Not long ago the official announcement was made that the D600 is here. And not only that available in less than a week!!!. September 18th it will supposedly hit the shelves. I imagine preorders are going to be through the roof so I'd expect a wait. At full-frame camera at $2099 is going to fly off the shelves.
The D600, is as most people expected, essentially a D7000 with a full-frame 24MP sensor. Of course it's not exactly the same, it did inherit some features from the D800 as well.
The similarities between the D600 and the D7000:
- 39 point AF system with 9 cross-type.
- 2016 pixel RGB metering sensor
- 5.5 fps for D600 and 6 fps D7000 (pretty much the same).
- Focus mode selector.
- Magnesium / polycarbonate body.
- Scene modes.
- Double SD slot.
- U modes.
- Dual IR sensor for ML-L3
- Built-in AF motor for non-AF-S lenses.
The D600 has had a few improvements over the D7000 all inherited from the D800 and mostly features relating to video.
- Live View switch for stills/video.
- Video record button behind the shutter release button.
- Headphone output
- Uncompressed HD video though the HDMI out port
- Expeed 3 processor
There are a few things I like about the D600. Pretty much everything it inherited from the D800 is a good thing. The built-in AF motor is also a good thing, but doesn't mean much to me anymore since I've long since made the switch to all AF-S lenses and there really aren't any legacy lenses that interest me except for the 58mm f/1.2 NOCT which is manual focus. The U modes are also a handy option that a lot of people liked on the D7000. I never really used it, but it's there. The dual IR sensor for the ML-L3 is a big point for me. It always irked me that Nikon out this great feature on only it's lower end models. The inexpensive ML-L3 is a great thing and obviously it's not an expensive option to add. Instead of a $13 remote I have to spend $200 on a Nikon ML-3 (it does have more features, but still). 5.5 fps isn't bad. 100% viewfinder! This is great, no guestimating your composition. The D600 also get the amazing Auto-ISO from the D800. This feature is amazing. It recognizes your focal length and matches the shutter speed plus you can give more priority to speed over lower ISO's if you wish. The price is also pretty good for an FX camera, I know people were expecting it to be less, but it's still $1000 cheaper than the D700 when it was launched.
There are quite a few things I don't like about the D600. First and foremost, it's not a D700 replacement. For me and a lot of others, the D700 was perfect. Pro build and insanely good low-light performance. The D800 just isn't the same camera, neither is the D4. First of all the magnesium / poly body don't stand up to abuse well. Some may say, buy a D4, but I like the smaller body with the option of adding a grip when needed. The focus mode selector is a pain, maybe I'm just not used to it, but I hated it when the D7000 came out and I don't like it on the D800 either. Flipping a switch is easier than pressing buttons and rotating dials. The AF module. Not enough focus points and -1EV sensitivity compared to -2EV on the D800. SD cards!!! I hate them. They are flimsy and I break them. I have broken every single one I have had. I have NEVER broken a CF card in my 10 years of using them. I was also disappointed with the kit lens. It's not great and it's way over-priced for a variable aperture zoom.
In any case, I'm not trying to rag on the D600. It's a great camera for someone who wants to get into the FX game for relatively cheap. It's an FX camera for Joe Everyman. Obviously this camera isn't aimed at photographers like me. Personally I was hoping for a 16MP D800 style camera. Something for low-light, that shoots fast, but doesn't weight a ton or cost $6000. I have no doubt this will be a huge success for Nikon and will probably bring up the cost of Nikon's older AF-D lenses which could be great for folks who want to sell their old glass.
All-in all the D600 looks like a very capable mid-level camera that you can use high quality FX glass with to its full potential. Let's face it, the only ultra-wide Nikon had for DX wasn't great. The D600 will allow you to use the 14-24mm f/2.8G and get the full experience. You'll also be able to use the newest fast primes, 28mm f/1.8G, 24mm f/1.4G, 35mm f/1.4G, as well as the great 50mm f/1.4.G as they were intended, with no crop factor.
Here's Nikon's press release for the D600.
And here are the specs: