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Thread: D600 - First Impressions

  1. #1
    darkslide's Avatar
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    D600 - First Impressions

    I'm not usually one that dashes out and gets the latest of anything, as a general rule, so this is all rather new for me!!

    I picked up the D600 on reputation alone, about a week ago and my first impressions are quite positive, I have to say.

    In terms of ergonomy, it fits my hands as well as the D700 before it, but is noticeably lighter. I'm used to NIKON so the controls all fall where I expect them to. The viewfinder is 100% (or near as dammit) so that's an improvement and the viewing screen is slightly larger than the 3" I'm used to - but it's "slightly" larger - i.e.; doesn't really notice.

    The mode selector wheel, top left, now latches - this is a good thing, as does the frame selection wheel below it (but then, that always did lock). The virtual horizon which I like on other models, is simply a graded scale at the bottom of the viewfinder - this is ok for the horizontal but there's no vertical scale, which I think is a shame.

    Moving the mode selector to this wheel has taken up the space previously used for the ISO/WB/Quality etc. buttons on previous models so these are now accessible from the buttons to the left of the monitor - again, no big deal, in my opinion.

    People like Ren Kockwell bemoan the transfer of the AF selection to the lower left of the body, next to the lens mount - frankly I can't see that it makes a great deal of difference - in fact it seems more logical to group the controls for the AF in one place. Another thing he goes on (and on, and on, and on) about is the choice of user specified settings buttons U1 and U2. In the past we had 4 separate groups, all programmed from the rear menu, as these are as well, but they had to be selected from the menu display, as opposed to turning this wheel. I use basically two setups, so it makes little difference personally.

    Trap doors instead of floppy rubber to cover the HDMI/USB etc. ports is a great improvement, although there's still no lock or latch on the door giving access to the memory cards.

    This model has full HD video - whatever floats your boat - I have enough difficulty with still pictures, so video is a definite no no for me - but I'm sure some will like it.

    I often take long exposures, so for me the inclusion of a rear blind would have been nice - but instead I've got a nice little piece of easily lost plastic supplied with the camera - cheap.

    As a general rule I shoot landscapes, so there's not much moving in my viewfinder - the following images will confirm this - the AF seems to be as reactive as any of my other camera bodies, and as I generally shoot on A I'm not going to much use discussing the pros and cons of the SCENE or AUTO modes. Sorry.

    The shutter is VERY quiet, compared to what I'm used to, and seems very fast - a strange thing to say, but sometimes shutters sound like shutters, a bit clanky - this one sounds very 'clean' and precise.

    Still early days - I'll gladly answer any questions as I'm sure there are stacks of things I've forgotten.

    Here are a couple of recent images taken with the 20mm AF-D

    D600 - First Impressions

    D600 - First Impressions

    D600 - First Impressions

    And one from an hour ago (Friday)

    D600 - First Impressions
    Last edited by darkslide; 5th October 2012 at 07:34 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Ian: don't you find the colours very rich and deep, along with images being very, very, shape. As to the virtual horizon, I found it you use live view, and push info you can cycle around to get it to come up, it gives both pitch and roll, and if you leave it very time you use live view it will appear. I found it to be pretty accurate. It is a camera that is a lot of fun to use, still amazed at the images as I am forced to shot raw and jpeg as Adobe does not have the converter for it, but the jpegs are simiply dazzling.
    So happy shooting.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    You seem happy overall with your selection, that's what counts.

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    ...I found it you use live view...
    Not used to Liveview - I'll give it a try - thanks for the tip!

    As for ADOBE I am using LIGHTROOM to read the NEF files, and Camera Raw has been updated for the D600 too...

  5. #5
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    You seem happy overall with your selection, that's what counts.
    Indeed - I purchased this as a second (third?) body to be stuck in a small bag with a couple of fixed focal length lenses, so weight was important - obviously the full-frame bit counted too!

  6. #6

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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    A friend told me yesterday the LR4 had an update, when I checked for CS6 there was none, thanks I have checked and there is an update for Camera Raw that now included the D600. That was the fastest update Adobe has done for a new camera, faster than the D4 or D800's. I know can stop shooting in jpeg and only shoot raw. So keep you batteries charged, and pass me another memory card.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    I'm downloading the LR4 update right now, so there is a new one that just came out. The message popped up as soon as I opened LR.

    One of these days Adobe will fix the ACR / Lightroom RAW converter to give accurate colours, so I will be doing some testing when I get a chance to be able to shoot again. The fall colours are close to their prime this weekend, but I guess there will always be next year....

    Congratulations on the new camera Ian. It sounds like you are enjoying it. I had pretty well the same reaction you did when I got the D800. It sounds like the D600 has the same design to block the viewfinder as the D90 has.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 5th October 2012 at 08:01 PM.

  8. #8
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Thanks Manfred - I enjoy the D800 too but for different reasons - horses for courses and all that.

