One of our readers recently asked me to provide my settings from the Nikon D600 / D610 cameras that I use for my photography needs. While at first I thought that it was an odd request, it got me into thinking that many photographers probably get lost trying to dig through the many menu options. Since I have been shooting with Nikon for a number of years now, those settings are very easy for me to understand and I apply them over and over again for each camera that I work with. In this article, I want to provide some information on what settings I use and shortly explain what some of the important settings do. Please do keep in mind that while these work for me, it does not mean that everyone else should be shooting with exactly the same settings. The below information is provided as a guide for those that struggle and just want to get started with a basic understanding of menu settings.
As you may already know, we have covered and complained about the Nikon D600 dust issue quite a bit here at Photography Life, and we were one of the first resources on the Internet to discover the issue, as detailed in our Nikon D600 review. Unfortunately, Nikon failed to take action and issue a recall to fix the shutter problem on the camera, only partially acknowledging the issue and then silently releasing the Nikon D610, without even mentioning a word about why the camera was replaced in the first place. This led to many complaints from existing Nikon D600 owners that felt betrayed and lied to. I have received a number of reports from our readers that had bad experiences with Nikon’s service centers, which despite multiple trips and replacements of parts did not seem to address the ongoing dust issue. Well, some of those frustrated customers did end up taking action and filed a class-action lawsuit against Nikon on February 19th, 2014. It seems like the lawsuit finally did get some traction at Nikon, because today it released a service advisory for all existing Nikon D600 owners. It does not matter if you bought a brand new or a refurbished D600, or if the purchase was made over a year ago and the camera has no warranty – Nikon will repair your camera for free and will pay for all shipping expenses.
Thanks to all the camera and lens releases earlier this year, I now have too much gear in my hands and too little time to review it all. Instead of making our readers wait for full, in-depth reviews (which take me a while to put together), I will be publishing some bits and pieces from the reviews with my initial impressions. In this case, I would like to show you the ISO noise performance of the new Sony A7 mirrorless camera and the Nikon D600/D610 DLSRs. I have just received the A7 and A7R cameras along with two Sony lenses (the 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss prime and the 28-70mm Sony zoom), so I have not been able to use them extensively to provide a detailed analysis and opinion. From my two days of using the two, I am pretty impressed by what I see so far.
Let’s take a look at how the Sony A7 compares to the Nikon D600 in low and high ISO performance. Here is the boosted ISO 50 for your viewing pleasure:
With the introduction of the Nikon D610 (see our preview and initial reaction) and its lower initial price of $1999, we knew that prices for the remaining Nikon D600 stock would plummet. Looks like Adorama is trying to clean up its shelves to make some space for the upcoming D610, so it has slashed the price of the Nikon D600 by a $420, bringing the price of the Nikon D600 body to $1,679! Previously, we have seen prices drop this low for a refurbished camera, but this one is for a brand new version. Other Nikon D600 kits are also on sale, as shown below.
Nikon has just released a firmware update for a number of current and older DSLR cameras. These include the D4, D3s, D3x, D3, D800, D600, D7000 and, finally, the D3200. Last generation cameras, namely the D3, D3s, D3x and D7000 now support the new super-telephoto Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6 VR lens, so changes aren’t really big. Current cameras, however, have seen additional changes, among which are AF improvements for the D800 and D600 in continuous mode.
Read on for more detail and download links.
As I was writing my Nikon D7100 vs D600 comparison article a while ago, I had a lot of conflicting thoughts that crossed my mind and made their way to the article. I then decided to refrain from making the comparison article negative and rather move my thoughts to a separate post, because I thought that it would be worth the discussion with our readers…
Nikon Quality Assurance Gone Bad
Nikon has been quite active since last year. We have seen a lot of ups and downs of the company, most notably with the amazing D800 and D600 cameras that became available last year, both of which were accompanied by quality assurance issues and escalated into the “Nikon D800 autofocus fiasco” and the “Nikon D600 dust issue“. And as you may already know, these problems were covered rather extensively on our website through detailed posts and reviews.
Our last comparison will be to show the difference between the new Nikon D7100 and the full-frame Nikon D600, which we reviewed last year. Despite the price differences, seems like a lot of people are wondering which one of the two cameras to choose – the D7100, a cropped-sensor “DX” camera, or the D600, a full-frame “FX” camera. In this article, I will first go into detailed specifications of both cameras, then talk about main features that differentiate the two. Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on specifications.
