Sep 132012
 

Nikon announces a full frame D600! Let the full frame madness begin!

You can already pre-order the D600 at B&H Photo HERE or Amazon HERE!- ships Sep 19th.

You gotta love Photokina! Hot on the heels of the Sony RX1 announcement Nikon has announced the full frame much talked about (on the rumor sites) 24 megapixel D600 which will be their most compact full frame camera ever. Yep, as you already probably know the Nikon D600 is another full frame camera release but this time they made it smaller and trimmed the fat. Smaller is good because the D800, while absolutely spectacular is big and bulky. Not made for hobbyists or amateurs unless they like lugging this stuff around to family outings..(I know I don’t like doing this) so enter the D600 which is Nikons solution to the growing number of mirrorless cameras featuring large sensors.

Nikon refuses to release anything like a Sony NEX, Sony RX1 or Leica M so what do they do? They make their DSLR’s smaller in hopes that the Mirrorless buying public will be swayed to their DSLR. I give them props for shrinking it down but it is still a DSLR and made for those who want a DSLR.

While overall DSLR sales are down there are tons of shooters who have been hoping the D600 was real and I predict another huge hit for Nikon. If it can retain the image quality of the D800 it will be perfect.

The D600 comes in at $2099 for the body only or $2699 with a 24-85 kit zoom. Me, I would take the Sony RX1 at $2799 before buying a D600 and 24-85 for $2699 because of the size, bulk, huge lenses and because I do not need a DSLR to take good photos. The D600 may be the better bang for the buck and more versatile camera due to lens swapping but I hit a point in my life where I only use one camera and one lens anyway so for me, the simpler the better.

For many this will be the choice of Photokina because full frame is back, it is cheaper and it is smaller. Those who own Nikon glass and have been shooting a D7000, D300, etc will flock to this guy like bees to honey. I have no doubt it will be a superb DSLR and I hope to do a full thorough review as soon as I can. Maybe a RX1 vs D600 showdown :)

SPECS:

24.3MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor

EXPEED 3 Processor

3.2″ LCD Monitor

1080p HD Video Capture

100-6400 ISO – Expandable to 50-25600

5.5 fps Continuous Shooting

39 Wide-Area AF Focus Points

Stereo Mic & Headphone Inputs

i-TTL Flash

Wi-Fi Connectivity with Optional Adapter

  80 Responses to “Nikon announces the D600! Let the full frame madness begin!”

  1. What is the consensus; does the Sony a99 compete with the D600 or the D800 & 5dMkIII?

    • It easily competes and has better DR, ISO than the D800 and 5DII according to crops and shots Sony showed me.

      • …compared to 5DII or 5DIII?

      • Hi Steve, IMO these are no reason for Pro´s, people how realy have to make money with photography, would shift to a Sony DSLR. Why? IMO it´s called lens tradition. As a “Leicaner” you should know best. Same with Nikon.
        B.R
        Wolfgang

        • Several of Sony’s lenses were held over from their takeover of Minolta, and Minolta had at least as good of a lens tradition than either Nikon or Canon. Outside of that, Sony also has several Zeiss lens options.

          The bottom line is that, although Nikon and Canon may lead in quantity, they don’t necessarily lead in quality. So, if you need 47 lenses, for some reason, Canon and Nikon make sense, but if you need a Zeiss 24, 50, 85, 135 prime lineup and a couple of Zeiss f2.8 zooms, I’d go Sony all of the way (especially with the new Zeiss 50 coming this spring.)

          • Good points GH. Seriously, how many people more than 6 lenses period for an SLR?

            Some great Minolta lenses from the past to fill in any gaps as you say but I don’t think there really are any gaps for 99% of users. I’d buy an a99 in a flash if I could afford one and I rarely ever get carried away with new camera launch hype, this is different gravy though.

            • My most used lens is the 24-105L on my 5D. Does Sony offer something of equal quality and build?

              • Not the same focal length, but Sony has a 24-70 f/2,8 Zeiss.

                A bit short on the wide area but they have a trinity:
                16-35 24-70 7-200 all f2,8, only the 70-200 is not a Zeiss lens.

                Ofcourse it’s much more expensive than your f/4 lens.

