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Nikon D600 gets second best DxOMark score after the D800/E

DxOMark tested the Nikon D600 and gave it an overall score of 94:

"Nikon’s recently released consumer-oriented full-frame sensor DSLR, the D600, has just gone through DxOMark’s image quality evaluation tests. And the verdict is in: with a DxOMark Overall Score of 94, the D600 is an affordable camera that places a high premium on image quality, as it ranks just behind the top performing Nikon D800 and Nikon D800E. It is also a significant improvement over the high-end professional flagship DSLRs, the Nikon D3X and the Nikon D4."

The list of the top 10 rated cameras currently looks like this:

Few other interesting comparisons - Nikon D600 vs. D800 vs. D700 DxOMark performance:

Nikon D600 vs. Canon 5D Mark III vs. Nikon D4 DxOMark performance comparison:

Nikon D600 vs. Nikon D3200 vs. D7000 DxOMark performance comparison:

Nikon D600 vs. D3s vs. D3x DxOMark performance comparison:

Of course haters gonna hate...

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  • sonyuser

    Well done Sony

    • Nikon user

      Sony? I don’t see any Sony’s. Yeah, maybe they manufacture the chip, but Nikon puts their own tweaks. Obviously, they work.

      • an onymous

        Another Nikon user here…

        of course you don’t see any Sony here, it’s inside you Nikon camera, and no, there’s not much headroom to improve noise over the base noise a sensor is producing, lets wait until the Sony A99 hits DXO and we shall see how close it gets to the D600 scores.

    • lol

      what Canon wouldn’t give to be able to buy sony sensors.

      • Canon Fanboy

        Really? There is a reason Canon DSLR’s outsell any of their competition 3:1… Watch the discovery channel or ESPN, when you see a camera, 90% of the time it has a big white lens on it.

        • siotg

          Ford out sell Ferrari but that doesnt mean that Ford is better in performance.

          • Sebastian

            haters gonna hate…
            fact is, if you got a nikon-hand then you stay nikon, if you got a canon-hand you stay with canon, of course the equipment is important to do very good pictures, but what’s even more important is the experience and knowledge. for sports sure 1dx rules the other “normal” manufacturers away. but if you want lowlight-capability you go to nikon.
            if you got much money and want REALLY good stuff, you’ll take a hasselblad etc. depends on what you want, simple as that

          • Hit a nerve!!! :p

            And that wraps it up!!!

          • Jonathan

            Last time I checked Canon does NOT outsell Nikon 3:1. They sell about parity.

            Mind you, I haven’t seen any price drops on the D800 yet, but I have seen a $150 drop on the Mk3.

            And, when I watch sporting events, it sure seems like about 50/50 white/black.

            • Simba

              I have seen sale price for MK3 at $2,800 a few times.

        • Simba

          “There is a reason Canon DSLR’s outsell any of their competition 3:1″
          Really?! You must be talking about P&S. Do a google search.
          For DSLR, both companies have similar market share last year, and Canon took the lead. However, Nikon has some hot selling DSLRs this year, and it is easy to tell by looking at Amazon top 5 DSLR camears. It will be interesting to see how the market share will change by this year.

    • god particle

      if it were Sony, then their cameras too should rank next to Nikon..right?

    • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

      The output of a sensor is 0100010010110.
      The image is all Nikon, or Leica for that matter.

      Or else Sony and Nikon would have the same scores, right?

      • Wolfy

        The sensor silicon is usually the same Sony product, the stuff they stick in front of the sensor (filters, anti-alias etc) definitely isnt and is up to the respective companies.

        Also in the past, there has been a slight difference in the way that Sony and Nikon handled data collection from the sensors. For example in the A900 and D3x, the A900 read data in 12bits, while the sensor data was tweaked to provide 14bit data for the D3x.

        • http://flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

          Exactly.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Dragos.Stoica.Photographer DJ Shell

        Actually the sensor is NOT 0101011010101, because it is an ANALOG device. The current and voltages are converted through the A/D converter (analog digital), AND that’s the first STEP that makes a difference between Nikon – Sony.

        After the A/D converters, there is the OA’s (operational amplifiers), those are the electronic responsible parts for rising ISO.
        THEY ARE THE ONE WITH NOISE ISSUES ! Because they do not only amplify sensors noise (witch is the same as the base iso native level all the time, no matter the iso setting), but they have their own noise, that will affect the final image.

        And we can go on like this, until we figure out all the schematics and the electrons way through the camera until they end up as a state of 1 & 0’s on your SD or CF cards !

        • http://flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

          You’re correct. I’m also an engineer but you get what I meant, written for the masses. There is a heck of a lot of processing between the censor and the final image, so “congratulations Sony” is still a silly statement.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Dragos.Stoica.Photographer Dragos Stoica

            100% agree ! :)

          • Ricky Bobby

            “censor”? I believe it is “sensor” Mr. Engineer man. Just go outside and take pictures with you D3100 after your mommy makes you lunch.

            • kabookey

              “you D3100″? I believe it is “your D3100″ Mr. Rase Kar driver.

        • noblen

          I think Op am are placed before A/D converters. After A/D there are only 0101010101. And maybe those Op am are embedded in the sensor.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Dragos.Stoica.Photographer DJ Shell

            Correct, I was really thinking that I rushed with the words and mixed the natural order :). Of course the OP is before A/D. My bad :).

      • Bob Dole

        If you’re an engineer I sure hope your working on electric can openers. To even think, nevermind post in a pubic forum, “The output of a sensor is 0100010010110.” Makes you completely retarded! It’s not a digital device! Nikon uses Sony sensors because they are better than anything Nikon OR Canon has been able to create! I think you must be one of those janitorial engineers that discovers new ways to unclog toilets, and replace urinle cakes hahaha. Tell your boss at Blockbuster Video I said hello!

        • Kyle

          Haha. Yes. ..the power of Google

  • KnightPhoto

    Incredible result. Right up there with D3S, D4, D800, D800E!

    This should remove any remaining barriers to ownership.

    • Aaron C.

      I still wish it tackled the D700 FPS gap….

      • check

        At least now we know this is a very affordable high IQ camera albeit with some important features crippled. Great for available light, still subjects/slow action (no prob for manual focus shooters), and potentially good for video as well.

        D700’s 8fps (FX) is indeed missing in Nikon’s lineup at this moment for anything less than $5000. I think a D700 (with MB-D12) will still make a good well-rounded FX kit with either the D600 or D800. Not bad, 2012…

        • check

          Oops, I meant “D700 (with MB-D10)”.

  • http://ronscubadriver.wordpress.com/ ron scubadriver

    this a nice camera it is nice
    i like it it is nice

    • Pablo Ricasso

      it is nice you think it is a nice camera
      you’re so nice I like you and you so nice

      • Jerome Lambourg

        How nice

      • PeterO

        As Major Burns said on M*A*S*H*: “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.”

        • Nikon user

          +1

      • Pablo Ricasso

        How nice it was for someone to write that for me!

    • genotypewriter

      Oh these nice people and this nice forum give me warms and fuzzies, such a nice feeling for a change. I feel really nice today, yay!

    • Jason

      Is it “nice” or fiction that D600 batter ISO score than D4?

      • photoshooter

        probably the nicest comments from nicest people around this nice world. Nice camera though!

        • Not Nice

          This thread seems much nicer than usual. Nice!

    • Marvin

      you people make me sick. All this niceness. Don’t you know the world is going to end in 2012? Why be nice!

      I wanted to see the D900 in my lifetime now that would have been nice but it will never happen.

