Review My first impression of the D600 and comparison against D800, D7000 and D700

Jul 4, 2007
Redmond, WA
The one-click 100% zoom is one of those little things that some (like me) find useful and saves time. On a D7000, I constantly overzoom when checking for precise focus and have to back out one. Over a few months that's a ton of little clicks.

It's not a make-or-break thing, but heck, even though AF-ON can be programmed easily, it's enough to stop many.

Again, I think it's the "D7000 feature set" gone FX, sigh.
Aug 12, 2005
Famington Hills, MI
Any feedback on the mode dial? The one and only complete ***** I have about my D7000 is the ease which the mode dial can be bumped. It has to be sturdier or it's a no go for me.
Mar 15, 2009
Los Angeles, CA
Any feedback on the mode dial? The one and only complete ***** I have about my D7000 is the ease which the mode dial can be bumped. It has to be sturdier or it's a no go for me.
The mode dial on the D600 now has a lock. It might be a little cumbersome to change modes at first, but like with everything else, you will get used to it. It is, however, NOT as easy compared to the D700/D800 where changing modes is a one-hand operation. With the D600, your right hand holds the camera while the left hand changes the mode dial. Could be an issue when you have an off-camera flash on your left hand and need to move fast.

Also, with the D700/D800, you don't have to take your eye off the viewfinder to change modes. With the D600, you most likely should.
Dec 19, 2007
Here are my initial D600 impressions. Camera choices really depend on the user and the intended use. A feature that may be a "deal breaker" for one individual may be the greatest thing for someone else. Therefore, to give you an idea of my priorities, here is my background: I primarily shoot my kids sports events as an amateur. I often have a Nikon 70-200 or a Nikon 80-400 on front of the camera. I carry a relatively big lens with a camera attached to it. Occasionally I will use it as a carry-around camera with a smaller lens, or I might just resort to a good P&S as carry-around camera.

I own a D300 and I have been able to borrow a D800 for the last few weeks. I have only had 2 days to shoot with my D600, so these are indeed initial impressions.

1 - Build Quality and Size - The D600 feels a little different than the D300 or D800, but still very solid. After the initial adjustment, I got used to the feel of it quickly.

2 - Ergonomics and Controls - I have moderately large hands and the camera feels just fine in my hands. All of the controls I need to access quickly are still available via dedicated buttons. Some are in different places, so this requires a bit of a learning adjustment. But the most important functions are still in a very familiar place. I really like having the U1 and U2 programmability. This saves me from having to dive through the menus, which I had to do often with the D300 and D800. This is a definite plus for me.

3 - Focus - When I first started shooting with the borrowed D800, I noticed the focus was snappier than my D300. The D600 feels very snappy, and I would say it is at least as good as the D800 for the shots I have taken so far.

4 - Image Quality - I cannot fully grade this one yet because I typically shoot RAW and process in Lightroom. Since Lightroom doesn't yet support the D600, I have had to adjust my workflow. The pictures still seem great, but I cannot do a direct workflow comparison.

5 - File Size - For my shots, I loved the 36MP files of the D800 because I could crop quite a bit. The 24MP still allow a good deal of cropping, but the smaller file size definitely seems to make importing and processing of the files much faster. Technology will catch up and 36MP files will be "no big deal" in the very near future. But for now, 24MP is a good balance for my needs.

6 - Frame Rate - The 4 FPS limit on the D800 was noticabley slow compared to my D300. I really like having the higher frame rate for shooting sports. The 5.5 FPS is definitely a step up from the D800 for me.

7 - Low Light - While I haven't had much opportunity to explore, my limited testing indicates it is on par with the D800 and much better than the D300.

My Summary: the D300 is a great camera, but it is older technology and I can see a difference in the image quality between it and the newer sensors. The D800 is a great camera, but I do not find it ideal for what I typically shoot. Don't get me wrong - I would be happy with a D800. And I know of a lot of other D800 owners who should be very happy with their cameras. But I do not think I am part of the target audience for the D800. So far the D600 is a keeper for me. It seems to be a very good compromise for my needs. YMMV

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