Nikon D600 Limitations

Since the Nikon D600 DSLR has been released this morning, I have been receiving a number of emails and comments about it from our readers. Looks like there is some confusion about the capabilities and limitations of the camera. A number of online resources are talking about the D600 and thanks to some famous bloggers, people now think that the D600 has serious problems. I am not here to defend the camera that I have not touched yet, but I would like to clarify these issues so that there is no misunderstanding or confusion.

Nikon D600

1) Sharp Images

After I posted the Nikon D600 Sample Images, some of our readers started questioning the quality of the camera, blaming softer images (particularly from the owl shot) on the camera. First of all (and I am sure most photographers already know this), the softness of images has little to do with the camera. Even the cheapest entry-level DSLRs like the D3200 are capable of producing very sharp images. Take a look at my article on making sharp images and you will know exactly what I mean.

Second, anyone who has ever shot with the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR (I own one) knows very well that it is not a good lens to be coupled with teleconverters. In fact, the only TC it works well with is the Nikon TC-14E II, which provides 1.4x magnification. The TC-20E III (see my Nikon TC-20E III Review) that Florian Schulz used in the shot makes the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR a 400-800mm lens and if it was not for the AF system on the D600 that can take f/8 lenses, he would have never been able to autofocus with it. The fact that he got the bird in focus at 800mm and reasonably sharp at wide open aperture of f/8 is already a big achievement. If you don’t believe me, mount the Nikon 200-400mm with the TC-20E III on the Nikon D700 or D3s and try to do it yourself.

The owl shot is pretty sharp for 800mm wide open. Nobody would post an image like this full-size. Some sharpening in post and down-sampling a little will make the image look superb. I took the same image in Photoshop, down-sampled to 1200 pixels wide and applied Unsharp Mask with value 50 and 1px radius. Here is the result:

Nikon D600 Owl Shot Downsampled and Sharpened

2) Multi-CAM 4800FX ≠ Multi-CAM 4800DX

Now here is another one that keeps coming up. Yes, the Nikon D600 has a similar AF module as the Nikon D7000, but it is NOT the same. Notice it says “FX” versus “DX” in the end? There is a difference in size between the two – FX AF module is physically larger. Now this one is debatable, so I will speak from my own personal experience. I have shot fast-moving wildlife extensively with both the Nikon D300 and the Nikon D700 (the D300 has Multi-CAM 3500DX and the D700 has Multi-CAM 3500FX). While most people say that the AF system on both is identical in terms of performance, after several years of shooting with both, I found the AF system on the D700 to be more accurate, especially for photographing fast-moving birds (often in flight). I do not know if it is the bigger size of the FX module that makes a difference or there is something else going on, but if the same thing applies to Multi-CAM 4800FX used on the D600, it should be more accurate for fast action than the D7000. Now this by no means means that the 4800FX is as good as the 3500FX or Advanced 3500FX used on the D800/D4 – the latter obviously has more AF points, cross-type sensors and better tracking ability. However, the FX version should perform better than the DX in my experience.

Now here is a flip side to this. Due to the large size of the internal guts (mirror, viewfinder, etc) on the D600, the AF points inside the D600 viewfinder will not be as spread out as on the D7000. Unless Nikon made the 4800FX much larger in size, this means that most of the AF points will be concentrated in the center of the frame.

3) Viewfinder Size

Using a full-frame sensor requires a larger mirror and hence a larger pentaprism. I expect the viewfinder on the Nikon D600 to be of the same size as the D700/D800, which is MUCH bigger than the one on the D7000. If you shoot with both FX and DX cameras side by side, you will quickly see that the difference in viewfinder size is huge. And trust me, after you use a larger viewfinder, you will never want to go back.

4) AF Fine Tune

One of our readers could not find any references to AF Fine Tune on the D600 and thought that Nikon omitted it. It would be completely idiotic for Nikon to omit this important feature from a $2K camera, especially since the Nikon D7000 has it. Here is info from the Nikon D600 Brochure: “Nikon Multi-CAM 4800 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, 39 focus points…”. So yes, the D600 will have the AF Fine Tune feature for tuning lenses.

5) 1/4000 Max Shutter Speed

A lot of people are saying that the max shutter speed of 1/4000 is a deal breaker. Really? How many images have you captured in the last year with the shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second? Open up your Lightroom catalog and find all the images that have shutter speeds faster than 1/4000. Out of over 50 thousand images that my wife and I shot last year, I only found about 20-30 that were shot at 1/8000. With fast glass. Wide open. On a sunny day. There is only one stop of exposure difference between 1/4000 and 1/8000. If you are getting blown out images, just lower that ISO to 50. It will compensate for the one stop light loss. Or if worst comes to worst, you always have an option to use an ND filter. Strobists carry ND filters to lower the shutter speed and they do not seem to be complaining that much.

6) Lack of PC Sync Port

Unless you have your camera glued to a tripod in a studio environment, shoot with a flash bracket or want to trigger your camera remotely with a PocketWizard unit, there is little reason to worry about the lack of the PC sync port. I cannot remember the last time I used the PC sync port on any of my cameras and I shoot flash quite a bit. If you really need to have the PC sync port, just buy the Nikon AS-15 adapter or one of those third party adapters that has a built-in hot shoe as well. I do not like using cords to trigger my flashes – radio or infrared do just fine.

7) 1/200 Flash Sync

David Hobby made a big deal out of the 1/200 flash sync limitation, saying that it is “game over” for the D600. I have a lot of respect for David’s work, but I think he is exaggerating this limitation and making too big of a deal out of it it. The difference between 1/250 and 1/200 is one third of a stop. Most people that shoot flash won’t care about this. Yes, it is a bummer for sports shooters (only when using dumb flashes) and it does make flashes a little less effective overall, but it does not make the D600 a bad camera. Most Canon DSLRs, including the new 5D Mark III are limited to 1/200 sync speed. Again, this limitation is a non-issue for probably 99% of photographers out there, if not more.

8) Nikon D600 Review

Many of our readers are anxious to find out how the D600 will do in terms of image quality when compared to the D700 or the D800. I have already put an order through for the D600, so I will start reviewing it as soon as I receive it in late September. There should be enough stock this time, so I do not anticipate any major delays. A comparison between Nikon D600, D700 and D800 is posted in our review of the Nikon D600. I will take it for a full spin, taking pictures of landscapes, portraits and wildlife, so the review should be pretty thorough.

I think that’s all. Please let me know if you have any questions!


  1. 1) Jay
    September 14, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Thanks Nasim, excellent article once again!

  2. 2) Marcie
    September 14, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I shoot horses, running, jumping and portrait. I use a d90 now and will either get the d600 or a d700 but I really want video ( at some point) and this will be the last camera I own, most likely. So can I shoot moving ponies with multiple frames ??? I soooo dont want to make a mistake in my next purchase. So both fast moving sport and people/equine portrait…………any advice would be welcome :)

    • 2.1) William Jones
      September 14, 2012 at 5:26 am

      I shoot horse polo with a D3X and a D3S, and have no problems with any of the action (150,000+ shots a year). While the frame rate on the D600 is not that of the D3S (or D4), it is slightly higher that that of the D3X in FX mode (however not as high as the D3X in DX mode). I have shot polo with a D7000 also, but prefer the FX advantage (I started with a D90 also). I also shot some polo with a D700, before I sold it to upgrade further. Shot some horse jumping with the D700 also, and my only issue was the buffer size.

      My two concerns with the D600 are buffer size, which I have yet to see any info on, and the focus system (due to problems I had with D800 and D4). However, since this is NOT the focus system on those two cameras, I have ordered, and will try out on polo if I receive soon (season starts in two wks).

      As an aside, I believe that Nikon purposely limited the D600s’ FPS so as not to reduce sales of the D4. My understanding is the the D600 FPS will not increase in either DX mode, or with the battery grip attached. Have yet to see actual confirmation on this point, however.

      • 2.1.1) Francesco
        September 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm

        You can see the buffer capacity at this link ( ) in the section “Memory card capacity”. The buffer is filled in 3 seconds using the RAW 14-bit losless compressed format (16 frames).
        Unfortunately, even the fastest SD cards do not meet the performance of best CF and XQD cards. Be advised that the 24.3 Mpx D600 at 5.5 fps generates a volume of data equivalent to approx. 123% of a D3S at 9 fps.

  3. September 14, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Marcie, the D600 would be a huge step up from the D90 and it will do great with shooting horses and portraits. Take a look at this video:

    • 3.1) noushervan
      September 14, 2012 at 1:24 am


      Thanks for this post.. Amazingg…Looking forward for your review soon. inshaallah.

    • 3.2) Mark
      September 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

      amazing video

  4. 4) SVRK Prabhakar
    September 14, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I checked my partial LR catalog (which has 6800 photos out of total 35000 photos I took in the past five years) and found that I have about 140 photos (only) shot at shutter speeds more than 1/4000 [Interestingly most of those 140 photos were shot indoor for a friend’s wedding]…. I did noticed that D600 has somehow had low shutter speeds but didn’t thought I would ever use big shutter speeds…but then I am wrong…high shutter speeds are important with fast glasses in bright sunny days (and for shooting Boeing engines in flight and shooting the sun direct etc cant think any others at the moment:-)

    good that it became clear…

    • 4.1) Andrew
      September 14, 2012 at 1:48 am

      I was initially concerned about the 1/4000 as I am upgrading from a D90 where I have hit the limit of 1/4000.

      However, since the base ISO range is 100 and can be dropped down to ISO50 it is similar to having a 1/8000 or 1/16000 shutter speed on my D90 in terms of not overexposing in bright areas with a high aperture.

      • 4.1.1) SVRK Prabhakar
        September 14, 2012 at 2:02 am

        This is a good point too…not sure how it performs below base ISO in terms of noise etc…I have no idea if the noise is going to be same as higher ISO or if images come soft…need to check with my cam and see if there would be any noticeable differences by shooting below base ISO…

  5. 5) Rocco
    September 14, 2012 at 1:21 am

    1/4000. Hmmm…didn’t Leica M9 have the same top speed?

    • September 14, 2012 at 1:41 am

      Rocco, many cameras are limited to 1/2000-1/4000 speeds, so we are pretty spoiled :)

      • 5.1.1) EnPassant
        September 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        Wonder what people would think today about the 1/250 top speed of Konica Hexar?
        (The AF fixed 35/2 lens camera, the analog predecessor of Sony RX1!)
        Oh, and that is without flash (leaf shutter sync at all times!) as well!
        Many bought it anyway as they never used a faster speed than 1/250.

