Now that the Nikon D600 is officially out, I am sure many photographers will be interested in seeing feature differences between the old and discontinued Nikon D700 and the new D600. Please keep in mind that this Nikon D600 vs D700 comparison is purely based on specifications. Note: a detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons is provided in the D600 Review.
Interestingly, the Nikon D600 is a lot more like the D7000 than the D700, thanks to its inferior autofocus system and similar camera build. However, the sensor is full-frame, so it cannot really be compared to the D7000 anymore. Let’s take a look at how the two cameras compare – I am sure many current Nikon D700 owners are wondering about the differences.
Nikon D600 vs D700 Specification Comparison
|Camera Feature||Nikon D600||Nikon D700|
|Sensor Resolution||24.3 Million||12.1 Million|
|Sensor Pixel Size||5.9µ||8.45µ|
|Dust Reduction / Sensor Cleaning||Yes||Yes|
|Image Size||6,016 x 4,016||4,256 x 2,832|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 3||EXPEED|
|Built-in Flash||Yes, with flash commander mode||Yes, with flash commander mode|
|Storage Media||2x SD||1x Compact Flash|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||5.5 FPS||5 FPS, 8 FPS with MB-D10 battery grip|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/4000 to 30 sec||1/8000 to 30 sec|
|Shutter Durability||150,000 cycles||150,000 cycles|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||2,016-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II||1,005-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 200|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-6,400||ISO 200-6,400|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||ISO 50, ISO 12,800-25,600||ISO 100, ISO 12,800-25,600|
|Autofocus System||Multi-CAM 4800FX||Multi-CAM 3500FX|
|AF Detection||Up to f/8 (center 7 AF points only)||Up to f/5.6|
|Video Output||MOV, Compressed and Uncompressed||N/A|
|Video Maximum Record Time||20 min in 24p, 30 min in 30p||N/A|
|Video Maximum Resolution||1920×1080 (1080p) @ 24p, 25p, 30p||N/A|
|Audio Recording||Built-in microphone|
External stereo microphone (optional)
|LCD Size||3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD||3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD|
|LCD Resolution||921,000 dots||921,000 dots|
|Wi-Fi Functionality||Eye-Fi Compatible, WU-1B, UT-1||WT-4A|
|Battery||EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery||EN-EL3e Lithium-ion Battery|
|Battery Life||900 shots (CIPA)||1,000 shots (CIPA)|
|Battery Charger||MH-25 Quick Charger||MH-18a Quick Charger|
|Weather Sealed Body||Yes||Yes|
|Weight (Body Only)||26.8 oz. (760g)||35 oz. (995g)|
|Dimensions||141 x 113 x 82mm||147 x 123 x 77mm|
|MSRP Price||$2,099 (as introduced)||$2,999 (as introduced, dropped to $2,699.95, discontinued)|
As you can see, aside from an inferior autofocus system, slower max shutter speed and lighter build, the D600 has plenty to offer in comparison. Would I upgrade to the D600 from the D700? If max shutter speed, slower sync speed and inferior AF were not as important, or if I desperately needed video, then I sure would. Otherwise, the D700 is still a phenomenal camera. Looks like the D600 would be a nice backup camera for it.
Obviously, image quality is a big factor that I am not analyzing here. The Nikon D600 might offer impressive performance in comparison to the D700, especially in low-light situations (once down-sampled). Once I do a thorough analysis between the two (detailed comparisons coming soon), I will update this article with my recommendations.
How does the focus speed of the D600 feel in comparison to the D700?
I know the specs in terms of shutter lag, number of focus points etc., but can the D600 ‘lock’ as fast as the D700? This may be subjective because it can be hard to measure so it is more of an opinion but I’d love to hear what owners of both cameras think.
well, i have a DX camera, i want move to a FX one,
i am not sure if buy a D700 or a D600.
the only thing about D600 is the dust/oil spots on the sensor problem, is Nikon officially acknowledged,
what do you thing?
I love this review.
For sure d600 is an awesome machine!!
I am a wedding photographer and i love it.
