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Nikon D600 vs D7100

The Nikon D600 and the Nikon D7100 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and February 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (D600) and an APS-C (D7100) sensor. The D600 has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels, whereas the D7100 provides 24 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 D7100
Nikon D600 Nikon D7100
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (50 - 25,600) ISO 100-6,400 (50 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.2 LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.5 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
900 shots per battery charge950 shots per battery charge
141 x 113 x 82 mm, 850 g 136 x 107 x 76 mm, 765 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D7100? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D7100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D600 vs Nikon D7100
Compare D600 versus D7100 top
Comparison D600 or D7100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D7100 is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Nikon D600. Moreover, the D7100 is markedly lighter (10 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. A larger imaging sensor (as in the D600) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (D7100). You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 D7100 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Canon 70D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
 
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 D7500 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 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 D7200 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D750 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D3300 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
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 D7000 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499i
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 obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D7100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 43 percent) than the D600, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D600 features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D7100 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D7100 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the D7100 uses a more advanced image processing engine (EXPEED 4) than the D600 (EXPEED 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Nikon D600 and Nikon D7100 sensor measures

With 24.2MP, the D600 offers a slightly higher resolution than the D7100 (24MP), but the D600 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.91μm for the D7100) due to its larger sensor. However, the D7100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the D600, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D7100 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Nikon D600 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 50-25600. The Nikon D7100 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

D600 versus D7100 MP

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"). Of the two cameras under review, the D600 provides substantially higher image quality than the D7100, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.2 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 D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
 
Nikon D780 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p........
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
 
Nikon D5 Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
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 D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D7100 provides a faster frame rate than the D600. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the D600 is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D600 and the D7100 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the D600 has a higher magnification than the one of the D7100 (0.70x vs 0.63x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D600 and Nikon D7100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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 D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 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 D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y 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 D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D750optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 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 D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n

The Nikon D600 and the Nikon D7100 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D600 and the D7100 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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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 D7100 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 D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D780YstereomonoYYmini3.1Y-Y
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon D5YstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D610YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D800YmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D800EYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the D600 and the D7100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D600 was replaced by the Nikon D610, while the D7100 was followed by the Nikon D7200. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D7100? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D600:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.63x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).


Advantages of the Nikon D7100:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (EXPEED 4 vs EXPEED 3).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (43 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D7100 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 5 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 05:08 D7100

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D7100 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D600 or the D7100 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
 
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 D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 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 D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D750+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
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 D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 D7100:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 D7100

    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 D7100
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 February 2013
    Launch Price USD 2,099 USD 1,199
    Sensor Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D7100
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24.2 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6016 x 4016 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.97 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 2.80 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 25,600 ISO 50 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 3 EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 94 83
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1 24.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.2 13.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2980 1256
    Screen Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D7100
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D7100
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5.5 shutter flaps/s 6 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 SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D7100
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D7100
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15 EN-EL15
    Battery Life (CIPA)900 shots per charge950 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 141 x 113 x 82 mm
    (5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 in)
    136 x 107 x 76 mm
    (5.4 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 850 g (30.0 oz) 765 g (27.0 oz)

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