    • 5.2) Manuel
      September 16, 2012 at 3:19 am

      Let’s keep in mind, that the D3, D3s and D700 had a top speed of 1/8000s, but also had a base ISO of 200 – and nobody complained. 1/4000s and ISO 100 is pretty much the same, as long as you don’t need 1/8000s to stop motion.

      D4 and D800 gained one step, of course, as they also have a base ISO of 100.

  6. September 14, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Superb! thank you very much indeed!

    Cheers, Leo

  7. September 14, 2012 at 1:36 am

    One point of criticism is that I think usb 2.0. the transfer of files on a machine that records full hd high-dimensional point as fast as USB 3.0 interface that was needed.

    • September 14, 2012 at 1:43 am

      That speed only matters if you are going to be transferring images from the camera directly. I never do that…it is way faster to have a card reader instead of hooking up my DSLR.

      • 7.1.1) Recep Ergin
        September 14, 2012 at 2:24 am

        Nikon d300 with my camera I like you, I was doing the transfer. As a journalist after all the news comes one day after the card is inserted the machine shut down and never opened. They said the main card and card insert burned when the service did not want to take off. I’m starting to get the cable and after that date.

        • JADiniz
          September 14, 2012 at 7:34 am

          That’s why a double SD slot on these Nikons is priceless for professional work.

          Many thanks to Nasim, not only for this post, but for many other invaluable lessons he has been sharing in this internet world.

  8. 8) Hoeras
    September 14, 2012 at 1:46 am

    The sample shots I did with a Nikon D800E in STD Picture Control and TIFF files, they definitely did not look exceptional at all, indeed to those I passed then on to I even called them ‘bland” – that is until you started looking into the image and then at 1:1 (50mm lens shot at F5.6) here was incredible detail and no softening – the E without OPL crops better (terrible on video though).

    So downsizing full pics for the screen under 1000 pixels does not really say much.

  9. 9) Martin G
    September 14, 2012 at 2:02 am

    When I read that images of birds were taken with the 200-400 using the TC20e III – I have to admit I was surprised. Perhaps they should have read the post on shooting birds that Nasim wrote. The 300 2.8 with the TC20e III would be a much better choice. I know they wanted to show it could focus at F8. I wonder how the 300 F4 or even the 500 F4 would go. I am sure they would both be better choices.

  10. September 14, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Thank you Nasim, for yet another good article about this new camera, and for setting things in understandable and very useful perspective.
    I was looking forward to this D600 as an upgrade from my D300s, to take the “plunge” into full frame – but, alas … as a HDR-photographer I was very disappointed to learn that this new camera only has AE Bracketing with 2 or 3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps – as opposed to the 3, 5, 7 and 9 AEB’s I now have on my D300s and on the D700. Big dissappointment for me.
    Best regards!

    • 10.1) Hoeras
      September 14, 2012 at 3:34 am

      So true! My wishlist is that I can do HDR shots -2EV, 0EV and +2EV – three shots instead of the five it forces me to do. The other is the in-built HDR feature, only saves to Jpeg but it discard RAW info rather than saving that as well. Wouldn’t be nice to have that option in the Menu, doesn’t seem much to ask for. I believe the Canon 5D3 can write the RAW files, so message to Nikon, why can’t we?

    • September 14, 2012 at 7:36 am

      I think the info on dpreview about bracketing is wrong. I’m pretty certain it can do -2 0 +2 shots in one go, just like the d7000.

    • 10.3) Rohan
      September 14, 2012 at 7:54 am

      Two things will help you out here with D600 for more HDR
      1. Extended ISO range – you already have more image info than previously available.
      2. You CAN use U1 & U2 user settings to simulate 3 x 3 (total 9 bracket frames).

      • 10.3.1) Evan Gearing
        September 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

        Could you expound on this a little? If this can be done, I may set my sights on a D600 soon! I currently have a D300S and I like its 2-9 aeb functionality, but would like to go full-frame. Can’t wait to hear how you could do this using U1 and U2…

        • Nicho
          July 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm

          I too had my eyes on D600 instead of D300s just because of HDR. The work-around to get up to 9 exposures is not ideal because you do touch the camera and you move it, unless you get a tripod and have a ‘promote’ where you can get 11+ aeb if need be.
          The basic idea of using the U1 and the U2 modes in combination is the following: You will set up your camera such that you can take the first three exposures in U1 mode, then you quickly switch to U2 mode without changing the composition, and you take the next three exposures in that mode. Overall, this will give you a series of 6 exposures (e.g. -3EV, -2EV, -1EV, 0EV, +1EV, +2EV) with the exact same composition. Or get a camera that does 2-9, I have to fork out a bit for a Hobby, I might just get the 5D III (9 aeb) and maybe do a wedding here and there to compensate my hobby.

          • Evan Gearing
            July 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm

            Thanks for your reply Nicho. That makes sense. But, I did solve my problem by buying a used D700. Granted it only has half the megapixels as the D600, but it does everything else I want, plus I got it for $1200! Can’t beat that! Thanks again!

    • 10.4) Randy
      September 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Walter, do you take the bigger plunge and get the d800 or wait to see what the d400 might have?
      I have a d200 and am in the same boat as you in regard to hdr and bracketing.

      • September 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm

        Hi Randy!
        No, the D800 is too “big” for me, both pricewise and filesize-wise (50Mb++ for one file…?), so I will keep my D300s – which really is a great camera. I tried the D700 for a week and this will probably be my next (and first) full format camera for the years to come. There should be some good D700 for sale now within the next months when every photographer around gets their new and shiny toy (D600). The D3s is really my dream but I feel its too bulky to takeon a days outing in the field.

        As said before, I am really dissappointet that Nikon did not give me at least 5 AEB’s – which I find gives me the best values in terms of dynamics in an HDR-picture.

        Best regards from Norway

    • September 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Walter, I agree with Csaba above – I think the D600 can do HDR just like the D7000…

      • September 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        Thank you, Nasim!
        But I am not really interested in the same as the D7000 (which is 2 to 3 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 1 ,1,1/3, 1,2/3 or 2EV increments) as I am more concerned with the NUMBERS of brackets than the increments. I want more frames – like my D300s has now, which is 2 to 9 frames ( 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV steps), because I found my technique is best served by 5 frames with 0,7EV’s in between exposures. The D700 can give me exactly that, as well as the D3s and D3x – which are still good cameras on the used market.
        Best regards from Norway!

  11. 11) Marco
    September 14, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Thanks for this article Nasim. I was debating the merits of David Hobby’s statements on another site yesterday. It really seems like he is sensationalizing the 1/200 shutter speed too much. Of course many people are all too keen to jump on the bandwagon and use his statements to unduly criticize the D600.

    It seems absurd to discount such a great (on paper) camera for that third of a stop. Even more so considering that the 5DmkIII has the same limitation. I didn’t see anyone jumping on Canon for that.

  12. 12) Jibi
    September 14, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Thank you Nasim,

    I had the same thoughts about the owl photogrphy with the 200-400mm + TC-2oEIII.
    To all people who don’t like it : don’t buy it !
    I think Nikon has do a great job with this camera and a lot of people will do great shots with it.

    I know specs are important and sometimes will simplify the life of photographers (pro or not) but keep in mind that photography is ART. And ART don’t need the best technology to express itself…

    Best regards.

  13. 13) Randall
    September 14, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Seriously Nasim!!! What a well timed and superb article. You really do pay attention to what your readers want and that’s why we keep coming back! I do have a question about the autofocus points being in the center. I’m still an amateur and learning. I am upgrading from a d5100. I could afford a d800 but the size and mp count make this camera seem more attractive to me. I have all fast Nikon fx primes (28 1.8g, 50 1.8g, 85 1.4g) right now. I want to add 14-24 2.8 for wide angle next. I take mainly portrait and people shots with some landscape and street photography. Oh and I’m addicted to bokeh. From what samples I have seen from many cameras I feel people shots and bokeh look more natural to me with lower megapixels so this steers me away from the d800. I am also scared if I get a d800 I will it will have focus issues. Some commenters had me worried the center oriented autofocus and max shutter would have a negative effect on my portraits and fast glass. What negative effects do you think this center oriented focus will have? I don’t want to make the wrong camera choice. Or should I wait for the 16mp d700s for $2599 to be released? ;)

    • September 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Randall, resolution has nothing to do with bokeh or how skin tones are rendered. In fact, I really like how the skin tones look on my D800. The new batches of the D800s do not seem to have AF issues anymore (judging based on feedback of our readers that received D800s within the last month or two). Center focus points will have no effect on portraits or bokeh – lack of focus points on the sides just makes it a little more difficult to compose images with subjects off the center of the frame. For me it is not a concern, because I often focus and recompose (plus, center AF points are always more accurate). But if you find yourself focusing on subjects using side focus points a lot, then this is something to consider before the purchase. I do not foresee a D700 replacement coming out any time soon. I think D600 and D800 are plenty…

  14. 14) John Richardson
    September 14, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Look, Ken Rockwell summed it up perfectly. This was the camera everyone wanted but got the D800 thrown on the market first. He is more correct than people know. Didn’t we all ask? Why not 24 why 36? I am willing to bet if you go back through your memories, yes, the one in your head, you might remember thinking the very same thing. I know I thought it, “Why not 24 like the 3x with updated electronics?”

    So, I still plunged and got the D800, but honestly I don’t see a reason NOT to buy this if you are looking to move from DX to Fx. In essence, this might actually be closer to a replacement for the D700, forget the numbering system. Sure the D700 is still a killer great camera, and should not be tossed aside. But right now I hear a lot of complaining without actually having one in hand to shoot. It is easy to make calls from the arm chair.

    • 14.1) Marco
      September 14, 2012 at 2:52 am

      I almost stopped reading at “Ken Rockwell summed it up perfectly.” However I’m glad I kept at it because I fully agree with you.

      I may be mistaken, but I believe that Nikon themselves previously stated that the D800 is not meant to replace the D700. So the D600 really does look to be the proper successor.

      • 14.1.1) John Richardson
        September 14, 2012 at 4:36 am

        You are correct, Nikon indeed did say that.

        Sometimes you have to remember even Ken does not take everything seriously that he writes. He has his “style” so to speak, for a rocket scientist he does have a sense of humor, and some interesting articles.

