Nikon D600


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    Nikon D600

      In summary

      Buy this camera if:
       - You want images with a wide dynamic range.
       - You want relatively noise-free high ISO settings.
       - You’re prepared to shoot and edit both JPEG and NEF.RAW images.
       - You need a DSLR that can produce broadcast quality video.
       - You have a suite of high-quality Nikkor lenses.
       - You're upgrading from a consumer level DSLR and want a full-frame camera with a similar user interface.

      Don’t buy this camera if:
       - You require a tough, weather-resistant camera body.
       - You need high continuous shooting speeds.

      Full Review

      Nikon's D600 DSLR burst onto the stage on 13 September, just before the biennial Photokina trade show opened its doors (and four days before Canon was able to announce its rival camera, the EOS 6D). It goes without saying that both cameras are targeting the same end users: enthusiast photographers looking to upgrade to full frame photography and cash-strapped professionals seeking a lightweight, affordable back-up body.

      Angled front view of the D600 with the 24-85mm lens used for our review and the pop-up flash raised. (Source: Nikon.)

      While photographers who are already committed to either manufacturer will be drawn to their existing systems, newcomers looking to invest will have some interesting choices to make, depending on where they live. Neither distributor releases recommended retail prices in Australia so we've conducted an online search  and discovered the EOS 6D body is selling for between $80 and $100 less than the D600 in Australia but is $100 more expensive in the USA. Go figure (as they say). The table below compares key features of both cameras.

       

      Nikon D600

      Canon EOS 6D

      Sensor

      35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor
       24.7 million total pixels
       24.3 million effective pixels

      35.8 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor
       22 million total pixels
       20.2 million effective pixels

      Processor

      EXPEED 3

      DIGIC 5+

      A/D processing

      12- or 14-bit

      14-bit

      ISO range

      Auto, ISO 100 - 6400 expandable to ISO 50 or ISO 25600

      Auto ISO 100 - 25600 plus L (50), H1 (51200), H2 (102400) expansion

      Max. still image size

      6016 x 4016

      5472 x 3648 pixels

      Movie resolution

      1920 x 1080; 30 p (progressive), 25 p, 24 p
       1,280 x 720; 60 p, 50 p, 30 p, 25 p

      1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)

      Selectable All i-frame or IPB compressions with embedded time code

      AF sensor

      Nikon Multi-CAM 4800 with 39 focus points (including 9 cross-type sensors); Detection range: -1 to +19 EV

      TTL-CT-SIR CMOS sensor with 11 points with centre cross-type point sensitive to EV -3

      AF configuration tool (Case 1-6)

      Metering sensor

      TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor
       Metering range: EV 2 - 20

      TTL full aperture metering with 63 zone Dual Layer SPC
       Metering range: EV 1 - 20

      Metering modes

      3D colour matrix metering, centre-weighted average (75% given to 8-20 mm circle in centre of frame, Spot (4%)

      Evaluative (linked to all AF points), Partial (8%), Spot (3.5%) linked to active AF point, Centre-weighted average

      Viewfinder

      Eye-level pentaprism, approx. 100% frame coverage, Approx.0.7x magnification,

      Eyepoint: 21 mm, 3.0 to +1.0 dpt; Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen

      Eye-level pentaprism, 97% frame coverage, Approx.0.71x magnification,

      Eyepoint: 21 mm, 3.0 to +1.0 dpt; interchangeable focusing screen

      LCD monitor

      3.2-inch TFT LCD 921,000 dots

      3.2-inch TFT LCD 1.04 million dots

      Shutter speeds

      1/4000 - 30 seconds

      Exposure compensation

      +/-5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps

      Continuous shooting / buffer memory

      5.5 fps / up to 100 JPEG, 10 RAW

      4.5 fps / up to 1250 full-resolution JPEGs, 17 RAW with a UHS-I SDHC or SDXC card

      Memory format

      Dual slots for SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-1 compatible)

      Single slot for SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-1 compatible)

      Built-in flash

      GN 12 (m/ISO 100)

      No

      Built-in Wi-Fi

      No (accessory available)

      Yes

      Battery

      EN-EL15

      LP-E6

      Battery capacity (CIPA)

      Approx. 900 shots/charge

      Approx. 1090 shots/charge

      Dimensions

      141 x 113 x 82 mm

      144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2 mm

      Weight (body only)

      Approx. 760 grams

      Approx. 680 grams

      The D600 was supplied with the new AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens, which is reviewed separately.