      Oh I feel so depressed

  • Fishnose

    It’s interesting to think about what was being said in boardrooms at Nikon and Canon a year or two ago.
    _______________________
    Nikon:
    “Look, we have to put EVERYTHING we have into this and leapfrog them, blow them out of the water. I mean, go for a 36MP sensor” (everyone gasps), “and make even our low-end offering, the replacement for the D3100, a 24MP” (consternation). “Call up Sony, tell them we want the best they can manufacture. And we want it yesterday. And people, make this the best generation of cameras ever. Make them so good people can’t help buying them.”
    “But what about pricing?”
    “Make them cheaper! Better AND cheaper!”
    ___________________________
    Canon:
    “Nah, forget Sony. We have our pride, we make our onn sensors. And who wants more than 22MP anyway….”
    “But-”
    “No buts. Get out there and find a way to sell them the same old cameras at a higher price point. Think up something, we don’t want to spend money on R&D. I mean, Nikon will NEVER catch up with us anyway, so why worry.”

    • Christobella

      Nikon has done well, and given DSLR shooters some interesting choices.

      However, even as a Nikon stalwart with lots of lovely glass, if I was to dive in now as a new purchaser, with no money invested in lenses, I’d go for the 5DIII, without any doubt.

      • http://www.russbarnes.co.uk RussB

        Incredible. All of the evidence on where the best result comes from is right here in this thread. You are the reason why the term “there’s one born every minute” continues to have some value. Canon holds absolutely no advantage whatsoever in anything they have on the table at the moment as far as I can tell.

        • Suzzybella

          Don’t worry Russ, the guy’s known for smoking some dodgy weed….either that or he’s a total novice when it comes to DSLRs.

        • Davide

          Canon holds a significant advantage in F/4 and F/5.6 telephotos, sharp and cheap. For Nikon telephotos, you’re forced to get F/2.8 and F/4 even if you don’t need the extra brightness (otherwise you can buy old lenses that take a lifetime to nail focus).

          I will not switch to Canon, but I do believe Nikon has some catching up to do in the telephoto range.

          • Bob

            Professional Photographers use F2.8 lenses, “camera owners” use f4 and f5.6 lenses.

            It’s not a matter of being “forced to”. We make our living from it and the best tools are a capital investment. F4 and 506 lenses aren’t even on a professional photographers radar. So your comment is as valid as saying Canon makes better straps.

            • Blog

              Mostly right when it comes to F4 lenses not being on PRO’s radar with the exception of 500mm F4 and 600mm F4 super telephoto’s (which are classified as PRO glass, and are the best you can get, bare none). The main reason they are not 2.8 is the fact that size and weight would make them impractical for anyone except those who have a gun turret mount on the back of there pick up truck. They would be ridiculously heavy.

            • Kotozafy

              Bob, Nikon (and any other manufacturer) does not make money from the riduculous 2% of professionnal protographers but mostly from those tens of millions of “camera owners”! You can have your high-end professionnal equipment because consumers pay for R&D. As a “camera owner”, I often think about switching to canon because they have more choice in high quality consumer telephoto. Nikon should understand that.

            • Fishnose

              Well? I’m waiting in suspense…. Do Canon make better straps???
              I GOTTA KNOW!

            • gorg

              Bob, you have absolutely no idea.. and a horizon which is as small as nano particles on Nikon lenses.
              You don’t know Nikons and other brands long teles which are f4? You call yourself a pro? You’re kidding.
              Not to mention Galen Rowells pictures with 400mm f5.6 lesnes which can not give good images as you think..

              People like you really buy big bodies and lenses only to compensate their own shortness of mind and penis.

          • Aperazzo

            Now I somewhow get the idea that it may well be a heck of a lot easier to swallow the fact you may need to to improve on your glass than to find that you are behind several years on R&D when it comes to your cameras….

            Dunno.

            But I know which I’d find easier to swallow when I was a CEO at a DSLR manufacturer…

        • Pablo Ricasso

          Hey, at this point you should all know that I’m not fond of Canon, but there IS that new standard zoom lens for the folks who spend 2+K on a standard zoom. SUPPOSEDLY good like the 14-24…
          It would be kind of weird if it came to be that Nikon had the advantage in digital imagery and Canon had the advantage in glass. Just one lens, but that’s a lens some people would use a LOT. And their 70-200 is a good one too. And their telephotos and tilt shift lenses.
          Just Sayin’.
          Nikon is clobbering them, but they shouldn’t go have a beer just yet…

      • Sammy D.

        Dude…blinkers off…dude…

      • gav

        Actually Christobella. I agree with you. He wrote a fair comment and wasn’t trying to provoke people. Despite all the reviews picking micro differences the 5dIII is a very nice machine. It would be my choice in a Nikon line up, pretty much the right balance. Whilst on paper it looks like other cameras are better but these are things that rarely show up in real life.

        I would have brought the D800 but having used one I do find it slows processing down…not a biggie but enough to be an irritation.

        I may buy the D600 but will want to see how good the focussing is. THAT is the priority for me with a new camera.

        And no I’m not going to swap to Canon just cos of 1 camera…too happy in general with Nikon, just don’t understand the nasty comments some people fire off. Russ B you put it perfectly…better on paper!! Not really the best way to choose a camera. You should know better!! And Suzzybella, well… as my Mother used to say ‘if u can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all’

        • RussB

          I never said “better on paper” at all! Look at what I posted, I said this:

          “Canon holds absolutely no advantage whatsoever in anything they have on the table at the moment as far as I can tell.”

          Nothing about paper. Nikon $h1t$ all over Canon at the moment in the real world whether it’s sensor technology, price or body features. Next time you want to paraphrase someone, get it right.

      • RC

        Christobella, you didn’t say why you’d choose the 5D3. Why?

    • Mike

      Chevies and Fords….hahaha. Both Canon and Nikon are good and for the most part equal in quality. Have shot both and see issues in both but not bad ones.

      • RC

        More like BMW and Mercedes. Nikon BMW and Canon Mercedes?

  • x-vision

    Congrats to Nikon (and Sony).

    The ‘Camera of the Year’ award should go to the D600, not the D800, IMO.
    The D600 is juts fantastic in all respects.and truly groundbreaking product.
    Bravo, Nikon!

    • Me

      I wouldn’t go that far.

    • Yazoo

      Some reality check is in order for you, x-vision.

    • Reilly Diefenbach

      Come now, the D800 is manna from heaven!

  • http://www.travelnerd.eu Travel Nerd

    I am not that sure. 5DM3=81 and D600=94……. That seems a little bit to much for me.

    • RussB

      I’m not sure what’s so hard to understand. These are sensor scores – Canon’s sensors are frankly crap, this is independent verification of that. If this is news to you, then consider it your wake up call. For best IQ and DR there’s only really one manufacturer in it – everything else out of Canon is pure marketing BS and spin.

      • My Opinion

        Have used both Canon and Nikon…. Bought a D7000 took it back because of focusing issues. Bought a D4 issues there too… Never took a Canon back… Like the D90 but did send one back because of issues. Used a D5100 …great camera. Have 5D and 5Dmk2 plus T3i Like T3i best…

        • LeadWrist

          As RussB said, it’s the sensor we are looking at.

          Focus issue is no the sensor. Other Kuality issues are not sensor. Still valid sensor score.

      • http://www.travelnerd.eu/en Travel Nerd

        However it is hard to believe that there is such a huge gap between the 5D3 and the D600.

        Are you really saying that the D600 is that much better than the 5D3? I understand the discussion about the small bits and bites here and there. In some categories Canon is slightly better and in other categories Nikon is the one. But at the end both of them produce excellent stuff.

        I am looking forward to see how the 6D and D600 are working under “real” conditions…

        • Massive Mincer

          “Are you really saying that the D600 is that much better than the 5D3?”

          Yes, absolutely.

          Don’t forget, this is strictly sensor only. People here seem to be forgetting that.

          Sensor only, people. Sensor only…

      • sonyuser

        If canon sensors are so crap as you say and there’s only one manufacturer as you say, then that would be Sony right?…thought not.

