The Nikon D600 is the smallest, lightest and arguably the greatest full frame DSLR ever to come out of the Nikon assembly line. It is a tough thing to claim specially if you consider some of the top of the line models such as the D4 or the D3X or even the D800. No matter how much you compare, at this price and when you compare the specs from the rest of the models, it is the best full frame from Nikon and certainly value for money
What are the new / key features & specs?
- The D600 features a 24.3 megapixels CMOS sensor that offers a ISO sensitivity of 100-6400, which can be further upgraded to 12800
- The D600 can shoot full HD videos at 30/25/24p
- The continuous shooting speed of the D600 is 5.5 fps which is much better than the 4 fps of the D800.
- 39 point AF system with 9 cross type AF points
- Non-articulated 3.2” LCD screen with a resolution of 921,000 dots.
- External head-phone jack for plugging a microphone and record stereo quality sound.
- The live-view button is a combined movie/live view type which is the same as in D800
- 2 SD card slots, instead of 1 SD card + 1 CF card in the D800
Nikon‘s D600 Digital Camera body features a full-frame 24.3MP FX-format CMOS sensor. In addition D600 with a full-sized sensor also comes a powerful engine; the EXPEED 3 processing system. It enables a 5.5 fps continuous shooting at full resolution. Being compact it also fits in a 3.2″ LCD monitor.
Other hardy features include a wide ISO range of 100-6400, which is also expandable to 50-25600. Suitable for capturing shots in a variety of lighting situations and maintaining minimal image noise. The cameras’ AF system has 39 focus points for wide-area AF coverage for both stills and HD video shooting.
The D600 enpowers the photographers to focus on the job with features like Nikon’s best metering system and onboard intelligence. The D600 uses the company’s intelligent Scene Recognition System with 3D Color Matrix Metering II for beautiful, high-def photos. This metering analyses the brightness, contrast, subject distance, and the scene colors for accurate, balanced photos. The i-TTL flash, auto white balance, subject tracking, and autofocus all come into play as well.
The D600 is a complete HDSLR. It features 1080p HD video. Selectable frame rates include 30/25/24p at the highest resolution and 30/25/24p at 720p. Other important features for shooting movies include manual exposure control, full-time AF with face-priority, dedicated stereo mic and headphones input, Simultaneous Live View etc.
The Nikon D600 takes F-mount NIKKOR interchangeable lenses (both FX and DX-format).It givs the photographers options to use existing nikon lenses. Additionally, D600 has an option to use Nikon’s WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter for wireless transfer of images to a smartphone or tablet devices. The adapter can even be used for remote shooting with the D600 using the compatible application.
24.3 megapixels of the Nikon D600 works like a charm and is ideal for any full frame DSLR. The camera really benefits from all those extra megapixels and the bigger sensor retaining a huge amount of detail which is discernable even when you crop an image at 100%. Additionally, the image is very sharp which however, can cause a bit of problem of anti-aliasing when exposing for repetitive patterns.
39-point auto-focusing system
In real use, the 39-point AF system of the D600 is really good. It in fact is comparable to the other more illustrious brothers of the Nikon FX family. When compared with something like the Canon full frame DSLRs mainly the Canon 5d Mark III the performance is again quite satisfactory.
