D600 vs 5D Mark II...what's your take?
/forum/topic/1176623/0

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dholl
Registered: May 04, 2008
Total Posts: 75
Country: Germany

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.
- timelapse.
- HDR.
- 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.


Frohes Fest



jmcfadden
Registered: Oct 30, 2002
Total Posts: 30235
Country: United States

Written and thought about like a true Canon shooter lol WOW

Merry Christmas


J



PeaktoPeek
Registered: Dec 20, 2005
Total Posts: 1870
Country: United States

For me it was worth it for just the DR and AF alone. I haven't seen any problems with skin tones or nose and I was a long time 5D user. Getting the best out of the RAW files takes less work for me, because the cameras output is already so much better- and I don't even have the newest version of LR. I am also missing out on the dust/oil problem so far as well. It's the best camera I've owned.



SSISteve
Registered: Jul 19, 2005
Total Posts: 1886
Country: United States

That is one long read.



dholl
Registered: May 04, 2008
Total Posts: 75
Country: Germany

jmcfadden wrote:
Written and thought about like a true Canon shooter lol WOW


What does that mean? I'm neutral to brands and systems myself.


SSISteve wrote:
That is one long read.


Yes, haha tho' this kind of detailed analysis has helped me choose the right camera every time: before the 5DII it was the GH1, before that the 1DI, before that the E-410, and before that the A-630 (so yeah, dominated by Canons after all).

The 5DII has had 18 months of continuous use now, its full-frame qualities for photo & video mean I'm staying with that kind of sensor



dholl
Registered: May 04, 2008
Total Posts: 75
Country: Germany

PeaktoPeek wrote:
For me it was worth it for just the DR and AF alone. I haven't seen any problems with skin tones or nose and I was a long time 5D user. Getting the best out of the RAW files takes less work for me, because the cameras output is already so much better- and I don't even have the newest version of LR. I am also missing out on the dust/oil problem so far as well. It's the best camera I've owned.



Thanks for the feedback, mate. Lightroom might be the key...I did try a demo version but didn't quite get the hang of it...will try again at some point.

What is your D600's serial number? Just the first 2 or 3 numbers will do.



PeaktoPeek
Registered: Dec 20, 2005
Total Posts: 1870
Country: United States

Mine is in the 305 ish range if I remember correctly. I can't even run the newest version of LR, since my Mac is due to be replaced this year, however, the DNG converter works fine and I can use those in ACR.



jmcfadden
Registered: Oct 30, 2002
Total Posts: 30235
Country: United States

dholl wrote:
jmcfadden wrote:
Written and thought about like a true Canon shooter lol WOW


What does that mean? I'm neutral to brands and systems myself.


SSISteve wrote:
That is one long read.


Yes, haha tho' this kind of detailed analysis has helped me choose the right camera every time: before the 5DII it was the GH1, before that the 1DI, before that the E-410, and before that the A-630 (so yeah, dominated by Canons after all).

The 5DII has had 18 months of continuous use now, its full-frame qualities for photo & video mean I'm staying with that kind of sensor


Generally speaking.............. Having been around this forum for over a decade now it is easy to profile a user and their gear by the type of questions they bring to the forum and how they approach their gear , and their life. Canon is the gear of choice for a type of person that asks the exact questions in the way you posed it

No offense meant, web communication being what it is that perhaps was lost in translation


J



phamtasm
Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Total Posts: 105
Country: United States

If youre not heavily invested in one company's lenses or accessories. I think you should give it a shot and buy one. Or rent it first. Otherwise down the road, you will always be wondering if that other camera you didn't try out was a better choice for you.

You seem knowledgable about what you need and want. All this thinking and analyzing will only dig into your enjoyment time (unless you like looking at the numbers and analyzing camera differences).



dholl
Registered: May 04, 2008
Total Posts: 75
Country: Germany

PeaktoPeek wrote:
Mine is in the 305 ish range if I remember correctly. I can't even run the newest version of LR, since my Mac is due to be replaced this year, however, the DNG converter works fine and I can use those in ACR.


What's ACR?

