D600 the Affordable full-frame DSLR — What’s the Catch? [Hands on Review]

It’s been out in the marketplace for a while now – but the conversation and questions continue to churn around the D600. Is it all that and a bag of chips? Or is there a catch? Is it a good choice for the working pro and how does it compare to Nikon’s D800? At a pricepoint that is majorly accesible, it offers similar features as the DX-format D7000 and seems to represent a big leap for photographers. For those of us who have been around for a while, it’s interesting to think back only 4 years ago when the D90 landed and changed the way we use our DSLRs forever. (Check out that vintage video I made to launch Nikon’s first-in-class here) In fact, it was just over a decade ago that the first full frame DSLR was announced (Canon EOS 1Ds). At that point it was the realm of the elite pro or wealthy enthusiast at $8,000. Today, the D600, can be found for less than $2,000. We’ve come a long way baby. Given the response to my post on the launch of the D600 , I invited my friend Ben Pitt to continue the conversation with a hands on review of the camera. [At this moment, I'm climbing Kilimanjaro with some friends to bring awareness to clean, safe water in Africa. I've loaded up content for this week with the help of experts like Ben.] You might remember Ben’s last post that described How to take a 7-Gigapixel photo. Take it away Ben. – Chase

When Chase asked for your thoughts about the D600 in September, you didn’t hold back. There was a surprising number of negative comments, but perhaps it’s not so surprising. After all, $2,000 is an amazing price for a full-frame SLR, so anyone with a healthy dose of scepticism will be looking for a catch.

I’ve been shooting with a D600 for a few weeks, and I can confirm that there’s a huge amount to love about this camera. The 24-megapixel full-frame sensor delivers what is, for me, the perfect balance of high detail and low noise. It also allows for 5.5fps continuous shooting – a big improvement on the pricier D800′s 4fps. The controls are almost identical to the D7000′s, but that’s not a criticism – all the key functions fall under the fingers.

Having said that, the Auto ISO mode is more sophisticated than on the D7000 (adapting the shutter speed in line with the focal length) and is quicker to switch on and off. The viewfinder is as big as the D800′s, the screen is just as big and sharp, the weather-sealing equally substantial, and it includes mic in and headphone out sockets. It’s a little smaller and lighter than the D800 but it’s still a comfortable fit in the hand.

There’s not much to report about image quality. We know what Nikon’s JPEG processing engine is capable of, and it’s firing on all cylinders here. Details are sharp and noise is far lower than any cropped-sensor camera. It’s a little lower than from the D800, too, thanks to the lower pixel density.

But surely there’s a catch? Otherwise, the D800 is dead in the water. Yes, there are a few downgrades compared to the D800, which I’ll run through below (I’m not counting the sensor, which for me a sideways movement with its lower detail and lower noise). It’s up to you whether you see them as deal-breakers.

 

Smaller, simpler autofocus sensor

The D600′s 39-point autofocus sensor uses the same layout as the D7000′s. I’ve got no issue with the number of points – after all, Canon’s rival 6D only has 11. However, while the array of points largely fills the D7000′s viewfinder, they’re much more bunched in the centre of the D600′s full-frame viewfinder. This makes it harder to track erratic subjects. Subjects towards the edges of the frame require a focus-recompose-shoot technique.

No aperture adjustment during live view or video capture

Live view generally works well, taking about one second to autofocus – not great but better than many SLRs’ live view. However, while you can adjust the aperture value, it only adjusts the aperture blades just before you take a photo, so there’s no real-time preview of the depth of field.

Personally, I’m not too bothered about this. I’m more bothered by the limited aperture control for video. Here, the only way to adjust the aperture is by exiting live view, spinning the command dial and then re-entering live view. It’s not possible to adjust the aperture while composing a shot on the screen or while recording (unless your lens has an aperture ring). Shutter priority isn’t available for video, either – it’s fully automatic or fully manual only.

No 1080p/60 video

On the subject of video, it doesn’t seem unreasonable in 2012 for a $2,000 camera to be able to record 1080p at 60fps. There are enough $500 cameras that can do it. 60fps shooting is great for slow motion, but on the D600 it’s only available if you’re willing to drop the resolution to 720p. Then again, the same applies to the D800 too. Otherwise, this is an extremely capable video camera, with crisp details and the same colour output as in JPEGs.

