Following Nikon’s launch of the first ‘affordable’ FX camera, I thought I’d give a round up of who is saying what about it.
The Nikon D600 is undeniably going to be cool. Effectively a Nikon D800 (currently £2345) in a Nikon D7000 (currently £719) body, this is a FX camera aimed at the enthusiast market. Who doesn’t want a full frame camera now a days? Sony have decided you want it in a compact, Nikon have decided to give enthusiasts a chance to play too. Whilst a camera at this price point still means a lot of overtime or sacrificing a lot of kit in part exchange, Nikon have started a ball rolling for affordable high end quality. This doesn’t come without a catch.
Strobist author David Hobby has said;
“The first thing, and given recent history something not unexpected, is the lack of a sync jack. I was pissed off surprised when the D7000 didn’t include it. But a full-frame body without a sync jack? That’s just a little weird.
It has a 1/200th sync. Game over. […] True, it is only a third of a stop as compared to 1/250th. But with speedlights and daylight, that is a critical third of a stop. To be clear, this camera makes every single flash you own less effective.
Also, the difference between 1/250th and 1/200th sync is deadly when it comes to stopping action when balancing flash and ambient. 1/250th is dicey enough. 1/200th just doesn’t work.”
So no flash sync port, just like the D7000 and other ENTHUSIAST range cameras. Is this such a huge surprise? Not really. This is NOT a D800, the D600 is firmly rooted in the enthusiast range which is why there is a price difference between the two cameras. If Nikon had put full pro features in a body that’s nearly £500 cheaper than it’s least expensive pro offering then D800 owners would feel cheated. It’s just good business. More over, it makes sense. Nikon aren’t out to alienate their professional users but rather give enthusiasts the chance to up the quality of their images through increased sensor size, not a daunting full professional set up.
Using Snapsort to compare the D600 and the D800 you’ll get an idea of the differences.
Even on Nikon’s website the D600 is filed away under ‘Consumer’. This is where the camera is aimed, this isn’t a cheap pro DSLR, this is an absolutely fantastic enthusiasts camera.
Over on PetaPixel they finish their preview with;
“Still, it’s exciting that one of the trends we’re seeing this year is an emphasis on sensor sizes rather than megapixels. Hopefully one day in the near future we will be writing about a $1,500 entry-level full-frame DSLR. Too bad it wasn’t today.”
Gizmodo UK went with the headline;
“Nikon D600: A Professional Camera This Awesome Cannot Possibly Be This Cheap”
There’s a million other tech blogs out there with their own little summarisation of the camera, just Google Nikon D600 and take your pick. The common feeling is either ‘It’s really quite cheap for what you get’ or ‘It’s too expensive for what you loose out on’.
So what do I think? I think Nikon have made the first move, it’s big, it’s bold and it’ll have repercussions around the industry. The main thing to remember is this is about image quality. If you want the highest image quality possible then you put your hand in your pocket and get the best you can. The D600 is the first in a new generation, eventually this could lead to a D3200 with a FX sensor going for £500, it is a possibility. You will, however, still be stuck with a tiny body designed to be simple. There is a reason the D300s is still in the ‘Professional’ category despite it’s DX sensor. FX sensors are not professional, they’re just big.
The D600 is set to be a fantastic camera to use, offering the best in consumer image quality. When I get my hands on one I’ll make sure to post a review that explains the differences better, and in less words.