D600 vs D800 first impressions
/forum/topic/1165190/0

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mancheta
Registered: May 19, 2011
Total Posts: 92
Country: United States

I have had the D600 since it came out, and just purchased a D800 for comparison sake. I planned on either:
A - returning the D600, as I had 60 days to return ( I doubted this option would play out)
B - returning the D800, if I found the differences to be only minor ( I assumed this option would happen)

I wanted to share some observations for those who are thinking of upgrading from a D600, or downgrading from a D800.

I shot an event this weekend with both bodies, using:
80-200 AF-D 2.8
16-35 G F4
85 AF-D 1.8

I honestly thought the D600 was going to be a "bargin D800." Save ~$1000 for only a few extra features, and for 50% more megapixels. I can now say this is not an accurate assessment of the cameras. Here is what I noticed.

Auto focus was noticeably faster with all lenses on the D800.

Shooting indoors with low light was incredibly more enjoyable with the D800. Even before the comparison, I felt the D600 was fairly poor at focusing in low light situations. I am not talking ridiculous 12800+ ISO conditions, just normal indoor shots.

The D600 has seemed to have poor focusing in general. I am not talking about bad technique leading to unsharp or out of focus images. I mean failing to gain focus before taking a shot, leading to missing shots. This has happened more on this D600 body than any other body I have used. D70, D300s, D700, D3 - none of them had as many "missed opportunities" as my D600.

It is not as though the D800 was the most incredible camera I have ever used. But it was just as reliable as any other Nikon I have had. When I composed a shot and hit the shutter - it focused, locked, and snapped.

I do not know if it was just a bad copy of the body, or a bad overall design but the D600 was a big letdown. It will be on its way back, the D800 is here to stay.



NickHenderson
Registered: Sep 29, 2012
Total Posts: 190
Country: United States

Happy with my D600.

Buying 2 cameras and returning the one you like less, that's a pretty dumb way to do things.



Jack OBrien
Registered: Jun 07, 2003
Total Posts: 6835
Country: United States

My experience has been nothing like yours. I *live* at ISO 6400 and I don't have the "poor focusing" experience. I've shot everything from soccer games in daylight to candlelit dinners, it has made me a happy camper. Sorry the D600 didn't work out for you.



mancheta
Registered: May 19, 2011
Total Posts: 92
Country: United States

Purchasing both cameras was never the intent. It was after nearly two months of disappointment that I decided to try the D800 while I still had a chance to return the D600.

Again, it is not any flashy features that are causing me to choose the D800, it is the lack of performance of the D600. Owning several other Nikon products, I do think I may have just received a poor copy.



xaradaisy
Registered: May 29, 2010
Total Posts: 426
Country: United States

I have used both and the D600's AF definitely hunts more. I dont have the same confidence in it as I do in the D800.



mancheta
Registered: May 19, 2011
Total Posts: 92
Country: United States

Was it very noticeable to you as it was for me?



MichaelUribe
Registered: Nov 10, 2012
Total Posts: 42
Country: United States

I've had my D800 a couple of dys now and just completed a product shoot.
I'm upgrading from my d700.
The only real eye catcher feature for me was the video capability (my d3s is so lame in the video dept.) and the other thing is it's rich Mp Depth.

I was a little disappointed in the speed of the d800 fps but it's also traveling at the speed of 36mps vs what the d700 which travels at 12mps at 5fps.

The true test would be to push the d700 engine to shoot at 36fps and see if it can do it like the d800.
The other way would be to downshift the d800 to shoot at 12mps (which you can by adjusting the image size) and then flooring the d800 and seeing what it can do.

My product shoot was shot in a downshift pixel depth not sure what it was - the first level down.

Just fine for my shoot quality needs.

One problem that has nothing to do with the d800 is that I usually put on a camera armor skin if I take it for a walk outside for any reason. They have not made it yet so.

Other than that the grip of the d600 is that of a DX camera so that makes it invisible to my hand.

I like the more practical battery grip attachment just screwing on not needing to take off the battery cover.