No AF On button, PC sync or CompactFlash slot. Different button layout to other full-frame Nikons.

These issues might put off people considering the D600 as a backup camera to a pricier Nikon SLR, and who don’t want to have to give a moment’s thought when switching between cameras. For those coming from the other direction – perhaps going full-frame for the first time – there are easy workarounds.

AF-On lets you assign autofocus and shutter release to separate buttons to avoid unnecessary refocusing when taking a string of shots. The D600 doesn’t have a dedicated AF-On button, but either the AE Lock or front-mounted Fn button can be assigned to this task. You still get a dedicated DOF preview button as well as this Fn button.

PC Sync – add this for $20 or even just $3 with a shoe adapter.

CompactFlash – the fastest 16GB SDHC cards costs $40 – it’s not worth worrying about your old CF cards.

1/200s flash sync

A few comment posters complained about the relatively slow flash sync speed. This seems to be more a criticism of the general direction that Nikon, Canon et al are going – after all, 1/200s isn’t much slower than the D800 and D4′s 1/250s. Besides, switching the D600 to Auto-FP mode (short for Auto Flash Power), I had no problem syncing an off-camera strobe at 1/250s. If you want 1/500s flash sync to reduce the amount sunlight in your flash photography, get yourself a D40 – no current full-frame or cropped-sensor SLR that I know of can do it.

Mysterious dust problems

Various reviewers and forum posters have noticed a build-up of dirt on the D600′s sensor. There’s a risk of this with any SLR, of course, but I can confirm what others have found – the D600 does appear to be more prone to it than most, particularly in the top-left of the frame. More worryingly, the dirt seems to be coming from inside the camera. I’ve been shooting with a single lens, which hasn’t come off since the camera arrived, and there are dust spots now that weren’t there earlier. They’re just about visible on plain areas of photos (such as clear skies) at f8, but in most cases I have to shoot at f/16 or higher for them to show up. That doesn’t excuse it, though. I’ve asked Nikon for a comment, and it’ll be interesting to see how they respond. I’d be tempted to hold out parting with any cash until they do.

The D7000 was – and is – a fantastic camera, but the D600 is a compelling upgrade, delivering the lower noise and extra detail that comes with full-frame but without the usual prohibitive price tag. The smaller autofocus sensor area and dust problems are the only lingering issues for me – hopefully the latter can be resolved. If so, I’d happily pick the D600 over the D800. In the end, it seems there is really no catch.

Professionals looking for a backup camera are probably better off with the D800. It will feel more familiar, and its 36-megapixel sensor is a welcome compliment to the 16-megapixel D4.

_________
You can buy the Nikon D600 from B&H here.

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78 Responses to D600 the Affordable full-frame DSLR — What’s the Catch? [Hands on Review]

  1. Mike January 7, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Ugh, the D90 didn’t have 1% of the impact that the 5D Mark II did.

  2. Malinda Hartong January 7, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    We’re excited to add a D600 with our current D7000 and D300s. The noise in low light and the “kit” 24-85mm lens – flat out amazing! Just got it so we’re excited to try video with it soon! Glenn Hartong, Cincinnati Enquirer staffer is happy to put down the work 5D and pick up a Nikon at home.

  3. Todd January 7, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    It’s great that the price point is coming down for a full frame body, but it isn’t very useful for advanced hobbyists like me who’ve already sunk dollars in DX lenses. I’d have to buy new glass as well.

  4. Gavin Hall January 7, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Chase, your D90 video convinced me to get back into photography, something which has had a major impact on my life since then. I cannot thank you enough, even though I know it was a paid marketing video for a huge multinational.

  5. Matt G Dawson January 7, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    I’m torn between getting this or a mirrorless camera as a backup to my D700. It’s almost perfect, but he dust issue really bothers me. And the Fuji X-E1 looks awesome.

  6. Juha Sompinmäki January 7, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    A lot of reviews are also saying that you need top glass to go with this. The sensor is so good that it will reveal all the defects with lower quality lenses.

