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Archive 2013 · A little help please...
  
 
mcsquared
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A little help please...


Hello everyone. Iím pretty new to the forum and looking for some insight. I recently started making the switch to Nikon (from Pentax) after my wife surprisingly told me she wanted to let me pick out a new camera (love those type of surprises). For the last year I have really wanted a FX camera and plan to take advantage of this opportunity. My budget will be up to $2300-2500 for a body. My dilemma is should I get the D600 or used / refurbished D800? Iíll give a little background to help me think this out.

I am in the medical field and in no way a professional. I would consider myself an enthusiast that just loves to take great pictures of my kids, a few portrait sessions and the occasional wildlife photos. My daughter (9) is in ballet (low light hell at times) and my son (5) plays soccer, baseball, etcÖ My current camera limitations are definitely with AF and high ISO performance. I currently have a Nikon 28-105 3.5-4.5 and 80-200 2.8d two ring and plan to add the 50 1.8g. Once I finish PA school, in less than a year, I will pick up some better glass on the wide end.

I have held and shot both at a local camera store and like both. I donít think I can go wrong either way as both can obviously produce fantastic images. I honestly donít know that I need all of the capabilities of the D800. However, how often does your better half let this happen without the grief that usually ensues ?

Advantages for me
D800:
- AF system
- Multiple different shooting modes. Like the option for 1.2, 5:4, (donít really need 36mp)
- I like the setup / button layout better than D600

D600:
- 5.5 fps in full fx mode
- Full RAW FX at 24mp
- Lighter, Iím not a pro and donít really need pro quality

I know some of you are thinking, stupid question, get the D800. Iím asking this question, not to get bashed, but to ask if many of you would get the D800, even if the D600 probably fills your needs? Have any of you bought the D600 and wished you had saved for the D800 or bought D800 and found the D600 was plenty adequate? Any help / opinions would be appreciated.



Jan 24, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Jun Zhou
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A little help please...


It sounds like D600 fits your need, but I would suggest you wait for longer because D600 still has dust/debris issue on its CMOS.


Jan 24, 2013 at 11:45 PM
mfletch
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A little help please...


If you know you need the D800, get the D800. If you're undecided, the D600 is probably for you.


Jan 25, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Grantland
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A little help please...


the D700 is one sweet body. and with the savings you could buy some better glass. if you can stretch your budget a bit i suggest a 70-200 f/2.8 VR II.

grant



Jan 25, 2013 at 12:24 AM
hijazist
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A little help please...


I am a graduate student and I bought the D600 coming from a D700. Some features of the D700/D800 are only needed by professionals such as the AF system and size/bulk. That's critical for certain shooting styles. I am sure you read before how "plasticky/toyish" the D600 is, however, IMHO that's only contextual and relative. The D600 has a great body that's mostly made of alloy and it feels great in my hands. If I need the bulk for some sessions I would just add the MB-D14. It's an amazing camera and at its price point nothing comes close.

For me IQ and ISO performance are more important than a tank of a body and that's why I replaced my D700, which BTW is a great camera except the D600 is still better in that regard.

Good luck



Jan 25, 2013 at 01:16 AM
camboman
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A little help please...


I don't think you will be disappointed with the D600 - it sounds like it has everything you need.

Use the savings to buy a lens you will keep forever - you'll probably upgrade whichever body you get in a few years time.



Jan 25, 2013 at 01:34 AM
mcsquared
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A little help please...


I really appreciate all of the replies.

Jun - Good point, the dust / oil issue is in the back of my mind. I will most likely wait a little while longer before purchasing.

mfletch - Thanks for the advice

Grantland - I was looking into the D700 before my wife surprised me with the news. It is definitely a solid performer at the same price point as the D600. At this point I will probably take advantage of the newer tech / sensor in the d600 / d800. I don't mind the 5.5 fps so the added fps of a gripped d700 are not as advantageous as the overall IQ of the D600. The major problem with the D700 is my lack of access to one. I've not had the ability to test and handle one.

hijazist - Hope grad school is treating you well. You made some good points. When comparing the d600 / d800 I didn't find the d600 to be as toyish as some make it sound. I'm sure it's a far cry from the likes of D3s / D4 etc but the build quality was not an issue for me. I would definitely plan to add the grip with the extra bulk and convenience when needed. I'm glad to hear you are pleased with moving from the D700 to the D600.