      Build and Ergonomics
       The D600 sports a magnesium alloy front and rear chassis with a polycarbonate resin top cover and cladding. Physically it's smaller and lighter than the D800 and its user interface closely resembles the Nikon D7000. Photographers who enjoy using the D7000 will be pleased with the D600, while users of larger cameras could welcome the new camera's reduction in size and weight with few compromises in features or performance.

      Many functions from the D7000 have been ported across to the new camera. It has the same 39-point AF sensor array, metering system and shutter mechanism and takes the same EN-EL15 battery. The shutter mechanism is rated for 150,000 cycles, like the D7000's.

      Geeks among our readers (and we suspect there are more than a few of them) will find the four-page Nikon D600 'Teardown' by ifixit worth a look. It's located at http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nikon+D600+Teardown/10708/1.

      Front view of the D600. (Source: Nikon.)

      The front panel is fairly cluttered, with a generous grip moulding, front sub-command dial, AF-assist/self-timer lamp, depth-of-field preview button and programmable Function (Fn) button on the right hand side of the lens mount. The lens release button, focus mode selector, flash button, bracketing button and IR receiver (for the cordless remote) are on the left.
       
       

      Top panel of the D600 with the AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens used for our review. (Source: Nikon.)

      The top panel is almost identical to the D7000's, save for the addition of a dedicated movie button, which has forced the metering button back a little and required it to be marginally smaller. The data LCD panel is the same as the D7000's, as is the hot-shoe, which comes with a slide-in cover. The neck strap anchors sit atop the camera body.

      The data LCD on the D600's top panel showing the display options.  (Source: Nikon.)

      The mode dial is the same as the D7000's and includes two 'User' memories, U1 and U2, which allow users to store a multitude of camera settings for quick recall at any time. The only things that can't be programmed in are the options selected for storage folder, file naming, image area, Picture Control management, multiple exposure and interval timer settings.

      Rear panel of the D600. (Source: Nikon.)

      On the rear panel, the monitor provides the same size and resolution as the D800's (3.2-inch, vs 3-inch on the D7000). The control layout is similar, although the functions of some buttons on the left side of the screen have changed to introduce quick access to retouch, white balance, quality and ISO settings. Most of these functions can only be used if the monitor display isn't active, which prevents you from changing settings quickly in live view mode.

      Like the D7000, the D600 has no AF-ON button on the upper side of the rear panel, and the metering selector surrounding the AE/AF lock button on the D800 isn't provided. The Live View selection lever is the same as the D800's, as is the multi-selector joystick.

      Features and Controls
      Adoption of the Multi-CAM4800 autofocus sensor module from the D7000 enables acquisition and tracking of subjects with 39 focus points. Cross-type sensors have been adopted for the nine most frequently used focus points at the centre of the frame. However, you can only choose between two sensor patterns: 39 points or 11 points. This means you often have to focus and reframe with off-centre subjects.

      The AF point array in the viewfinder. (Source: Nikon.)

      In addition, seven focus points (five horizontal and one each above and below at the centre of the frame) are fully functional at f/8, an improvement on the D7000's AF module. There's also a 3D tracking mode that follows subjects around the frame. 

      There are seven pages of Custom Settings in the menu, covering autofocus, metering & exposure, timers & AE lock, shooting & display, bracketing & flash, controls and movie settings. They total up to 50 in all, although some aren't available in certain shooting modes. When custom settings are modified, an asterisk is displayed beside them in the relevant page of the menu. 

       
      The D600's menus are similar to those in other Nikon DSLRs. (Source: Nikon.)

      The Scene Recognition System, which was introduced with the D3 and D300, was improved with a 2,016-pixel RGB sensor for the D7000 and has been adopted for the D600. It analyses detailed scene brightness and colour information and compares it with a database containing more than 30,000 images and applies that information to autofocus, automatic exposure, i-TTL balanced fill-flash and white balance control.

