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  • movers says:

    d600 in my opinion will be a better choice.

  • Nick says:

    Hi Dan,

    I’ve been struggling with this very problem. I have had the opportunity to shoot with both cameras. Both cameras pose interesting concerns. I am an art photographer that shoots natural light portraits in a variety of lighting conditions. I have a particular set of needs. I am interested in attaining an extended DOF as well as stopping motion in potentially low light and also high contrast situations. A difficult proposition to say the least. I will say that I do shoot with a tripod. I am also interested in the potential to print very large prints for gallery exhibitions ( this hasn’t happened yet but I’d like to in the future). All of these factors add to my difficultly in making a decision.

    There are a few things that I have found while using the D800 that not a lot of people are talking about in their reviews. One is the DOF. I find that the DOF seems to be exaggerated. F4 shoots like f2, f11 like f8. Which means that by stopping down to say f16 in order to achieve a sufficient DOF I then start to suffer from diffraction and softening. F11/13 seem to be the sweet spot. FYI I’m shooting with the 35mm N 1.4G. I’ve read many forum posts with people going back and forth about MPs, circle of confusion, DOF is an illusion, sensor microns etc…

    My other concerns are with ISO/Noise and shutter speed. Maybe it’s me. But I’m not seeing stellar ISO results at 100% . I’ve seen noise on skin tones of people located the shade at ISO 160. My shutter speed concern has to do with the fact that shooting with 36mp forces you to shoot at higher speeds to avoid blur. Something I could shoot at 250th or 320th now needs to be shot at 500th or higher.

    The D600 on the other hand doesn’t seem to suffer as much from my noise concerns. I would imagine that it would have to do with less mp, larger photo sites. As well as file size I guess. The D600 also “appears” to have a more “traditional” DOF. The D600 also has the ability to shoot at slower shutter speeds and still freeze action.

    The two biggest problems with the camera are the focus points and the metering system. The focus point use the DX layout from the D7000. All of the points are bunched in the middle rendering them not so useful. The metering(again using the system from the D7000) is certainly not as good as the D800’s 921,000 px system.

    So this is the dilemma. Thoughts?

    Here’s my take on each camera.

    D800 –
    Pros: amazing dynamic range and detail. Large files for large prints. Great AF system. Fantastic metering. Pro type body.

    Cons: Not great ISO performance in low light situations, even at low ISOs. Higher shutter speeds needed to freeze action. “Shallower” DOF.

    D600-
    Pros: Very good image quality and dynamic range. Slower shutter speeds to freeze action. Better low light ISO performance.

    Cons: poor focus point lay out. Standard metering system. Smaller body, consumer build.

  • Kris says:

    D800 is better!!!

  • Larry Cameron says:

    When the D800 is switched from FX to DX, the size drops from 36 to 24mp, roughly a 33 percent drop. When the D600 is switched, the size drops from 24 to 10.5mp, a much higher percentage. Why? Not doubting the numbers, just curious.

  • Risk says:

    D600 is better!!!

  • I’ll make one additional point, which I have rarely seen covered (it’s probably not a big issue for most people).

    I have a D800 (which I rarely use, but that’s another subject) and I find one major irritant with the camera – which would also apply more so to the D600 – and that is its size. I’ve found the camera to be irritatingly small. The MB-D12 helps a lot in this department (it’s actually slightly larger than my F6 – also with the battery pack). If you find camera size matters, then you may want to consider this as well.

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    Terry Bourk

    I have read you new book “Behind the Landscape.” I could not “put it down” meaning that I kept at it because each photo you presented/analyzed was interesting and informative. I am trying to develop an eye for composition (both the scene and the light).

    Thank you! The examples you present and the suggestions are very helpful. Purple Mountains, McKinley River and Wonder Lake are fascinating.


    Roger Sinclair

    You have done it again! Another triumph.

    Your generosity to share, the clarity of thought and concise explanation thereof is brilliant. Perhaps I should also mention the beautiful photos and the talent necessary to produce them.

    Thank you, Dan.