        • Randall
          September 15, 2012 at 3:18 am

          KR, you either love him or hate him or both! When I first got into the hobby KR’s advice really helped me. I appreciate that he tries to inform people that the camera isn’t everything and generally advises the cheapest option that suites your needs. If not for him I wouldnt of bought the canon s90 or the d5100 which he was right are both phenomenal cameras and suited my needs. That being said he can be frustrating for example telling everyone that their lenses will only last 10 years or flip flopping from cannon to Nikon and now apparently he’s back on thFrom what samples I have seen I feel people shots and bokeh look more natural to mee Nikon bandwagon. Also the constant dialogue and requests for financial support can be frustrating as judging from the amount of traffic his website gets I highly doubt his kids are going hungry. I am more worried about Nasim’s family starving. Nasim shall we start a pool of money to help your family survive or is ordering directly from your links enough? ; )

      • 14.1.2) Pierre
        September 14, 2012 at 8:19 am

        The D600 can hardly be the D700’s successor. The D700 can shoot at 8 fps, which is enough for action and wildlife photography, but the D600 is limited to 5.5 fps. Cetaceans are my main subject. With a D700, I have time to take two potentially usable pictures of a jumping dolphin. With a D600, I could take only one. Besides, a friend of mine works in sports photography and he bought a grip for his D300 to get the 8 fps he needed.

        • Marco
          September 14, 2012 at 8:28 am

          That’s a very good point. Personally, I have no real use for the burst which is why I overlooked that feature. My only camera is a D3100, which shoots a whopping 3 FPS.

          I think that if you require Full frame + high FPS, your only real option is the D4. I don’t believe Nikon will repeat their mistake of having the D700 eat into D3 sales, which is why there is a very clear separation of features between their current FF lineup.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          September 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

          Pierre, as I have already pointed out in a number of other articles, I do not think Nikon will make the same mistake by releasing a lower end camera that will compete with the D4.

          • Pierre
            September 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm

            Nasim and Marco, I’m convinced your analysis is correct (and, by the way, thank you, Nasim, for all the good work you do here). But it’s a shame because it looks like an all or nothing state of affairs for action photographers.

  15. 15) Marco
    September 14, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Nasim, what can you tell us about ISO 50? I was also thinking that this would compensate for the 1/200 shutter, however I have read elsewhere that using ISO 50 would cause images to be soft and lose dynamic range.

    • 15.1) gianpaolo
      September 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

      about dynamic range at iso 50:
      do you know how iso 50 is obtained?
      higher iso can be obtained by amplifying the sensor output, but if you attenuate that output you will get a clipped signal.
      anyway, a/d conversion is nowaday made in the sensor, i think, and maybe iso 50 is a trick performed ahead of a/d…

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Marco, without adding too much technical jargon, anything outside of the native ISO is “boosted” output. So ISO 50 is a boosted ISO, meaning the camera artificially changes the output. Typically, lower boosted ISO will have very little difference from the standard base ISO of 100. It should be very clean and perfectly usable.

  16. September 14, 2012 at 2:58 am
  17. 17) Dina
    September 14, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Thanks a lot ….I am not an expert and really wanted to know if what people are complaining about is correct,.,,,..I am planning to buy this cam I a year or two..
    Can’t wait till your review

  18. 18) Mevlut Calisan
    September 14, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Dear Nasim,
    In regard of AF module, I must say I am very much confused about and think that it is rather the exactly same unit as in the D7000. In the specifications on Nikon’s web page, it is named Multi-CAM 4800 under D600 and Multi-CAM 4800DX under D7000. So they intentionally did not put the suffix “FX”. Number of cross-type sensors and everything is the same. The ability to autofocus at an aperture of f/8 does not come directly from the AF-module, but from the newer processor Expeed 3 to my opinion. Furthermore the area covered by all of the sensors is the same for D600 and D7000 in terms of horizontal and vertical distance of outermost sensors. That is why, the sensors on the D600 cover a smaller portion, so you can practically track objects only in the middle of the frame. Actually, the sensors are better spread over the field on D7000.
    The situation is just the opposite for D300S, Nikon developed an AF module for FX bodies and used it on a DX camera, so the sensors cover almost the entire DX field.

    Another concern ist the 2016-pixel RGB sensor. The 3D-tracking is affected by both the AF module and the metering sensor, which is again coming directly from D7000.

    My opinion is that we should not expect a noticable increase in AF performance against D7000. Only hope is that the upgraded processor is going to evaluate data faster and more accurately and provide some improvement.

    I own a D7000. Its AF speed and tracking ability is not much satisfying because I am photographing mostly my children during swiming races indoors. The new camera is not providing the remedy in my case at the first glance on the spec’s. Let’s wait for more detailed reviews. I would be grateful, if you could give more attention to the AF performance when you do your detailed review.

    It is naturally obvious, that a D3s or D4 is going to help very much, but they are out of my reach financially. I could opt for a D300S or a D800, but the former has lower low-light ability and the latter has too slow continuous burst rate. Do you know about the buffer limit during continuous shooting on D600 ?

    Thanks and kind regards from Istanbul.

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      Mevlut, I will test the D600 AF extensively and will see how it does against the D7000. The AF module on the D600 is different from the one on the D7000 and it is a combination of the AF module with the processor that provides f/8 to the camera, not just the processor.

    • 18.2) Johan Kivi
      September 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      On the Canadian Nikon webpage they call it FX:

      “For precise performance in a wide variety of shooting conditions, the D600 features a 39-point AF system with the new MultiCAM 4800FX AF module.”

  19. 19) Magnus
    September 14, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Regarding the sync speed limitation, people forget that the base iso is 100 in the D600 (again..). The D700, for instance, has which has a base iso of 200. To have equal performance, the D700 should have a sync speed of 1/400 s. Or, you could say that a sync speed of 1/125 s in the D600 would be on the same level in practice as the sync speed in fact is on the D700.

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Magnus, ISO affects the entire exposure in flash photography, versus exposure + ambient light for shutter. So you cannot say that D700 would need sync speed of 1/400 to be equivalent to D600. The sync speed is the limitation of the shutter…

  20. 20) shahadat
    September 14, 2012 at 4:26 am

    hi, nasim thank you for the article. i just want to ask you whether i should buy a nikon d600 or used d700 as my second camera. i am using nikon d800 for wedding and i need a second camera.

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Shahadat, the D600 would be a superb camera as a backup body for weddings in my opinion. If you can find a good used D700, then go for it, but I personally want the D600 as a backup instead.

  21. 21) Samer R
    September 14, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Hello Nasim, nice article as usual.. There is also the lack of the AF-ON . Maybe not a serious limitation by the standards of this article but I personally rely on it 100 % of the time. I will probably still consider the d600 and try out customizing the ae/af button. Cheers

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Not a big deal for me, since I never use the AE/AF button. I will set mine permanently to be AF-ON…

  22. 22) Eric Nadler
    September 14, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I can’t wait for your D600 review Nasim. If possible, I think it would be great to also include a comparison with the D7000. For myself and probably others, it isn’t a question of saving money on the full frame D600 vs. a D800. It is a question of moving out of the DX world into FX. This comparison would help some of us see what we will get if we make the stretch to move to a much more expensive camera like the D600. Thanks!

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Eric, yes, I do have plans to compare the D600 with the D7000 in my upcoming review.

  23. 23) jason
    September 14, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I appreciate your take on this Nasim, as always. I’m a hardcore fan of Strobist and I do appreciate the flash sync speed drop as negative feature. It makes a big (enough) difference when trying to balance flash and ambient in a big sunny day. I just don’t understand why Nikon would have dropped it the 1/3 stop. Silly. My biggest hang up with the D600 is also trivial. The eye piece should have been like the D4/D800 and had a closable curtain for doing the time lapses and long exposure landscapes, etc. And the button layout is also silly, should have maintained the D300s/D800/D4 layout and done away with the mode dial. My gripes are minor, but they are enough to make me shell out the extra cash for the D800 . . . and the new computer and 35,000 hard drives to go with it. :)

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Jason, I would not expect Nikon to provide the same features from D300s/D800 on a low-end FX camera :) I know the 1/200 sync limitation is tough for strobists, but it will not matter for most people that are looking at the D600 as the step up from DX. Looks like the D800 will serve your needs better and trust me – you will love it!

      • 23.1.1) FrancescoP
        September 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

        Nasim, I’d like to know your opinion about.

        I don’t know the technical reasons for the reduction of synchro to 1/200, but I can speculate about it.
        The path that the curtains of a shutter FX (24 mm) runs in the same unit of time is approximately 1.538 times greater than that of a DX shutter (15.6 mm).
        Since the thickness and materials of the curtains are the same, the mass of the curtains of a FX shutter respect a DX, is proportional to the sensor surface, ie 2.34 times. This requires larger actuators and greater lubrication. Nikon engineers probably have chosen to save space and weight (and also a bit of costs).
        The focal plane shutter of a MF camera synchronizes to 1/125 in the best cases (longest path and mass greater than FX), but you can purchase lenses with central shutter that synchronize to 1/500, 1/800 or even more.
        For the majority of applications 1/200 is enough, but when you work outdoors with softboxes and/or umbrellas, then a third of a stop is annoying and critical only in few cases.

        • Sebastiano
          September 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm

          Hi Francesco,

          using the Auto FP (high speed synch) and a proper flash (i.e. Sb-800) the syncro flash is not a strong issue. You can easily overcome 1/200 and shoot at any exposure time between the syncro X (1/200 in this case) and the fastest shutter speed (1/4000 in this case).

          Have a look at here for a better explaination (
          Bye, Sebastiano

  24. September 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

    The negativity of some around the new D600 is a little staggering; mainly because few of us have actually held one to our eye and captured an image. One of the casualties of insta-communication, I suppose.

    What Nikon provides with the D600 is another option. It’s an entry-level gateway into full-frame photography. Without it, you would need to spend at least $1,000 more to move up (D800) or buy used.

    I have a D700 and will continue using that. I was considering the D800 and the D4, but I think the D600 will do the trick for me. It will allow me to play around with video, something I can’t do with the D700 (or the D80 that rarely gets used now). It will be a great complement – not a replacement – for what I have now.

    For me, the plusses outweight the minuses. But, scared off by the D800 focussing issues, I will wait to see your review, Ken Rockwell’s, Moose Peterson’s, et al.

    Thanks for a great site and your ongoing, in-depth reviews. Much appreciated.

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Kevin, I agree and thanks for your feedback. I will start working on the review the day I receive the D600!