Metering and Onboard Intelligence
The D600 delivers beautiful stills and HD videos, thanks to Nikon’s intelligent Scene Recognition System with 3D Color Matrix Metering II. Its 2,016 pixel RGB sensor to evaluate every scene, measuring brightness, contrast, subject distance and the scene colors, all within the time it takes to press the shutter release button. After that the that data is referenced against an onboard image database for consistently accurate exposures, auto white balance, i-TTL flash and subject-tracking autofocus performance
Cinema-Quality HD Video Projects
Shoot 1080p HD videos with selectable frame rates of 30p, 25p or 24p and MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression. Bend time with 720p HD at 60p, 50p or 30p for ultra-smooth video playback of fast moving subjects, or create slow-motion footage during post processing. Maintain your creative vision with manual exposure control, full-time AF with face-priority and subject tracking, dedicated inputs for a stereo mic and headphones, still image exporting, and much more. Enhance all that with the dramatic perspectives and depth-of-field control of NIKKOR interchangeable lenses
Built-In Accessory Terminal
On the opposite side of the camera’s dual memory card bays you’ll find the various sockets and ports including everything from audio jacks to USB. Under the flap designated “GPS” is the same accessory port used for both the GP-1A GPS Unit and MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord (both sold separately). While there is no 10-pin terminal, the MC-DC2 enables remote firing of select D-SLRs, including this D600, so you won’t bump or vibrate the camera when taking photos. The GP-1A geotags your images so you can record latitude, longitude, altitude and time information. Allowing you to plot your images on map software and retrace your steps.
Share Images Easily with the WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter
Using the optional WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter, users can automatically send great pictures to their smartphone or tablet and even remotely capture images from the D600. With its simple app, now when you can’t wait to share that great image, you don’t have to. Share it to your smartphone or tablet in an instant
The U1 and U2 modes
The U1 and U2 modes are really helpful in as much as going back to a tried & tested settings is concerned and really gives the D600 that much of an additional edge over other DSLRs in the Nikon line-up; barring the D7000. While you will have to flip and press a number of menu options and buttons in order to change the old settings on the D600 (and the D7000) you can save up to two combinations of your favorite options for faster change-over. There are less chances of missing a moment because of this.
Ergonomically the D600 is definitely a great design. While this is something very personal and two photographers may not have the same preferences, by and large the D600 buttons and controls have been designed and laid out with a lot of thought.
the central clustering of the AF points towards the center of the frame my bothers users who have migrated from a DX format to a FX format to have more focusing control over their frames. In fact for some one accustomed to using the D7000 the 39-point AF system of the D600 would appear to be the same. If you switch to a DX format then the AF points would appear to be more equally spaced, but then there is no point to switch to a FX camera so that you can use it in DX mode!
We can go on picking on the minor issues about the camera such as the maximum bracketing being limited to three frames only, but then these are superficial and at the end of the day it all depends on how you perceive something to be a ‘disadvantage’ and what to be an ‘advantage’.
The quiet mode of the D600 is however not good. In spite of the fact that it is quiet, it is too slow making it a pain to shoot.
For some users the viewfinder of the D600 may be a bit too dark when using lenses less than f/2.8. The viewfinder has been optimized for faster lenses such as f/2.2 and that means all lenses slower than this will make the viewfinder image appear darker than usual.
Weather sealing is not in the same league as the D4. Nikon, although says it is to some extent weather sealed one would be ill-advised to brave the rains with the D600.
Nikon’s own product catalogue has at least two cameras that can be considered worthy competitors of the D600. One of them is the full frame D800 and the other one is the recently launched DX format D7100. The D7100 has almost the same performance in broad daylight and difficult low light conditions as the D600. Although the bigger sensor of the D600 does outperform the D7100 at higher ISOs, for everyday needs the performance quality is better than needed. The 20 megapixels Canon EOS 6D is another camera that can be considered in the same breadth as the D600. Being a full frame DSLR and with relatively comparable features the 6D is definitely a camera that you can also look at. Sony’s recently launched full frame SLT A99 is yet another camera that can be looked at. However the price of the D600 significantly cheaper compared to the SLT A99.
Should I buy it?
