Saturday, 2 November 2019

Cheap FX for Nikon Shooters

D600, Nikkor 24-50mm f3.3-4.5 AF

Sidewalk Flower 
D700, Series E 100mm f2.8

Today, the D600 and D700 have gotten decidedly cheap on the used market. So if you are looking at them, what are the pro's & cons  of each?


Image Quality. The 24MP Sony sensor is simply better in all regards than the older 12MP sensor. It's also semi-usable in DX mode at 11.5MP
Live View. While neither of these two bodies has a great live view experience, the D600's is more useful
Battery. The D600 uses the newer and larger capacity EN-EL15, if nothing else this battery is future-proof for now as pretty much all the enthusiast bodies from Nikon use it, including the Z6 and Z7.
UI. Most people prefer the model dial to the mode buttons, and The U banks are a lot easier to work with than the dual banks of the pro bodies
Lens compatibility. It can use the 70-300E AF-P, the D700 can't.
SD card slot. Yeah, you can use modern cards in it, not obsolete CF

Ergonomics. The grip is poor and the handling inferior to the 'Pro' style D700. Also there's no AF-On/AE-Lock split, they're a single shared button
Robustness. The D600 is built like a D7100, it's good but not great
AF. None of the bodies with the 39 point unit is known for great AF performance.


Build. It's built almost as well as a D3, being essentially a full frame D300
Speed. With the grip and an EN-EL4 or AA battery set it's an 8fps body, only the D850 can match it for speed in the selection of gripped FX bodies
Accessories. It uses the 10 pin interface that all the higher-end Nikons since the F4 and F90 have used.
Ergonomics. They're simply excellent.
AF. The 51 point AF unit is well known for its excellent performance. Even today it's a great performer.

IQ. The 12MP is simply limited in DR and resolution compared to modern sensors. Even a DX camera today delivers better IQ in most situations.
Live View. The LV experience sucks. It's basically useless except for manual focus on a tripod. The D600 isn't great, but it is better
Lens compatibility. You get E lenses, you don't get any AF-P. That writes off the excellent 70-300E AF-P, Nikon's best value in a telephoto zoom.
Battery & Cards. Uses the long obsolete EN-EL3e and CF cards. Not great unless you're sitting on stock (which admittedly I am, I have 5-6 perfectly good EN-EL3e's and a bunch of decent CF cards)

As to the D610? Well it comes close enough to street price on the D800 that I'd just suggest getting a D800 instead. It's really just a D600 with the shutter fix guaranteed to be included, but any D600 with the shutter oil issue should have had the free fix from Nikon by now.

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