Nikon has formally announced the D600 – a small, lightweight DSLR that comes equipped with a 24.3MP full-frame sensor. Sitting just below the Nikon D800, the D600 is designed for enthusiasts that aspire to full frame photography and those that desire an affordable full-frame body.
Rumored for several months, the D600 has been described as Nikon’s game changing DSLR and combines its 24.3MP FX-format CMOS sensor with the same EXPEED 3 image-processing engine as found in Nikon’s flagship model, the D4. Designed to make light work of data-rich imaging tasks, the D600 is capable of ratting out a continuous burst of images at 5.5 frames per second, offers 16-bit image processing and features an ISO range of 100-6400 that’s extendable to ISO 50 at the low end and ISO 25,600 at the high end.
For AF the D600 relies on Nikon’s newly developed Multi-CAM4800 39-point AF system. There’s individually selectable or configurable 9, 21 and 39-point coverage settings and the AF sensor module has been re-engineered to improve low light performance with a combined aperture up to f/8 with detection down to -1EV. The AF mode button has been adopted from the D800, making it quick and easy to switch between AF-A, AF-S and AF-C modes, saving the hassle of pulling your eye away from the viewfinder.
Metering is looked after by Nikon’s renowned 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor – the same as found on Nikon’s D7000. In terms of its build quality, the D600 features magnesium alloy top and rear covers and just like the D800 it’s built so that it’s resistant to moisture and dust. On the scales the D600 weighs 760g. Accepting the rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery, this is claimed to provide enough power for 900 shots to be taken or an hours worth of HD video recording. While on the subject of the battery, Nikon has also launched the optional MB-D14 battery pack for the camera to improve handling when the camera is used in the portrait orientation.
The D600’s viewfinder is the glass prism optical type providing a 100% frame coverage and 0.7x magnification. Just below the viewfinder lies the D600’s 3.2in, 921k-dot LCD screen that can automatically adjust the brightness according to the viewing environment. It supports Nikon’s dual-axis electronic virtual horizon feature to help you shoot perfectly horizontal horizons.
From the top plate you’ll find a small dedicated movie-record button so you’re ready to trigger movie shooting at a moments notice and for keen movie makers the D600 supports full HD recording (1080×1920) in a variety of frames, including 30,25 and 24fps. At 720p, 60, 50 and 25 frame rates are also available. The maximum record time is limited to 29 minutes, 59 seconds and at the side of the body there’s an external microphone port, beside which is an audio out port for monitoring audio levels. An HDMI output is also provided too.
As for the D600’s shutter unit, it’s tested to 150,000 cycles. The shutter speed range stretches between 30 seconds and 1/4000sec and the in-built interval timer is likely to be a big hit with those that enjoy time-lapse photography. There’s even the option to save time-lapse images as a movie file, meaning slow action can be viewed in fast playback, with playback rates from 24 to 36,000 times faster than normal.
Elsewhere, the D600 features a dual card slot design ready to accept a pair of SD cards and a variety of creative and practical in-camera tools are offered too. Filter effects include skylight, cross screen, miniature, colour outline, colour sketch and selective colour. As for the D600’s retouch options these include distortion control, perspective control, straighten and fisheye.
To enhance the data transfer process, Nikon has also produced the WU-1b mobile adapter for the D600. Enabling wireless transmission of images directly to an android smartphone or tablet once the relevant app is installed, Nikon has disclosed that they’re also in the process of making this functionality compatible with Apple iPhones and iPads.
As for availability and pricing, the D600 will be available to buy from the 18th September. Body only, the RRP for the D600 is £1956. This works out at £324 less expensive than the price of Nikon’s D800. Bundled with Nikon’s 24-85mm kit lens the D600 will cost £2444. The WU-1b is also expected to be available from the 18th September and will cost £65.
Nikon D600 First Look
Given the opportunity to lay hands
on the D600 at the official Nikon launch, it was the D600’s compact size that struck us first. Placed up against the D800, the D600 is
the noticeably smaller model of the two and on first glance it does
appear to look a little bit like a D7000 on steroids.
grip contributes to a robust feel in the hand but without a full
magnesium chassis we’d say it doesn’t feel quite as solid as the D800, which is around 140g heavier. The ergonomics of the camera seem to have
been carefully thought through and we like the idea of having dedicated
buttons for ISO, White Balance, Image Quality and Bracketing. There are
no major changes to the layout of the menu system. This is good news
for existing Nikon users who might be looking at the D600 as an upgrade
Screen sharpness seemed exceptional in the short space
of time that we used the camera. For Nikon users that are familiar
with Nikon DSLR’s they’ll be able to pick up the D600 and start using
it without any delay. The D-Pad at the rear of the camera seems slightly
smaller than the one found on the D800, however the switch to control
Live View is exactly the same.
We’re expecting to lay hands on
our full review sample in the next few days so be sure to check back to
What Digital Camera for your full, hands-on, review very soon.