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Nikon D600 vs D700

The Nikon D600 and the Nikon D700 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and July 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The D600 has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels, whereas the D700 provides 12.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D600 versus Nikon D700
Nikon D600 Nikon D700
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor 12.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (50 - 25,600) ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.5 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
900 shots per battery charge1000 shots per battery charge
141 x 113 x 82 mm, 850 g 147 x 123 x 77 mm, 1074 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D700? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D700 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D600 vs Nikon D700
Compare D600 versus D700 top
Comparison D600 or D700 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D700 is notably larger (13 percent) than the Nikon D600. Moreover, the D700 is markedly heavier (26 percent) than the D600. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D600 gets 900 shots out of its EN-EL15 battery, while the D700 can take 1000 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D600 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D700 5.8 in 4.8 in 3.0 in 37.9 oz 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999i
 
Canon 6D 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D780 5.7 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 29.6 oz 2260 Y Jan 2020 2,299 i
 
Nikon D5 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499i
 
Nikon D500 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D750 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D810 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Nikon D7100 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon Df 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Nikon D610 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D800 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999i
 
Nikon D800E 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299i
 
Nikon D3S 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199i
 
Nikon D3 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 45.9 oz 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D600 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the D700, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of chip-set technology, the D600 uses a more advanced image processing engine (EXPEED 3) than the D700 (EXPEED), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Nikon D600 and Nikon D700 sensor measures

With 24.2MP, the D600 offers a higher resolution than the D700 (12.1MP), but the D600 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 8.43μm for the D700). However, the D600 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 2 months) than the D700, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D600 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D600 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D700 are 21.3 x 14.2 inches or 54.1 x 36 cm for good quality, 17 x 11.3 inches or 43.2 x 28.8 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.4 inches or 36 x 24 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D600 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 50-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D700 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

D600 versus D700 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the D600 provides substantially higher image quality than the D700, with an overall score that is 14 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.6 bits higher color depth, 2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon D600 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
 
Nikon D780 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p........
 
Nikon D5 Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
 
Nikon D810 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
 
Nikon D610 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594
 
Nikon D800 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
 
Nikon D800E Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996
 
Nikon D3S Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382
 
Nikon D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2229081

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D600 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D700 does not. 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 range of features. The D600 and the D700 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the D600 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D700 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the D700 has a higher magnification (0.72x vs 0.70x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D600 and Nikon D700 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Nikon D600optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n
 
Nikon D700optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Canon 6Doptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n
 
Nikon D780optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n n
 
Nikon D5optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Nikon D750optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D810optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n
 
Nikon D610optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D800optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n
 
Nikon D800Eoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3Soptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n

The Nikon D600 and the Nikon D700 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D600 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D700 uses Compact Flash cards. The D600 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D700 only has one slot.

Connectivity 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 Nikon D700 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon D600YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D700Y----mini2.0---
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D780YstereomonoYYmini3.1Y-Y
 
Nikon D5YstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D810YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D610YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D800YmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D800EYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D3SYstereo---mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3Y----mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D700 (unlike the D600) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D600 and the D700 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D700 was replaced by the Nikon D800, while the D600 was followed by the Nikon D610. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon D600 better than the Nikon D700 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D600:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.2 vs 12.1MP) with a 41% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (EXPEED 3 vs EXPEED).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • More compact: Is smaller (141x113mm vs 147x123mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 224g or 21 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D700 launch.


Advantages of the Nikon D700:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.72x vs 0.70x).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1000 versus 900) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D600 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D600 13:06 D700

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D700 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D600 or the D700. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D600+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D70089/100+ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999i
 
Canon 6D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D780..87/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2020 2,299 i
 
Nikon D5..89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499i
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D750+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D810..86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon Df..81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Nikon D610+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D800+ +82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999i
 
Nikon D800E..84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299i
 
Nikon D3S..89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199i
 
Nikon D3..+ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D600:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D700:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Nikon D600 vs Nikon D700

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D600 Nikon D700
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 July 2008
    Launch Price USD 2,099 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D700
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm 36.0 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 860.4 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24.2 Megapixels 12.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6016 x 4016 pixels 4256 x 2832 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.97 μm 8.43 μm
    Pixel Density 2.80 MP/cm2 1.40 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 3 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 94 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1 23.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.2 12.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2980 2303
    Screen Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D700
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.72x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D700
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5.5 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D700
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D700
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15 EN-EL3e
    Battery Life (CIPA)900 shots per charge1000 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 141 x 113 x 82 mm
    (5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 in)
    147 x 123 x 77 mm
    (5.8 x 4.8 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 850 g (30.0 oz) 1074 g (37.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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