      Nikon's Picture Controls provide presets for different image 'looks' that can be applied to still shots or movie clips. Options include Standard and Neutral processing, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape settings. You can adjust sharpening, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue and add filter and toning effects then save the changes as new Custom Picture Controls.

      Auto bracketing options are similar to Nikon's pro cameras with options for bracketing exposure,  flash level, Active D-Lighting and  white balance.  You can also set the bracketing order. As in the D7000, WB bracketing isn't supported when you set the camera for NEF.RAW  or RAW+JPEG recording.

      The multiple exposure mode allows up to three exposures to be combined with the option of an auto gain setting for balancing exposures. This mode can make use of raw data from the camera's image sensor to ensure superior colour rendition.

      Interval timer and time-lapse photography are supported with considerable control over start and stop times, the number and length  of intervals and the number of shots per interval. Sequences can be paused or interrupted, if necessary via the menu system.

      Launched concurrently with the D600 is the WU-1b Wi-Fi adapter,  which relies upon Nikon-supplied software to connect with Android or iOS devices. Other accessories include the MB-D14 battery grip, ML-L3 wireless remote controller, GP-1 GPS receiver and ME-1 stereo microphone.

      Sensor and Image Processing
      The D600 is equipped with a new FX-format 24.7-megapixel CMOS image sensor, which has an effective pixel count of 24.3-million pixels. Chipworks has revealed the sensor as Sony's IMX128 chip, which has a pixel pitch of 5.9 microns. You can read their report at

       http://www.chipworks.com/blog/recentteardowns/2012/11/08/inside-the-nikon-d600/.

      It also has the EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, which is built into Nikon's high-end DSLRs (D4, D800, D800E) and causes A/D conversion to take place in each photosite. This enables the camera to support Full HD video capture along with continuous shooting speeds up to 5.5 frames/second (fps).

      In line with other FX cameras, the D600 provides the option to record with both FX (35.5 x 20 mm) and DX (23.5 x 13.2 mm) image areas. However, there's no option for recording images in TIFF format, a feature offered in the D800.

      Like the D7000, the D600 supports three sizes for JPEG files, each with three quality levels. Users can choose between two compression options. Size Priority compresses images to produce relatively uniform file sizes while Optimal quality compresses images to provide the best potential picture quality and image sizes will vary with the amount of detail in the scene.

      NEF.RAW capture is provided at the largest file size (6016 x 4016 pixels) and users can choose between lossless and compressed (40-55% reduction in file size) settings as well as 12-bit and 14-bit raw file capture. RAW+JPEG capture enables raw files to be recorded with JPEGs at any of the three compression levels. The table below shows typical file sizes.

      Image area

      Image Size

      Compression

      Pixels

      File Size

      FX

      NEF.RAW14-bit

      Lossless

      6016 x 4016

      29.2MB

      Compressed

      25.4MB

      NEF.RAW 12-bit

      Lossless

      23.4MB

      Compressed

      20.7MB

      JPEG Large

      Fine

      12.4MB

      Normal

      7.4MB

      Basic

      3.8MB

      JPEG Medium

      Fine

      4512 x 3008

      6.2MB

      Normal

      3.7MB

      Basic

      1.9MB

      JPEG Small

      Fine

      3008 x 2008

      3.2MB

      Normal

      1.9MB

      Basic

      1.0MB

      DX

      NEF.RAW14-bit

      Lossless

      3936 x 2624

       

      13.4MB

      Compressed

      9.7MB

      NEF.RAW 12-bit

      Lossless

      10.9MB

      Compressed

      9.7MB

      JPEG Large

      Fine

      5.9MB

      Normal

      3.7MB

      Basic

      2.2MB

      JPEG Medium

      Fine

      2944 x 1968

      3.0MB

      Normal

       

      1.9MB

      Basic

       

      1.1MB

      JPEG Small

      Fine

      1968 x 1312

      1.5MB

      Normal

       

      1.0MB

      Basic

       

      0.6MB

      Video
      Movies can only be recorded in live view mode and recording is initiated (and stopped) by pressing the movie-record button on the top panel. Clips are recorded with an aspect ratio of 16:9 regardless of the format selected. A recording (REC) indicator and the time remaining are displayed on the LCD monitor.