            • I have a significant investment in Canon glass. I can’t change now to Sony or Nikon. I’m trapped. The quality is adequate for me.

      • Steve how can you judge DR and ISO if you haven’t got shoots with D800 to compare with?

        I’m sure that the A99 will be great, but I seriously doubt that it will surpass the D800 on those parameters.

        Also so far none of Sony’s high end cameras have come even close to touch any of the high end Nikons in those areas. But maybe Sony will pull out some tricks for the A99 we didn’t know about.

        • Because I saw samples from Sony..same scene, same time with each camera. The A99 slaughtered the other two in regards to DR..it was very clear and evident. The sensor in the A99 and RX1 seems to be the real deal but of course…until I can use one I am just trusting what I heard and saw from Sony.

          • This comment is laughable. Losing credibility here hype machine in full forc. This D600 is prob the exact same sensor with some tweaks in ISO

            • Very unlikely. Too much time has passed. Nikon must have had the D600 sensor in their own labs over a year ago. Sony has the luxury of having sensor development in-house, shortening the time from new sensor to working camera. They likely had six to nine months of further development, and Sony can do a lot in that time.

          • Okay, slaughtered – maybe the 5DII (or did you mean 5DIII?). But the D800 has the highest DR of any camera around (14.4EV) so when you say slaughter that would mean at least 2-3 EV higher DR otherwise “slaugther” is a pretty strong word to use in my opinion :-)

            Maybe you were fooled if the Sony pictures you saw were using the HDR or DRO feature which is also available in the RX100 (with up to 6 EV enhancement).

            So if Sony used a comparison with one of these features turned on against the D800 i normal mode this is a useless comparison regarding real DR.

            Btw. D800 also has a HDR mode with a single or multiple shoots with up to 3 EV in enhancement compared to normal mode.

            • Time will tell. Like I said, I have not used or compared it to anything. Just going by what I was told and saw. What is reality may be different but if not, this sensor is going to be very very special.

              • “Slaughtered”. Cheap hype.

              • Yes I agree, Sony is really delivering some great cameras these days and I’m sure the sensor in the A99/RX1 will nothing short of fantastic. Probably the same sensor that goes in the D600, but with some Nikon tweeks.

          • “slaughtered the other two…” Oh dear!

          • “Slaughtered”

            Let’s not get ahead of ourselves Steve,

            Do a test on both A99 and D800 first before claiming this. I doubt we’ll see any huge difference between the two honestly.

    • sony is an electronics company and they have an enormous upperhand over nikon and canon in digital body and sensor, down the road sony technology always wins.

      and lenses? yes sony lenses suck, but who uses sony lenses? they use a-mount ZEISS lenses which are better than canon and nikon lenses. zeiss is just a bang for buck leica lens.

      so traditional all you want, stick to the sucky canon nikon because sony cannot be that good right?

      • Maybe ZEISS design but made by wishiwasi FOXCOM in China like the Iphone. Does LEICA make lenses in China? Guess not

        • Sony G and Zeiss lenses are made in Japan by Cosina, not in China!
          The RX1, and even the RX100 are made in Japan, NEX and SLT cameras are made in Thailand.

          My “old” A900 was made in Japan :-)

      • Agreed that the Zeiss lenses are excellent and arguably better than their Canon and Nikon counterparts, though not by much. But to say Sony lenses suck is a bitt off. Many are based on legacy Minolta designs and are excellent in their own right. And the Sony budget lenses are pretty damn good. The $200 35/1.8 was super on my NEX with adapter.

        • Yeah, that a mount 35/1.8 is fantastic. It’s a classic, fast near 50mm focal length lens. Quiet focus and is great for video.

  2. Do we have specs in terms of size? Smaller/lighter than my D300? There go them DX lenses!

  3. I was thinking the same thing; a RX1 vs D600 showdown! Please, the masses have spoken. Both seem to be brilliant cameras.

  4. yep, another DSLR.

  5. Yup, looks like Nikon has hit the spot again with this little beauty.
    I WOULD be even better in the ISO dept. than the D800 because of it’s larger pixel size.
    Steve, would you agree with that logic?

