Go full frame!
For those of you who are still hesitating. I wanted to upgrade from D7000 to D7100 and I had the opportunity to test both a D7100 and a D600. The pictures with the D7100 were good but the ones taken with the D600 were fantastic. If you can, go to a store where you will be able to test both cameras and it won't take long before you realize that the difference between DX and FX is like night and day. Enjoy!
November 30, 2013
Factory Reconditioned D600
I have owned several Nikon Cameras in the past, and still hang on to a much loved F4S
The D600 was an upgrade to my existing D300( I really don't care less about the video side so I never bothered to upgrade to the D300s) When the D700 came out I looked at it with interest, however it did not leave my D300 in the technology dust and seemed very bulky, so I decided to wait and see.
The D600 is a great camera the functions are easily understood and all controls are in the right place. So far I have 3 weddings under my belt with this camera and have great results I can use all my existing lenses though I traded a 18-200VR DX for a 28-300 VR FX even my veritable 500mm Reflex has produced good results.
I bought a refurbished Camera which seems like a simple decision as I purchased the 28-300 with the money I saved. So far all my shoots have been in good weather so I have yet to put the camera through wet or high humidity conditions (may have to use a baggie for the body and a condom for the lens!)
Nothing negative to say about the camera yet, my only concern is the function dial on the right needs two hands.
September 24, 2013
An Astounding Full-Frame DSLR
Before I being to describe this camera, I should first mention that I was lucky enough to have received a D600 without the oil/dust issue. This might be attributed to the fact that the purchase was made in Lebanon, and the camera is a Gray Market camera with an 803**** serial number for $2350. The purchases I made alongside it were the MB-14 Battery Pack Grip for $330 and the AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 G for $800 (yes they were expensive, more expensive than you will find them online, but that's the price you pay for full service / free sensor cleaning for 1 year).
In any case, I now have an actuation count of 600 on it, and so far, only a few dispersed oil specs have appeared. These are only visible when shooting at f16 against a white wall with close focus. Honestly, this is only to be expected with any camera. Anyone who claims that their sensor never gets dirty with their Canon or Nikon or any brand is just blowing smoke. Eventually we all have to clean our sensors. If I were you, I would not worry myself with the sensor issue, simply because once the oil level tones itself down and you get your sensor cleaned, this issue will pale in comparison to the magnificent images this camera will produce. I would recommend shooting 5000 images within a week, and getting the sensor cleaned, then forgetting all the hype that you are reading about online. I think that's worth the minimum of $1000 less you're paying for a full-frame. In this regard, I will give the camera 4.5 stars because I can see beyond the first set of actuations.
Now for the review: I have heard many pro photographers claim that mega-pixel count is just a scheme to lure in unknowing customers. Although this might be true with some types of cameras, this is certainly not the one. at 24MP, checking your image at 100% size will blow your mind. The color depth is mindblowing, the Auto-White Balance is spot on, and even the auto ISO feature for quick shooting in dim situations is excellent!
ISO at 2500 is almost negligible, and only gives a subtle feel that makes your image stand out even more. at 25600, the grain is very evident, but is so beautiful that I have used it a few times just to obtain the effect. The grain does not even affect the color, it only creates around a 1600 ISO film texture on your image. I must say that I am positively surprised that images shot at any ISO level are completely usable. I'd give the ISO functionality and performance 5 stars.
Auto White-balance always understands your surroundings, and the temperature will rarely have to be set manually unless for a desired unnatural effect. I have yet to see an unnecessarily warm indoor image. It will be amazing comparing your image shown on the LCD to what you see in front of you. The similarity between image and reality can only speak for itself. I'd give this 5 stars.
The Focus mechanism is quick and silent with both my 24-85mm and 50mm f1.8 G. The center weighted points might not be a favorite among some, but in all honesty, as a person who tends to shoot mostly with center-point focus and moving the camera after focusing, it does not bother me. That being said, I have tested the focus mechanism on full auto at 39-point, and it performs flawlessly as long as the subject is somewhere along the center or the middle horizontal axis. For those of you who like to focus around the edges, you could either use Live view (which focuses at an okay speed) or as I usually shoot, by shifting the frame after focus. I'd give this 4 stars, because live view functionality and performance could be quicker.
I can't believe the shutter's not butter. Barely audible in any mode, and Quite mode sounds something like flicking your forefinger nails against each other three times in a row. Perfect for shoot low-light at a theater. 5 stars.
The Battery Pack Grip has really been worth it. The camera itself is not so large, almost like the D7100, and the extra grip and battery are an undisputed winning combination. I have largish hands, so my right palm rests well around the grip's side while my fingers hold on to the rest. This combination gives me the perfect hold compared to the D3, D4, and Canon 5D Mark III with grip. Vertical shooting gives the same functionality you would need while shooting horizontal. I'd give this grip 5 stars.