One thing I hate about the D3 and up body is that it doesnt fit inside any top loaders I found without having to cram it in their. Try putting on a 70-200 and your f$&@ed.

I actually would consider keeping my d700 if it's video quality was equal to the d800. I could have used it for cam2 angles and broll footage. So off to eBay it goes.

Since the d4 has similar video capability that may be a future upgrade for me.

But something tells me the d4x will be coming around the corner with comparable mp depth, but the jury is still out generally about the d4 regarding its overall lure from existing prior models d3s which have decent DR and wonderfully 3200 iso capability.



Michaelparris
Registered: Sep 15, 2008
Total Posts: 2361
Country: United States

NickHenderson wrote:
Happy with my D600.

Buying 2 cameras and returning the one you like less, that's a pretty dumb way to do things.


Really? Sounds pretty smart if you ask me, as long as you don't have a restocking fee....out of curiosity, why do you feel it is dumb?



lukeb
Registered: Nov 13, 2010
Total Posts: 1892
Country: United States

NickHenderson wrote:
Happy with my D600.

Buying 2 cameras and returning the one you like less, that's a pretty dumb way to do things.


I think your comment is pretty crass.



chip_master
Registered: Sep 19, 2010
Total Posts: 101
Country: United States

Recently shot D4 and D600 in relatively low light ISO 5000-6400 F2.8 1/125-1/1250. The D4 was much faster and sharing the same focus module with D800 I expect similar for first shot acquisition. D600 I quickly was dissapointed with the slightly smaller range coverage, it is smaller and a nusance.

If IQ is what you need at same viewing size / resized imagies I think the D600 will be competitive. I was very happy with its performance. Focus and responsiveness is a reason Nikon is charging us a lot more for their high end bodies.



ct8282
Registered: Nov 25, 2011
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United Kingdom

NickHenderson wrote:
Happy with my D600.

Buying 2 cameras and returning the one you like less, that's a pretty dumb way to do things.


Suggesting this is a dumb thing to do sounds pretty dumb to me.



NickHenderson
Registered: Sep 29, 2012
Total Posts: 190
Country: United States

lukeb wrote:
NickHenderson wrote:
Happy with my D600.

Buying 2 cameras and returning the one you like less, that's a pretty dumb way to do things.


I think your comment is pretty crass.


Yeah, perhaps. But you're taking advantage of the retailer and driving prices up for the rest of us who do their research beforehand, or borrow a camera from a friend, or rent one etc.



Nikon_14
Registered: Dec 08, 2011
Total Posts: 1578
Country: United States

NickHenderson wrote:
lukeb wrote:
NickHenderson wrote:
Happy with my D600.

Buying 2 cameras and returning the one you like less, that's a pretty dumb way to do things.


I think your comment is pretty crass.


Yeah, perhaps. But you're taking advantage of the retailer and driving prices up for the rest of us who do their research beforehand, or borrow a camera from a friend, or rent one etc.


+1. It's called E-T-H-I-C-S, i.e., doing the right thing even if you can get away with doing the wrong thing.



ckcarr
Registered: Dec 02, 2006
Total Posts: 6249
Country: United States

I'd be curious where the D600 was bought from.

This is the B&H return policy.

"Items with shutter counters must show less than 200 exposures."

Th return policy on yours may well be 60 days OR < shutter count, whichever occurs first.

How can you have 2 months of dissatisfaction without running the shutter count way up? What is the shutter count now? Don't be surprised if they reject the return, unless they are naive.

I have no problem returning a camera body or lens, I do it all the time. But, I don't use it if I'm unsure. It sits in its box, or I may take one or two shots...

I think this is what the other posters are getting at. No one want's to be on the receiving end of one of these "new" cameras when they purchase. First thing I do is take a jpeg and look at the exif. Fortunately, every new camera I've bought has just 1 shot... mine...



workerdrone
Registered: Dec 29, 2010
Total Posts: 1202
Country: United States

If you're up front with the retailer and they're fine with it as long as they get one high end sale, fine.

