Thursday, September 13, 2012

NEW! Nikon D600 Body, a 24MP Full-frame DSLR...



For all those people who find the 36 megapixel D800 a little too expensive, or just worry that it will disrupt your workflow with image files that are too large, well there is a new body that might be of great interest! Nikon has just announced the new 24 megapixel D600 in time for the upcoming Photokina trade-show. This well-specified new digital SLR sits in between the DX cropped sensor D7000 and the full-frame D800. Think of it as a D7000 on steroids or a slightly downscaled D800.

Unlike the insanely backordered D800, the new D600 will be in our store for sale on September 18th at $2,099. Yes, in stock! In addition, we will have a rental unit available immediately as well.

Given Nikon's track-record on the sensors they've used in recent cameras, I think that great image quality is a given. In fact, it is entirely possible that it may even beat the D800 at high ISO and/or have even slightly better dynamic range that the already impressive performance of its big brother. Also, the viewfinder is reputed to be just as good as the one in the D800, giving a 100% view with plenty of eye-relief, the weather-sealing is said to be essentially the same and generally the build-quality should be roughly on par too, although the camera is a fair bit smaller and lighter than the D800 overall.

The rear LCD is the same size and quality and video functionality is almost the same too, offering all the frame-rates of the D800, a headphone jack and even raw-video output over HDMI. However it is missing the power-aperture control of the D800 and D4, so once you start recording, you won't be able to change the f-stop on G-series lenses. With older lenses that have an aperture ring, you will still be able to make f-stop changes while recording, albeit obviously not as smoothly as on a D800 or D4.

However there are a few minor limitations that a pro photographer needs to be aware of, if considering a D600 as a primary camera...

The camera does not have a PC-sync port for studio strobes, so you will either need to use radio slaves or buy a hot-shoe to sync adapter. Also, there is no 10-pin remote socket, so if you have a sound blimp wired for a 10-pin, it would need to be modified. Also, any 10-pin accessories you might have as far as remote releases or timer-remotes will not work, and you'll need to buy new versions or maybe just new cables.

The shutter mechanism is not up to the same specification as the D800 either, only offering a top-speed of 1/4000 and a flash-sync speed of 1/200.

When you add the new MB-D14 battery grip, there is no speedup to its frame rate, although for a 24 MP camera, shooting at 5.5 fps is pretty darn good anyway!

The AF system is more or less lifted from the D7000, so you get 39 focusing points instead of 51 and a less sophisticated light-metering system as well. There is no dedicated rear AF button, so if you want that functionality, you can redefine the AEL button for that, but then you are giving up the thumb-operated AEL.

However at $2,099, I don't think any of these limitations are deal breakers since I predict that you will be getting much-better-than-D3X full-frame image quality for about a quarter of the price!

Anyway, until I have a chance to see the camera in person, I won't have any direct feedback and certainly won't have any definitive comment on image quality. Look in this blog for further information within the next week...

In the meantime, for an excellent overview, see dpreview.com's preview article...

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