I'm likely gonna visit MediaMarkt this week, so will see what serial numbers they've got, and see if I can do a f22 test on the display model.



jmcfadden wrote:
Generally speaking.............. Having been around this forum for over a decade now it is easy to profile a user and their gear by the type of questions they bring to the forum and how they approach their gear , and their life. Canon is the gear of choice for a type of person that asks the exact questions in the way you posed it


I'm not convinced, as you could just as easily call me a Nikon guy due to using their lenses most of the time. Or you could call me an Olympus shooter as their lowly E-410 gave me the bug, and its excellent JPG engine set standards I still haven't seen matched (at low ISO's anyway).

I'm intruiged, tho'...which points made you profile me as a Canon shooter? Was it this one?

dholl wrote:
I've been umming-n-arring over replacing my trusted 5DII





phamtasm wrote:
If youre not heavily invested in one company's lenses or accessories. I think you should give it a shot and buy one. Or rent it first. Otherwise down the road, you will always be wondering if that other camera you didn't try out was a better choice for you.

You seem knowledgable about what you need and want. All this thinking and analyzing will only dig into your enjoyment time (unless you like looking at the numbers and analyzing camera differences).


I confess, I do enjoy poring over specs and fine-picking the features I like. I'm a gearhead, granted, but I do use the gear I've got. Renting seems a waste of money personally, I prefer to analyse the feature-sets of cameras...it's done right by me so far And to be honest I do have that urge to try a new main camera. If the D600 isn't much cop after all, then again it's almost a straight swap back to the 5DII.

Regarding equipment, I'm a bit of a hoarder, I collect MF lenses, and generally like buying up older cameras that cost a fortune years ago for cheaps on Fleabay...I got old, battered, bruised but still working cameras like the D1X and 1DII...they are still excellent, I only use them a few day outs a year so they've never been my main workhorse...but they're very fun to use, and it also means any accessories and lenses I've got left over will have a use. Once the D2X reduces even more in value, it'll replace my D1X just like my 1DII replaced my olde 1DI

Gearhead...guilty as charged, haha


But there's only room for one main camera, and it has to be full-frame with 1080p video, cost about 1500 and ideally have a 100% viewfinder. D600 will very likely be the one...my Nikkors will probably be happy



RRRoger
Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1238
Country: United States

Renting and trying out a new camera may be great for deciding if you like the handling and controls,
but you can do that at the Store counter.
If possible you should put the 5D2, 5D3, D600, and D800 on that counter.

It usually takes a long time to learn a new camera let alone a new system.
So don't sell it short on the first images you take.
Not so for me with the D1-4, but every other camera I've had took a while including the 5D2, D600, and D800.



dholl
Registered: May 04, 2008
Total Posts: 75
Country: Germany

RRRoger wrote:
Renting and trying out a new camera may be great for deciding if you like the handling and controls,
but you can do that at the Store counter.
If possible you should put the 5D2, 5D3, D600, and D800 on that counter.

It usually takes a long time to learn a new camera let alone a new system.
So don't sell it short on the first images you take.
Not so for me with the D1-4, but every other camera I've had took a while including the 5D2, and D800.



Aye...I've used Nikons before: D1X, D200, D50...I do subjectively prefer Canon's handling, especially since introducing the joystick as partner to that big perfect jogwheel. Handling is very important, but I can get used to almost any camera, so it's not a dealbreaker.

My bigger concern is whether I'll be able to profile the D600's output to match (or even better) the out-of-cam output of the 5DII. If I can do that, then I've got the bonus of superior RAW's plus all those great extra features too.



Dustin Gent
Registered: Apr 04, 2005
Total Posts: 4496
Country: United States

The DR of the D600 should be better, as it is a much newer body. I believe you can change how you control the settings.. ie; ISO or aperture to most any button/dial via menu controls..

I shot with Canon since I started in photography. New, I bought the 20D and 30D. Then went with the 40D and finally 1Ds. I finally switched and now shoot with the D700. I honestly forgot about the control dial on the back. Nikon has a great layout on their bodies. I use MLU quite a bit, and instead of being buried in CF (custom function) 12 (or whatever), it is right on the wheel. Same with Live VIew.