  • D700guy

    These scores are completely unfounded. I have a D800e and a D4, and there is no way the D800e is better in low light

    • burgerman

      D4 and D800e. Ebayed the D4. Took a bunch of shots at high ISO, printed all the same large size. Noise absolutely indistinguishable. Detail on D800e shots astounding.

      On SCREEN at 100 percent yes it LOOKS noisier. Because you are looking at a picture the size of your front door. But look at EQUAL SIZED images and D4 no longer wins.

      • RussB

        I have to agree. When the D800 came out I thought long about pairing it with a D3S which some would say is still the low light king. But in my own practical and REAL WORLD test, the D800 images *when downsized to 12MP* retained more detail and produced less noise than the D3S, so yes, the D800 is indeed the real low light king.

  • SJKartch

    This looks like it could be an excellent wedding and other low-light events camera with the second best (only behind the D3s) in high ISO performance.

  • John

    Not related to the score above……B and H in their description of the D600 lists the available still image formats as RAW, Jpeg, and Tiff. I was not aware the camera provides for tiff images. Is this right?

    • Me

      yes, even D700 shot TIFF!!!

    • FDF

      There’s now tiff, at least on my d600.

      • FDF

        NO tiff, not now tiff, lol

  • Funduro

    Wow ! What a mistake I made by buying a new D700 in June ! WOW I thought the “starter” FX would not be this DAM GREAT on the DxO Mark test’s !

    • babola

      No you didn’t. You can rest assured you got yourselfone of the highest performing DSLRs currently. Don’t forget the D700 is aimed at pro photographers with slightly different needs when it comes to weight, size, handling and controlls availability and layout, all of the areasand requirements a camera of built and size of D600 fails to meet.

      When I shoot weddings I still go for D700 straight out of the bag and leave D7000 as a backup, now I may be replacing the D7000 with a new D600 but I don’t see it becoming my default daily go-to tool.

      • not_one

        Good reply….D700 is really good. Marketing calls for higher MP…not necessary. I am primarily a Canon user but hard to beat the D700…. I you take images and they look good that is what counts. Nikon glass is the issue…it is great. Canon’s “L” glass is great. So stick with Nikon FX lenses and if your a Canon user stick with “L” glass. You cannot go wrong.

      • Funduro

        I won’t be selling my D700 anytime soon. I made the decision to jump at the last new D700’s when they went on sale at US$2,200. I made the decision on rumors of a strip down US$1,500 DSLR. I expected 24MP and some lost of ‘Pro” build, I did not expect the ISO performance to exceed the D700 though. Will not be saying “what if” at all, D700 is my FX for years to come. As they used to say, that’s that.

        • check

          Haha, Funduro! I won’t be as surprised as you are :) since I thought the one thing that would salvage D600’s reputation would be its IQ.

          Perhaps “supplement” your reasonably fast D700 with the slow but higher IQ D600 (or even D800 for that matter) later on, but nothing new would change what the good old D700 is. And that is a damn fast camera with “good enough IQ”.

          So enjoy its *DAM GREAT* AF and 8 FPS to the max. Take use of the PC sync connector (which is missing in D600), and shoot some pretty models with the 1/250 flash sync and you won’t be thinking about D600 for many while… :D

      • D700guy

        You will. I own a D800e, and my D700 doesnt see any action at all now. The high mp cams Nikon is producing are game changers.

        • yes

          Of course, because *everyone* shoots the same way you do.

        • http://www.jkellerphoto.com/blog Jonathan

          I agree with the game changer statement. I was photographing some guys on bikes the other day, ambiant light, during the early evening, and the D800 was excellent.

          http://www.jkellerphoto.com/blog – you see the results, including action shots, taken from the back of a moving bike.

    • Rudi

      Don’t worry, bro. I have the D4 and also a D700. Since I have the D4 (great gear) I recognized that the D700 is still a good performer image wise.