      Movie options are much the same as the D800's, right down to the ability to output uncompressed video via the HDMI port and the option for shooting movies with DX cropping. Full HD (1080p) recording and HD (720p) are the only options available, the latter offering frame rates of 60 and 50 frames/second (fps) to enable slow-motion recording in NTSC/PAL formats in addition to the regular 30 fps setting.

      Two quality options are provided for each frame size/rate setting: high quality and normal. The table below outlines the movie settings available with their maximum bit rates.

      Movie setting

      Actual frame rate

      Max. bit rate

      High quality

      Normal

      1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps

      29.97 fps

      24 Mbps

      12 Mbps

      1920 x 1080 @ 25 fps

      25 fps

      1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps

      23.976 fps

      1280 x 720 @ 60 fps

      59.94 fps

      1280 x 720 @ 50 fps

      50 fps

      1280 x 720 @ 30 fps

      29.97 fps

      12 Mbps

      8 Mbps

      1280 x 720 @ 25 fps

      25 fps

      The maximum clip length for movies shot in High quality mode is 20 minutes. For the normal quality mode, clips can be recorded for up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds. A flicker reduction setting is available for shooting movies under fluorescent or mercury vapour lighting.

      The camera will re-focus the lens while a movie clip is being recorded, albeit fairly slowly. Accordingly, any panning the photographer wishes must also be smooth and slow to minimise uneven recordings.

      Exposure is based on matrix metering and can be locked by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button. Aperture settings can be adjusted in the A and M modes (but only before recording), while Picture Controls and white balance can be selected in the P, A, S and M modes.

      Photographers can capture still shots while recording video clips by pressing the shutter release button. Shots are recorded with an aspect ratio of 16:9 at the image area selected for the movie. A brief break will be appear in the movie footage at the point when the shot is captured.

      Facilities are provided for attaching both a stereo microphone jack to improve the quality of soundtrack recordings and a headphone jack to monitor recordings as you shoot.  The movie settings option in the menu includes 20-level audio control that separates left and right microphones and enables users to control recording levels quite precisely.

      Playback and Software
       Playback functions are similar to those provided by the D7000 and include 4, 9 or 72-thumbnail display, calendar display and image sorting by date. Face Playback is also supported and you can choose between RGB  and brightness histograms and set blinking alerts for over-exposed highlights.

      If two memory cards have been inserted, you can choose which one to playback from. Playback zoom to a maximum of 31x enlargement is also available and you can use the arrow pad to move the enlarged section around the displayed image.

      In-camera retouching functions include the standard trimming, resizing, straightening, red-eye correction, colour balancing and monochrome conversion functions. You can also access D-Lighting adjustments, distortion and perspective controls, image overlay and NEF.RAW file processing (to JPEG) functions along with a range of special effects that includes skylight, warm, soft and cross-screen filters plus intensifiers for red, green and blue, fisheye and miniature effects, colour outline and a new colour sketch effect.

      Side-by-side comparisons of original and retouched images are available , along with movie clip trimming. Most effects can be applied only once.

      Nikon’s bundled software is View NX2, which is very basic and miserly compared with the software bundle Canon provides with even its entry-level DSLRs.  A more powerful option, Capture NX 2 is available for AU$129 when purchased online. Trial downloads are available from http://www.capturenx.com/en/index.html.

      Performance
       All of our tests were carried out with the AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens, which was supplied with the review camera. Subjective assessment of images from this combination showed them to be detailed and natural looking in most shooting situations. We found occasional lapses in exposure metering when using the matrix mode, but they could be overcome with judicious use of spot metering.

      Overall image quality was impressive. Both JPEG and NEF.RAW images from the review camera were detailed and reproduced colours accurately. Saturation was very modest and the dynamic range in images was noticeably wider than average at ISO settings up to about ISO 3200.