Otherwise, rent both bodies, make your decision, and buy the winner.

Or, do what I generally do - the craigslist 'rental' - buy used, enjoy, sell later for minimized losses



TMaG82
Registered: Aug 31, 2012
Total Posts: 607
Country: United States

Nikon_14 wrote:
NickHenderson wrote:
lukeb wrote:
NickHenderson wrote:
Happy with my D600.

Buying 2 cameras and returning the one you like less, that's a pretty dumb way to do things.


I think your comment is pretty crass.


Yeah, perhaps. But you're taking advantage of the retailer and driving prices up for the rest of us who do their research beforehand, or borrow a camera from a friend, or rent one etc.


+1. It's called E-T-H-I-C-S, i.e., doing the right thing even if you can get away with doing the wrong thing.


There are two sides to this. While we don't know the full extent of the situation (how many actuations, the condition, etc) he's not doing anything that isn't in the rights of the consumer. If the return policy allows him to return it in 60 days (sounds like Costco?) then it's within his right. He had intentions to keep the D600 but it didn't satisfy him. His intentions were good.

If the situation was like some and someone bought something knowing that they would return it, like buying the camera to use on vacation or for an event knowing they would return it afterwards then that's something else.

But the OP is trying to end up with a camera that he is satisfied with.



NickHenderson
Registered: Sep 29, 2012
Total Posts: 190
Country: United States

TMaG82 wrote:
But the OP is trying to end up with a camera that he is satisfied with.


You can do that without buying 2 cameras with the intention of returning 1, even when it performs flawlessly.



kevindar
Registered: May 06, 2006
Total Posts: 2509
Country: United States

OP, I appreciate your post. I have been considering a move from canon to Nikon. Regardless of what everyone review says, you have to check for yourself. I bought a d600 from Costco, partly b/c of their liberal return policy. My intend was to keep it and do the switch, if I like it. I purchase about 20K worth of stuff from costco yearly, for that last 10 years, and may have returned 3 or 4 items ever.
Anyways, the sensor has been very nice compared to my 5d3, and I love the customization. the biggest disappointment has been the autofocus, both in acquisition and tracking, in even decent light, but esp in low light. My only other complaint is the greenish tint to the lcd, which I hear unfortunately the d800 shares. however the AF is so much of a downgrade for me compared to 5d3, that I think is a deal breaker, and will likely upgrade to a d800, as I understand it is closer to 5d3 in autofocus. the 5.5 fps in full frame mode is not an issue.



BenV
Registered: Jan 01, 2008
Total Posts: 8160
Country: United States

Do what I do, buy it used from the forums, sell it for the same price you bought it for. Nobody is getting 'scammed' or losing anything.



RRRoger
Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1265
Country: United States

lukeb wrote:
NickHenderson wrote:
Happy with my D600.

Buying 2 cameras and returning the one you like less, that's a pretty dumb way to do things.


I think your comment is pretty crass.
quote<<<

He probably owns a camera store.
The returned item may have to be sold as used.

I was lucky enough to have my D4 and D800 order come in on the same day.
Hands On is very important to me.
I left with the D800 and already had a back up buyer for the D4, I have been very happy with it.

When the D600 arrived, I planned to take it back because it hurts my hands.
My fat fingers get pinched and I often miss the AF-ON (AE-L/AF-L) button
but it fits my wife so we kept it.

24 MegaPixels is more than enough.
The D600 is fast enough for Motor Sports.
I typically shoot at a setting of 3-4 fps and my wife will take double shots at anything faster.
I find the focusing became fast and accurate after I "Dialed it in" and switched from single point to Matrix Metering..

I only shoot Landscapes at 36MP.
For Events, I have the D800 set for Highest Quality Medium size Fine JPEGs.
This yields 20.4 MP and 10-16 MegaByte files.

I personally think the D800 does better in low light although the specs or DXO Mark may say different.
There is little if any difference at 6400 ISO.



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