Thanks for your help
I have reluctantly decided that I cannot go ahead with the purchase of the D600. For the present I will stay with my D700. I will explain my reasons:
1. I have been away on a photography weekend with friends and I have used this time to analyse my shooting style and workflow. I love landscape work and increasingly use bracketing with post processing in Photomatix, particularly for sunrise and sunset images. The D600 can do +/- 3 stops with 3 images but the D700 can do +/- 4 stops over 9 images, and I find I do use this span for extreme lighting conditions. Even +/- 3 stops with 3-stop increments might just be enough for most work, but having tested this (by selecting the 3 images out of my series of 7 or 9 images) in Photomatix, the results are inferior to the HDR produced from all 7 or 9 images. This is subjective, but in my opinion, areas of high contrast change take on a plastic-type blur, as if there is not enough information to produce smooth transitions. This is the killer reason I cannot go ahead. It may be that the higher pixel count would provide the additional information to permit +/- 3 stops to create smooth transitions in high contrast zones, but I cannot check this. Perhaps others may have a view?
2. I also do long exposure work greater than 30 seconds on B setting using a tethered remote release that has an easy readout/control of shutter-open time. The D600 cannot do this with the same convenience; it has the crude IR remote release that I used years ago on an old D70. So, not impossible, but a real hassle.
3. I occasionally use Lightroom to control the shutter release on my D700. This is not yet possible on the D600, though I suspect it could be in the future, particularly as Helicon seem to have cracked the problem and they use the same communication with the camera.
My conclusion is that Nikon has crippled the D600 in the above respects. The much larger mega-pixel count, inclusion of video and slightly lighter weight do not compensate the shortcomings, for me and my style of photography.
Hi Nasim, given two choices:
1) Brand new D600 selling at MYR6499.00
2) Used D700 selling at MYR5350.00 (SC:70k+, in excellent condition)
Which choice is wiser?
*Sorry for using Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) for comparison, but that’s the price reference I can get here.
*My shooting styles: Events, weddings, celebrations and landscapes.
I love all the Debates, It is better than the presidential ones!!! What everyone is clearly missing is that we have came a long way from the D2,D300,D300s,D90 ect……. all at one time OMG cameras I have D300,d90, D800 and a D3 and yes I just had to order the D600 !!!! and i have to say the first thing i did was pack my D3,D800 and new D600 from dusk to dawn… my wife is a very good photographer as well published….. I put all photos on deck from all 3 I edited just a bit In LR4 than sent 15 images to my desktop. i asked her to tell me wht was the D3,D800 and D600 images ….. she told me not to get the D600 BTW ..But she could not tell the diff… so she said lets make some big prints that will say everything… so we went to the studio we get our prints done Still Nothing …. Now she wont give me my dam D600 back…. Use the tools you have correct and you will get the same results I can get great prints with the D2 and D200 I have a sentamental attachment with my D200.. I still use the D200 every winter when i shoot a big ice fishing tournament for bass pro … not one complaint …people we have options so many ,,,THATS A GOOD THING!!!!! BUT KEEP UP THE GREAT DEBATING I LOVE IT AND ******SHOOT RAW*****
Thank you for your comments.
1. Yes, I am aware of the ability to see the info and RGB histogram, but what I was referring to was a much enlarged histogram that almost fills the LCD screen on the D700. That is MOST useful on the D700, but seemingly not available on the D600.
2. I don’t currently have a PC lens- but it is on the wish list! I think a bit more info is needed here.
3. As I understand it from your comment, the ML-L3 can hold the shutter open on B setting for as long as I choose, using my watch to count the time. This is not as convenient as my tethered control with built0in timer, but obviously will do the job.
As regards HDR, programs like Photomatix like to have increments of 1 or 2 stops; 3 stop increments are really too wide and are a compromise. At least, that is my understanding. The range of exposures needed for HDR depends on the dynamic range of the scene you are trying to cover and I have certainly covered 7 stops and occasionally 9 stops on my D700, all with 1-stop increments. These situations are clearly out of the scope of the D600.
As a compromise, I have considered taking what is available from the D600, 3 images, and using the facility in Lightroom to create virtual copies and adjust the exposures in the copies to make up the missing steps before sending the originals + the virtual copies to Photomatix. Has anyone tried this, or have an opinion as to whether it would work?
