Nikon D600 / 24-85mm Kit Review
The Nikon D600 / 24-85mm Kit is a 'budget' full-frame DSLR aimed at enthusiasts upgrading from mid-range models or pros looking for an affordable backup for a higher-end body.
The D600 features a new 39-point AF system that's compatible with lenses down to f8, a built-in AF motor which will drive older non AF-S lenses, 5.5fps continuous shooting, an expanded sensitivity range of 50-25600 ISO, Nikon's 2016 pixel metering sensor and a built-in flash. The movie mode offers 1080p at 24, 25 and 30p, or 720p at 25, 30, 50 or 60p. Impressively there's also the mic input, headphone jack, DX-crop mode and uncompressed HDMI output of the D800, albeit not the silent aperture controls. The Nikon D600 also works with the WU-1b wireless adapter which allows remote control with compatible Android and iOS devices.
The D600 with 24-85mm Kit looks and feels like a solid semi-pro DSLR. It measures 141 x 113 x 82mm and weighs 850g with the battery and cards fitted. The 24-85mm kit lens attached the camera feels nicely balanced and a very comfortable fit.
The Nikon D600 looks very much like the Nikon D7000, with some minor updates to bring it in line with contemporary Nikon cameras. It has the combination of a shooting/drive mode dial on the top plate, with a locking mechanism to prevent accidental changes. It has a back face that is almost identical to the D800, save for the missing metering mode switch, and a slightly reorganized collection of buttons on the left side of the rear LCD.
The body design sits comfortably between the professional-level control of a Nikon D800 and the consumer-oriented usability of a Nikon D7000. The shooting mode dial includes custom settings and a full suite of PASM priority modes, but it also includes scene modes and automatic settings. The rear control panel features the upgraded live view/video switch from the D800, as well as a dedicated creative mode button that brings you right to the Nikon’s picture control settings.
Everything on the D600 is designed to aid a professional or enthusiast photographer, while not putting the camera beyond the capabilities of most novices. The design is right in line with Nikons in the last few years: front and rear control dials, a four-way directional pad for menu navigation, and menus with long lists of options rather than organized tabs.
The D600’s 24.3-megapixel full-frame image sensor bears a striking resemblance to the 24.3-megapixel full-frame image sensors found in Sony’s recently announced cameras. Nikon has likely made some modifications, pairing the sensor with a 39-point autofocus system that we found responsive and accurate. It’s a different AF module than the 51-point AF system on the D800, and it was noticeably quicker with the D600’s 24-85mm VR kit lens.
The Nikon D 600’s viewfinder offers 100% coverage and a magnification of approximately 0.7x. It is quite fast, with shot-to-shot speeds ranging all the way up to 5.5 frames per second. The D600 also has a headphone and mic ports.
In general the Nikon D600 / 24-85mm Kit’s features compare favorably to the D800, with Nikon culling only in a few minor places. The D600 has the advantage of being smaller, lighter, and faster, lacking only the D800’s expansive 36.3-megapixel resolution, SuperSpeed USB port, Compact Flash slot, and advanced bracketing features. For a professional those may matter, but for most shooters the losses are quite minimal.
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