Latest Nikon DSLR Firmware Updates

Nikon D4 Menu - Firmware Update

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.

Nikon D4 Menu - Firmware Update

Read on for more detail and download links.

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Nikon Quality Assurance and Marketing Gone Wrong

NikonD800AutofocusScreen

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…

Reikan FoCal Nikon D800 Test

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.

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Nikon D7100 vs D600

Nikon D7100 vs D600

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.

Nikon D7100 vs D600

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Nikon Finally Acknowledges D600 Dust Problem

Nikon D600

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:

Nikon D600

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.

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Nikon D800/D800E/D600 Instant Rebates Extended

Nikon D600 vs D800

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.

Nikon D600 vs D800

Anyway, here are the Nikon deals once again:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Nikon D800/D800E – $200 Off, Nikon D600 Kit – $700 Off

Nikon D600 vs D800

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!

Nikon D600 vs D800

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.

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Nikon D600 for Sports Photography – by Mikhail Bezruchko

Nikon D600 Football Game (1)

Today’s guest post is by Mikhail Bezruchko on using the Nikon D600 for Sports Photography. Mikhail was kind enough to send his observations on the autofocus performance of the D600 for low-light and daytime sports photography. He photographed a local football game at night and then a local soccer game, using fast telephoto lenses. Although not a pro, Mikhail has had a long history with photography, starting out with Russian-made “Zenit” film cameras a while ago. But his interest in photography spiked up during the last few years and he has been shooting with Nikon D90, D700 and other high-end DSLRs, mostly freelancing. Enjoy!


When the D600 was finally announced, most of us got very excited about the new camera. Nasim’s review of the D600 and Bird Photography follow-up answered a lot of my questions, but I was still curious about the D600′s autofocus performance with sports. There are some similarities between sports and wildlife photography, but there are also many differences.

Nikon D600 Football Game (7)

While I mainly focus on portraiture and functions, I absolutely love shooting games, especially local, non-professional events. Anyone who has photographed a sports match knows that it’s a very challenging venture. Not only does it take experience, preparation and knowledge of the particular game you want to shoot, but it also requires decent equipment.

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Nikon D600 for Sports and Wildlife Photography

Clark's Nutracker

As I have pointed out in my D600 Review, I am quite pleased with the autofocus performance of the D600. It acquires focus quickly and accurately in most situations and in my opinion works more reliably than the AF system on the Nikon D7000. This past weekend I had a chance to do a much more demanding test on the D600, photographing Colorado wildlife. I wanted to see if the Nikon D600 would be suitable for photographing sports and wildlife, since many of our readers have asked me to do that in my review.

Clark's Nutracker

I started out photographing birds first. Small birds can be tough to photograph, since they move constantly and they fly fast. My primary subjects were Clark’s Nutracker and Steller’s Jay – both were very active, so they were perfect for testing the speed, responsiveness and the reliability of the AF system of the D600. I started out in AF-C mode, Ch release, Dynamic 39 points and Focus Tracking with Lock-On set to 3 (Normal). Focusing on perched birds was very reliable and I got a lot of keepers. I even used other focus points in the extreme corners while composing my shots and the images came out in perfect focus. However, the moment a bird would take off, I had a hard time tracking it in flight with my Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR (hand-held), since they were too fast. Very often they were too close and too fast, which made it harder to get anything in the frame and in focus. Gladly, I was not the only person having this problem – Tom was standing right next to me with his Nikon D4 and Nikon 500mm f/4 VR and he was having similar issues. So I knew it was not the camera at fault.

Nutrackers Fighting

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Nikon D600 Review

Nikon D600

After many months of rumors of a budget full-frame camera, Nikon finally announced the Nikon D600 right before the Photokina 2012 show. Priced at $2,099 MSRP, the D600 is currently the cheapest full-frame DSLR from Nikon, around $900 cheaper than its bigger brother, the Nikon D800. The camera is designed for any kind of amateur and professional photography – from landscape and studio, to event and wildlife photography. In this review, I will not only provide detailed information about the camera, but will also try to answer the many questions and requests that we have gotten so far on it, along with comparisons to other DSLRs such as the Nikon D700, D800 and D3s.

Nikon D600 Review

While most of the features and components are borrowed from the D7000, the D600 is physically larger in size and comes with a brand new 24.3 MP CMOS sensor. And as you will see on the next pages of this review, with a native ISO range of 100-6400, the Nikon D600 provides pretty clean images throughout the ISO range for both daylight and low-light environments. Built to be affordable, it does not have the same robust autofocus system used on the D800 and D4 cameras, so it comes with an older 39 point AF system used on the D7000. Its shutter speed is limited to 1/4000th of a second and its flash sync is also limited to 1/200th of a second, which might be a disappointment for some photographers out there. However, it has 100% viewfinder coverage, 5.5 fps speed, which is faster than the D800′s 4 fps and has the same 3.2″ LCD monitor with 921,000 pixels used on the latest Nikon DSLR models. And movie fans will be delighted to see impressive 1080p video with uncompressed HDMI output.

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Review of the Nikon D600 DSLR has been posted!

Nikon D600

After working on it for the last two weeks, I have just posted the review of the Nikon D600. As usual, it is an in-depth review with image samples, camera comparisons (Nikon D7000, D700, D800/D800E and D3s) and other observations. In summary, I am extremely impressed by the Nikon D600 and I called it “a small camera with a BIG sensor”. While it is by no means a small camera, it is smaller than any other Nikon full-frame camera today.

Nikon D600

I am still trying to figure out a way to push notifications to our subscribers when a new review is posted. Ever since we changed to photographylife.com, we changed the location (URL) of all reviews. They are now under “Reviews“, which is a new subsection of the website. Because of this change, I will have to temporarily notify of new reviews to our subscribers through a separate post like this. Hopefully, I will find a workaround to the problem soon.