    • Ben Pitt January 9, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      That’s true, although not as much as the 36-megapixel D800, which pushes even the best lenses. As a general rule I’d recommend spending half your budget on lenses, but you could start with one or two primes and build up the collection slowly. The 24-85mm kit lens is a decent choice to start with too.

  7. Richard Anthony Evans January 7, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    My thought is after the revelation of the dust collecting on sensor problem it became the ‘catch’. (possibly why huge deals started springing up for it as a kit during the holidays…?) And unless they solve this problem I think the price will continue to drop because people won’t continue to pay $2,000 for a camera with these sensor issues right out the gate.

  8. Joseph Cote January 7, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    You must be mistaken about not being able to sync your camera faster than 1/250s… I sync my D800 and D90 using FP sync well into the 1/4000 range before seeing any issues. That’s the whole point of FP sync mode. Even with PocketWizards you can swing up to (theoretically) 1/8000s using a Mini TT1 and a Flex TT5.

    Unless I’m misunderstanding your statement about sync speeds, I’d check your understanding of FP sync. Without FP sync the D600 will only sync at 1/200s, which is what Canon has synced at for many years. The D800 can sync just fine at 1/250s without using any FP sync, multi flashing magic.

    • Will March 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      FP Sync is not “sync” though, you don’t have full power with FP Sync, its a hack to give you some kind of fill flash at faster shutter speeds. Great to have, but again its not a full sync, the shutter/camera wont handle it.

      Some of the older film cameras can handle 1/500th, leaf shutter stuff can hit somewhere around 1/2000th I believe.

  9. cb January 7, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    There’s clearly room for another Pro body between the D800 and the D4. It could have been the D600 when looking at the MP count, but the 1/200 flash x and the 39 AF points are a killer criteria for me. I shoot both, the D4 and the D800, one some commercial gigs I need a faster camera and having to tell the client that they have to upscale the D4 files for a double page is a hard thing to do in 2013. On the other hand, I did a lot of shoots on the D800 and not on medium format in situations where I needed a native din a2 size. I wish Nikon wouldn’t go after their marketing department and just put out a FF camera in between those two.

  10. Dean January 7, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    I have heard that it is not dust, but lubricant that is causing the spots on the sensor. This obviously would require more frequent and time-consuming cleaning than mere dust particles.

  11. Jon Viscott January 7, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    I just got my D600 back today from Nikon. I wet cleaned the sensor a couple of times but after my last trip to Lake Tahoe, I retired the camera for the rest of the trip. 8000+ shots and oil spots all over the sensor. High contrast photos will bring out a shit storm of oil spots. This problem won’t go away magically. You need to send you camera into Nikon and have them fix the source of the oil spray.

    Ironically Nikon recently moved 2 miles down the street from me here in Los Angeles which makes it convenient to drop off the camera. But it’s faster to have them ship it back. The post card telling you your camera is ready takes 3 days to travel 2 miles and the Nikon Service website always seems at least a day behind in the status of your repair.

    Turn-around time was fast! I dropped the body off Wednesday 1/2 and it was shipped back to me on Friday 1/4 and was here today 1/7/2013.

    The D600 31 Point AF not as nice as my 51 point on my D3s. Exposure compensation is only 3 stops. And HIGH ISO 6400 is noisy compared to the champ D3s.

    Otherwise the D600 is a great camera and my back up!

    • Shawn January 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      Thank you for the tip. I am still waiting for my D600 to arrive, and it’s nice to know there is a solve for a problem that may arise.

  12. Christopher Murphy January 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Couple of points. DX lenses do work fine on this body, you get 10MB files from them and the frame darkens automatically so you can see the boundaries for the smaller image circle. Cleaning this camera is as any other, you just need to do it more when the body is new. A few thousand frames into the life of the body and internal oil and dust diminish. The biggest problem is the centered AF points if you are an ‘artistic’ shooter and range beyond shooting at what is directly in front of you. This requires a lost skill called planning and pre-visualization of what you want. The biggest niggle I had with the body was having to program the meter indicator as it was backwards out of the box from my D7000 and D200 bodies. IT can be done easily though, just read the manual. Build quality is on par with the D7000 but not nearly as rugged as a D200/D300/D700. With some care in handling anyone can shoot what they need with this camera. Be prepared to buy many hard drives due to file size for storage.