D700 IMO is the best actual DSLR with no video and only still picture camera ,but as these are electronics most things matter in technology like Image quality and some other stuff like high ISO noise level improvements over the older models.
For you D800 is the camera if you are seriously considering an upgrade ,when I came to digital the D700 didn’t give me a so alien feeling as I was shooting with F100 only the sensor was film and there was LCD to check out images on the spot, all other controls were familiar from F100 and F5.
D600 is a very nice reasonably priced FX camera from Nikon and now they have a much better line in FX to choose from.
I already bought the D800 ,if I had a choice then even then I’d prefer the D800 as to my needs it is also very reasonably priced looking at the history of Nikon’s pricing of it’s FX cameras like the D3x.
I’m keeping the D7000 as the second body for it’s speed only ,if the D600 was 1/8000 at 7fps then I would have replaced the D7000 in a snap.
It all comes to personal preferences and style of shooting.
This time it’s good that my batteries are same and can use F100’s cord on D800.
I never used the cord on D7000 and D5000 the remote is convenient only when there is no issue of over exposing and one only wants the light as long as it is desirable.But using ND in day it matters.
Both cameras are better technology wise from D700 but if you are looking for an actual upgrade the D800 comes nearer (though I hate the video button where metering button was ,this is a really useless placement ,that button could be put anywhere but there)
Histogram is a personal taste ,I trust the meter and only check the LCD if I have some doubt if that’s the case then I take several snaps in different metering :)
With D800’s better DR you will be able to make one snap into HDR :)
I don’t have Photoshop but Lightroom works just fine for me ,yes one can create pseudo HDR with lightroom and Photomatix and it works great!
You can also use Nik software plugins like Color efex pro 4 and HDR efex in Lightroom ,I recently came to know (I thought everything was for PS but some of them do work in Lightroom too) and they are really good for finishing touches.
Firstly, an excellent review. My thanks.
I have a D700 and am looking to sell it and move to a D600. I have looked through the Users Guide and the following points are worth noting:
1. On my D700 I have assigned the centre button of the Direction Pad to show an enlarged view of the histogram; very useful in bright light, or if your have ‘tired’ eyes. This seems not to be possible on the D600.
2. There is reference to restrictions that may apply to the use of tilt shift lenses on the D600. This is not enlarged upon. Does anyone have any information about this?
3. I take long exposure images on my D700; well over the 30 seconds max limit on the D600, using B setting and a tethered release. It is not clear how I would do this with the D600. Can anyone please advise?
My only other concern regards the bracketing feature of only 3 shots. The best offered by the D600 is +/- 3 stops. I am concerned this may be too much of a gap for HDR software to handle. Your comments would be helpful. I will miss the much wider bracketing facility of the D700.
1 – This can be assigned in menu settings or hit play button and press the D pad 2 times up or down to see detailed info plus histogram.
2 – PC lenses can be used but might less tilt n shift (in mm) ,D3s is best for that.
3 – A $13 USD Nikon’s ML-L3 tiny remote can lock mirror up or shoot directly (your choice) in bulb mode.
The longest exposure in digital I took was of more than 800 sec. on D7000 so, I think D600 will certainly will be able to do that provided the battery is freshly charged.
If you can’t nail it in 3 then you won’t do it in 9 either ,sorry to be very blunt but I’ve seen great looking HDR pictures taken from D7000 same like D600. I myself am not a fan of HDR but recently took some with D7000 ,I can’t be judge of that but look OK to me!
Having used a friend’s D700, and having owned a D7000 for 18 months and now the proud owner of a shiny D600, I’ve gotta say the handling of the D600 leaves the D700 for dead. “Inferior AF system” is a bit like saying “inferior handling because it’s lighter”. What rubbish. And I defy even the most techy geek to actually show a real-world difference in flash sync speed. The D600 is a very definite, positive move by Nikon. More power to them.
I use a d700 for stills and two d7000s to shoot corporate video. I find using two cameras for interviews and events video very effective.
Is the image quality of the d600 video noticeably better in low light?