It is a tool after all, and whatever makes you do your job easier and more efficient is always a plus



phamtasm
Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Total Posts: 105
Country: United States

dholl wrote:...

I confess, I do enjoy poring over specs and fine-picking the features I like. I'm a gearhead, granted, but I do use the gear I've got. Renting seems a waste of money personally, I prefer to analyse the feature-sets of cameras...it's done right by me so far And to be honest I do have that urge to try a new main camera. If the D600 isn't much cop after all, then again it's almost a straight swap back to the 5DII.

Regarding equipment, I'm a bit of a hoarder, I collect MF lenses, and generally like buying up older cameras that cost a fortune years ago for cheaps on Fleabay...I got old, battered, bruised but still working cameras like the D1X and 1DII...they are still excellent, I only use them a few day outs a year so they've never been my main workhorse...but they're very fun to use, and it also means any accessories and lenses I've got left over will have a use. Once the D2X reduces even more in value, it'll replace my D1X just like my 1DII replaced my olde 1DI

Gearhead...guilty as charged, haha ...


It is the curse of the gearhead ...I'm the same way... I saw a deal on the 6D recently and went for it. But before I did, I was pouring over numbers, reviews, and specs. But I was glad I got to hold it and tried it out in the store.

I was debating on the D600 too (and switching to Nikon), but when I tried it in the store I was shocked how dim the viewfinder was. I think it's about 2 stops lower in brightness. Also the AF points were so cramped in the center, it was not that useable for me. Good luck on your search though, let us know what you finally decided on.



dholl
Registered: May 04, 2008
Total Posts: 75
Country: Germany

Dustin Gent wrote:
I use MLU quite a bit, and instead of being buried in CF (custom function) 12 (or whatever), it is right on the wheel. Same with Live VIew.


What does MLU mean?


phamtasm wrote:
I was debating on the D600 too (and switching to Nikon), but when I tried it in the store I was shocked how dim the viewfinder was. I think it's about 2 stops lower in brightness.


Oh dear! Really? Wow. I did mention that I heard something like this, but 2 stops is massive

Hmm...as a manual shooter this may be a deal-breaker more than having 100% view. When I handle the cam in the store I'll definitely make a point of checking that out. Should find some darkish corner and see how it is.

I would be really surprised if the D600's viewfinder is significantly darker than the 4-year old Canon. I wonder if the D800 is also that dark. A friend came round the other day with his D700, I didn't think to check through it at the time.

Is it poor design or what is the reason for why Nikon's D600 viewfinder is that much darker?


How do you like the 6D? In terms of my analysis in the first post, would the 6D be a good match after all? Really, now that I think about it, I'd prefer a bright 98% view to a dark 100% view.

Thanks for putting a spanner in the works, haha Well, I did ask for different perspectives, so I'm all ears for anyone's input If others say it's only slightly darker, then it will be very interesting to see for myself...maybe these things are also subjective. Maybe the slow kit lens also had something to do with it?



PeaktoPeek
Registered: Dec 20, 2005
Total Posts: 1870
Country: United States

ACR= adobe camera raw - sorry for the jargon. Also MLU= mirror lock up- used to keep vibrations from mirror slap from effecting image quality. I don't get the assumption that you are a Canon guy either and I was a Canon guy for over 10 years.



phamtasm
Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Total Posts: 105
Country: United States

dholl wrote:

Oh dear! Really? Wow. I did mention that I heard something like this, but 2 stops is massive

Is it poor design or what is the reason for why Nikon's D600 viewfinder is that much darker?


How do you like the 6D? In terms of my analysis in the first post, would the 6D be a good match after all? Really, now that I think about it, I'd prefer a bright 98% view to a dark 100% view.

Thanks for putting a spanner in the works, haha Well, I did ask for different perspectives, so I'm all ears for anyone's input If others say it's only slightly darker, then it will be very interesting to see for myself...maybe these things are also subjective. Maybe the slow kit lens also had something to do with it?


