Why You Need the Nikon D600… And Why You Don’t

 

Why you need the D600

 

If you own or like the D7000, you will like the D600. My general observation (shared with many others) is that the D600 brings the D7000 in an FX package. What’s not to love? The D7000 in its own right has everything going for it… The features you need an love at a low price. Cost, of course, is relative. The D3100 is one of the best deals on the market right now and, with lens, is less than half the price of a D7000 body, and less than a quarter of the price of a D600. But that D3100 is amateur stuff. Which would you rather have on your arm, a limited DX camera from a few years ago or the latest ‘you CAN have everything’ body. With 24 megapixels packed on a state of the art FX sensor, the D600 is going to deliver in bright light, medium light, and low light.

 

5.5 fps isn’t D4 speed, but it’s faster than the D800. Critics will say that frames per second doesn’t matter, and that it only takes a single shot if you anticipate the action. Bullshit. If photographers could anticipate the action, they wouldn’t need to go to the event… As everyone could just ‘anticipate’ the outcome and not bother with the action. Be smart about what you’re shooting… And be ready for anything. 5.5fps will have you equipped for the unexpected turn of events that leads to that WOW shot.

 

Critics will say that the flash sync speed of the D600 is a little weak. No doubt, there are some subtleties in working with daylight fill and killing ambient light in a controlled setting where that can be a factor. Those situations don’t occur everyday for most photographers. For those that would be affected, they may wish to look at the D800 or enjoy the 1/500th flash sync of the ancient D50 and D70.

 

From the D7000, the D600 inherits the U1 and U2 selector which allows you to change the personality of your camera in an instant. Unlike the cumbersome shooting banks of the more expensive cameras, U1 and U2 are more than enough to change everything on the fly for uninterrupted shooting.

 

The real reason that you need the D600 is that it gets you into the FX market at a 2k price point in a camera every bit as capable as the D7000. Frankly, it’s hard to improve on the D7000, but an FX sensor definitely raises the capabilities. Add great low light performance and stellar wide angle options to a user-friendly package in a lightweight and ergonomic Nikon body. You can’t go wrong with the D600.

 

Why you don’t need the D600

 

You love photography. You have a great setup today, but you always keep your eyes on the latest and greatest. It’s all part of your lifestyle – you have carefully selected the right body and lenses, you have a great camera bag, and regardless of the situation, you’re able to adapt and produce pleasing results. During the rare moments when you don’t have a camera with you, you’re still composing, checking the angles, and planning to return with your camera.

 

You appreciate the benefits of a full frame sensor and maybe you shoot with a D700 today. If you have a cropped-sensor camera, you’ve kept an eye on the trends and price points of full-frame cameras, wondering when the price will come down to be competitive with all offerings.

 

Recently, I purchased a D800 as a companion to my long-faithful D300s (and my gaggle of other random Nikon DSLRs). Despite the inconvenience of having more DX lenses than FX lenses, the D800 has proven its worth from the start. Shooting mostly with two primes, the 24mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.8, I have produced the results that I am accustomed to. As usual, the strength of my photos depends on my creative eye, my ability to adapt my camera settings, and most importantly… being there to get the shot.

 

I would love to ‘get the shot’ with a D600. The truth is, I could ‘get the shot’ with my D3100, D300s, D70, or my old film-based F65 or FG. Unless the circumstances are highly specialized, the camera is trivial. The photographer is everything. Should you, therefore, get the least capable camera? Probably not. Good and sometimes expensive gear is a symptom of a good photographer, but only one of many defining factors. And none of your gear matters if it’s on a shelf or in a drawer.

 

Many people tell me, “I will shoot more if I have a better camera.” Some people will. If photography is in your heart, you might already be shooting as much as possible. If it’s not in your heart, a new camera is just another gadget.

 

I shoot everyday. Every shot I’ve taken with my D800 could have been produced with my D3100. I’m not the best photographer, but I get what I’m after, only limited by my artistic vision. Why add a D600 to the mix? I have no idea.

 

Conclusion

 

I’ve given you my two perspectives. Which one is right? Neither. You’re on my site and reading this because you are into photography and gear. There is no escaping the entanglement between the two. We always want ‘more and better.’ For many of us, ‘more and better’ is what gets us out of bed in the morning.

 

On the other hand, if you do grab that latest and greatest camera, don’t be surprised when next year’s photos look the same as last year’s. A new camera may bring new features, but rarely will it bring new abilities. Buying the camera is easy. Improving you photography is a different investment entirely.

September 16, 2012 | 0

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