  25. 25) Peter K
    September 14, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Thanks Nasim for this spot on review….I have a 300s DX camera and will upgrading to my first FX camera. I have mostly prime G lenses so I’m not concerned about spending more money on new FX lens. Initially, I was going to get the 800 because I didn’t think Nikon would make a smaller/more affordable FX camera but once I heard/read about the D600……. I AM SOLD. This camera is ideal for me and other DX photogs switching to their first FX.

    • 25.1) Tomasz
      September 14, 2012 at 8:43 am

      What Peter says it 100 % true. I am in the same group, d800 generates heavy files and it is expensive, d700 is old and has no video capabilities – d600 is just perfect. And how many times someone asked you what camera you have, people do not care about it – they are interested in final results – beautiful pictures.

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      I agree with Peter and Tomasz – the D600 is a great step up (and a big one) from DX.

  26. 26) Max
    September 14, 2012 at 8:28 am

    No innovation, Just another body while same concept for years.

    24mp too much (just because nikon buy it from sony )
    Lack of fast prime with IS. (What about IBIS)
    continues auto-focus needs new video optimise lenses.

    I think nikon needs to developed something like NEX and to introduce more video feature such as IBIS, continues auto-focus lenses, Fast live view focusing.

    I am happy with my D3200 but upgrade only when the above features will be available . Hi ISO? with F1.4 lenses i shoot night video at ISO 200 at 1/30 very smooth and clear footage. so different route should be taken.

    • 26.1) Marco
      September 14, 2012 at 8:33 am

      I don’t think innovation was the aim here. The main selling point is a (relatively) cheap way to get into FX.

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Max, IBIS is not an option for Nikon or Canon DSLRs, so why even bring up the topic? Nikon will never be Sony.

      There is plenty of innovation for the price.

  27. 27) Randall
    September 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

    i just cancelled my D600 order and picked up a used d700 with less than 1000 clicks for $1900. Gonna keep my d5100 for video and wide angle/landscape with tokina 11-16 2.8. Also use it when I need a light package or reach. Then use my 85 1.4 on my full frame for portraits. I am too worried about paying 2k for an unproven camera. I’m gonna stick with what’s proven until something better comes along.

  28. 28) Kip
    September 14, 2012 at 9:20 am

    First, I think you’re terrific, Nasim, and I trust your experience.
    I have a D7000 and love it. A lot.
    I ordered the D600 yesterday having begged for a stripped down FX for over a year. All I care about is the quality of the image under normal circumstances. I don’t shoot in caves or at race car events. I have shot video twice in order to make a cinemagraph. The slanders heaped on this camera no one has really used yet, don’t bother me in the least and seem silly.
    I’m sure by the end of the month you will have a gallery of photos you’ve taken with the D600 that will have me in awe of your talent.

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you for your feedback Kip, I appreciate it!

  29. 29) Mike
    September 14, 2012 at 9:26 am

    How can anyone make decisions on a camera that is at the moment a paper exercise, I will wait for Nasims hands on experience before I make any judgements, I am ready to jump to full frame all I need is some good reviews and a probably a 24-120 VR ,also some money might help.

    PS Nasim have you used Nikons Capture NX2, I use it for post processing and then move over to Lightroom 4 for all it’s extras like Map and Book publishing.

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Mike, I will start working on the review as soon as I receive it. As for Capture NX2 – I think using it with LR4 together is a little redundant. I only use LR4 and I am pretty happy with it. I don’t particularly care for Nikon proprietary stuff and my workflow is now 100% Adobe…

      • 29.1.1) Mike
        September 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm

        Nasim, Interesting, makes me think more about my post processing, NEF files supposedly are better put through the Nikon software, or are they????????????

  30. 30) Art
    September 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Thank you for the information on the new D600.
    After buying a D800 and having to send it back to Nikon for repairs to the Autofocus system at my own expense I am going to wait on the sidelines for awhile and watch the action before I jump in. There are a couple of things that I have to research about the camera before I will decide whether or not to buy it. I need to know what information is displayed in the viewfinder; I have vowed I will never buy another camera that does not show the status of the metering mode in the viewfinder. Having to take my eye away from the viewfinder to change the metering mode is a hindrance that I will not accept. The other thing that I am concerned about is buffer performance; I hope Nikon did not cheap out like they did on the D7000 when it comes to buffer performance. When I shoot raw files in busts it can be very annoying waiting for the buffer to clear before I can take another shot.
    Other things that concern me but are not deal breakers are: the lack of a AF ON button; I use this all the time and would have to reprogram the AEL/AFL button to perform this function while losing the lock function, lack of a eyepiece shutter; I do a lot of tripod work and would have to use that silly cover that Nikon supplies that gets lost all the time, I would really miss the round eyepiece. In order to put a decent eyecup on the square finder you have to buy an adapter, the FA eye lens, and the eyecup, which all clips on instead of screwing on securely as with all the other Nikon full frames, use of SD cards vs. compact flash. Nikon probably elected to use SD vs. CF to keep the size and weight down, but this can only slow down how fast the buffer clears. I can see a difference when I use the SD card as my primary slot in my D800, the buffer does not clear as fast as when I use a CF card slot. Of course these things were omitted to keep the costs down, but I would pay the extra cost for the addition of these features.
    I do however think Nikon made the right choices to keep the cost down to attract the consumer into the world of FX. This will make a wonderful camera for the entry level consumer to begin with. Everything is there to let the user explore photography at a very reasonable price. For the advanced user (DX or FX) they will have to decide whether they can live with the cameras limitations or not.
    The camera however is very tempting to buy for its light weight and would be perfect for hiking into the back country or using for travel. For 95% of the pictures I take this camera would be perfect, for the other 5% I will wait and see how it plays out over time. In the mean time my D700 is still up to handling most of the work and the d800 filling for those pictures that you need that extra detail in for those large prints. If the camera plays out to be reliable, has a decent buffer, and the information displayed in the viewfinder is adequate, this camera will find a home in my bag and my d700 will be put into retirement.

  31. 31) Anirban
    September 14, 2012 at 10:13 am


    I am fan of your site, but this is the first time I am writing here.

    I will be eager to hear your views on the D700 vs D600 review. The D700 is £400 cheaper in UK and I would like to know other than D600 being a new and up to date camera with latest technologies etc, why shouldn’t I consider the D700 as someone who is not a pro, but a enthusiast who wants to try his hands on FX. I’d be happy to see your review covering practical points which matters to many who are in this dilemma


    • 31.1) Rod Machin
      September 16, 2012 at 4:49 am


      Just a few points from my experiences with the D700. I bought new 2 years ago and never missed a shot with the AF for action shots (Railway & Animal photos are my forte). 10x better than my previous Canon system. The AF system is 51 points and covers most of the frame – The D600 only appears to cover a small portion of the image.
      I think that the main point when using FX is to buy decent lenses,
      I purchased a s/h Nikon 28 – 70 F2.8 (heavy , but excellent results)
      a new Nikon 80 – 200 F2.8D (ditto)
      a s/h Nikon 20mm A/F or manual
      There are going to be many second hand D700 on e.bay – go for a unit with less than 10,000 actuations and you will not be disappointed.
      One other point – people appear to have very short memories. When the first batch of D800 came out, there were many problems and most experts advised a 6 to 12 months delay before purchasing new technology

  32. 32) Sahajpal Rai
    September 14, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Great Review! I don’t see any issue with D600 but one major issue that I am wondering if they can fix in D800 would be great and like to see if Nikon didn’t repeat the same mistake that “Green tint” to the images. I have this big issue with D800E and I have to use HUE to fix but shadow area it’s worse and no body complaint about it and nikon is saying it suppose to be like that. This very stupid of the Nikon. I am not ordering mine because of that and like to see if it’s fixed in D600 if it is then I will sold my D800E and buy D600. I can’t deal with green cast. Let me know what do you think?

  33. 33) JR
    September 14, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Since so many of you are hesitant to jump on the D600’s bandwagon, I should be getting my pre-ordered one faster than I’d hoped! Maybe in time for my San Juan mountains weekend trip at the end of the month. Thorns to some are roses to others. So, the world spins on and on.

    Look, folks, we’re not talking about a “brand new” camera here. Nikon hasn’t reinvented the wheel with ANYTHING that the D600 is doing and that is EXACTLY why I don’t have any fear making the leap of faith and pre-ordering one. In fact, in the 25+ years that I’ve been shooting 35mm, MF and LF I have NEVER pre-ordered anything. But, this time, with the D600 I feel completely safe.

    I am willing to go on the limb and say that the D600 will have *ZERO* hardware issues and will probably require only firmware updates. Why am I so sure? Well, look at the technology that the camera is using: a fusion of the technology employed in the D800 & D7000. Do you think that Nikon hasn’t figured out the “good, bad & ugly” about each system and has solved the h/w issues? I am confident that is the case.

    On the other hand, if the D600 was using completely new technology, not found in ANY current Nikon body, then I’d be a little nervous and would wait to see what the reviews would discover.

    I’d say that the D600 is as safe to buy as the D7000 was when it first came out. Aside from the “oil on the sensor” issue that plagued some D7000 users(and was easily solved with a sensor cleaning), what else did the D7000 fall short on? Oh, “the 8fps of the D300s”? Well, that’s a feature and not a limitation. If you want ZERO LIMITATIONS then mortgage the house and get yourself the D3x. Otherwise, learn to live with the feature set of a given camera body and MAKE PICTURES!

  34. 34) JR
    September 14, 2012 at 10:39 am

    A correction to what I just wrote(wassup, Nasim, no edit button! ;-)

    [Do you think that Nikon hasn’t figured out the “good, bad & ugly” about each system and has solved the h/w issues? I am confident that is the case]

    Instead, I should have said:

    Do you think that Nikon hasn’t figured out the “good, bad & ugly” about each system and hasn’t solved the h/w issues? I am confident that they HAVE solved the issues with the other camera bodies and that the D600 is a REFINED HYBRID of the D800 & D7000.

  35. 35) kevin
    September 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

    We buy cameras base on what we need. D800 is what i need because it has shutter speed 1/8000 and flash 1/250 and actually i can use it up to 320 with yongnuo speedlite. I use more than 1/4000 when i use 1.4-1.8 apature in sunlight all the time for my creative style. I like to throw my camera around so i need a stronger body. D600 is not a d800 and it is targeted a different segment. Although d800 is not for me, but i am sure some people will find it desirable. D600 will sell like a hot cake.