  6. Agree, I would take the RX1 before the D600. Or the new Fujifilm. However, I am curious about the D600. Smaller size is good.

  7. Putting all predictable prejudice aside (for a moment), two thoughts come to mind:

    1 Once you’ve tasted full frame, there’s no going back.

    2 Once you’ve looked through a real viewfinder (not an electronic one), there’s no going back.

    • “Once you’ve looked through a real viewfinder…there’s no going back” – Reminds me of the film vs digital holdouts. But I have to ask, why do you not want to see what your picture is going to look like, before you take it?

    • I prefer a good EVF to optical VF so #2 is not accurate for everyone. Then again, I peter a RF to an EVF or VF :)

      • Peter.

        So, of course, it’s all a matter of personal preference (or prejudice…:-) ).

        Anyway, I’ve been back a few weeks from a two week holiday in Ukraine, D700 and 4 primes. Never took more than two with me on any outing. Sometimes just the 50, or the 35 or the 28. The 85 got the least use.

        It’s not a small combo, and it’s not light. Using a wriststrap (Gordy’s; great stuff) it’s perfectly useable.

        Looking at the files now (all raw), the quality is amazing. I haven’t seen anything yet about the D600 (smaller, some 200 grs lighter) that will make me hand in my D700. I’ll have to wait for the reviews to see the IQ. Will that be so much better than a D700′s that I should trade it in for a D600, less robust, lesser viewfinder etc? Do I need video? I doubt it. It’s even a bit dearer than the D700. Great.

        • Aren’t we all (I know I am) waiting for a full frame digital FM2n/FE2/FM3a lookalike? Similar build quality, feel, ergonomics, D700 IQ (12 Mp is sufficient for mere mortals)?

          If only. I suppose there are several laws of physics preventing that happening. Still, the D600, which I know only from webtalk, appears to be a serious step towards downsizing the FF SLR. I commend Nikon for achieving that. It’ll bring back folks from their mirrorless adventures.

          • Why to return to DSLRs if I better control final result in EVF, I have much better lenses that utilize short flange distance (RF) that I can use with my camera, it weights much lighter and, yes, I focus much more reliable with EVF ;)

  8. I’m in the same boat. I love seeing all the full frame cameras coming but I found myself shooting with the X100 and with the NEX 5 instead of my Canon 5D. Maybe the 5D was my last DSLR at all. With the NEX 6 and the new wide angle zoom it is even more unlikely that I will take my DSLR kit on future vacations.

  9. All of which rather begs the question, where the x@$% is Canon?! Nothing much to tempt me since the 5D2, which I have used and loved very happily, but which is now looking decidedly out of the running next to all these lovely new Nikon and Sony offerings. Now if I could have the RX1 with interchangeable lenses, I would buy it immediately and never touch a DSLR again. Surely at some point Sony will release a model with interchangeable compact Zeiss lenses and then they really will take over the world (well my world anyway).

  10. Hello . First i’m gonna thank Mr.Huff for his brilliant website , articles and REVIEWS ;) and this is the first time i’m commenting here (i come here often , its been a year now, actually its my firefox homepage thumbs up! ;) well i really thought that appreciating now fits here , thus , thank You Mr.Huff As for the Nikon D600 i really love Nikon cameras like D7000 or D90 but i was not the one to go for them, i can’t lay my hands on Leica (doah..Leica again :) ) so im gonna stick with the lower priced cameras like Canon and Sony (and some how Pentax K5 its really good!) but my favorite ones are Sony’s, and here between sony and nikon (mainly alpha99 and D600 i choose a99 from the pics i saw recently it seems the sony a99 is smaller with better sensor and if a all rounder is a GO that will be the RX1 so Nikon should try harder than this … i never had any APS-C or FF or any digital cameras Only Fujifilm DL-8 (bet nobody can remember it ;) and a (various) Nokia phones for photography and im gonna say you can take good pics with tiny sensors , it the photographer that matters not the canera , though a good camera makes photos better , there was a time i just pictture something with nokia 5610XM and when i looked at the result i told myself hhhehh only if there was a REAL camera , Hell its going to be a long comment so long story short……………THANKS ;)

  11. Just noticed Leica M9/M9p price reduction on Amazon.com by $500 USD each. Free fall after more FF camera announcement.