      JPEGs shot at ISO settings above 1600 are automatically processed to suppress noise, even when noise reduction is set to Off. At ISO 6400, close examination of files revealed some noise, although images were still usable and printable to A4 size or slightly larger. With the extended ISO settings, details were retained in images right up to ISO 25,600, albeit with some slight softening and a reduction in contrast and color saturation.

      Flash shots were fairly evenly exposed across the camera's sensitivity range, not a mean achievement, given how wide this is. Resolution was maintained through the higher ISO settings, although by the Hi1 and Hi2 (ISO  25600 equivalent) settings, shots were slightly softer and flatter than those in the ISO 100-6400 range. Applying noise reduction processing produced colour shifts and reduced edge definition.
       Imatest confirmed our subjective assessments of image quality and showed a steady loss of resolution from about ISO 1600  on. From ISO 6400, the loss of resolution accelerated, although NEF.RAW files fared slightly better than JPEGs, as shown in the graph of our Imatest results below.

       

      Resolution didn't quite match expectations for the camera's 24.2MP sensor for either JPEGs or NEF.RAW  files. We suspect it would have been better with a higher-performing lens as the high resolution of this camera's sensor will show up any (and all) defects in lenses. While the performance of the 24-85mm lens used for our tests was probably good enough to satisfy snapshooters, it couldn't match the professional  standard set by the D600's sensor. 

      Image quality is highly lens-dependent and we feel that more demanding users will also demand professional-quality optics to achieve the quality this camera appears capable of. Professional photographers with existing Nikkor lenses should be able to find at least one perfect match.

      Auto white balance performance was similar to other high-end Nikon cameras. Shots taken under incandescent lighting retained a warm colour cast, while fluorescent lighting was almost totally corrected. With plenty of in-camera adjustments plus post-capture colour balance adjustments, colour control is not an issue for this camera.

      Our assessments of video performance are based on clips recorded on memory cards, where the camera has a fair bit of sub-sampling to do to compress the 24.2MP sensor output to deliver 1920 x 1080-pixel frames. The quality of these clips was similar to the clips we recorded with the D800 we reviewed recently (INSERT LINK).

      Recordings made in poorly-lit environments appeared quite impressive, provided contrast remained moderate-to-low. Unfortunately, blown-out highlights were common in clips recorded in contrasty lighting. Exposure readjustment while zooming was relatively smooth, but fairly slow.

      The  camera's AF system appeared to be slower in movie mode than the D800's but we saw no evidence of the rolling shutter effect during panning, although focusing suffered when pans were slightly fast. Colours were seldom over-saturated, regardless of the movie mode selected.

      The quality of the soundtracks recorded by the internal microphone wasn't a match for the video images, although some photographers could find it acceptable. Although you can adjust microphone sensitivity, there's no in-built wind-cut filter, which means wind noise can affect clips recorded out-of-doors.

      Our timing tests were carried out with a 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC U1 card. The review camera powered-up ready for shooting almost immediately. Live View shooting became accessible within roughly half a second. 

      Capture lag averaged 0.1 seconds when the viewfinder was used for shot composition but extended to an average of 1.3 seconds in Live View mode. A large percentage of this delay was due to autofocusing lag as the camera tended to hunt for focus in moderately low light levels.

      Shot-to-shot times averaged 0.6 seconds without flash. With flash, the intervals extended to an average of 2.4 seconds. It took an average of 1.3 seconds to process a single JPEG file and 1.6 seconds for a raw file and 1.8 seconds for a RAW+JPEG pair.

      In the high-speed continuous shooting mode, the test camera recorded a burst of  20 Large/Fine JPEGs in 5.7 seconds. It took 6.4 seconds to process this burst. For bursts of RAW+JPEG pairs, the camera recorded 10 shots in 1.8 seconds. It took 11.3 seconds to process this burst. In the low-speed continuous shooting mode, frame rates were reduced to approximately three frames/second. Processing appeared to be on the fly in this mode.