    • 35.1) kevin
      September 14, 2012 at 11:05 am

      correction: although d600 is not for me *

    • September 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Kevin, I absolutely agree with you. People buy products based on their needs. What I am trying to say in the above article, is that the limitations of the D600 won’t matter for most people. However, hardcore strobists might need that extra 1/3 of sync speed and 1/8000 shutter speed might be critical for some people as well. Looks like the D600 won’t work for your needs and the D800 is there for that. I use the D800E and the D3s and I am happy with both. However, since I do not use 1/8000 and 1/250 sync speed as much, I do not mind having the D600 as a secondary body.

  36. 36) carl
    September 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

    What surprised me, if I read correctly, is that the D600 will not work with the SB-900 flash (whereas the D800 will).

    • September 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      You read incorrectly. The D600 will work with all Nikon speedlights.

      • 36.1.1) Manny
        May 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm

        Hello Nasim,

        please help me make this decision as soon as possible. A used D700 with <4000 shutter count for $2000 or brand new D600 for $2000? For mostly family pictures, Everyday photography, portraiture, some sports.

  37. 37) CW
    September 14, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I found your site while stalking the D600 rumors and I really appreciate your reviews & explanations. Thanks for this post too – I have been surprised at the vitrol surrounding the D600’s specs and some of the comments/reviews were confusing, not to mention a little quick to jump the gun, especially since not many people have actually seen one. My guess is that most prolific posters are pros or advanced amateurs, who have been shooting full-frame for a while, so the fact that the D600 is full-frame doesn’t really impress them (while its the main selling point for me). And they are quick to notice the “missing” features on the D600. That’s why I really appreciate pros like you, Thom and a couple of others – basing the evaluation on what the camera is (an entry-level FX), & it’s specs/performance. I think many of the people like myself who are super excited about the D600 is because this is truly an upgrade (from a D70s for me) & not just a replacement.

    I hope you’re right about the production/delivery being more timely. After all the D800 hoopla I read about this spring, I pre-ordered my D600 as soon as the online retailers posted their links, so that I could be higher on the wait list for one. I have braced myself not to get it before Halloween but certainly would love to see it sooner! I’m looking forward to your review!

    • September 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      You are most welcome CW! I will be receiving mine pretty soon as well and I cannot wait to test it in real life situations. If it arrives before the 20th, I will take it with me to San Juan mountains (on upcoming workshop). I don’t have any more weddings to shoot this year, but planning to do some style shoots before it gets cold, so I will have plenty of use cases for the D600.

      I can tell you upfront that the D600 would be a huge step-up from your D70s. I can understand your excitement :)

  38. 38) Jorge Balarin
    September 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you Nasim for this excelent and oportune article.

  39. 39) Jorge Balarin
    September 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    In your upcoming comparison between the D600 and the D700, I would like that you advice the possible owners of the two cameras, about when to pick up one of the two cameras to make your photos. I mean, perhaps the D600 would be better to do landscapes, and the D700 would be better to shoot portraits (Idon’t know). Greetings, Jorge.

    • September 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      Jorge, the D700 is no longer in production, so I don’t know how useful it would be to talk about it. All of these cameras can do any type of photography, however, some are better than others in something specific. Here is how I would group them:
      1) Nikon D600: any type of photography
      2) Nikon D700: any type of photography
      2) Nikon D800/D800E: best for landscapes, fashion, architecture
      3) Nikon D3s/D4: best for sports, news and fast action/wildlife

      Again, all cameras can be used for any type of photography. The D700 only has 12 MP, so I would say it is not very suitable for people that need high resolution (landscapes, fashion, etc). Although I know some people will argue with me on that, saying that 12 MP is more than plenty for anything :)

  40. 40) Michael
    September 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Another great job Nasim!
    Sometimes i think people just buy (or want to buy) photo gear which is too difficult to use for them! And then they create problems…

    But this joke about slow shutter speed (only 1/4000sec) made my day – it looks like people don’t understand basic math:
    D700: iso200 + 1/8000sec = D600: iso100 + 1/4000sec

    • September 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Michael, I agree…reminds me of a guy that bought a D3s as his first camera and was complaining that it was too much for him :)

  41. 41) James
    September 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for the post. I found it when specifically searching for info on the D600 viewfinder–seeking a larger and brighter vf is a key driver for me to trade up to FX format. That said, the images I’m seeing indicates a small-sized viewfinder for the format, as does a package that includes the DK-5 eyepiece cap. I hope I’m wrong… Looking forward to your review.

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      James, the mirror on the D600 is going to be much larger than a mirror on a DX camera, so I expect the viewfinder to be big as well. Compare the D600 to D700/D800 – there is not a huge difference in size, which indicates a similar internal build.

  42. September 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I see this as the perfect backup to my D4. Super light and super compatible with all my other FX gear. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Agreed, the D600 would certainly nicely complement a high-end DSLR like the D4.

  43. 43) kim
    September 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm


    I wonder if you might comment on the small area of the autofocus sensors on the D600 which seems to be much more centralized than on the D7000, D700 or D800. Do you think the centralization of the autofocus sensors will result in difficulty for sports and action shooting? My concern is that having to use such a narrow array will result in having to pull back on shots to achieve the right focus point which might otherwise be outside of the focus array for instance with an animal running at high speed across the frame. I am concerned this would result in the need for cropping and loss of resolution in post-processing. I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Thank you.

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Kim, having shot both sports and fast action (wildlife), I can tell you that you would mostly be shooting with the center focus point anyway, even on an advanced DSLR like D4. The center focus point is the most reliable and the ones off the center are typically not fast enough for fast action. The only negative thing about the D600’s AF points, is that it would make it difficult to compose images when you move your subject to the side/corners. But there is always the focus/recompose technique you can use (as long as you know how to do it right).

      Now tracking motion using AF is a different issue. The speed of the processor and the RGB sensor are the two main factors that affect the AF tracking speed/accuracy. In this case, we are getting a similar RGB sensor as on the D7000, not the high-end one from the D800/D4. So I do not expect this camera to do as well as the D800/D4 would, which I think it expected…

      • 43.1.1) kim
        September 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm


        Thank you for furthering my understanding and photography skills. In followup, could you tell me how you anticipate the AF tracking speed and accuracy will be as compared to the D700?

        Also, where on your website do you list the schedule of your courses?

        Thanks you,

  44. 44) Gabriel Kuon
    September 14, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you so much, i always like your articles, they are very informative. D600 is a great camera, i was thinking of upgrading it, but the current selling price is abit too high. does it worth it if i upgrade to D7000 first? i might get a 70-200 with my extra cash. P/S: i am a D3100 user. :)

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      Gabriel, if you want to convert to full-frame, then save up and get full-frame. Otherwise, the D7000 is also superb and a step-up from your D3100. I would always put lenses above cameras though. I would rather shoot with a great lens on a crappy camera, than crappy lens on a great camera.

      • 44.1.1) Gabriel Kuon
        September 17, 2012 at 3:29 am

        yup, i strongly agree with you about lenses above camera. that’s why i shot in my D3100 for a long time already. the major reasons i wanna upgrade my body is:
        1) current body isn’t rugged for intensive daily use
        2) no in-built af-motor to drive nikkors running af using screw-drives.

        thats all. thanks again. :)

  45. 45) Arie
    September 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I remember when people were complaining that the D200’s sync speed was only 1/250 as compared to the 1/500 of the D70 (in iTTL at least…D70 can go much higher in manual) , some people like yourself said, “It’s only one stop! Who cares?”

    Now you and people like you are saying 1/200? it’s only 1/3 stop less than 1/250, who cares?

    What’s next? sync speed of 1/100? It’s only one more stop! You think that’s bad, look at the J1, it’s only 1/30th.

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Arie, I doubt we will go lower than 1/200. Remember, the type of the shutter speed is different, which is why there is a limit. One stop is a big difference. If the D600 was 1/125, then I would certainly complain. But for most people, this slight change from 1/250 to 1/200 really doesn’t matter and that’s all I am trying to say. If one really needs 1/250, then he/she has other options like D800.

  46. 46) Keith
    September 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Great article. I really appreciate the common sense approach that Nasim takes.

    I have a question because I am at the point of having paralysis by analysis. Photography is a hobby for me that gets my mind off of work. I have a D90, but I have tried to purchase nicer lenses with the intention of making the leap to full frame. I have the 50mm 1.4, the 24-70 2.8, and the 70-200 2.8, as well as a sb-900 I mainly enjoy taking candid shots of people, as well as some portraits. I am pretty sure that the d800 would be more than I need.

    Would I notice a big enough difference between the quality of the d90 and the d600 to make it worth taking the plunge? I realize that the camera doesn’t make the photographer, but I just want to ensure that I am spending wisely and making the right choice for my needs.


    • September 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      Keith, yes, photographer is more important than gear. However, assuming that you are a good photographer, you would be amazed to see the difference between DX and FX (see my DX vs FX article). So the D600 would be a huge jump over the D90 you are using today. It would make a huge difference, you can trust me on that. And if you don’t enjoy the ride for whatever reason, you can always return it. Although I have not a seen a single soul that went to FX and then returned back to DX…

      • 46.1.1) Keith
        September 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm

        Thanks Nasim. I really appreciate it. Keep up the great work — I love the website.

  47. September 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I personally don’t believe having a max shutter speed of 1/4000 truly affects the greatness of the camera, I’ve been using my FM-10 ( yes, film, I know ) but regardless, with a max shutter speed of 1/2000, I tend to never really need that fast of a shutter speed. Even with my D70s most of my shots seem to be around the 1/250-1/500 range unless I’m trying trying to stop motion, which I still never seem to go above 1/2000.

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Exactly my point Alexander :) We are so spoiled!

  48. 48) Henrik
    September 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    The lack of the AF button is the biggest issue for me. I use both AF and AFL button on my D700.
    The handling of cameras is more important for me than the small differences in specifications.
    This is the reason why I won´t buy D600.

    • 48.1) Am-Expat
      September 21, 2012 at 5:46 am

      If that is the only reason for not choosing as model, wouldn’t be better to try it first? I use the AE/AF-L button on the D7000 as AF-On and the Fn button assigned to AE/AF-L so it is really easier and more comfortable than on the D700 and D800 which I also have. The thumb and index finger can be use at the same time without moving hand or finger position needed for sequential use of the rear buttons.

      • 48.1.1) Sebastiano
        September 21, 2012 at 6:15 am

        Hi Am-Expat,
        I think this is a good solution, expecially for me. Anyway I’m really a bit disappointed about this new camera misses the AF-ON button.

        What it really surprises me is the “body philosophy” of some bodies.
        If you have “SCENE” on your camera I think it’s because you’re not as used to manage different lighting conditions or scenary issues as an advanced user.
        So what benefit could you have from shooting with an Fx body than with a simpler D3xxx/D5xxx?

