The Nikon D600 is a groundbreaking take on DSLR cameras. The main point for most photographers comes down to cost. It’s significantly less expensive than comparable models. For example, the D800 is somewhat similar in terms of specs. But at the same time the D600 sells for a more reasonable price.
If you’re interested in an inexpensive but powerful camera than this Nikon D600 review should provide a wealth of information. We’ll go over the pros, cons and general specs of this interesting camera. This also includes what makes it such a special device for DSLR enthusiasts.
Nikon D600 Specs
To begin, we’ll look at the D600’s raw specs. This should set the initial tone for any proper Nikon D600 review. And it’ll answer some questions about just where it sits in relation to competing cameras. Looking over the raw data one might come away surprised by how powerful it is.
Type: Digital 39 pt AF
Resolution: 24.3 Megapixels
ISO: 100 – 6400
Native ISO: 100 – 6400
Extended ISO: 25,600
Shutter Speed: up to 1/4000 to 30 seconds
Continuous Shouting Rate: 5.5 frames per second
Size: 5.5 x 3.23 x 4.45 inch
Weight: 1.87 lb
Media Storage: Dual SD slots
The Nikon D600 caught people’s attention due to the Nikon name. People familiar with either the Nikon D7000 or D800 were particularly intrigued when it was announced. It shares features of both but with an amazingly reasonable cost.
Additionally, it can use DX-format optics. This creates a camera which sits as something of a middle of the road option. It’s not too expensive, but it has great image quality. It also comes with a form factor which is similar to many other popular Nikon designs.
The dual SD card slots also allow for greater storage space than most competing models. This works well when one considers the dynamic range RAW image files. But the less compressed high quality JPEG files also work well with larger storage sizes.
Image Quality & Performance
One of the most difficult tasks for a camera comes from general noise. More than anything, this Nikon D600 review should drive home how well it performs there. At general ISO 100 it’s able to show far more detail than an average competitor.
This holds true even when pushing to higher ISO ranges. Of particular note is how well this camera copes with chroma and luminance. However, there are ways of further tweaking it.
The JPEG compression is quite impressive by default. But it can be further worked with in order to perfect images for any given condition.
Design & Controls
The overall design is fairly standard for a Nikon DSLR camera. This might be seen as a downside to some people who want ingenuity in design. But for most people the familiar design should come as an advantage.
The design is fairly compact. And it has easy to use controls. In particular it has a exposure mode dial that’s very intuitive for most users.
The LCD size and menu structure are both adequate for the task. It’s well sized and fairly easy to navigate. The lens construction is also quite solid. It’s not remarkable, but it fits into one’s expectations.
The viewfinder offers 100% coverage and 0.7x magnification. It’s even user friendly for people with glasses thanks to an diopter adjustment wheel.
Even the flash has a user friendly physical control. It has guide numbers of 12 meters at ISO 100. And one can use it with Speedlight flashguns.
The Nikon D600’s advantages should be clear from the following list.
- Impressive performance for both JPEG and RAW image formats
- Dual SD cards allow for greater than average storage space and management
- Outputs uncompressed video into external recording systems
- Better than average microphone and headphone jacks for recording or playback
- Options allow for an impressive level of customization
- Automatic DX cropping works in a similar way for both video and still frame shooting
- Standard Nikon body design makes it easy to transition from or to similar devices
- Audio and RAW video passthrough make it ideal for video enthusiasts
The Nikon D600 does have some disadvantages though.
- Autofocus isn’t as expansive as in some similar models
- The rear LCD isn’t always easily visible in higher light outdoor conditions
- Data output to the rear screen is blocked with live view
- Some playback features aren’t as intuitive as in similar models
- HDMI output of RAW video isn’t full frame
The Nikon D600 is most useful to people looking for a high quality budget camera. It’s similar to some of the more higher cost options. But the overall feature set is quite comparable. It has video features which also make it particularly useful for more cinematic users.
The biggest limitation of the D600 comes from pixel count. The Nikon D600’s 24.3 MP count is still quite impressive. But some users might want to push that number a bit higher.
The Nikon D850 is similar to the D600 in most ways, but it offers 36 MP rather than 24.3. If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option, you can always consider the Nikon D500 but you should know it counts 20.9 megapixels.
This Nikon D600 review should drive home an important point. When people hear about the Nikon D600 they often wonder if it’s the best low cost DSLR camera. It’s a question that doesn’t have an easy answer. But this Nikon D600 review has shown that it’s capable of some impressive feats.