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Nikon D600 vs D810

The Nikon D600 and the Nikon D810 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and June 2014. 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 D810 provides 36.2 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 D810
Nikon D600 Nikon D810
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor 36.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (50 - 25,600) ISO 64-12,800 (32 - 51,200)
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 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
900 shots per battery charge1200 shots per battery charge
141 x 113 x 82 mm, 850 g 146 x 123 x 82 mm, 980 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D810? 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 D810 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 D810
Compare D600 versus D810 top
Comparison D600 or D810 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D810 is notably larger (13 percent) than the Nikon D600. Moreover, the D810 is markedly heavier (15 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.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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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 D810 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Canon 5DS 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
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 D850 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 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 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
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 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 36 percent) than the D810, 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the D810 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 D810 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the D810 offers a higher resolution of 36.2 megapixels, compared with 24.2 MP of the D600. This megapixels advantage translates into a 22 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the D810 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 5.97μm for the D600). However, it should be noted that the D810 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the D600, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D810 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D810 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D810 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 36.8 x 24.6 inches or 93.5 x 62.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 29.4 x 19.6 inches or 74.8 x 49.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 24.5 x 16.4 inches or 62.3 x 41.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D600 are 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm for good quality, 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm for very good quality, and 20.1 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 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 D810 are ISO 64 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 32-51200.

D600 versus D810 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 D810 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
 
Canon 5DS Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
 
Nikon D780 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p........
 
Nikon D850 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
 
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 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

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the D810 provides a faster frame rate than the D600. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the D600 is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D600 and the D810 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%), as well as the same magnification (0.70x). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D600 and Nikon D810 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 D810optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 5DSoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n 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 D850optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 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 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

The Nikon D600 and the Nikon D810 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 D810 uses Compact Flash or 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.

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 D810 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 D810YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Canon 5DSYmonomonoY-mini3.0---
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D780YstereomonoYYmini3.1Y-Y
 
Nikon D850YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D5YstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D610YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D800YmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D800EYmonomonoYYmini3.0---

It is notable that the D810 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D600 does not provide wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D810 (unlike the D600) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D600 and the D810 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D600 was replaced by the Nikon D610, while the D810 was followed by the Nikon D850. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D810? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Nikon D600:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More compact: Is smaller (141x113mm vs 146x123mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 130g or 13 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D810:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (36.2 vs 24.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • 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.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 900) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 9 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D810 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 05:13 D810

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D600 and the Nikon D810 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D600 or the D810. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

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 D810..86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Canon 5DS+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
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 D850+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 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 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
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D600:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D810:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~

    Specifications: Nikon D600 vs Nikon D810

    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 D810
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 June 2014
    Launch Price USD 2,099 USD 3,299
    Sensor Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D810
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24.2 Megapixels 36.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6016 x 4016 pixels 7360 x 4912 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.97 μm 4.88 μm
    Pixel Density 2.80 MP/cm2 4.20 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 64 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 25,600 ISO 32 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 3 EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 94 97
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1 25.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.2 14.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2980 2853
    Screen Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D810
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.70x
    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 D810
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D810
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D600 Nikon D810
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15 EN-EL15
    Battery Life (CIPA)900 shots per charge1200 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 141 x 113 x 82 mm
    (5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 in)
    146 x 123 x 82 mm
    (5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 850 g (30.0 oz) 980 g (34.6 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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