    • Jorge

      you did not make a mistake buyin the D700. My God stop looking at those ridiculous DXO numbers and focus on the image. Stop chasing hardware.
      I have a D300, D700, and D800. Guess which one shoots 75-80% of my wedding images with? Yup D700. To me it’s a low-light winner hands down. I’m starting to experiment printing images at high ISO on the D800 and that looks promising but when I want the shot nailed – the D700 with the 70-2002.8 comes out of the bag.

      • yes

        aye, low-light shooters need two things: good high ISO IQ and reliable AF system. Snappy images can be cleaned much easier than you would sharpen blurry ones. I won’t argue that D600 would give better high ISO IQ, but doubt it will give me the same percentage of keepers as I get with the D700 in relatively fast-moving situations, such as street or wedding (and even indoor family events).

  • Ari

    Thoughts on whether the d600’s AF system (9 cross-type sensors) will be “good enough” compared to the d700 (15 cross-type sensors)?

    • Ken Rockbad

      You answered your own question already. It will be good enough indeed, so no reason to fret.

      51-point 15-cross type AF system is a pro camera diferentiator in Nikon’s line up. Most of the shooters out there (me included) may not need this and could quite hapilly live with the “old” D7000-style 39-point AF.

      • tifkat

        Except that the 39-pints don’t seem to have been spread out any further to make up for the sensor being FX not DX. The AF system doesn’t cover so much of the sensor, so you’re kind of limited in the usefulness of those 39-points. It’s the only thing I don’t like about the D600. 39 points is fine. 39 points in a DX arrangement in the middle of an FX sensor, not so desirable.

        • georg

          Hmm. I would not agree.. I shoot mainly with D700 and I use only the mid cross-type AF sensors. Very seldom the outer ones (one is already broken).
          This depends to the individual way of shooting, for sure.

          Nevertheless Nikon built very finde DSLR bodies we need mirrorless DX and FX bodies asap.

    • RC

      Did you watch the video posted under the “D600 now in stock” page? That might help. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IosQ4xCJBB0&feature=player_embedded

    • Me

      Most people only use the centre point anyway!!

      • RC

        How do you know this?

  • Andrew

    Every time DxOMark gives a camera a top rating they mess up the entire supply chain. Let us embrace for some back-orders to develop soon.

    • BartyL

      Thanks for your kind offer. At the risk of offending you, I think I’ll simply “brace”.

      • check

        what’s wrong with wrapping ourselves in a warm embrace of each other, at a time like this… hehe

  • Alex

    Nikon is the KING of photography. I think Canon has big problem, Canon gives us very less and hask to much money. Nikon gives us the BEST and ask less money. This is a new corporate identity of Nikon, for sure, a new market strategy. Nikon is a big revolution. Canon is decadent, conservative, dull, outdated. The Nikon D600 is a Camera which provides benefits to the buyers of Nikon and also to the seller Nikon. Instead, the Canon 6D provides benefits only to the seller Canon, not to the costumers of Canon. In fact the Canon 6D is a rip off, is bullshit. I left Canon, I became a customer of Nikon. Canon treats me as stupid consumer, while Nikon gives me the feeling of being treated as a PHOTOGRAPHER. The Nikon D600 is a jewel of technology. The Canon 6D is a piece of s**t. How could I spend so much money on a disgusting camera like the Canon 6D? f*ck off Canon.

    • sonyuser

      You mean Sony is the king of photography.

      • Rudi

        why??

      • Fishnose

        That’s like saying LG are the Kings of smartphones just because they make the displays for Apple’s iPhones.

      • Federico

        I see no Sony camera in the list above

    • PVS

      let’s leave it up to someone who actually shot with mentioned gear, shall we?

      • burgerman

        Like DXO???

        • check

          totally missing the point.