The D600 is definitely a DSLR that is worth a look. However if you want the same performance image wise and at less price & don’t need a full frame body, then the D7100 is a better buy. The D7100 has comparable resolution and a better AF system that covers more of the frame. Additionally it is priced at around half the price of the D600 making it much less a burden for your pockets. The only area where the D7100 loses out to the D600 is in low light conditions and at higher ISO; the larger sensor size really makes its presence felt in such circumstances. Available at Amazon | B&H | Adorama
Nikon D600 Specifications
|Type||Single-lens reflex digital camera|
|Lens Mount||Nikon F bayonet mount|
|Picture Angle||Nikon FX format|
|Effective Pixels||24.3 million|
|Image Sensor||CMOS sensor, 35.9mm x 24.0mm, Nikon FX format|
|Total Pixels||24.7 million|
|Dust-Reduction System||Image sensor cleaning|
|Dust-Off Reference Photo||Yes|
|File Format||JPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant; can be selected from Size Priority and Optimal Quality
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant with fine (approx 1:4), Normal (approx 1:8) or Basic (approx 1:16) Compression
NEF (RAW): Lossless Compressed, Compressed or Uncompressed 12 or 14 bit
|Picture Control System||Landscape
|File System||Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras)
|Viewfinder||Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex Viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Frame Coverage||FX (36×24): 100% Horizontal and 100% Vertical Approx.
DX (24×16): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
|Viewfinder Eyepoint||20.6mm (-1.0)|
|Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment||Built-in diopter adjustment (-3 to +1)|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.70x Approx.|
|Focusing Screen||Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII with AF Area Brackets (grid lines can be displayed)|
|Compatible Lenses||AF NIKKOR lenses, including type G and D lenses (some restrictions apply to PC lenses) and DX lenses (using DX 24 × 16 1.5x image area), AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU AI lenses (A and M modes only).
IX NIKKOR lenses, lenses for the F3AF, and non-AI lenses cannot be used.
|Reflex Mirror||Quick-return type|
|Slowest Shutter Speed||30 sec.|
|Bulb Shutter Setting||Yes|
|Fastest Shutter Speed||1/4000 sec.|
|Lens Compatibility at a Glanc||AF-S or AF lenses fully compatible
Metering with AI lenses
|Shutter Type||Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter|
|Self-timer||2, 5, 10, 20 sec. Timer duration electronically controlled|
|Speed||1/4000 to 30 sec.
|Flash Sync Speed||Up to 1/200 sec.
Synchronizes with shutter at 1/250s or slower
|Release Modes||Continuous low-speed [CL] mode; 1-5 frames per second
Continuous high-speed [CH] mode; 5.5 frames per second
Mirror-up [Mup] mode
Quiet Shutter Release
Single-frame [S] mode
|Continuous Shooting Options||FX-format
CH: Up to 5.5 frames per second
CL: Up to 1-5 frames per second
|Top Continuous Shooting||at full resolution 5.5 frames per second|
|Mirror Lock Up||Yes|
|Metering System||TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor|
|Metering System||Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8mm circle in center of frame
Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses)
Spot: Meters 4mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point
|Metering Range||0 to 20 EV (3D color matrix or center-weighted metering)
0 to 20 EV (spot metering)
|Exposure Meter Coupling||Combined CPU and AI|
|Exposure Modes||Aperture-Priority (A)
Programmed auto with flexible program (P)
|Exposure Compensation||±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV|
|Exposure Bracketing||2 or 3 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 EV|
|ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 – 6400||Lo-1 (ISO 50)
Hi-1 (ISO 12,800)
Hi-2 (ISO 25,600)
|Lowest Standard ISO Sensitivity||100|
|Highest Standard ISO Sensitivity||6400|
|Lowest Expanded ISO Sensitivity||Lo-1 (ISO 50 equivalent)|
|Highest Expanded ISO Sensitivity||HI-2 (ISO 25,600 equivalent)|
|Expanded ISO Sensitivity Options||Hi-1 (ISO-12,800 equivalent) in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Hi-2, (ISO-25,600 equivalent) 1 EV
|Long Exposure Noise Reduction||Yes|
|High ISO Noise Reduction||Low