    We have a small concert venue where I work and I took them both to a concert last week (They told me they enjoyed it - thank you Ian) and looking at the resulting images made me realize that the D3s just simply cannot be beaten in low-light/hi-ISO conditions. They images were ok, but lacked the punch (and almost total lack of noise) that I'm used to.

    It's ironic really because we're talking about ISO values of 6400 (D600) and 8000 (D800) which are so incredibly hi, but we're still fussing over detail - and frankly, the detail I achieve with 8000 ISO on the D3s is amazing (to me) - of course, when I actually learn to take decent photographs everything will be perfect! (I'll post an example later, if you're not already too bored!!)

    As promised: ISO 8000

    D600 - First Impressions
    Last edited by darkslide; 6th October 2012 at 05:27 AM.

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Ian I can't comment on the D600 but I do like your shots! Very nice.

    Dave

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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Ian I can't comment on the D600 but I do like your shots! Very nice.

    Dave
    Yes indeed! Number 3 has a particularly interesting composition and number one feels a bit spooky! Well done on all of them.

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Hi Ian, as you own both the 800 & 600 please let me know why you prefer one over the other in the various situations that you find yourself. i will buy one or the other early november and am leaning towards the 800 i cant afford both!! (well i could but im expecting a fast DX model soon and will get one of those as well (dont tell the wife)) so if you could pass along the info that would be great.

    Nice images by the way coulour looks good ect, looking forward to my new toy!

  12. #12
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    Hi Ian, as you own both the 800 & 600 please let me know why you prefer one over the other in the various situations that you find yourself. i will buy one or the other early november and am leaning towards the 800 i cant afford both!! (well i could but im expecting a fast DX model soon and will get one of those as well (dont tell the wife)) so if you could pass along the info that would be great.

    Nice images by the way coulour looks good ect, looking forward to my new toy!
    I purchased the D800 as a direct replacement for my D700 – and it’s quite impressive in terms of détail with such a lot of pixels. I have a penchant for extreme/ultra wide angles and luckily I have some decent glass as I think this sort of machine will really show up defaults in lenses.

    The D600 was purchased as a second body for a small ‘travelling’ kit of a body and a couple of decent primes – and as I’ve mentioned earlier the weight saving is quite noticeable.

    Both cameras fit my fairly large hands – I’ve always been ‘comfortable’ with Nikon bodies, and there’s no real operating différence in terms of the button layout.

    I prefer the shooting menus, the viewfinder blind, and the ISO/WB/Quality buttons on the D800, but I think this is simply a throwback from the D700 – they’re where I expect them to be, so any change (D600) is slightly disconcerting.

    This said, I feel the D600 is perfectly suited to my style of photography, the quality of the images is first class, it has everything I really need in terms of controls.

    I don’t use flash – ever – so the flash sync of 1/200s isn’t a problem for me, and frankly I can’t really imagine the fastest shutter speed of 1/4000s is going to restrict me in any way.

    The ISO range (100-6400 before going into Hi and Lo 1 etc.) is also perfectly adequate – although I’ve yet to experiment with ISO 100 which is the ‘new’ base ISO on these two cameras. (It was 200 up until now – obviously down to these new NIKON designed, SONY manufactured sensors)

    I think, to be honest, if I had the choice to make again, I’d probably go for the D600 – but I certainly won’t be letting go of either of these now I’ve got ‘em !
    Last edited by darkslide; 6th October 2012 at 06:49 AM.

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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Thanks for this review Ian, very useful for me. I am thinking about adding a D600 to my equipment, so it is good to hear some comments and see some of the photos you shot.
    I will wait for a while (this time) before buying, although I have to admit I have been sorely tempted to order one straight away. Although Nikon seems to be rather inactive on the DX front, I get the impression that they may have produced a superb FX camera with the D600. The fact that it is so alike to the D7000 in body format is certainly a positive for me. I try to always travel with a small bag of equipment (heavy enough as is) and this would fit right in.

    The lighting on your photos looks very good. At first I thought you might have used the HDR function, but you don't mention it, so probably not.
    I would be curious to hear how that performs by the way. The output will be in JPEG only I guess.

  14. #14
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    No, no in-camera HDR - can't get my head around stuff like that! But of course you're right - I must give it a go one day.

    Just for the record, I saw this earlier today...and I quite like the form (105mm Micro)

    D600 - First Impressions

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    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Well, I finally purchased a D600 as well. Just before Christmas, so I had some time to play around with it. I also changed my Nikkor 18-200mm for the new Nikkor 70-200mm F/4.

    Being used to the D7000, the transition to the D600 is fairly easy. The D600 is slightly more robust that the D7000, apart from that most of the camera looks very similar.
    The menu structure is basically the same, although the look and feel has improved ever so slightly, so implementing my favourite settings was a breeze. I just put the two bodies next to each other and tweaked everything.

