So, who’s going to say it first? No matter how happy you might be with your ‘APS-C’ format D-SLR, it’s fair bet you’ve secretly been yearning for a return to the 35mm image size. C’mon, be honest now. Of course, many working photographers happily kissed good-bye to all that mucking around with focal length magnification factors ages ago, courtesy of Nikon’s D3-series and the D70 or Canon’s EOS-1Ds models and, most popularly, the EOS 5D family. A few canny souls latched onto the bargain of the century that was Sony’s A900 and, frankly, once you’re back in the 35mm fold, you never look back.
And now, virtually overnight, there are three new D-SLRs with 35mm-sized sensors selling for under $3000. In fact, Nikon’s D600 and its Canon rival, the EOS 6D, are selling at under $2500… and what’s the betting they’ll sneak under $2000 once the initial rush of buyers dies down? Is this the beginning of the end for ‘APS-C’? Well, it’s not quite that straightforward because if you’ve invested a bit in good quality ‘APS-C’ format lenses – and bear in mind this was Nikon’s emphasis for a long time – then you probably won’t want to dump them at a loss. This perhaps is more of a consideration for amateurs, but even if you elect to simply re-equip with a couple of the ‘staples’ for starters – say a 24-70mm f2.8 and a 70-200mm f2.8 – you’re still looking at a reasonable outlay. And yet there is so much going for the bigger sensor, in the end it’s going to be hard to resist.
Nikon has been careful to make sure the D600 isn’t a junior D800, but it still brings a high level of features and specifications to a lower price point. We heralded the D800 as the best value D-SLR on the market, but the D600 is giving it a serious run here even if it lacks the superlative performance edge of its big brother.
Nikon really doesn’t pull many punches with the D600. It obviously doesn’t have the same ultra high-res sensor as the D800 and it uses mostly earlier generation control systems, but in terms of the total package it’s arguably equally appealing. In fact, for some users the D800 may well be too much camera, especially in terms of the bigger file sizes its generates and the extra demands these subsequently place all the way along the workflow. The leaner D600 may well be a better fit for some applications.
Thank-you for looking up our review of the Nikon D600 Review. This equipment review is currently available only as a low-resolution pdf version of the original magazine pages originally printed in the September 2012 issue of Prophoto magazine.
You can download it here: Nikon D 600 Review.pdf