  12. With “real” viewfinders I meant pentaprisms and rangefinders. Rear displays and EVF’s I do not like. The view through a big, bright pentaprism (think RTSIII, other Contaxes, D700) is something I would not miss for the world, and the same applies to rangefinders, for those who like them.

    There’s just no going back.

    • I’m pick’n up whacha putt’n down. My first DSLR was an a100 and then throughout the a300s and a500s. And I remember taking a picture and then looking at the picture and having to make adjustments, and then take another picture, see if that is right and then do it again until it was right. Then when I got the a55 with the first alpha EVF, that was amazing where you could see the image you were about to take and make adjustments before you took it – that seemed so logical. The same thing happened to me again when I got my Fuji X100 – my first picture I took was using the optical viewfinder and I took the picture, looked at the back, and went, whoa, that’s nothing like I just saw. Then I switched to the EVF mode and everything was bliss again. I saw, I adjusted, I snapped.

      I suppose it comes down to personal taste, because I won’t ever go back to a non-EVF. So it’s good there’s plenty of choices out there for both of us…

      • We certainly can’t complain about lack of choice… :-)

        I see where you’re coming from! I love that X100, but can’t see it accompanying my D700 with the 1.4/35 (or 2.0/38)…

        I can’t see the benefit, as I would like to retain the choice of different focal lengths (in my case, 24, 28, 35, 50, 85).

        • Wait for Sony. They will likely introduce mirrorless FF in cooperation with the CZ next year. Their line will likely to include these (at least 28, 35, 50) and they will be superior over your DSLR being much lighter.

          • They are never going to have a 24 f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and a 200mm f/2. Those are my three primes with my DSLR. They produce images that you will never get with your little compact. Big, yes. Amazing, YES!

    • Funny, I have several OM’s, one of the best mirror viewfinders period, a d800e, GH2, Bronica’s and a OMD. Guess who’s got the best viewfinder? OMD. Why? It’s the best tool for a photographer, period. I see where the D800e viewfinder just can’t, either too dark or lacking info. With the EVF of the OMD i see everything, everything from the tecnical info to the final shot. From a profissional point of view, being one for ten years, it’s just an essential tool in the XXI century. It’s a shame Canon and Nikon are still selling old things like mirrors…. if only they would develop like Sony, Olympus and Panasonic EVF’s I’m sure you would feel otherwise too.
      Try manual focus a good Zeiss with focus peaking and magnify in a alpha99 or OMD and then try the same with a D800….. good luck!

      Regards
      best wishes

      João

      • I have two issues with electronic viewfinders:
        1/ if I look through an EVF for an extended period (composing, making different shots) and I look away, my sight is blinded for a few seconds, as if I would have looked straight in to the sun.
        2/ when I wear my sunglasses, I have zero sight through an EVF :-)

        But maybe that’s just me :-)

        In any case, an EVF is absolutely preferable to NO VF :-)

        Best regards,
        Kris

        • Well, i do suffer from severe eye strained and Photophobia, this and a very bad Conjunctivitis caught last year made me move to EVF’s mainly because of health issues. The mirror causes more strain to the eye than a good EVF like the one’s in Nex7 or OMD. I just can’t see a damn thing with a mirror and in a wedding or event shooting all day i can’t afford getting my eyes tired. So, the transition for me was a no brainier, it was and is a need.
          EVF’s are just a evolution of the mirror, the last being an evolution of a direct viewfinder. Tools. just tools.

          Cheers!

          João

          • João, which do you prefer , the OMD or the GH2 and why? Valeu ! Jean-Marc.

            • OMD, I love some things the GH2 just does it right like Video, C modes, physical button for AF’s and other things like C modes. But overall the OMD is a hell of a camera. The OMD is way ahead in ISO, I.S, Body Quality and The amazing Power Grip…don’t even consider the OMD without it. Steve wrote the best review in my opinion. One thing I can tell you is that the OMD is faster than a Nikon D800e in many ways….I was very surprised by this. It’s my main camera, 90% of my photography is done with it next to my D800e for more specific photos.
              I’m Portuguese by the way ;) but “valeu” for sure! :D

              If Olympus wanted to take the photographic world by storm, they would just have to release the OMD with Sony’s Alpha99 sensor. I don’t think anyone would be indifferent to that camera.