I don't think its poor design, maybe it's like that to get the AF points to be at a level of sensitivity thats accurate enough. I'm pretty sensitive to light brightness so my experience may not be the same as yours. I tried both the 6D and D600 at the same store and time. The 6D was definitely brighter (similar to my 5D2). We also tried different lenses just in case.

I immediate first impression of the D600 was how dark it seemed (it felt claustrophobic to me - its like watching a movie with only half-brightness turned on). But definitely look into that before you purchase. It may be fine for some people.



RRRoger
Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1238
Country: United States

Never noticed the viewfinder being too dark on any camera.

I like the 5D2 more than any other Canon (I have not held a 5D3 or 1Dx)
However, I personally like everything about the D600 over the 5D2
even though both have to small buttons, in wrong spots for my big hands.
The most comfortable camera for me is the D800.

I do have a complaint about the new Nikon 3.2 inch LCD
The brightness of the monitor is adjustable.
But now that Nikon is going larger,
I hope they increase the resolution next time they "upgrade".



dholl
Registered: May 04, 2008
Total Posts: 75
Country: Germany

PeaktoPeek wrote:
ACR= adobe camera raw - sorry for the jargon. Also MLU= mirror lock up- used to keep vibrations from mirror slap from effecting image quality. I don't get the assumption that you are a Canon guy either and I was a Canon guy for over 10 years.


Ah right, cheers. Yeah, I know those things, just don't think I ever saw them abbreviated online before. I remember when I first started reading online photography forums a few years ago, wondering why everyone kept going on about "pp'ing" their work. Took me ages to figure that one out, haha


phamtasm wrote:I tried both the 6D and D600 at the same store and time. The 6D was definitely brighter (similar to my 5D2). We also tried different lenses just in case.

I immediate first impression of the D600 was how dark it seemed (it felt claustrophobic to me - its like watching a movie with only half-brightness turned on). But definitely look into that before you purchase.


Funnily enough, I find (subjectively again, haven't measured it) the viewfinder in my 1DII brighter and bigger than my full-frame 5DII. I find it easier to manual focus as a result. If the D600 is significantly darker and smaller than the 5DII then I'll have to re-think everything (again, haha).

Maybe I should accept the inevitable and realise my perfect camera is actually the 1DX or D4...time to start saving those pennies...


RRRoger wrote:
The brightness of the monitor is adjustable.

Now that Nikon is going larger,
I hope they increase the resolution next time they "upgrade".


Sorry, Roger...I don't quite follow you.

EDIT: I think I follow you now: you mean the LCD monitor and the pixellation issue? Yes, I agree...the next model really shouldn't have this problem.



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5208
Country: United States

I read that it's a bit darker than standard 5D2 screen which makes the D600 a bit easier for MF glass. It's somewhere between the standard 5D2 screen and the EGS (high precision screen for 5D2). The EGS being VERY dark and also very helpful for MF glass. I had EGS installed in my 5D2, so D600 seems brighter...

phamtasm wrote:
dholl wrote:

Oh dear! Really? Wow. I did mention that I heard something like this, but 2 stops is massive

Is it poor design or what is the reason for why Nikon's D600 viewfinder is that much darker?


How do you like the 6D? In terms of my analysis in the first post, would the 6D be a good match after all? Really, now that I think about it, I'd prefer a bright 98% view to a dark 100% view.

Thanks for putting a spanner in the works, haha Well, I did ask for different perspectives, so I'm all ears for anyone's input If others say it's only slightly darker, then it will be very interesting to see for myself...maybe these things are also subjective. Maybe the slow kit lens also had something to do with it?


I don't think its poor design, maybe it's like that to get the AF points to be at a level of sensitivity thats accurate enough. I'm pretty sensitive to light brightness so my experience may not be the same as yours. I tried both the 6D and D600 at the same store and time. The 6D was definitely brighter (similar to my 5D2). We also tried different lenses just in case.

I immediate first impression of the D600 was how dark it seemed (it felt claustrophobic to me - its like watching a movie with only half-brightness turned on). But definitely look into that before you purchase. It may be fine for some people.



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