Can a Nikon D700 user learn to love the D600?
Posted on 31 Oct ’12 by Earl
I’ve been in the process of evaluating a Nikon D600 DSLR as a possible upgrade to my D700 — code for renting before buying.
Here’s a few observations bounced against my experience with the Nikon D700 for a few years.
As every review has already stated, the D600 is smaller and lighter then the D700 but the D600 still fits my hand okay. They say it has a body similar to the D7000 but I’ve not held a D7000 so I can’t confirm that. Being smaller and lighter is a good thing in most respects and with many of my Nikon lens there’s a good balance to the camera. However, with a heavier lens, the 24-70mm f/2.8 for one, it noticeably feels a little more “front heavy” then the D700. Just something to get use to, I guess.
The camera and it’s controls feel substantial enough but they don’t have the tank-like quality feel of the D700. Again subjective, but I’d love to have the D600 sensor and processing engine in the D700 body.
Nikon changed some of the controls on the D600 from what was available on the D700 and they’ve removed the DB10 sync port from the left front and the other ports, including a GPS port, are on the left side. Change is hard but none of these are deal breakers for me.
The rear screen and camera menu system are better on the D600 and I like the fact that user U1 & U2 actually saves all your settings. Much better then the “bank” system on the D700. I would use this feature.
The slower shutter speed (1/4000 vs. 1/8000) and slower flash sync (1/200 vs 1/250) doesn’t affect 99.5% of my photography requirements so I’m not going to sweat those details. The reduced number of autofocusing points also doesn’t bother me to any great extent…those it has, focus very fast.
Image quality…the stuff that counts! Here the D600 clearly has it over the D700 at least in “nomal” lighting situations and from what I’ve read it can give the D700 a run for it’s money at noise in low lighting as well. IMO the D600′s 24.3 mp resolution is in the upper range of the sweet spot for digital images as far as being practical (for me.) Large files with lots of detail but yet not too-large for post-processing and storage.
I shoot mainly RAW but for a recent event I shot JPEG with the D600 and I found it to product excellent JPEG photos. Nikon’s digital processing engine in the D600 does a great job balancing everything.
My conclusion — yes I believe a Nikon D700 user could learn to love a D600 but that doesn’t mean they will not look back fondly on the D700. The Nikon D700 is one of those classics.
I’ve returned the rental and placed an order.