    One improvement I really like is in the ISO settings (Shooting menu). The minimum shutter speed can now be set to Auto and the camera will adjust shutter speed according to the lens you have on camera. Very useful with zoom lenses, as it adjusts up and down automatically while you zoom. You can set this function to faster or slower, depending on your needs, so this little extra is very flexible all in all.

    Viewfinder is very nice. A bit more limited than the D800, which has more crops, but for me this works fine. I'll use FX and crop where needed. The DX crop seems a bit useless to me.

    I tested the focus for my various lenses and have to say that I could not find any focus issues. Live screen and normal autofocus work perfectly and I could not detect significant differences.
    The sensor is clean (so far). This seems to have been an issue with some D600s earlier on, so we'll see how that develops over time.

    The combination of camera with the new Nikkor 70-200mm is very good. The lens is long, but not too heavy and I can live with the F/4 (as opposed to the heavier F/2.8 version). Very sharp results out of the box, good colour rendition. The VR feels very stable when shooting at 200mm (or less of course) and in combination with the Auto shutter function of the camera produces solid results.

    The effect of the FX sensor (compared to the DX sensor I had in the D7000) is very visible in the photos, so I am looking forward to macro photography (where every pixel should pull its weight).

    The camera shows good results at higher ISOs. Although my current maximum is at 3200 the camera is capable of higher ISOs still and the results would probably still be acceptable at 6400.

    The HDR function is fun. You can set it for one shot or continuous and can leave it on Auto or adjust for 1, 2 or 3 EV. In my experience so far you need to adjust this yourself, the auto function is average.

    The User settings are great. I was used to them on the D7000 and am glad that they continued on this camera. I have U1 set for landscape photography with a lower ISO and AF-S in A mode and U2 for general photography with ISO at 3200 and AF-C in A mode.
    Apart from that I use the M mode quite a lot. S isn't really my thing and P mode doesn't do it for me really. Ken Rockwell is always going on about P mode and how great it is, but I find it limiting actually.

    Anyone else with comments on this camera?
    Last edited by Letrow; 2nd January 2013 at 11:13 AM.

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    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    I purchased the D800 as a direct replacement for my D700 – and it’s quite impressive in terms of détail with such a lot of pixels. I have a penchant for extreme/ultra wide angles and luckily I have some decent glass as I think this sort of machine will really show up defaults in lenses.
    Was the lower sensor resolution on the D700 a major reason for you to change to D800?

  17. #17
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    So far, so good. The camera shoots really nice and I am getting good results. One thing that you have to watch out for is the metering though. It seems to be focused heavily on the focus point you use (DOH, but hear me out).
    In matrix metering mode that can be surprising if you have big contrasts in one scene. Something to think about when shooting.

    In Auto ISO you can have the shutter set at auto as well. Very nice if you use zoom lenses, as the camera will adjust shutterspeed based on the zoom.
    As Mansurov explains: "you now have an option called “Auto”, which will automatically set the minimum shutter speed to the focal length of the lens. For example, if you are shooting with a 50mm lens, the minimum shutter speed will be set to 1/50 of a second. If you can handle slower shutter speeds, you can set “Auto” to be 1/2 or 1/4 the focal length of the lens. Or if you have shaky hands, you can set it to 2x or 4x the focal length of the lens. Think of “Auto” as -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, similar to exposure compensation in full stops. If your focal length is 50mm, your “Auto” setting would look like this: 1/13, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200.

    The only thing you (meaning I if I am honest) have to get used to with this feature is that sometimes in P or A mode it will be hard to make any changes to shutter and/or aperture if the light conditions are poor, because the camera will already have adjusted for minimum conditions.
    Changes would still be possible if auto ISO would adjust upward, but as the manual states: In modes P and A, sensitivity will only be adjusted if underexposure would result at the shutter speed selected for Minimum shutter speed.
    Now, that makes sense of course, but I miss a bit of flexibility here.

    As I said, so far so good. I do have a bit of learning to do though, especially on using the modes most effectively.

  18. #18

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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Reading all of this make me think again. Can a camera make you a better photographer?
    Just look at the dynamic range of the D600 - WOW!

    As to the question - can a camera make you a better photographer? What do you guys think. If you can get those "impossible" shots and those low light shots, hand held. Does it not open many new doors and give you more opportunities to take better pictures?

    Just asking.

  19. #19

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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Just look at the dynamic range of the D600 - WOW!
    But what does one DO with such a dynamic range? If you can't compress the shadow details into 4 or 6 stops then they can't be printed / displayed.

  20. #20
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: D600 - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    But what does one DO with such a dynamic range? If you can't compress the shadow details into 4 or 6 stops then they can't be printed / displayed.
    You are just jealous. Wait till you upgrade from your current brand and you will see

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