      Conclusion
      When the Nikon D7000 came out two years ago it proved remarkably popular and the same fate appears likely with the D600. While the body has a distinctly 'plastic' look and feel, it's solidly constructed and feels comfortable to hold. Users with large hands should encounter no problems. The interface and menu structure are very similar to Nikon’s other high-end DSLRs and photographers acquiring the D600 as a second body will find the transition straightforward.

      Any compromises Nikon made to keep the price of the D600 body affordable appear to be reasonable and this camera is likely to find a place in the kits of serious enthusiasts who want a 'full frame' body. It should do very well in this marketplace and also appeal to pro photographers looking for additional bodies to complement their existing systems, particularly when weight is an issue.

      While the recommended retail price for the D600 in Australia has been quoted as $2499.95 for the body only, the average street price is closer to $2220. The D600 plus 24-85mm kit lens has an RRP of $3199.95 but it can be had for around $2720 if you check out Australian re-sellers.

      Buy this camera if:
       - You want images with a wide dynamic range.
       - You want relatively noise-free high ISO settings.
       - You’re prepared to shoot and edit both JPEG and NEF.RAW images.
       - You need a DSLR that can produce broadcast quality video.
       - You have a suite of high-quality Nikkor lenses.
       - You're upgrading from a consumer level DSLR and want a full-frame camera with a similar user interface.

      Don’t buy this camera if:
       - You require a tough, weather-resistant camera body.
       - You need high continuous shooting speeds.
       
       

      SPECS

       Image sensor: 35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor (Nikon FX format) with 24.7 million photosites (24.3 megapixels effective)
       Image processor: EXPEED 3 
       A/D processing: 12- or 14-bit
       Lens mount: Nikon F mount
       Focal length crop factor: 1x
       Image formats: Stills –NEF.RAW, JPEG (Exif 2.3), RAW+JPEG; Movies – MOV (H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding) with linear PCM sound recording
       Image Sizes: Stills – FX (36 x 24) image area: 6016 x 4016, 4512 x 3008, 3008 x 2008: DX (24 x 16) image area: 3936 x 2624, 2944 x 1968, 1968 x 1312: FX-format photographs taken in movie live view: 6016 x 3376, 4512 x 2528, 3008 x 1688; DX-format photographs in movie live view: 3936 x 2224, 2944 x 1664, 1968 x 1112; Movies: 1920 x 1080 at 30 p, 25 p, 24 p; 1280 x 720 at 60 p, 50 p, 30 p, 25 p; options support both high and normal image quality
       Image Stabilisation: Lens based
       Dust removal: Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
       Shutter speed range: 1/4000 to 30 seconds in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV plus Bulb, Time (requires optional ML-L3 remote control), flash synch at 1/250 second or slower
       Exposure Compensation: +/- 5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
       Exposure bracketing: 2-3 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV
       Self-timer: Delays of 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds; 1-9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 s
       Focus system: Nikon Multi-CAM 4800 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, 39 focus points (including 9 cross-type sensors; the centre 33 points are available at apertures slower than f/5.6 and faster than f/8, while the centre 7 focus points are available at f/8), and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5-3 m/1 ft 8 in.-9 ft 10 in.)
       Focus modes: Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used
       Exposure metering: TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor with Matrix: 3D colour matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); colour matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); colour matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data Centre-weighted: 75% given to 12 mm circle in centre of frame. Diameter of circle can be changed to 8, 15, or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU lenses use 12-mm circle or average of entire frame) Spot: Meters 4 mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centred on selected focus point (on centre focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
       Shooting modes: Auto (auto; auto (flash off)); Scene (portrait; landscape; child; sports; close up; night portrait; night landscape; party/indoor; beach/snow; sunset; dusk/dawn; pet portrait; candlelight; blossom; autumn colours; food; silhouette; high key; low key); Programmed auto with flexible program (P); Shutter-priority auto (S); Aperture-priority auto (A); Manual (M); U1 , U2 (user settings)
       Picture Style/Control settings: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
       Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
       Custom functions: 50
       ISO range: Auto, ISO 100 - 6400 in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV. Can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 50 equivalent) below ISO 100 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 25600 equivalent) above ISO 6400
       White balance: Auto (2 types), incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored), choose colour temperature (2500 K-10000 K), all with fine-tuning
       Flash: Built-in flash, GN 12 (metre/ISO 100); Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye reduction, fill-flash, red-eye reduction, slow sync, slow sync with red-eye reduction, rear-curtain with slow sync, rear-curtain sync and off modes; Auto FP High-Speed Sync supported
       Flash exposure adjustment: -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
       Sequence shooting: Max. 5.5 frames/second for up to 10 14-bit NEF.RAW frames
       Storage Media: Dual slots for SD and UHS-I compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards
       Viewfinder:  Eye-level pentaprism with approx. 100% FOV coverage, 21 mm eyepoint, approx 0.7x magnification, -3 to +1 dioptre adjustment; Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen with AF area brackets (framing grid can be displayed)
       LCD monitor: 3.2-inch low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with approx. 921,000 dots;  approx. 170 ° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage; automatic monitor brightness control using ambient brightness sensor
       Live View modes: Live view photography (still images), movie live view (movies)
       Data LCD: Yes
       Playback functions: Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, photo and/or movie slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, GPS data display, and auto image rotation
       Interface terminals: USO 2.0, HDMI (Type C Mini); 3.5mm diameter Stereo mini-pin jack (plug-in power supported); accessory terminal for optional MC-DC2 remote cord or GP-1 GPS unit
       Power supply: EN-EL15rechargeable lithium-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 900 shots/charge
       Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 141 x 113 x 82 mm
       Weight: Approx. 760 grams (camera body only)

