery, take a look to see what this little lens can do.