Upload & Sell: Off
I've been umming-n-arring over replacing my trusted 5DII for the D600 for a couple of months now. The reasons for wanting to replace:
- interval shooting.
- 100% viewfinder.
- in-camera RAW-processing.
- massive DR-headroom in RAW files.
- onboard flash which offers AF-assist lamp and also acts as wireless trigger.
- 1080p video which records up to 30 minutes (instead of 12).
- DX-crop mode which lets me use lenses designed for APS-C sensors while giving me a very decent 5.5fps (I can easily live with 10mp for this).
- 2 x memory card slots.
- more AF-points with slightly-better low-light focussing (to -1ev instead of -0.5ev).
- 720p at 60fps.
- uncompressed HDMI recording.
- audio-monitoring via headphone-socket.
- IR sensor at the rear as well as at the front.
- 150g lighter body might help with certain steadycam & glide techniques.
- the price of a new D600 will be the same as what I'll get for my used 5DII (that is after I take off the 19% German VAT).
- The 6D doesn't offer 100% viewfinder, and the 5DIII is a grand more expensive than the D600 (the D800 about €600 more than its little brother).
- I use a lot of manual Nikkor glass on my Canon anyway, chiefly because I prefer the way the focus ring turns.
- when I do use AF lenses, I miss having a manual aperture ring.
Phew! So looks like the proverbial no-brainer with all those new features potentially adding extra dimensions to my photo/videography Tho' here are the reasons for the umming-n-arring. Things I'll miss from the 5DII:
- the superior (at least subjectively) handling of the wheelpad/joystick combo, plus having ISO-control near the top-LCD, and the customisable SET button is perfect for quick instinctive use.
- the apparently-brighter viewfinder (according to some reports I've read, not had the D600 in my hands myself yet).
- LCD exposure simulation shows you the exact exposure you will get.
- subjectively more ready JPG's straight-out-of-cam, especially regarding skin tones (some ex-5D users report being initially disappointed with Nikon's more flat colour/contrast processing of their D600/D800).
- less blue chroma noise in dark backgrounds during high-ISO video (ISO-4000+) - with the D600's Noise Filter set to "high", the Nikon may be able to lose most of this noise. When there is no time for post-processing, this may be vital.
- movie-mode is actually full-frame view. The D600 crops the sensor by x1.1 when shooting video, turning your 18mm wide-angle into a 20mm. Tho' this has the advantage of reducing soft edges, barrelling and vignetting.
- auto-ISO function during video-shooting is extremely useful.
- zooming into live images or playback at 100% doesn't result in pixellated detail.
- 1/8000 shutter can be very useful (not just for large apertures in sunlight, but also for freezing ultra-fast action in bright light, without the use of flash).
- live-aperture during video-shooting. If I understand it right, I can still do this with the D600, only not with G-lenses which have no manual aperture ring.
So not insignificant points in favour of keeping the Canon after all...
And last, and most important of all, here are two further reasons for umming about getting the D600:
- uncompressed HDMI-recording has unfathomably a black border around the whole file...covers about 5%. The post-processing required to get the file back to normal is a waste of time we really shouldn't need to think about. I will likely have clients who will love to have uncompressed movie files, but will baulk at the idea of having to resize everything. Hopefully this is a firmware fix.
- the infamous dust/oil issue. Best demonstrated by this timelapse video and confirmed by Lens Rentals, DPR's review and literally hundreds of documented user experiences. I do remember reading that later serial numbers (not beginning with a 1, 2 or 3) may not have the issue, or at least not to that extent.
Considering all this, I still think the D600 can be regarded as a fair upgrade at effectively no extra cost to myself. I work, and play, as out-of-cam as possible. But this has its own disadvantages, mainly in that I'm not utilising the full potential of the available IQ (by not shooting RAW). By switching to the D600 I will have to consider a significant increase in workflow as the main sacrifice in losing the 5DII, but the potentially higher quality of the Nikon's output should be worth it.
To that last point, I met a Nikon shooter the other day, who is 26 years old. He showed me truly spectacular images he'd been shooting (with his trusty D200). When I told him how talented he was, he told me it was largely thanks to years of honing RAW-processing. Of course, his skill with a camera, available light and composition is the key to his brilliant photography, but what I learnt is that good RAW-processing makes the vision come alive. I think to take my own photography to the next level, I'll have to learn to develop RAW's, rather than rely on my out-of-cam JPG's to get me by. On the other hand, I tend to secure jobs which only pay for the actual shooting, they then get the out-of-cam output. Many clients (here in Berlin) can't afford to pay the extra time it takes for a photo/videographer to also process the files.
So a lot to think about...I still think I'm gonna go for it, but also interested in what your views are - mayhap you have some input which puts a new perspective on things.