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Nikon D600 Announced (and Ships Soon)

Nikon has announced the 24-megapixel D600 and B&H reports that cameras will ship on September 19, so grab one fast if you want one.

For pros: the low sync speed of 1/200 along with no sync terminal could pose a problem for studio work.

I’ll have more to say on the D600 and I plan on reviewing it (though not to the depth of the D800/D800E).

Resolution

Given the issues with focus accuracy and lens performance, the D600 will not give up much compared to the D800. But properly executed, the D800/D800E will show an advantage, and a 36-megapixel D800 downsampled to 24 megapixels will produce visibly cleaner image quality at the pixel level— better cleaner prints too since less enlargement is needed.

Sensors are sampling devices. Properly executed, more pixels are always better (higher sampling rate).

Value

Consider that a D600 is about $2100 and a D800 is about $3000. That’s a $900 difference, hardly pocket change, but context-dropping is always a shortsighted way to reason through things.

Then consider several more things:

  • How many lenses at what cost? They have to be just as good as for the D800, so does that mean $500, $2000, $5000 in lenses? Then there is a spare bracket, perhaps an L-bracket for a tripod, memory cards, etc. What does a camera body difference of $900 mean in the overall total cost of the system. In short, if one is investing for medium to long term in a system, it is not my view that the D600 represents a value. At $1500 yes, but not at $2100 when a D800 sits at $3000.
  • Resale value. Will the D600 have the same resale value as a D800 when you want the newest model 2 years from now?
  • Image quality: a D800 downsampled to 24 megapixels is going to produce better images, as shown several times in DAP. So even if the “I don’t need the huge files” argument applies, image quality remains a consideration.
Nikon D600
Nikon D600

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