              Regards

              João

  13. #8 is a reply to Chanceword.

  14. Yesterday i searched for Kodak SLR c or n.
    Up until two years ago i had SLR c.

    For those who have photoed with M9 & SLR (c or n)
    said how similar the photos look from their CCDs and no AA filter
    with the Kodak perhaps having the edge on colour fidelity & skin tones.

    I was never interested in Xfps, fast af, af tracking, gazillion focus points, high iso low noise et al.
    I just wanted a FF lovely image making camera.

  15. The eye resolves 78 megapixels. An optical viewfinder is better in most situations for this reason. You can currently see more detail through a dslr with an optical viewfinder. I like optical and electronic viewfinders and it’s exciting to know we will get to a point where optical viewfinders become redundant

    • If you’re looking at an equivalent 78 megapixel image and applying that to a 24 megapixel sensor, then what’s the point? What you’re seeing is not going to match with what you’re taking – so don’t you want to see what you’re going to take in an EVF?

      • I like both but mainly I prefer an optical viewfinder, in particular for portraits or where I’m looking at a lot of detail in a scene.

  16. This camera looks fabulous, but still isn’t as incredibly priced as the Sony A850 was for $1999 at release a few years ago, and it had an all-magnesium body.

  17. This may only be relevant to UK readers but Nikon are seriously out to lunch with regard to the D600 pricing here. At £1955 it is 50% more expensive than the US$ price. And since there are retailers offering the D800 at only £2099 here, why would anybody go for the D600? Talk about p@ssing off your customer base…I was really looking forward to the D600 release, but what a let-down.

  18. Here in the US and have Canon AF gear… but a drawer full of Nikon stuff still with my F3 and F2 and lenses. This body would answer the full frame need if the image quality is there. Would use the Nikon manual focus glass and shooting general, insect and macro and scenic work. Two main things for me. Bright, easy to focus viewfinder/pentaprism and easy to implement mirror lock-up. Both needed for doing a lot of macro work in the field for me. Add in what should be high quality with longer exposures and night sky photos would be another main use of this body in my work.

    The Canons are nice and work well but their full frame bodies are more than I paid for my latest used 4×4 full sized pickup – with camper.

    I just want it to work and will wait to see what Canon does and if they aren’t at least equal at Photokina or by January I’ll buy one of these.

  19. Camera manufacturers enjoy hearing these discussions as it will bring them more revenue. What’s wrong with what you already have? Funny thing is, even though I have a D700, I still like pulling out the film gear and not having to worry about upgrades. Resolution and DR doesn’t matter as much as the message you convey in the photograph. At least, I don’t think, “Awwww, too bad, that photo was blown since there’s only 12 stops difference in EV, woulda been better if the camera had 13 or 14 stops difference.” Spend on glass, film and travel.

    • +1. I’m hanging on to my D700, excellent prime lenses, and ’70′s and ’80′s Nikon and Contax slr’s with period glass. I’ll concentrate on getting the images I want, instead of spending, again, a lot of money.

  20. The D600 plus one good nikon lens. About $3k. Better the a RX1, oh yes. I sorry to mean. The Donald needs a camera too. Film is good.

  21. I seriously doubt that the A99 sensor is markedly better than those Sony sensors Nikon use. As a supplier, Sony would not want to fuss up a major customer: there is no doubt that the D800 sells in greater volume than the A900, and I doubt that the A99 will have any impact on this segment market share. Sensor aside, Nikon and Sony software will be different, and it is not a sure thing that Sony can do a better job in DR. So far, Nikon has the upper hands. The real test will be an independent test. I believe Sony will face an uphill push on the A99 against the $800 cheaper D600. That is a lot of dough in today’s struggling global economy.

  22. When i had my Kodak SLRc there was something reassuring about returning to using a lens at its designated focal length.
    No crop factor considerations.
    Just attach to FF body & a sigh of satisfaction.

