The Nikon D600 is on the horizon and more specs are coming out, which is some really exciting news. Here are 5 great reasons why this is so.
But, before I get into, let’s look at why this camera is such big news.
Canon has been slogging Nikon in the prosumer and new videographers market since the Canon 5D Mk II was first announced in 2008. A FX camera with the ability to capture HD video at a price tag of around $2500 (the original still sold for US $3300 to compare), was a major hit. Nikon had nothing in that sector. The only full frames were the D3 and the D700 (late 2008), none of them had video capability and when Nikon eventually caught on, the D3s with only featured 720p video – at a price point of US$8000 or so.
So some said, Nikon lost the edge or the game altogether, others (like myself) thought that given Nikon’s track record, they were going to wait until they could produce the quality they’re comfortable with.
Either way, the fact is today we’ve got 2 FX HD video capable Nikon cameras – the D4 at $6000 and the D800 at $3000. All nice and well, but of course the D4 is a big (and beautiful) beast for the hard-going photojournalist or sports shooter and the D800 is reasonably priced, but shoots at 36 MP, delivering massive files that competing with medium format cameras used for fashion and studio work.
So here comes the D600 and the top 5 reasons why I think the D600 will be a great camera for you:
Reason 1: Sensor – 24.7MP full frame sensor
The Nikon D600 is rumored to arrive with a 24.7MP full frame sensor. The MP count is just right. It’s what the industry wants (12MP don’t cut it anymore, so anything between 18-26 was good news) It’s likely to perform something like the D3X, which was and still is an AMAZING camera with anything relating to sensor performance: Low-light focussing, ISO performance, sensor latitude, etc. The D3X created a massive stir! It was a game changer for still photography and if we see the D600 performance improve somewhere a long those lines (and given what they’ve doen with the D4 and D800 we can expect that), this will mean some trouble to Canon’s 5D Mk3 market. Imagine a slightly improved D3X sensor, with HD video capacity, the D4/D800 Expeed3 engine and the 91K RGB sensor — it’s going to rock!
Reason 2: 1080p Video
The Nikon D600 is also rumoured to feature Full 1080p HD with 30p, 25p, 24p, (and 720p HD with 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p) video. It’s also likely to have the same high-fidelity audio recording with the D4/D800 controls. It’s the new standard. And given that according to Philip Bloom‘s test the D800 was sharper than the 5dM3, we should be able to expect the D600 to outperform Canon on the video front, no worries.
Reason 3: Durable Body
Now, this is probably the area that most Pros would be careful with. Will it last? Will it withstand heat, sand, dust, weather and bridesmaids and still perform? My guess is: ABSOLUTELY YES! If Nikon builds this thing anything like the D700 or D800, I would have no questions at all. I know a number of photojournalists and documentaries photogs that have traveled around the world and covered news events with the Nikon D200 for years. I am talking tough environments. Gear being banged around. Hot and humid, dry and dusty. Personally I have shot the D100, D200, D300s, D2x, D700 and they’ve all performed from a body point-of view. Nikon always delivers on build quality. Yes, of course the pro-bodies are a class (or two) above, but for the most part, these camera bodies have worked and so will the D600 – which is btw also rumored to be weather sealed as well.
Reason 4: Size and Weight
The great thing about the D600 is actually that it is NOT that big and heavy. No one needs heavier cameras. The D800 is smaller than the D700, and the D600 will likely be smaller again. The D700 was a heavy beast. Awesome camera (who really needed anything else?) but quite heavy and loud. It captured some beautiful light but it also got heavy on a day’s shoot, especially with some big lenses like the 70-200mm.
If the Nikon D600 really only weighs 750gr as rumored, this is great news for shooting a whole long day, for your carry-on luggage, for street photography etc. Think of your wrists! 750gr is almost 25% off the weight of the D700! That’s quite a feat. And Pro’s who shoot heaps will notice!
Reason 5: Price
Well, the big one last. Rumours have it that the D600 will come in at around US$1500. That is amazing! Hello? We’re talking FX here, Full HD, 100% viewfinder (which should be reason Number 6) for under $2k.
Any wedding shooter or traveler, should be happy. Get 2 bodies for the Tele and the Wide and be done. For all the guys doing DSLR video, this things will deliver results and leave some money for a rig. And really if you don’t have to spend 6K or could get 4 bodies instead, that’s probably a fairly wise business decision, too.
What do you think? What’s your take on this camera? Let me know your thoughts and leave a comment.
And check out what we might see at the 2012 Photokina