        If you’re not a beginner with photography then the more confortabile and efficient the handling of your camera is the more you enjoy taking good photos, as you can manage to change something without using the menu, so without loosing the scene.
        Then you need all the “quick accesses” the D700/D800 have on their bodies.

        How much money is really Nikon saving having not put the AF-ON beside the AF/AE lock? I really don’t know … :/


  49. 49) Jerry S.
    September 16, 2012 at 5:05 am

    The Nikon D600 is a GREAT DSLR! I think this D600 is much better than the D700, much better than the 5DmkII, and if you count only the sensor, may the D600 is even better than the 5DmkIII(which has a stupid sensor for the STANDARD of today, 2012). Well done, NIKON!

    • 49.1) Luis C.
      September 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

      My thoughts exactly, I can’t wait to get my hands on one. If the sensor is as good as Nikon’s current trajectory and sensor quality standards, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be a better sensor then the MKIII.

      With rumors of a Canon 6D, with the current rumored specs, I truly believe Nikon is going to make it’s come back with the D600.

  50. 50) Am-Expat
    September 16, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I have to laught….like clockwork, a new camera is released and the complains pour in about deal breaker minor differences between what they are used to and the new camera. If a camera changed nothing, why look for a new camera if the old one is the only one you can use. I have yet to see any spec or posted image or comparison with other models and brands on Image Resources that does not suggest the D600 is not only a bargain but will be a step up from anything you use now except for the D800 for IQ and the D4 for speed and total darkness.
    The sensor is obviously high end, better in every way over the D700 as shown in the direct low, mid and high ISO images posted on Image Resources Comparometer. Compare with a D3x which only early this year was the IQ king with no competitors. That is, until the D800 came out. Now the D600 beats it also at low and high ISO.
    What is there not to like about this new camera? It is affordable, has GREAT IQ, is reasonably fast, better 25k ISO detail and image quality than a 5DIII, is in the upper elite class of cameras in low ISO landscape and studio photography IQ and lack of noise.
    “its a no go…only 1/200 sync” ok sure, stick with a D700 or 5DII and lose out to your competition in large prints and overall quality only because you are stubborn and will not think about how to work with that minor, really minor difference. “it has no dedicated AF-On, no way, deal breaker”….get serious, are you that wedded to the old habits that you can’t move your thumb 0.3inches to the new position of the the assignable AE/AF lock button? You will be embarrassed with your 12 year old neighbor kid or your grand mother has no problem with adapting to it.
    For those who are finding so many “deal breakers” due to such minor habit differences, there is no rule that says you have to upgrade, if your habits are so rigid that anything new ruins your photos, you have a perfectly decent camera now. As long as shutter mechanisms hold out or replacements are available there is no fear that you will have to learn a new button to press or have to deal with more res/larger files.
    The whole point is, Nikon had the engineering chops to create something that take better images that what you have now(unless you have a D800) and offer it for a reasonable price. Buy it or don’t but do not complain about something that is not for you anyway. Let the rest of us have our fun with these ground breaking tools in peace.

    • 50.1) EagleS
      September 17, 2012 at 1:14 am

      i totaly with u

      • 50.1.1) EagleS
        September 17, 2012 at 4:58 am

        I was going to say i totaly agree with u !!

    • 50.2) jorge Balarin
      September 17, 2012 at 1:39 am

      Hi Am- Expat, I really did enjoy your article and your sense of humor. You have a point. But not everybody is concerned by ridiculous things at the time they put their money at stake. I’m the owner of a D700 and I did wait a long time for an upgrade. Basically I wanted the extra-pixels for larger prints and landscapes (keeping or improving the ISO D700 ability) and I did wish to have at least the same shutter speed of the D700 (without the extra batteries). The D600 fullfilled my wishes on this chapters, but unfortunately did a step back with the number of autofocus points, and now it seems that they are going to cover a smaller area of the frame. That’s an inconvenience for me, because many times I wished that the autofocus points of the D700 were spread even wider (I like to focus right on the cornea : ). Perhaps you will say “save money and go for a D800″. It’s ok, I will do it in one year, when the chances to receive a defective camera will be lower. But the fact is that – beside the D800- I’m looking for a second body to shoot events, like weddings, concerts, etc, a situation where a D800 could be too much, and I must decide if I go for one of the last D700, or for a new D600 (to compose your photo it is convenient to have a lot of focus points – specially when your subjects are activ – by other side, to have more pixels help you to compose via cropping). What do you think ? Greetings, Jorge.

    • 50.3) Luis C.
      September 17, 2012 at 8:56 am


      Well said.

  51. 51) EagleS
    September 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Nasim, when are u getting the d600 for testing and review, i mean how lonf will we have to wait to see the review

    • September 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      If everything goes as planned, I will have it on the 20th of September. I will start working on the review right away…

      • 51.1.1) EagleS
        September 17, 2012 at 1:06 am

        ok thanks

  52. 52) jorge Balarin
    September 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Am- Expat, I really did enjoy your article and your sense of humor. You have a point. But not everybody is concerned by ridiculous things at the time they put their money at stake. I’m the owner of a D700 and I did wait a long time for an upgrade. Basically I wanted the extra-pixels for larger prints and landscapes (keeping or improving the ISO D700 ability) and I did wish to have at least the same shutter speed of the D700 (without the extra batteries). The D600 fullfilled my wishes on this chapters, but unfortunately did a step back with the number of autofocus points, and now it seems that they are going to cover a smaller area of the frame. That’s an inconvenience for me, because many times I wished that the autofocus points of the D700 were spread even wider (I like to focus right on the cornea : ). Perhaps you will say “save money and go for a D800”. It’s ok, I will do it in one year, when the chances to receive a defective camera will be lower. But the fact is that – beside the D800- I’m looking for a second body to shoot events, like weddings, concerts, etc, a situation where a D800 could be too much, and I must decide if I go for one of the last D700, or for a new D600 (to compose your photo it is convenient to have a lot of focus points – specially when your subjects are activ – by other side, to have more pixels help you to compose via cropping). What do you think ? Greetings, Jorge.

    • 52.1) Am-Expat
      September 17, 2012 at 4:14 am

      Hi Jorge,
      I would suggest waiting until you can try a D600 in hand, the spread of the focus points will be the same I am almost positive as the other FX Nikon’s which for many is too closely clustered in the center. The Spread of the D300 and D7000 using the MultiCAM 3500DX and MultiCAM4800Dx respectively is over a wider portion of the frame than the same base system overlayed onto the FX frame. In that respect, I like the FP distribution of the D7000 better than my D800 but one look at the results dispels any qualms. The D800 is a better wedding and events camera than anything except possibly a D4 if there is restrictions on flash in dim high ceiling churches.

      I have a formal wedding next weekend and will use the D7000 with a 70-200 and the D800 with 85 1.4 and 24-70. As typical, most critical shots will be with the D800. It really is as good as its enthusiastic fans claim. I have moved to the D800 for everything because it excels at everything it has been called on to do: terribly lit dance clubs, concerts, a bit of sports, major ballet theaters, intimate jazz clubs, street candids and environmental portraits. I know a pro sports shooter who cautiously shot his D800 for some pro sports as backup to his pair of D3s. Each time he went out more and more of his shooting was with the D800, until a month in, after proclaiming at the start that he would only see the D800 as a trophy ceremony or pre-game player candids, he announced that his major event, a world championship event, was going to be shot with D800 only, in a very fast sport.
      The following Monday he offered to sell both D3s’s. I believe it, having seen the images captured. It might not have the frame rate but it is very responsive, less than 52ms, and those shooters who work with subject sports they know well, find that speed is not what it is cracked up to be since he consistently got ball contacting bat shots in MLB with single frames. I find the same, but my “sports are slower, like ballet where I know the dance and can anticipate in my sleep the peak of lifts and such but they are all taken with single releases. i have never used burst on the D800, but I did with the D7000. The real benefit of the D800 for the erratic movement shooter is the after lock AF tracking that is second to none. It sticks like velcro. That is the main reason more and more people who were very happy with their excellent D3s’s are moving to the D4 which uses the same AF system and same -2ev AF performance as the D800. The D600 is rated at -1ev which is pretty darn good also.
      So before making a major decision, get the up close and personal impressions of both the D800 and D600. You are going to find good use of the base ISO 2.5 stop advantage in DR.
      Here is a like to researcher Bill Claff’s initial measurements of Photographic DR for the D800, 600 and 700. You can compare by adding lines for any other cameras data has been accumulated by clicking on models on the right:,D800,D700

      PDR is the effective realized DR that equates more to what is seen compared to Engineering DR which is usually a couple stops higher. From this, noise and DR are going to be essentially the same for the D800 and D600 so if you can achieve what you seek in AF from the D600, and do not have to print barn sized images, there is a savings of $900 or more with the D600.

      • 52.1.1) jorge Balarin
        September 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

        Dear Stan,

        Thank you very much for your extense answer, I’m really grateful. Best wishes, Jorge.

      • 52.1.2) Bitanphoto
        December 23, 2012 at 9:09 am

        Thank you for that thoughtful and informative post.

        As a sports and portrait photographer I rely on my D700 for most tasks, and only reluctantly purchased a D7000 as a backup. Although I was pleasantly surprised with the D7K, I just ordered a D600 from B&H (it’s arrived already at a friend’s place in the US, but won’t reach me until Jan. 30) to stay in the full frame realm. With a bit of stretching I could afford a D800, but the gigantic file size was frankly a bit of a turn off, and although I have never found the need to jack up the full frame rate while shooting sports (I look at every shutter actuation as a time investment in image selection and post-production, and squeeze the trigger with a healthy dose of anticipation) I do appreciate the larger buffer of the D600.

        One thing I don’t understand in all the flap about max. shutter speed is that the commentators seem to forget to notice that the D600 has a native ISO of 100. Compare this to the D700’s native ISO of 200 at a shutter speed of 1/8000 of a sec. and you have the same exposure value.

        I’m thinking of the D600 as an upgraded replacement for my D7000 backup for sports and as my go-to camera in the studio for the additional dynamic range and MP. Can’t wait to put this camera to work.

  53. 53) Robert
    September 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    This is looking like the perfect camera for my business-I do wedding photography. I already own a D800 and absolutely love it- the clarity, color, and sharpness are superb. I’m really excited about the weight of this camera because the D800 gets a little heavy after a while when mounted with my best glass. I am really hoping that the “quiet” shutter mode is actually very quiet- it is something that I have found matters a lot when shooting during a ceremony! All in all, this will be a great addition to my gear bag.