  13. Peter Burkwood January 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Been looking long and hard at this camera and still wasn’t convinced. Ended moving my entire set up over to Fujifilm and selling my entire Nikon set up.

    Nikon needed to upgrade the D700, they didn’t. So many pros now moving to 5DMkIII or XPro1.

    P

    • JS February 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

      +1

    • Will March 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      5D Mark III? I ran away from Canon for the D800. Marginal upgrade for more than the D800, no thank you. I sold over 5k in lenses and 5D Mark II gear. Noise and dynamic range are far better, as for the XPro1 yes its a pretty great camera (I’d love one) but it doesn’t replace a 35mm for everyone especially for action.

  14. Valdis Kaulins January 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Two months later after I bought D800, there was many problems with focusing – a the moment, I have send it to Nikon, dust problems with D600, vr problems with new 105mm Nikkor micro (so many problems just in three months) – I don’t trust Nikon anymore… I hope that Nikon will find the solutions and next camera will be much better… Good luck everyone, who have plans to get new Nikon cameras…

  15. MJ January 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    I laugh at the first comment. The D90 out sold the 5D in my store 20-1 at least. That’s more of an impact. Now we have an amazing full frame for $2k. Unfortunately the first questions I get are regarding the spots on the sensor. I’ve not heard anything back from Nikon on this either. Sad to say.

  16. thomas chamberlin January 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Having the same ‘dust’ problem with my D4. It appears even if I never remove the lens and won’t go away with the blower so my guess it is the lubricant. And I have never seen that many dust spots with my D3, which I am still shooting along side the D4.

  17. Ralph Law January 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Kilimanjaro is not a climb. It is a hike. I know a fine lady who hiked to the summit when she was 80 and was still hiking around the foothills of the East Bay (No. California) at 90.

    If you would embellish a hike might it be the same for being a professional shill for a camera.

    On a serious note: How do the D600 and Canon 6D actually compare in use in the field. Not the specs…a money can do that..but actual use?

    • Anonymous January 8, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      you sound like a complete douche

    • Jeff Greene January 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      Really dude?

      Kili is definitely considered a “climb”. Perhaps it doesn’t require a full rack of gear to reach the top, but it does demand stamina, strength, and agility, and will severely test anyone attempting to summit.

      It is certainly more than just a “hike”…

      “On a serious note:” How about thinking twice before you insult the author of a blog post, question his impartiality, and then have the chutzpah to solicit his professional insight and advice?

      Here’s a bit of advice: Feel free to use spell check and proper punctuation next time… If you’re going to behave like an arrogant ass, at least make it easier for readers to understand what the hell you’re trying to write so that we can quickly dismiss it with a knowing chuckle and then move on…

      Until then, …take a hike.

  18. Markus Wetzlmayr January 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Sadly, for a concert shooter like me the focus point arrangement is a clear dealbreaker. There’s no room for recomposing when shooting wide open (f2-f2.8) and focusing in extreme (low) lighting situations is difficult enough as it is …

    I had the chance to get my hands on a D4 and play around with it for a while and it would be the perfect camera for my needs – but damn, that price is just too much.

    Well, maybe there’s a camera for me in the next round of new Nikons :) Maybe the D900 will do the trick …

    • StanChung January 8, 2013 at 6:44 am #

      I was thinking the same thing. Now toying with the idea of shooting DX with the D800 for manageable 16mp files as I have 3 DX lenses. AFS12-24 f4, AFS17-55 f2.8, AFS35 f1.8.
      Using FX only for ‘special shots’.

      Decision would be very easy if money wasn’t a factor. :\

  19. mark January 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    The relatively slow x-sync speed is really a turn off. How come they sacrificed a third of a stop for this, while they can certainly do a 1/250s

    The 1/250s Auto FP means auto FP sync (focal plane). On this mode, a FP sync capable flash turns to strobed mode (flash repeatedly as the shutter moves along the FP) as opposed to a single burst.