Camboman - You're right, you can't go wrong with good glass. If I can convince my wife to let me spend the budget on "what I see fit" I will most likely add some nice glass to the D600.



Jan 25, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A little help please...


You mentioned that your children are involved in sports/action, at least some of which will be low light work. If you intend to try to capture images of both of your children in those activities, I'd suggest getting the body with the best AF that you can afford. To me, that means cameras with the multi-cam 3500 module, like the d800.

If I were in your shoes, with a $2500 budget for the body, I'd get either a refurbished d800, a d3 or a d700. If you could stretch a bit to about $3500, a d3s would be the ticket, IMO. I own the d3s and a refurb d800, along with the d700/d300, all of which are 51pt cam 3500 AF cameras. I would rank their AF performance as I've listed them. I also own a d7000, which has the 39pt multi-cam 4800 AF module, the predecessor to the AF module in the d600. IMO, the d7k is at the bottom of the list for AF performance.

Although I think that a d3 would outperform the d800, perhaps significantly so at times, the d800 still has some advantages, primarily pixel density, so I'd put them almost equal in value.

Here's a link to an article which tested the AF tracking performance of the d4, d800 and d600, which also has some interesting comments by readers at the bottom of the page. http://www.naturalexposures.com/corkboard/testing-the-nikon-d4-d800-d600-in-predictive-auto-focus/

Just some food for thought.
good luck
Kerry



Jan 25, 2013 at 05:13 PM
lxdesign
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A little help please...


I think based on some of your points that you would probably be just as happy with the D600 as you would with the D800. I have the D800 for a few reasons.... professional build quality, ease of use, I like the grip of the 800 over the 600 much better -- something about the smaller profile of the D600 just feels weird to me.

But why get the D800 only to be using a crop mode -- yes they are great to have.... but honestly, I like to see the full FOV in the viewfinder when I am shooting, and sometimes I forget that I have to observe the lines of cropping. That being said - its still a nice feature to have for those times when you need to get closer.

I think you would do quite well with the D600...... You already said that you liked both... and both have similar features.



Jan 25, 2013 at 06:55 PM
davidnholtjr
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · A little help please...


mcsquared wrote:
Hello everyone. Iím pretty new to the forum and looking for some insight. I recently started making the switch to Nikon (from Pentax) after my wife surprisingly told me she wanted to let me pick out a new camera (love those type of surprises). For the last year I have really wanted a FX camera and plan to take advantage of this opportunity. My budget will be up to $2300-2500 for a body. My dilemma is should I get the D600 or used / refurbished D800? Iíll give a little background to help me think this out.

I am in
...Show more



If it where me I'd go for the D800 all the way.

I for one would never touch a D600.



Jan 25, 2013 at 07:11 PM
 

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DontShoot
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · A little help please...


I was in the same boat a few months back... kept going back and forth and finally decided to go with the D600. THEN I took the money left over and I put it towards fast glass and I don't regret my decision one bit. I love the D600, it's light and has amazing DR. The D800 is nice but it's overkill for what I do. 24MP is more than adequate for me. Also the u1/u2 feature of the D600 helped sway my decision towards it. You also have to look at how you're going to process the files. I have a 2009 mac mini and it's already struggling with the 24MP files... can you imagine a 36MP file? This is something you should also take into consideration. Good luck!






Jan 25, 2013 at 07:33 PM
mcsquared
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · A little help please...


Kerry - Very helpful link, thank you. The one major draw toward the D800, for me, is the autofocus. This is the main area where I question the D600

lxdesign - I agree with you, except the grip of the D600 doesn't bother me. The ease of use of the D800 is also attractive. My current camera has a menu system somewhat like the d600 and it does work but not nearly as convenient as the D800. I'd still use the FX mode of the D800 but probably not at 36mp which might seem like a waste. I have no problem with 20mp (medium quality) or 25mp at 1.2x with the added benefits of a better autofocus system.

David - Care to elaborate? Is this d/t the dust/oil problems, build quality, etc...?

Dontshoot - I will be maxing out my RAM in my iMAC to help with whatever camera I decide on, very good point though. 24mp will be plenty, not worried about resolution with either camera. I am interested in how the autofocus system has performed for you. Any regrets or limitations you've encountered thus far?




Jan 25, 2013 at 08:05 PM
davidnholtjr
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · A little help please...


mcsquared wrote:
David - Care to elaborate? Is this d/t the dust/oil problems, build quality, etc...?