  54. 54) srai
    September 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I saw a lot of complaints but do you guys know that D600 doesn’t have cable release for study landscape shots so this basically is Portrait or Wedding camera, I can’t use in field for Landscape pictures.

    • 54.1) EagleS
      September 17, 2012 at 1:32 am

      what ?

      I can’t use in field for Landscape pictures.

      just because it doesnt have a cable release u are not going to buy it ? what is it with u people ?

      It may not have a cable release but i has a IR remote !

      i would like it to have a cable for long exposures but with IR i am limited most liklely to 30 min but i am still buying it

      • 54.1.1) Am-Expat
        September 17, 2012 at 4:18 am

        It uses the same multi-function port as the D7000 so several options exist for remote releases. That includes RF, wired and optical. If anything is it MORE versatile than older models for landscape shooting.

        • EagleS
          September 17, 2012 at 4:56 am

          oohhh great awesome, so it has it, lol i didnt know

  55. 55) Francesco
    September 17, 2012 at 4:00 am

    what about the auto ISO function ? Is it the new type of the D800, with the automatic variation of the minimum shutter speed according to the focal lenght or just the “usual” version ?
    For a normal, amateur-oriented use, this feature would be far more useful and practical than the missing 1/8000th shutter speed or the “slow” 1/200th x-sync, in fact one thing that bothers me is that i have to change the minimum shutter speed every time I change the lens (if i’m lucky and i’m using primes), or having to set it based on the maximum focal length of the zoom, losing almost 1-2 stops when i’m at the short range of the zoom.

    • 55.1) Francesco
      September 17, 2012 at 5:53 am

      Another Francesco? This happens because in WordPress you can post comments with the same name and different email addresses if isn’t enabled the option login to comment. When the community becomes large it happens. I will change my acronym in “FrancescoP” to avoid confusion.

      I take this opportunity for some general considerations.

      The D600 is not a replacement for the D700, but is aimed at the most demanding amateurs and professionals as backup of their D4 and D800. Some are calling features that are not typical of the D600, but of a hypothetical D800H, with 8 fps, the sensor of D4. A D800H would cannibalized the market for the D4 and stressed more the already overloaded D800‘s production line. There will be in the future? I do not know, but it is in the industrial logic that this can happen only when the demand for D4 and D800 will stabilize. Meanwhile the D700 are doing their job fine.


      The lack of a new generation of 20/2, 8, 24/2, 8, 35/2, 180/2, 8 and 300/4 !

    • 55.2) William Jones
      September 17, 2012 at 7:03 am

      This has the new type of ISO function. Here is a link to the details on Nikon site:

      Scroll down about 2/3s of the page.


      • 55.2.1) Francesco
        September 17, 2012 at 7:59 am

        Thanks william,
        i’m looking forward to a complete review to confirm IQ, this camera seems an improved FX version of the D7000, which i own and appreciate (myonly disappointment is the small viewfinder, but this is due to the DX sensor size)


  56. September 17, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Thank you Nasim!
    I’m really very curious to know what are the differences among D600 and D700, D800, D300s and D7000 regarding ISO noise, color sensitivity and most of all dynami range.

    I hope you can post some images obtained using 14bit NEF opened with View/Capture Nx and ACR.


  57. 57) GianCarlo
    September 17, 2012 at 9:15 am

    What to do? I have a D7000 and would like to switch to Fx, I thought to do it with the D600 but does not seem the right choice. Help me!
    Thank you, GianCarlo.

    • 57.1) Am-Expat
      September 18, 2012 at 2:13 am

      What criteria eliminated the D600? Is there some special need you have that is outside of normal photography?
      If DSLR is the format, the D4 or D800 are the best shows in town. Image quality on the D600 will be on level of D800 minus peak resolution but then again so is the D4 and any other DSLR on the planet.

      • 57.1.1) GianCarlo
        September 18, 2012 at 5:22 am

        The criteria: same Multi-CAM 4800, the same Dynamic AF Mode in a larger sensor.

      • 57.1.2) Hoeras
        September 18, 2012 at 8:27 am

        > And the D800 will be on the level of D800E minus peak…

        To rephrase: Image quality on the D800 will be on level of D800E minus peak resolution but then again so … any other DSLR on the planet.

        Your description of the best should be D800E. I love mine.

  58. 58) jin
    September 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    hi Nasim,

    Canon 6D is release , can you do comparison between d600 ? Please!

  59. 59) Vartkes Nadjarian
    September 18, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Hi Nasim,

    For a while now i have been thinking about buying a full frame dSLR, I own a d7000 and I am very happy with it, but i also want to experience full frame. I’m thinking about getting a d700 this week. Do you think that it will be a good investment?

  60. 60) Mikhail
    September 18, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Thank you , Nasim.

    As much as I love Nikon, D800/D600 make me wonder about where things are going. D800 resolution is an overkill for most photogs who would want that kind of a camera. From my quick online search, file sizes range 35-70 Mb… with the majority probably being 3-4x the size of D700 sizes! I can absolutely see the use for the 36 mpx – sure, but what about regular folk, who shoot weddings, portraits, etc… Suddenly, you need massive amount of storage, and your 1 year old computer feels like 10 year old. I actually know pros who struggle with their machines because of this. Laptop + LR is setup for many photogs. How many wedding pros have servers, a RAID massive and ingesting/workflow management software?!

    D600 sounds like a great camera, and it is, but more as a 2nd body or for advanced amateurs who desire full-frame. But the body design and button positioning/functions doesn’t look like the pro line-up. There are functions in a pro gear that are there for a reason, and lack thereof is very frustrating when you shoot every day (there’s a funny article by a sports shooter who bashes D4 for exactly that – poor button/control layout), and no, I’m not talking about the “super-slow” 1/4000 shutter speed :) Again, though, one would need to spend time with D600 to really figure what that camera is really about, so I shouldn’t judge. I think this will be an amazing piece of equipment. Light, stripped-down FX for traveling = AWESOME!

    The question remains, what market is Nikon going after?? And where is my REAL D700 replacement? :)

    Oh, and when I shell out over $2000, I have the right to be spoiled, no?

  61. 61) Alan
    September 20, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Hi there,

    Since very few of us hae had the chance to test the D600, it’s difficult to tell how good it is only by reading the specs. and the biased hands-on preview by websites and people who have a strong interest in making us buy Nikon products.

    The only thing we can do is to check at the first samples released to try to make our own opinion.

    The only samples given here are the one from Nikon, therefore, very good ones as they want us to buy the camera.

    However, some other samples (not coming from Nikon) have been posted on different websites and should let everybody appreciate at its right value the quality of the D600:

    – Imaging Resource (tests in NEF format + gallery in Jpg)
    – Fotopolis
    – More to come…

    As you will see, some pcitures are far from the quality of the ones given by Nikon Corp. and it is not surprising.

    As for the price: 2100 to 2400$ for a minor version of the D800, I let everybody appreciate the irony of an announced “affordable or entry level FF camera”… If you add the 24-85 kit lens, it will cost you the “affordable” price of 2500 to 2700$ (almost the same price as a D800 strangely).
    Only Sony with the A99 has decided to be more expensive. Canon with the 5 models is not and the future 6D will be aligned on the D600 (2100$ provided that it stays at this price in few month).

    Posts with this kind of reasoning have been duly censored on this forum, meaning that the owner of the site is probably in bed with Nikon, or can’t stand any common sense comment that is not in the norm .

    If the post is censured again by big brother, I will go to write the same in all other forums, it doesn’t matter, however if it’s not, then I advice all sensible photographers to wait before buying or delay it until the prices become reasonable.

    Don’t forget, its’ not the gear that makes the photographer, buy the guy behind the camera.

    • 61.1) Sebastiano
      September 24, 2012 at 6:07 am

      At Nikon Italy official forum one of the guys has posted a View NX captured pictured that shows how many AF points the D600 has.

      They are well spread over the viewfinder, and I can absolutly state that the picture reported in the D600 User Manual is wrong. It shows a smaller area than the multicam 3500Fx, but you can see here ( it’s not so.

      Greetings, Sebastiano

      • 61.1.1) Jorge Balarin
        September 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

        I loved the way the autofocus points of the D3s are spread over the viewfinder. That’s ideal for my shooting style. Do you know if there is a comparison between the autofocus points of the D3s, the D800 and the D4 ? Greetings, Jorge.

      • 61.1.2) Sebastiano
        September 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm

        Well, may be no a good news after talking on the italian forum and here too (

        I downloaded one NEF from here ( and opened with the last View NX version the 3200 ISO file .

        I could see some red AF points, that were the ones “printed” on the photo by the camera itself. I then addes some rough azure squares to complete the 39 AF points, and I could see the AF area is smaller than we supposed tomorrow.
        I put the new image here

        I also added a second “dream view” image, where I put some extra purple squares to imagine how would be a wider AF area made up of 71 AF points.
        I also roughly drawed the “rule of thirds” lines in orange to show that with the native D600 AF area the most of the AF area is within the 4 creative corners the ruls of thirds suggest us to put the subject.

        So I think I have an urgent request for you, Nasim. Please, could you tell us more about this aspect?
        Can you post a viewfinder detailed review?

        Thanks in advance, Sebastiano

        • Sebastiano
          September 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm

          Hello Nasim,
          unfortunately I have to confirm that the 39 AF point are positioned in a smaller area than many of us desired.

          What we of the Nikon Italian forum have understood is that pictures showing a wider area might be obtained by versions of View Nx older than 2.5.1. For example, using View Nx 2.2.1 you can oper the NEF but cannot display the AF points used. Using View NX 2.3.2 you can see the AF points but they are displayed in a wrong manner.
          Only the last View Nx release let you show their correct positioning.

          Due to this limitation we are asking how strong will be this impact in macro photography, vertical portraits where the desired focus point is on the thirds (outside the D600 AF area) or in all the cased when you need to track random movements (like Kim’s dogs ;) ).

          Can you please make an accurate review of the AF area in such cases?
          I was falling in love with this new camera because of its 24Mp sensor, but the AF issues are as important as other aspects, like dynamic range, ergonomics and body quality.

          Thank you very much in advance, Sebastiano

  62. 62) jatucka
    September 20, 2012 at 8:31 am

    hi all
    i’m having lot of AF troubles with the new D600
    already tried 3 of them (could report the SN of each), but any of them gives a good AF
    lot of back focus; one of them really awful, not usable
    anybody already personally tested the camera ?
    similar problems to report ?