    This allows for a faster shutter speed at the expense of output. So from a native xsync of 1/200, then moving to 1/250 with auto FP, you may lose at least a third of a stop on the flash output… Quite a lot considering the limited power a hot shoe flash have. While they might have done a hack (big difference on how flash gun behaves on 1/200 Auto FP and 1/250 Auto FP modes) there is still some power loss when moving to 1/250s . This is documented on page 235 of the EN d600 manual.

    I routinely use a pair of sb900s on an old camera with a 1/500s xsync speed and still feel the limited power these little flash have. However, I could sacrifice power for the agility these flash guns provide. It just a matter of making an acceptable shot on a quite limited envelope, than having nothing at all due to the time it takes to setup big lights.

    If I do move to a camera with a slower xsync, then I would just have to get used to having high loss CPLs (el cheapo hoya greens), and NDs to tame the shutter speeds.

  20. faisal January 8, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    There is always a catch, too many here.

  21. Girish January 8, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    Hi .. thanks for a hands on review for d600, am a canon user and it would be great if you could give a hands on review for 6D as well.

  22. Steve January 8, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    I stopped by B&H a few weeks ago and asked about the dust problem. I was told that it showed up in the early batches of D600s, and they have not heard about it with more recent batches leading them to believe that Nikon addressed it….whether they actually have or not is another story.

    • Michael February 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      Steve…the short answer and this is even with the latest “service advisory” Nikon has not fully addressed the issue beyond band-aids in the form of sensor cleanings. And it surprises me that B&H would tell you that. I’ve gone through 2 new D600′s and a refirb, all three from B&H, all after the new year…and regrettably, all with messy sensors. The refirb was purchased thinking Nikon addressed the issue, it was the worst of the three. The two new bodies had spots on the sensor right out of the box and the problem worsened after 100, 200, 300 frames.

      Its hugely disappointing. The 24mp chip, the size of the camera in hand, the Nikon glass, make this the “right” camera for me. But the execution in manufacturing – if thats what this is about – is dreadful. And I will add I am a working photographer who has sold off all his Canon gear – a pair of 5DmkII’s and 8 lenses to make the jump to Nikon. The D800 is just not an option for a lot of reasons – one is the focus is unreliable.

      Sorry to be windy, but wanted to chime in.

  23. Steve January 8, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    BTW, I have heard that the Canon 6D is cleaner at ISO 3,200 and 6,400, which, if true, is a bit disturbing.

    • Jeff Greene January 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      That may be, but you need to check an unprocessed RAW file to make an accurate determination. JPEGs from the 6D may have been processed with High ISO Noise Reduction in-camera.

      • Ben Pitt January 9, 2013 at 11:53 am #

        I found that the Canon 5D Mark III showed less noise than the D600 at ISO 6400 + for JPEGs, but comparing raw, there was very little in it. If anything, the Nikon came out on top. The Canon still retained lots of detail in JPEGs, so I’d say its noise reduction is more powerful/successful. But if you really care about noise levels, raw is surely the way to go.

  24. Will Austin January 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    I picked one up the other day and really like it but not for a reason anyone else mentions – the shutter sound is wonderfully quiet. My D700 is so loud that I hesitate to use it to shoot Jazz shows, weddings, etc. And I have zero dust, none, maybe I got lucky. But it is hard to get used to the button layout as opposed to the pro cameras. Another thing I noticed is that it works extremely well with my old AI-S glass. Thanks for the great review!

    • Ben Pitt January 9, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      Good point. I’ve always loved the refined Nikon ‘clunk’.

      If anyone wants a seriously quiet camera, check out the Panasonic GH3 with its optional electronic shutter – completely silent.

    • Anonymous January 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      How does it handle hi ISOs compared to the D700. I just bought a new D700 after waiting aganisingly long for the d800 to ship. I hated doing it, but really needed a new body and just couldnt wait any longer. I love my 700, but wonder all the time if I shoulda just waited it out.

  25. Carl D January 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    My D600 is at Nikon Repair Center for the “dust issue” right now. We’ll see how that goes.