      RRP: AU$2499, US$1999 (body only) Nikon D600 - $2479, with 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR lens : $3149; US$1999, with 24-85mm lens US$2499
       Distributor: Nikon Australia; 1300 366 499; www.nikon.com.au

      TESTS

       JPEG images

       
       NEF.RAW images converted with Adobe Camera Raw.

       
       

      SAMPLES

       Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.

      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.

      30-second exposure at ISO 100, 35mm focal length, f/4.

      15-second exposure at ISO 800, 35mm focal length, f/5.6.

       

      4-second exposure at ISO 6400, 35mm focal length, f/8.
       
       

      2.5-second exposure at ISO Hi1 (12800 equivalent), 35mm focal length, f/11.
       
       

      1.6-second exposure at ISO Hi2 (25600 equivalent), 35mm focal length, f/16.
       
       

      Flash exposure at ISO 100, 85mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/4.5.
       
       

      Flash exposure at ISO 800, 85mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.
       
       

      Flash exposure at ISO 6400, 85mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/8.
       
       

      Flash exposure at ISO Hi1, 85mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/10.

      Flash exposure at ISO Hi2, 85mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/11.

       

      24mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/100 second at f/9.
       
       

      85mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/40 second at f/9.

      Close-up; 85mm f/1.4 lens, ISO 100, 1/640 second at f/5.6.

       

      Close-up; 85mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/60 second at f/8.
       
       

      Backlighting with Auto D-Lighting; 29mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/8.

      Wide brightness range subject with Auto D-Lighting; 85mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/60 second at f/11.

       

      56mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/250 second at f/11.
       

      85mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/250 second at f/16.

      70mm focal length, ISO 1600, 1/125 second at f/5.6.

       

      36mm focal length, ISO 12800, 1/500 second at f/11.
       

      78mm focal length, ISO 12800, 1/20 second at f/6.3.
       

       
      Still frame from Full HD (1080p) video clip recorded at 30 fps with the High quality setting.
       

      Still frame from Full HD video clip recorded at 30 fps with the Normal quality setting.
       

      Still frame from HD (720p) video clip recorded at 50 fps with the High quality setting.

      Still frame from HD (720p) video clip recorded at 25 fps with the Normal quality setting.
        

      Additional sample images can be found in our review of the AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens.

      Rating

      RRP: AU$2499, US$1999 (body only) Nikon D600 - $2479, with 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR lens : $3149; US$1999, with 24-85mm lens US$2499

      • Build: 8.5
      • Ease of use: 8.5
      • Autofocusing: 9.0
      • Still image quality JPEG: 8.8
      • Still image quality RAW: 9.0
      • Video quality: 8.8

       
       

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