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Thread: D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

  1. #1
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    I should entitle this as "How Much Resolution Do You Need?"

    Or "If you want to see a portrait of me, look into this guy's eye"


    I was having a photowalk to test these two cameras in some real life shooting situations. A 50mm f1.4G was on the D600, while a 35mm Carl Zeiss was on the D800. This storekeeper was a willing subject. These aren't great photos, but I just wanted a comparison in a day to day photo grab. D600 images were in camera jpg files, D800 images were in camera RAW files.

    Comments on a postcard please!

    I'll post large images in colour and black and white here, along with links to original files for the pixel peepers out there:

    1. D600 - f3.5, 1/250th, ISO450, 50mm, -1/3EV

    Original

    http://philpage.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v66/p1227374672.jpg

    Colour

    D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    B&W

    D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison


    2. D800, f5, 1/80th, ISO320, 35mm, -1/3EV

    Original

    http://philpage.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v65/p1227296838.jpg

    Colour

    D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    B&W

    D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison
    Last edited by dubaiphil; 29th October 2012 at 04:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    Based on your postings, From an end product standpoint, there really isn't a lot to choose from going for either the D600 or the D800. I guess that really shouldn't surprise anyone.

    As a D700 shooter, what are your views on using these two models?

  3. #3
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    My ideal:

    D800 body, focus system and ergonomics
    D600 sensor inside

    Posting at this on screen resolution is irrelevant obviously, and there is extra detail in the D800 files if you peep. The dynamic range of the D600 sensor is brilliant and resolution increase is more manageable file size wise.

    Below is a shot which I've tried before with my D700. The 'skylights' around the roof of the market blow out completely and I couldn't recover from RAW. Shadow detail in the dark areas around the blown skylights were lost. A .jpg straight out of camera with a D600 and far more detail was attained (I used Normal ADL as a preset).

    D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

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    kris's Avatar
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    Re: D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    To see the difference between the two cameras you really have to get closer and analyze the pictures in details.
    Also you are comparing two photos with different settings.

    For the "everyday" photo, and at the usual printing sizes, you rarely could tell the difference, so you can equally go well with 24Mpix as with 36Mpix. There was a lot of discussions, and it is still an "open-question", on the difference between the D800 (36Mpix) and 5D Mark III (24Mpix).

    IMHO the real difference is that the D800 is a pro (or semi-pro) camera while the D600 is an high-end consumer camera. The D800 body is derived from the D700, which in turns comes from D300. The D600 from the D7000.

    I have a D800 but I also used a D600. When you switch from one to the other you have exactly the same impression as switching from a D300 to a D7000, both of which I also have.

    The D600 is a marketing camera, made to "made accessible the FX to everybody", as Nikon itself said. This does means that the D600 is a bad camera or worst than the D800. Just means that they have been made for different targets.

    The questions on which camera is better or if it is better 36Mpix vs 24Mpix actually depends on your use.
    IMHO if the price difference is not a problem, and you really do not need to push the camera at its limits, just take the two camera in your hands and choose the one you are more comfortable with. Not only with the body, but also with the commands because they have been made with different philosophy, consumer vs pro.

  5. #5
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    Andrea - this is not a like for like scientific pixel peeping test.

    This is a very well discussed topic, and there are a wealth of websites posting sharpness/resolution graphs charts, etc etc etc

    By posting the originals I am purely letting people see what that resolution gets them. Yes, it's with different settings, different lenses, different bodies. From a photographer's perspective you wouldn't want to shoot that close at f3.5 with a 35mm lens as the DoF would not be sufficient.

    What I am seeing from my loaner D600 and D800 is that instantly the D800 feels like a photography tool. Everything just sits right, especially after time with my D700. The D600 feels like a toy in comparison. Auto focus points too centralised in the frame, less potent autofocus, and less intuitive controls would be the killer for me and stop me buying one, having used a D700. If I was coming from a D7000 it might be a different story.

    Personally, I don't need 36MP - I'm sure it's nice to have if you earn money taking photographs of topless Royalty from afar, but that's not my bag. I don't print large enough to warrant the resolution. It's a precision tool, but not a direct D700 replacement - that was, and still is, far more of an all rounder.

  6. #6
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    Dear Phil,

    I perfectly agree. The D600 is really consumer camera. When I bought my D800, having a D300 and a D7000, the question was between the D800 and the D700, and the reason was exactly the 36Mpix and related problems, frame speeds, computer and file-storage problem and so on. I though, as you also, that a 24Mpix inside the D800 would have been a better solution. At that time if I had to buy a camera from scratch, i.e. including lenses etc, probably I would have opted for the 5D Mark III. I sometime take some sport shots, and I was afraid from the lower frame rate.

    Now that I have used the D800 for sport action too, I really do not regret the choice of 36Mpix. They give you more freedom. Based on my experience the 36Mpix are in general not needed, but they are useful. Moreover they are in superb camera.

    The D600 is really a toy, but it was made exactly for this.

  7. #7
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    Correct that - my ideal camera would exclude video! I'm not bothered with that!

    I've shot sports with the D700 and although you feel under-endowed with 5.5fps compared to D3 and pro Canons, if you know the sport you're shooting and can predict then the slower frame rate isn't a deal breaker. Also, if you're tied to only one shooting location during a game, that 36MP will come in handy for cropping.

  8. #8
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Correct that - my ideal camera would exclude video! I'm not bothered with that!

    I've shot sports with the D700 and although you feel under-endowed with 5.5fps compared to D3 and pro Canons, if you know the sport you're shooting and can predict then the slower frame rate isn't a deal breaker. Also, if you're tied to only one shooting location during a game, that 36MP will come in handy for cropping.
    I agree once more, but you know, they have to sell camera...

    The lower frame rate of the D800 it is not a real problem if you can predict the action. Here is an example

    D600 and D800 Informal Street Portrait Comparison

    What I meant is that buying from scratch the D800 or the 5D Mark III in my case the choice would have been between Mpix and frame-rate. Since 36Mpix are not necessary, but useful, and speed may look more appealing, the 5D Mark III appears as a more balanced camera. But now I do not regret the choice. The D800 is a versatile camera.

    Cheers

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