    It fills the buffer WAY too easily. I rarely am able to squeeze 5.5 frames out of it more than a second or 2.

    Even though I se the FN button to control exposure bracketing, it doesn’t work.

    The no AF-ON button is a pita.

    Image quality is fantastic.

    Cheers

    Carl

    • Ben Pitt January 9, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      Try switching Distortion Correction off in the menu – I found that this increased the longevity of the 5.5fps rate from 15 to 68 shots before it slowed down. It’s also worth investing in a fast SDHC card – this result with a 95MB/s Sandisk.

  26. Tracy January 9, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    In the market for a new camera & adding new glass.
    The price of the D600 sparked interest in moving up to a
    full frame, but nothing I have read or seen about the d600 really
    interest me to the point I feel I want to make that jump yet. For the
    cost, it has way to many flaws right out he gate. Will take the once coveted
    but now outdated/old school cam D90 and some quality glass any day
    of the week over this.

  27. Sara January 9, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Wonderful review thanks ;)

  28. Matthew G. Monroe January 9, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    An excellent overview of both the strengths and weaknesses of the D600. The slow safe-sync speed is definitely a turn off… On the other hand, this camera takes absolutely jaw-droppingly gorgeous photos. Stunningly, really. And let’s be honest: even with it’s (minor) faults, the D600 kicks butt over any digital camera from more than four years back.

    BTW, though I don’t own a D600, I have had the chance to play with a loaner, and it was –– by far –– the most intuitive camera that I’ve ever laid my hands on.

  29. Chris January 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    I had the same oil/dust problem with a brand-new d7000, the lubricant on the shutter springs flicks onto the image sensor. The best solution is to wait a year or so and buy a low-mileage, often-serviced used version from a similarly over-eager nerd at 2/3 the price.

    • Andy January 15, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Had the same problem you just described with my d7000 in its first year, too. Before I found out that I was not on my end but a problem the camera had had since I got it from the store, I had already spent 35,- EUR on a sensor cleansing – Sad! Since then I had to turn it in two more times to get the oily spots removed from the sensor (covered by the warranty). Fortunately in the meantime (20.000 pics later) they have not returned, but I was very upset to see my holiday photos of 2011 ruined with 50 dark spots or so. Shame on you Nikon!

  30. Steven Schwartz January 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    I’ve shot over 5,000 pics with my D600 and am blown away with how much better they look than the D7000, which looked (I thought) really good. Video is amazing and I ask, who changes aperture during filming a shot anyway? Maybe if you have a focus puller and rehearse the move (going from say a brightly lit street to a shadowed interior) you’d want to adjust the f stop. Or, you could put it on automatic aperture and time the move to hide the change. Or, you could do what I did and buy lenses with aperture rings and have them “de-clicked”. Yes, unfortunately the dust spots are there, but I don’t see them in my images as I nearly always shoot with apertures f8 or wider by using ND filters. Some day I’ll deal with cleaning the sensor, but for me it’s just not a pressing problem.

    Bottom line for me is that the D600 produces gorgeous, richly colored stills and video and because of the great variety of Nikon glass makes for a fantastic camera system, and that’s what matters to me.

  31. LAP January 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Since I never got much use out of my F5 before I dove into digital, I’ve been waiting to get an affordable Nikon FF DSLR. Since I’m also interested in using the camera for video, it looks like I’ll have to wait a bit longer. The inability to change aperture in live view is a bit of a deal breaker, but the clincher for me is the lake of 60/fs at 1080p. My hope is that Nikon will address both limitations in D600 price point.

  32. almostinfamous January 17, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Auto-FP does NOT stand for Auto Flash Power. Sorry to be a pedant, but the FP stands for Focal Plane. Which the flash is syncing to.

    FP-Sync is Nikon’s answer to Canon’s HSS, as described in the first result from my google search here : http://www.scantips.com/lights/flashbasics2b.html

  33. MG January 18, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    I had a D300s and was thrilled with it, but it was stolen along with a bunch of gear from in September. Hastily needing a camera I purchased the just released D600. I use it primarily as a video camera, and am fairly abusive to my gear – to that end the camera has several issues. The construction of the base is not nearly as durable. After the first tumble onto concrete the PLASTIC beneath the battery cracked (thought it this was all metal).. and If shooting video for a long period of time occasionally the camera freaks out and says “ERR” upon which I have to remove the battery, and fire a few photo frames not in live view for it to start working again- super weird. The D300s was a far more reliable and sturdy camera for my needs.