Built-in flash performs okay, but I have never really been one to care much about it on any camera. I usually have my Sigma 610 flash with me at all times, and when I need to get some varied light on a subject, I use it, usually with some home-made reflectors. This cheap flash is a good substitute for some more expensive Nikon SBs like the 910 (which - although is superior in every way - won't be necessary unless you do extensive full-day shoots, which I don't). For the availability of a Built-in flash, and considering that this camera is a pro-starter full-frame, I would give this 5 stars.
The 24-85mm VR Kit lens is a good companion to this camera. It gives versatile functionality for situations where you don't want to take your primes out of the bag (which might only be the case if you can't afford them or are in a desert in the middle of a sandstorm). But in all honesty, this lens is great optically, has a silent autofocus mechanism, great lens coating for reduced flare, has its focus ring on the closer end, and is smooth enough for easy one-finger focusing. Distortion is noticeable about both ends, but this is easily mended in photoshop or lightroom. I won't say that this lens will give you out of the box perfection, but it most certainly won't limit you in any way. I'd give this lens 4.5 stars for its price and optical quality combined.
For people who shoot video often (I am not one of them) the focus mechanism is audible with the internal mic. You will have to connect an external mic to use sound from it if you plan to have shifting focus during your shots (this goes without saying for a DSLR). Also, another poor feature is the lack of aperture shifting during filming, a low-blow that Nikon serves to its consumers, especially considering that the D3100, at 5 times less the price, has this functionality. In my opinion it is to get serious video people to go for the D800. But I think it's an uncalled for cheap shot nonetheless. Otherwise, both technically and visually, it gives okay results. I will give this 2 stars for intentional crippling of an otherwise great device for monetary gain.
I don't know what else to say. I couldn't recommend this camera more for serious shooters. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
September 18, 2013
Great Camera. Inspired My Switch to Nikon
I used to use cameras from the other major player in the DSLR market. I have nothing against them but I gave them up as Nikon was the first to make an affordable (relative) full frame camera. I knew that I would have to get new lenses so there was nothing holding me back. I really like the ability to adjust nearly everything without having to navigate the menus.
PROS - The camera fits nicely in my hand. Feel is totally subjective. So suffice it to say that it fits well and is easily held in the hand with positive grip. I have never felt that I would drop this camera. I like the ability to manipulate tactile buttons to change nearly every setting that I use without navigating menus. Makes for easy use while held to your face or just in your hands.
CONS - Not a big fan that remote sensor is only available in the remote mode. Seems I should be able to use it in any shutter mode.
PROS - Nice construction. Appears to appropriately use plastics but not in places where plastics is a stupid idea. Durable and water tight. Have used this in wet and rainy conditions and have had no sign of water internal or in lenses that came with. I have had no problem with sensor dust as reported early on with this model camera. I shoot 3000 pics before I checked the sensor and saw no reason to worry.
CONS - One of my lenses has some lint on the glass inside the body. Not what I would expect from Nikon regardless of what grade lens it is. Will have that looked at by warranty though. Card slot door is too easily opened. When grabbing the camera from my bag or placing it in the bag, the media door slides open when withdrawing my hand from the body.
Fantastic image quality. I shoot RAW+JPEG. RAW for me to use in Lightroom and JPEG for when my wife wants pics to post online. The files are large and have great detail. Obviously lens makes a difference in the quality but the images I capture are the best I've taken. Great in low light. I shoot inside ice rinks which do not have great lighting. I am able get well exposed pictures at fast enough shutter speeds.
This one is minor but sometimes the little things are what rub us wrong the most. I wish the camera would recognize large volume SDHC media. With the latest firmware (C:1.01) I cannot use 64gb SDHC cards that I have. The cards can be used with the older (C:1.00) firmware. The camera requires that anything over 32GB be SDXC media. The larger SDHC cards report that formatting has completed but the top LCD reports that the card still needs to be formatted. I do computer forensics and have tried many ways to get to use the cards and simply can't Hoping to be able to downgrade my firmware (waiting to hear back from Nikon).
September 10, 2013
Beautiful camera! I should have bought one sooner!
Having used a variety of Nikon DX cameras for a number of years, I was focused on getting the 7100 - but a moment of adventure hit me and I moved up to the D600 FX camera. AMAZING! I am now able to take pictures unlike anything that I have before! The ISO for indoor sports has allowed me to markedly improve my pictures to the point that I am proud of them! This camera allows me to captures sporting events of all types and produce excellent pictures, even under less than ideal conditions. I look forward to a D800, or whatever is next around the corner. Thank you Nikon!
August 6, 2013