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Nikon D600 Comparison Review

The Nikon D600 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was revealed to the public in September 2012 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 24.2 megapixel.

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Is the Nikon D600 a good camera? The D600 has a Camera Elo of 1974. This rating puts the D600 among the top 40 percent of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the D600 ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D600
Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses
24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6400 (50-25600)
Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
900 shots per battery charge
141 x 113 x 82 mm, 850 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Nikon D600 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon D600 vs credit card front
D600 versus credit card top view
D600 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon D600 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D600 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Nikon D850« » 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
 
Nikon D750« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
 
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon D600 was launched in the US market at a price of $2,099. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Nikon D600:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Nikon D600 features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon D600 among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Nikon D600 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D600 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
 
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100Nikon D850
 
Nikon D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5
 
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
 
Nikon D750« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683Nikon D7100
 
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996Nikon D800E

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D600 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the D600 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D600 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.70x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Nikon D600 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D600optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n Nikon D850
 
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n Nikon D5
 
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Nikon D500
 
Nikon D750« »optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7100
 
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800E

One convenient feature of the D600 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D600 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D600YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
 
Nikon D850« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D850
 
Nikon D5« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5
 
Nikon D500« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
 
Nikon D750« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D7100
 
Nikon Df« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D800« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800E

It is notable that the D600 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

 

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D600. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D600+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Canon 6D« »+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Nikon D850« »+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Nikon D500« »+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
 
Nikon D750« »+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
 
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D800« »+ +82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D600 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the D600.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the D600?

The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Nikon equipped the D600 with the EXPEED 3 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the D600?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 50-25600.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon D600?

Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 150 000 actuations for the D600. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the D600 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 150 pictures each and every day.

How do I find the shutter count on my Nikon D600?

Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your D600 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Nikon D600 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Does the Nikon D600 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The D600's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Does the Nikon D600 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the D600 use?

The camera gets its power from the EN-EL15 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the D600?

Yes, Nikon offers the MB-D14 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Nikon D600
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012
    Launch Price USD 2099
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6016 x 4016 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.97 μm
    Pixel Density 2.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-25600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 94
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2980
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)900 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 141 x 113 x 82 mm
    (5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 850 g (30.0 oz)

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