  34. RE January 18, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    No one mentioned the that the D600 misses the “Zoom to focus point with center button in playback mode” feature which that D300(s) and the D800 has.
    That bothered me so much that I decided to spend €400 more on the D800. And the D800 body alone is worth the additional money!

  35. Steve January 26, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    This is all useful and interesting info. I *really* want to pick up a D600, but I’m definitely going to wait until I can confirm that Nikon has fixed the problem once and for all. If they don’t/can’t, I’ll pick up a refurb 5100 until something better comes along in full frame. I’d pick up the Canon 6D in a minute, but the lack of built-in flash is a show-stopper for me — I’m not a professional, so having to carry along an external flash is a no-go.

  36. SoCal Dave February 1, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    Don’t know why everyone continues to complain about frame rate. If you want more speed you can have it anytime you want. Just choose a lower resolution and you have the best of both worlds.

    **If you choose 1.2X mode it shoots 25MP (6144×4080) @ 5FPS with no added grip or anything.

    The D700 did the exact same 5FPS but at only 12.1MP – 1/2 the amount the D800 will do at the same frame rate!
    The D600 only does 1/2 of one FPS more at the same pixel density as the D800 in 1.2X mode (5.5FPS) but the buffer is smaller.

    A D800 with a grip in DX mode you get 6FPS @ 15.4MP (very much approximating the D7000 sensor density and the matching the D7000′s maximum 6FPS w/ or w/o grip no difference).
    I will of course grant that the D700 beat either the D600 or D800 with grip it would do 8FPS – but again at only 12.1MP.

    Seems like no one bothered to look at the instructions manual on this issue or that reviewers just didn’t take the time to rely understand the camera.

    • Jürgen Pfeiffer February 19, 2013 at 9:20 am #

      Hi all,
      the D600 is no option for a pro. Not at all. The autofocus module is just so crappy. I had the camera for a weekend and what good for is a camera which is good at high ISO if you cannot focus anymore? The module (3500) is what really makes the difference between pro and amateur cameras. This is why the D300s is considered pro and I can really tell the difference between the 3500 and the 4800! Try to focus with a D7000 or D600 in low light – or worse – against the light. This might work more or less with the cross sensors but as soon as you’re using the normal focus points: Have fun observing yourself with the best pictures not being taken by you because your camera is focussing back and forth while the action is over.
      You can try to compensate with setting the “focus tracking with lock-on” to “off” but that just makes the camera focus faster, not more accurate. I’m completely disappointed by the D600. All the spots in the center? WTF? Do I want to photograph weddings, couples and everything as it happens or plain pancakes?
      There’s something aside from the specs and this makes me rather pick a D300s than a D600.

  37. Carl D February 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Surprised no one has mentioned trying to shoot HDR images; the auto bracketing burst setup on the D600 is ridiculously limited and doesn’t work well at all. I don’t know why Nikon did this.

    Sent my D600 in for the dust issue, and I’ll see whether they’ve actually “fixed” anything, or simply cleaned it. I only just got it back.

    The cluster for the AF sensors is a pita.

    No AF-On button is a pita.

    The files, and the size of the body, are great. A super little lightweight backpacking model.

  38. Jürgen Pfeiffer February 19, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Btw: This is the first camera from Nikon below 2000€ (body only) that delivers great image quality at ISO 200. 24MP is also just right (currently).

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  46. jread March 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Working with the Nikon D600 is like watching algae grow in a petri dish. On the 5th day there are only 300 spots on the 10th day this has multiplied to 500 spots without even changing a lens. One click of the shutter and 400 hundred clicks of the spot remover if you need to enlarge or publish. Think about it before you purchase the D600! A waste of money, time and effort. Not a camera for a pro? Not a camera for anyone wanting to take clean shots.

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