  23. Its like dicussion about religion Canon and Nikon, while the new prophet come with Sony offering SLT way of life…

    three of them could show you heaven

  24. another good camera release.. in this “hard time”..
    this D600 should be great..but in the crowd of A99, RX1, XE1, EOS M, NEX6.. arrgh it seems to be a lil bit tough
    D600 has no head-to-head competitor (small traditional FF SLR), and it delivers great value too (cheapest FF slr now?).
    yeah, really can’t wait for your FF showdown Steve (A99 vs RX1 vs D800E vs 5DIII vs D600 vs M9 vs M10(?) woww that would be legendary) :D

  25. Only 1/4000th sec. shutter. This frequently becomes a problem when shooting wide aperture in bright light. Would expect any ff camera to do better.

  26. It’s an exciting time for photographers who enjoy technical gadgetry. Frankly my feeling is that although the digital revolution / evolution has definitely enabled me to become a better photographer, it’s also enabled a lot of TERRIBLE shooters to come aboard too! The NY times reported that the photography career is pretty much a thing of the past — citing the advent of the high quality cell phone camera and licensing of images by big stock agencies via Flickr & photobucket, etc. So while all of this innovation and evolution is fun, without REAL skills and a great eye, these new cameras won’t take a better picture unless the shooter has the goods to deliver!

    Finally, I’d also like to thank Steve for his great website — where we can hang out and learn a thing or two. I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting regularly. That said, I must say that I don’t appreciate his near constant “schilling” of EVERY new product that comes along that he has interest in and the general “fan boy” thing. While I understand that running his site takes enormous efforts and resources, and that Steve earns a buck for each direct linked referral, i for one get tired of receiving the proverbial “preorder it “here” spam. In closing, how about reserving terms like “slaughtered”, etc for your own personally conclusive reviews!

  27. If Pentax could follow Nikon’s lead and put the FF sensor in the K5 body, they would be back in the game, and I would have a great camera to max out my Limited lenses!

  28. The most intersting fact of the D600 is that we well see the same 24MP sensor in the still to be announced M10.

    Only surprise will be – how does it look? Will it be larger, heavier then the M9?

  29. Here on Treasure Island (UK) we seem to be funding the R&D – just look at the price difference compared to other countries. A trip to an American Photostore would pay for itself – until then I’ll stick with my D700 and D3.

  30. The point is the quality of seeing. If all we could see through a viewfinder was a reasonable depiction of the final image… Well, I’d quit photography and opt for the usb accessed implant.

  31. The D600 appears to cost what the D700 cost me 2.5 years ago. No progress there then.

  32. This is the only SLR that has risen my eyebrow since i got my Olympus OM-D

  33. I have a Nikon D7000 with 50mm 1.4 G that I leave on the camera all the time. I carry the Fuji x10 at all times. So do I upgrade to the D600 for full frame ? Or should I get the new Fuji xE1 with some primes? I do a lot of travel and street photography here in Cambodia and really do like the smaller cameras now. Even with a 50mm the D7000 is too intrusive . Dave Hollidayraw

  34. Yes, full frame madness indeed…Speaking only for the most important item, image quality: who needs a full frame camera as the Niko nD600 when it gives no better results than an APS-C camera that’s even much cheaper, as a Sony NEX camera and others??

  35. I upgraded from a Nikon D7000 to a D600 3 weeks ago. 2 days ago I sold the Nikon. I only have the 50mm 1.4 G lens and the dx 55-200.

    I was inspired by the full frame and the D700 that is supposed to take pictures in the dark. But when I picked up the nikon and tried to take a photograph in the subdued light of my living room it kind of locked.

    But when I took my Fuji X10 out it took a photo. Also on the street taking a picture of a Tuk Tuk driver here in Cambodia the thing refused to take a frame.

    Not only that it was a chunky ugly beast. I compared the shots from the D7000. Not much in it. I resented the full frame and hated my 50mm becoming a true 50mm 1.4. I wanted 75 1.4. But how much was the 85 mm 1.4 ? And how heavy? And would it really make a difference?

    So there is looking back for me anyway. I will be getting the X-e1 and 35mm 1.4 and then the 56 1.4.

    I will also get a D7000 as I use some of the filter effects to create art here in PP and it has sold.

    I will get a second hand D7000.

    I do not miss the D600 in the least.

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