I have a D7000 which I really can't stand the size/feel/lay out of and the D600 being the same style I'm sure I'd not like it as well.



Jan 25, 2013 at 08:28 PM
djjohnr13
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A little help please...


Given the fact that you're shooting moving object a lot I'd recommend a D700/800 for the AF. 24 pixels doesn't mean shit if it's not in focus.


Jan 25, 2013 at 08:36 PM
M Lucca
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · A little help please...


Refurb D800 @ $2200 is a very good deal. If your your system can stomach 36mp image files, I'd go for that over the d600.


Jan 25, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · A little help please...


I'd go for a D3s


Jan 25, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · A little help please...


If you don't care about MP's and do care about high performance, especially AF, then I'd suggest a d3s, d3 or d700, in that order, over either the d800 or d600.

I like my d800 a great deal, but I use it for more sedate shooting circumstances. I use my d3s and/or d700 and d300 for almost all action/sports shooting. Of course, I've not tried using 1.2 or any of the other file reducing tricks on the d800 as yet. The d800 AF seems to be just as good as the d700, maybe better, but the camera just can't push those big files around very fast. It's great for the first burst, but then things start slowing down. That doesn't happen with the d3s or even the d700.

The d3 class body is simply amazing for AF performance and operational speed. It has even more controls on the body than the d700/d800, where everything is right there at your fingertips. The high ISO files of the d3s still amaze me, even after a year of ownership. Given a choice of d700 or d3, which have basically the same sensor and AF module, I'd take the d3 without hesitation.

You've got some great choices available. Take the time to determine your wants/needs as best you can and then just pick the body that fits your criteria. Hard to go wrong with any of them, IMO.

good luck,
Kerry



Jan 26, 2013 at 02:48 AM
michaelwatkins
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · A little help please...


Could too much emphasis be placed on the AF of the D800 vs D600?

Once upon a time everyone shot manual focus cameras with manual film advance levers and near as I can tell, there were children back then to photograph, too.

Sure, lickety split AF and fast FPS is nice and enables some photographs that couldn't be made with manual (or slow) focus lenses and film. But probably the D600's AF is already a lot nicer than what you are used to using today, and definitely the D600's high ISO performance is going to be terrific.

Myself I picked the D800 mostly because I wanted the pixel count, and I plan on using it heavily for a good number of years so the heavier build appealed to me. I also hate buying cameras without a sync port, although that can be worked around easily enough.

The other differences / advantages of the D800 over the D600 were icing on the cake. Having a choice of user customizable setups off the dial on the D600 is nice; I wish the D800 had something like that instead of the Memory Bank approach. Overall I'm very happy with the D800 though - I've used it enough that I can find all the buttons in the dark and adjust settings quickly. It's a very quick to operate camera compared to what I'd been using.

But the D600 is no slouch with its state of the art 24MP sensor, and the difference in price pays for some glass and spare power packs and memory cards. I bet I'd have been very happy with a D600 too.

Decisions decisions!

PS: I rarely put the D800 in burst mode, but for those rare times that I do, I don't find it limiting. With a decent CF card in it the camera will burst plenty of frames (for my purposes, your mileage may vary) before it slows down. I've been shooting manual focus cameras and until last year even film for so long that any ability to burst is a luxury to me so needless to say the D800's capabilities in this regard are amply sufficient, for me.



Jan 26, 2013 at 05:23 AM
PeaktoPeek
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · A little help please...


I switched from Canon in November, mostly because of the sensor performance and the better AF. Even though I shoot mostly landscapes I decided against the D800 for now -- I just don't have the processing power, nor do I need the immense (but impressive) resolution at this time. I had a budget similar to yours but had zero glass, so the best solution for me was the D600 and a couple primes. I have yet to have any problems with the D600 -- no oil spots, green tint or AF problems and its been the best camera I've ever owned as far as image quality. Is the D800 a better camera, I am sure that it is. But is the D600 that much worse, definitely not. Sure, it has some limitations compared with the giant pro bodies and even the D800 but I think as a whole its a great all around camera that can do a little of everything very well. What's interesting to me that in the last couple months reading this board I've noticed a lot more snobbery than I saw on the Canon side. As if you can't possibly be satisfied unless you use the most expensive gear or something. Its even more ironic that the D600 is better than every Canon body except the 1DX and probably the 5D III and yet its the red headed step son here. It makes me chuckle....
Paul



Jan 26, 2013 at 06:27 AM





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