    • 62.1) Jorge Balarin
      September 20, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Hello NASA, we have a problem…

    • 62.2) Sahajpal Rai
      September 20, 2012 at 10:23 am

      No way! can you please tell me the SN no. Please. I am getting today so I can return before opening it.

    • 62.3) kim
      September 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Is it possible that it is not a back focus problem, but instead that the picture controls need adjusting? The default level of sharpness for the standard picture is set at a 2 out of the box and not the usual 6 which is the setting I use on my D700. I changed the defaults in the D600 and the still shots I got today are tack sharp with the 80-200 mm f/2.8 which is the only lens I had time to use. On the other hand I had trouble capturing fast running dogs today, and think it is due to my lack of familiarity with the autofocus system as it is unlike the D700, the only Nikon I have used so far.

      If anyone reading this, could help, I would greatly appreciate recommendations for AF settings in the AF-C mode to capture fast running dogs, which I am currently shooting in preparation for an event I am supposed to photograph for a canine training company, and I am supposed to shoot a fast running cheetah (yes, I mean a big cat from Africa purported to run at 60 mph) at a wildlife sanctuary in a few weeks, and really could use guidance in knowing how to optimize lock on and tracking. I cannot afford a D4 which I realize may be the first answer to come to mind. Could you guide me in which dynamic points to use, or 3D tracking and the focus lock on settings to try? I can always revert to the D700 which is always dead on target, but the picture quality of the D600 truly is spectacular and so much better. The dynamic range, color depth and ISO performance to my view are unbelievably better than the D700. Now, I just need to figure out the D600 AF system.

      Thanks and I hope everyone is enjoying or soon to be their new camera.

      • 62.3.1) Jorge Balarin
        September 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

        Kim, please, could you explain what is “focus lock on and tracking”. I have a D700, and I would like to know if it is possible to lock the focus on a moving subject, and how do I do that with the D700. Greetings.

        • kim
          September 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm

          “Focus tracking with lock-on,” is menu item a4 on the D700. It is a setting which tells the focus system how long to stay on a target before moving to something else. It is useful if for instance if someone passes in front of the subject you are focused on. If the “focus tracking with lock-on” is set too low, then the AF system may jump to a sensor over the passerby instead of staying on the person you are focused on. From my understanding, though and I could be wrong as I am still quite a novice as compared to the many experienced persons writing on this post, if the “focus tracking with lock-on” is set to a long setting, the focus point may not move quickly with a moving subject and lag slightly. Yesterday, on the D600 I tried the focus tracking with lock-on set at 3 and the autofocus system was sluggish and could not keep with dogs racing in a field. I dropped it to 2 today and the shots were better. Tomorrow, I will drop it further and possibly turn it off. I am still experimenting and trying to master the AF system of the D600 which is unlike the D700 though very familiar to those who have used a D7000.

          I hope that others will feel free to add or correct the above information, if I have not presented this correctly. And, I would love any tips to get the AF system able to track high speed animals on the run, plus I am always wanting to learn more about this wonderful hobby.

          • Jorge Balarin
            September 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

            Thank you very much for your answer Kim.

  63. 63) jatucka
    September 20, 2012 at 8:45 am

    i’ve had the same problem with the very first D800 (the second that i received was ok), and with my son’s D7000 (back focus at random, resolved with the last firmware)
    would really like to know if any of you have had the same problems with the new D600
    thanks a lot

  64. 64) Bruce Patton
    September 20, 2012 at 10:06 am


    I enjoy your photography articles very much, they bridge the gap between being both technical, but not too technical, and very informative. I am thinking about upgrading to FX and would be interested in comments comparing the D600 to the D7000. I know there is a $1,000 price difference and am curious whether it’s worth the jump to FX. The larger viewfinder alone might do it for me although I would hate to lose my crop factor as I mostly shoot wildlife. I know I’ve heard lots of reasons why that crop factor isn’t such a big deal but still I just wonder, practically speaking, how much more you get with the larger sensor for a serious but not professional photographer. I shoot exclusively nature and wildlife. Thanks for considering this.


  65. 65) Kip
    September 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I got my D600 today. I popped the battery and chip from my d7k in it and went out to shoot without even looking at the instructions. Using an 85 mm f 1.8 and a 40 mm Macro DX, I got some of the most stunningly sharp, beautifully rendered color raw images imaginable.

    So I’m in love. I think Nikon got it really right.

  66. 66) jatucka
    September 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    hi Kip
    this is a good news
    could you please let us know the camera SN (omit the last digit ) ?
    will post my 3 SN tomorrow morning (Italian time), i dont have them here with me know
    thanks a lot

  67. 67) jatucka
    September 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    also, how did you worked the RAW ?
    Nikon original program ?
    thanks a lot

    • 67.1) Kip
      September 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      I used jpg, and opened them in Photoshop. They didn’t need any post-processing.

      Why do you want the SN?

  68. 68) jatucka
    September 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    oh, so no RAW
    i understood that you used RAW from your previous post
    would like to check the SN
    i’ve tried 3 D600 and all of them gave me lot of AF problems
    would like to understand if in the later ones they fixed this problem
    can post mine 3 SN tomorrow

  69. 69) jatucka
    September 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    i remember that the first one was a very very early one, SN 6010 i think
    can check tomorrow morning

  70. 70) jatucka
    September 21, 2012 at 4:20 am

    here are the SN


    this morning tried the SN 601586x

    ALL with serious AF problems :-(

    • 70.1) Kip
      September 21, 2012 at 6:09 am


      My SN is in the 3000000 range.
      I don’t detect any AF problems.
      Or any problems. Except the manuals get bigger with every new model.
      I don’t know why you got the impression I shoot in raw since I rarely do.
      Good luck.

      • 70.1.1) jatucka
        September 21, 2012 at 6:11 am

        SN 3000000 ??

        • Kip
          September 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

          Sorry jatucka, that’s what it says on the box, the warranty slip and the camera body.
          Did they make a mistake?

  71. 71) Am-Expat
    September 21, 2012 at 6:04 am

    What specific problems, how did you isolate the problem to 4 different cameras. I am a moderator on a forum for dozens have gotten their D600 and not mentions of problems, only stunningly sharp colorful images posted.
    If you can post a link to example files with meta data intact it would be a help in isolating the problem.

  72. 72) jatucka
    September 21, 2012 at 6:09 am

    contact me at my mail :
    will send you some pics
    you will see

  73. 73) Kip
    September 21, 2012 at 6:18 am


    You probably thought I meant NEF RAW, I meant raw as in unprocessed

  74. 74) Peach
    September 21, 2012 at 7:27 am


    4 camera bodies with AF problems would indicate that it is a testing methodology and/or lens problem, not a camera body problem. The probability of you getting 4 defective D600’s would be ‘lottery winner’ odds, especially given the number of D600’s already out there with no other reports of AF issues. I look forward to a resolution to your problem.

  75. 75) jatucka
    September 21, 2012 at 7:54 am

    are you sure ?
    tried with 5 different lenses
    even last 85/1.4 and 35/1.4
    i’m not a rookie :-)
    i do collect (and use …) cameras from more than 25 years
    mostly Leica, but Nikon and Canon as well
    already sent a couple of pics to Am-Expat

  76. 76) Pradeep Jain
    September 21, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Dear Nasim, I have been shooting general pictures for many years with my nikon slr/dslr cameras. I have recently been interested in shooting birds and mammals. I like a lot of Nikon DSLR cameras but I am not finding a good sharp lens equivalent to Canon`s 100-400 mm telephoto zoom or canon 400mmf5.6 telephoto zoom. Nikon`s 80-400 is neither as sharp as the two canons nor focuses as fast. I seek your advice if I go in for a Nikon D600 which best lens would suggest in the focal length range of 100-400mm

  77. 77) Roman
    September 29, 2012 at 8:32 am

    It looks I was one of the guys who thought about those issues as very important ones: I used D7000 and I was happy it has 1/8000 and 1/250 sync speed. Your post was really calming :)

  78. 78) Andreas
    October 2, 2012 at 7:49 am

    The two biggest limitations for anyone doing serious video work with the D600 is:

    1. That you can’t change apperture in LiveView.
    2. That the HDMI out is cropped (More about that here:

    This is something Nikon can rectify in a firmware update, so for the sake of all indie film-makers I hope they will. Ir not Canon will once again beat Nikon to the punch with video.

  79. 79) Gregor
    November 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I shoot with the D300 and 50mm 1.4 G lens, 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 VR2 lens. My question is ,would the D600 give me better results than the D300?
    I shoot mainly landscapes and I understand the camera of choice would be the D800e but the large files and price is for an amateur just not worth it in my opinion.
    Any comments would be appreciated.
    Thank you in advance

    • 79.1) Andreas
      November 7, 2012 at 2:18 am

      In one word: yes

      You will love working with full frame, getting the full potential out of your lenses. While the D300 is a great camera (I owned it and used it for travel and landscape photography), I find the D600 a huge step up. If you’re anything like me, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

      – Andreas

      • 79.1.1) Gregor
        November 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        Thank you very much for your comment it is appreciated. I will take a good look at the D600 and I suspect I will be so impressed I’ll have upgrade.

  80. 80) rhyne
    March 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I have a D3100 with several lenses. I was looking to upgrade to the D7100 or D600, but not sure if the lenses would work on the D600?

  81. 81) Pierre
    March 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Rhyne, if your lenses were not made before 1977, they will work. Now, you need FX lenses if you want to use all of the sensor’s surface. If you have mainly DX lenses, the D7100 may be a better idea than the D600.

  82. 82) Chassidy
    June 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Do you know if/what the manufacturer # is that you would want your D600 to be made after so that you don’t have to worry about the dust issues?

  83. 83) Mark
    August 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Superbly written and informative articles, thanks so much. Today I bought a mint used 50mm f1.8G based on your review to go with my new D600, which for me is a superb camera that gives so much more than my last DSLR – Finepix S3 Pro (which was a great camera) – which I had before I gave up photography for a while a few years ago.

    However I do find the gripes about AF areas, shutter speeds and flash syncs laughable – the camera does not a photographer make! It makes me wonder how people like Larry Burrows or Don McCullin ever managed with an obviously rubbishy old Nikon F, no autofocus, only a 1000th max shutter speed and a 60th flash sync! I think that sometimes some people spend too much time being concerned with the techy side of equipment (my lens is bigger than yours) than actually taking photographs!

    • 83.1) Anirban
      August 22, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Well said Mark.

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