Nikon D600 Hands On Preview - Features, Design and Verdict
Exposure modes are kept to a minimum with the traditional quartet of
Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and fully Manual (PASM)
dominating the exposure mode dial on the right-hand shoulder of the
camera. In addition, you’ll also find a fully Automatic mode, a forced
Flash-off mode, a Scene mode position and two custom positions that you
can store your own favourite settings on and recall in an instant.
In addition to stills the D600 can also record 1080p Full HD movies at a choice of 30, 25 and 24fps, while knocking the capture quality down to 720p HD brings up options to shoot at 60, 50 and 25fps. Movie recording can be triggered via a dedicated movie-record button on the top-plate. Audio is recorded in stereo by default although you’ll also find an external microphone port on the side of the camera should you want to attach an external microphone for better quality audio capture. In a neat twist the D600 also sports an audio out port for monitoring audio levels with. Rounding off connectivity is an HDMI output.
While the D600 doesn’t offer the built-in Wi-Fi functionality of its number one rival, the Canon 6D, Nikon has made some effort to modernise the data transfer process via the optional WU-1b mobile adapter (£50). Plug this little widget in to the D600 and you’ll be able to wirelessly transmit your images to an android smartphone or tablet (installation of a free app is required). Nikon is also in the process of making this feature compatible with Apple iPhones and iPads.
Other highlights include dual SD memory card slots and a in-built interval timer for the creation of time-lapse movies with. Switching over to Playback mode the D600 offers a variety of practical and creative in-camera editing tools including a number of digital effects filters. The effects on offer include Skylight, Cross-screen, Miniature, Colour outline, Colour sketch and Selective colour.
In terms of design and build quality, the D600 is quite a bit smaller than the D800, and feels closer to the D7000 than the D700. Weighting in at around 760g, the D600 does feel pretty solid in the hand though. The camera further benefits from magnesium alloy top and rear covers and is also sealed against moisture and dust penetration. Nikon claims that the D600's shutter unit has been tested to 150,000 cycles.
Although we weren’t able to test it, Nikon claims the rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery is good for either 900 frames or an hour’s worth of HD video capture. Should you want to increase battery life – and improve the camera’s general handling in portrait orientation – then the optional MB-D14 battery pack can be purchased for around £250.
The D600 will be available to buy from the 18th September. The RRP for the D600 body only is £1956 – approximately £324 less than the D800. Bundled with Nikon's 24-85mm kit lens the D600 will cost £2444.
On paper the D600 looks to be an attractive proposition and Nikon’s attempt to once again bring an affordable full-frame DSLR to the enthusiast market is certainly to be applauded. There are, however, two things that may hold it back. The first of these is its closeness in price to the higher-spec and more robust D800, although given time we wouldn’t be surprised to see the gap in price widen between the two models. The second is the arrival of the Canon 6D, which is positioned to go head-to-head with the D600 and brings with it some extra features the D600 lacks. Assessed purely on its own merit though the D600 looks to be another excellent release from Nikon.
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