Today, Nikon has released a Service Advisory on Nikon D600 sensor dust issue. As you may very well know, the camera has been plagued by sensor dust accumulation problems ever since its release, which caused a lot of doubt among potential buyers. Finally, Nikon realizes the problem is very real and of concern to many. Here are separate links for US and EU customers:
Why is their acknowledgement so important? At times, new cameras may exhibit certain defects or issues when launched. Some are rather minor and easy to fix, like the Canon 5D Mark III light-leak issue, while others may be more persistent and annoying, or even render cameras unusable. It is difficult to expect everything to go perfect every time, to be completely fair. Yet recently, Nikon seemed to have gotten a lot worse at avoiding manufacturing defects.
I was first told that the D800/D800E/D600 instant rebates from last week would only last a couple of days. It turned out that the deals got pretty popular, because B&H ran out of the D600 stock pretty quickly. They were able to get a brand new shipment of the D800, D800E and D600 cameras quickly today, so I was told that the rebate program will continue, probably till the end of the year (December 29th, 2012 is the last date) or until the stock is completely depleted and Nikon cannot supply cameras fast enough.
Anyway, here are the Nikon deals once again:
- Nikon D800 – $200 off instantly (body only) – $2796.95 ($2,999 reg). Click on the “Savings Available” link and add Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G for another $200 off, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II for another $200 off, Nikon 70-300mm VR for yet another $200 off and Nikon 28-300mm VR for another $150 off – a total of $950 in instant savings! The Nikon D800 also comes with the following: Lowepro Rezo 170 AW Camera Shoulder Bag, Vello FreeWave Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Nikon w/10-Pin Connection, SanDisk 32GB CompactFlash Memory Card Extreme 400x UDMA and Pearstone EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.0V 1800mAh) ($214 value) – Up to $1,164 in total savings
- Nikon D800E – $200 off instantly (body only) – $3096.95 ($3,299 reg). Same deal with lenses – pick any of the above-mentioned lenses and you can shave up to $750 off in instant savings in lenses alone. Unfortunately, no other incentives except for the 2% cach back are included.
- Nikon D600 + Nikon 24-85mm VR – $700 off instantly – $1,996.95 ($2,699 reg). Same deal with lenses – pick any of the above-mentioned lenses and you can shave up to $750 off in instant savings in lenses alone. To sweeten up the deal, B&H is also adding the following: Lowepro Rezo 170 AW Camera Shoulder Bag, SanDisk 32GB SDHC Memory Card Extreme Class 10 UHS-I, Pearstone EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.0V 1800mAh) and Oben ACM-2400 4-Section Aluminum Monopod
($174 value) – Up to $1,625 in total savings
Please note that there are additional savings to the above – the Nikon D800/D800E qualify for 2% additional cash back, while the D600 has a 4% cash back program through B&H!
Nikon D800 vs D800E
I got a number of emails from our readers, asking if they should go with the D800 or the D800E for their photography. As I have pointed out a number of times in articles like Nikon D800 vs D800E before, the D800E is a specialized tool that should be used for landscape, nature and macro photography, where fine, repetitive patterns are rarely present. If you like doing portrait photography and occasionally shoot landscapes, then get the D800. The difference between the D800 and D800E is very minor that you normally won’t be able to see. So for 98% of photographers out there, the D800 is the camera to get. Plus, the deals above for the D800E do not include all the goodies from B&H – just the bare $200 off, plus lens rebates…
For dedicated landscape gurus, the D800E is going to give the best possible image quality from the 36 MP sensor.
If you thought that Black Friday was a good day to buy cameras and lenses, think again – as of midnight tonight, Nikon is giving an instant rebate of $200 on the superb Nikon D800 and D800E DSLRs (see my D800 review). And it does not stop there. You can save even more by buying Nikon lenses (up to $750!). The real icing on the cake, however, comes with the Nikon D600 + 24-85mm VR kit, which is getting a crazy $700 instant rebate! This means that the kit will have the same price as the body-only version of the D600 at $1,996. Dang it, should have waited with my D600 purchase!
If you are subscribed to us, you already know about the D800 deal, but the $700 instant rebate on the D600 is something I found out about today. Remember the initial D600 rumors, where people were speculating if the D600 would be priced at $1,500? Well, that’s exactly the price of the camera if you factor in the cost of the lens! Take that Canon and Sony, a full-frame DSLR for $1,500 – who would have thought this day would come? Just three months after the announcement! If you have not read my D600 Review along with the 24-85mm VR Review, check them out and you will see why I am excited about this.