|D-Lighting Bracketing||D-Lighting Bracketing 2 frames using selected value for one frame
3-5 frames using preset values for all frames
|Single-point AF Mode||Yes|
|Dynamic AF Mode Number of AF points||9, 21, 39 and 39 (3D-tracking)|
|Auto-area AF Mode||Yes|
|Autofocus System||Nikon Multi-CAM 4800 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection|
|Detection Range||-1 to 19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)
Lens Servo Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status
Manual focus (MF): Electronic rangefinder can be used
|AF-area mode||9, 21 or 39 point Dynamic-area AF
3D-tracking (39 points)
|Focus Lock||Focus can be locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF)
|Focus Modes||Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)
Face-Priority AF available in Live View only and D-Movie only
Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder
Single-servo AF (AF-S)
|Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points||39|
|Autofocus Sensitivity||-1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)|
|Autofocus Fine Tune||Yes|
|Flash Bracketing||2 to 3 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 EV|
|Built-in Flash Distance||39 ft. (ISO 100)|
|Top FP High Speed Sync||Up to 1/4000|
|Flash Control||TTL: i-TTL flash control using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-700, or SB-400; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighting metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering|
|Flash Sync Modes||Front-curtain sync (normal)
Red-Eye reduction with slow sync
|Flash Compensation||-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV|
|Flash-ready indicator||Lights when built-in flash or optional flash unit such as SB-910, SB-900, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX or SB-50DX is fully charged|
|Nikon Creative Lighting System||(CLS) CLS Supported|
Choose color temperature (2500K-10000K)
Fluorescent (7 types)
Preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored)
|White Balance Bracketing||2 or 3 exposures|
|Live View Shooting||Photography Live View Mode
Movie Live View Mode
|Live View AF-area mode||Face-priority AF
|Live View Autofocus||Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)|
|Live View Scene Auto Selector||Auto mode
Auto (flash off) mode
|Movie Metering||TTL exposure metering using main image sensor|
|Movie Maximum recording time||20 minutes at highest quality
29 minutes 59 seconds at normal quality
|Movie File Format||MOV|
|Movie Video Compression||H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding|
|Movie Audio recording format||Linear PCM|
|Movie||HD 1,920×1,080 / 30 fps
HD 1,920×1,080 / 25 fps
HD 1,920×1,080 / 24 fps
HD 1,280×720 / 60 fps
HD 1,280×720 / 50 fps
HD 1,280×720 / 30 fps
HD 1,280×720 / 25
|Movie Audio||Built-in microphone, monaural
External stereo microphone (optional)
|Monitor Size||3.2 in. diagonal|
|Monitor Resolution||921,000 Dots|
|Monitor Type||Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD|
|Monitor Angle of View||170-degree wide-viewing angle|
|Monitor Adjustments||Brightness, 5 levels
Brightness control using ambient brightness sensor
|Virtual Horizon Camera Indicator||Yes|
|Playback Functions||Auto Image Rotation
Full-Frame and Thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar)
Playback with Zoom
|In-Camera Image Editing||Color Balance
D-Lighting Distortion Control
NEF (RAW) Processing
|Interface||Accessory Terminal: Remote Cord: MC-DC2 (available separately); GPS
unit: GP-1 (available separately)
HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
Stereo Microphone Input
|Wi-Fi Functionality||Eye-Fi Compatible
WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter
|GPS||GP-1 GPS unit
GP-1A GPS unit
|Save/Load Camera settings||Yes|
|Total custom Settings||50|
|My Menu||Yes with customization|
Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
|Date, Time and Daylight Savings Time||Yes|
|World Time Setting||Yes|
|Battery / Batteries||EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery|
|Battery Life (shots per charge)||900 shots per charge (Battery Life) (CIPA)|
|AC Adapter||EH-5b AC Adapter
Requires EP-5B Power Supply Connector
|Battery Charger||MH-25 Quick Charger|
|Tripod Socket||1/4 in.|
|Approx. Dimensions||Width: 5.6 in. (141mm)
Height: 4.4 in. (113mm)
Depth: 3.2 in. (82mm)
|Approx. Weight||42 oz. (760g) – camera body only|
|Operating Environment||0-40 °C (+32 104 °F)|