  • Canonfanboy

    These tests are obviously prejudiced.

    waahhh wahhhh wahhhh

  • http://www.blueearthgallery.com Mauro

    wow…a ..camera above nikon d4! d3s and…far…5dmark 3..?

    amazing

  • MB

    Nikon somehow makes better DXO score than Sony using same sensor so I am not so sure about this “well done Sony” cheers.
    Compare for example Nikon D3X, Sony Alpha 850 and Sony Alpha 900 … Sony does not come even close … that is if you take DXO mark seriously …
    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/604|0/%28brand%29/Sony/%28appareil2%29/485|0/%28brand2%29/Nikon/%28appareil3%29/371|0/%28brand3%29/Sony

    • blubbeli

      Don’t forget that the readout electronics are probably Nikon-made.
      Plus, the Sonys are about 1/3 stop behind because of the fixed mirror.

  • ren kockwell

    but my new cannon r so much better that that old d800

  • Chad

    On set shooting with it today. Amazing camera with great dynamic range and makes for beautiful skin tones. If you are on the fence about this camera go for it! It is worth every penny!

  • Camera

    It is very interesting. Nikon released a consumer camera that made all professional cameras look like obsolete.

    I am not sure if it is worthy spending extra $1,000 on a D800 anymore.

    So should we all go consumer camera now?

    • Nikon Fan

      Nikon has killed the professional cameras.

      Consumer cameras is the new cool.

      • Rino Cambi

        No they haven’t. They just created a camera to fill the amateur/enthusiast FX DSLR void that existed for some time and put some ease into folk lusting for models they can’t afford or don’t really need for casual photography, like D800 for example.

        Pro bodies are still that – pro bodies, with pro features.

        • georg

          Hmm.. I don’t think so. The D800 still has the menu banks which are quite worthless in the field, but miss some dedicated buttons. The D600 and D7000 has the U modes which multiplies your body – you can change all settings in a fraction of a second.

          The menu banks may have their good sides (I did not find any), but if you want to carry only one body out there, the D800 is really tough – I would say it is really a mess compared to D700, D600 and D7000 (I have no comparison to D3 and D4 – too big and heavy)

          From my point of view these consumer or prosumer bodies are much better to handle than the D800 pro body.

      • Jorge

        Really? Really?
        Go take pictures of your cat for Flickr and leave the pros alone. OMG what bullshit.

    • SJKartch

      The D800 still has its advantages. The AF system in 3D mode is fantastic, noticeably better than my D7000. For birds in flight, that alone gives me more keepers. And I like having the same crop image as the D7000. I have definitely benefited from the extreme crop ability of the D7000, and the D800 essentially retains the same pixel density for cropping. That crop ability effectively extends the reach of my telephoto lens without having to spring for the really expensive and heavy stuff (such as the 500 f/4 or 600 f/4).

      And, of course, the AF sensors cover a larger part of the FX frame on the D800 so there is more flexibility in framing especially with such things as birds in flight.

      I also really like the feel of the D800, especially with my long lens, a 300mm f/4 with 1.7 extender, which while not one of the really big boys, still likes the counterbalance of the D800 body.

      Not to mention the tremendous detail shooting landscapes I can get with the D800 coupled with the 24mm f/1.4 lens. That much resolution still isn’t available in any other dslr.

      For those who complain about work flow and huge RAW files, I shoot both RAW and small basic JPEG and use the JPEG files for preview to decide what I want to process and keep in RAW. That works well for me and keeps computer load and storage requirements to a minimum.

      Don’t get me wrong — the D600 looks like a great camera. I just don’t think I’ll be giving up my D800 anytime soon.

      • Jason

        Amen!

        Plus, D800 has nearly 90 times bigger RGB sensor for more accurate exposure, more accurate AF if you toggle between AF points, dials that are effective for quicker manual changes and overides, and lastly, flash sync port. And the option to easily crop from 36mp.

        Keeping my D800 as well. But, will look out for used d60o as back-up.

      • Jorge

        Here! Here! Finally someone with some sense!!
        J

    • Jason Mraz

      You’ve got a lot to learn when it comes to DSLRs, grashopper…

      • Consumerhotographer

        And you — you just keep on to your guitar, Mr. Mraz…

  • Paul

    Silly question, but I thought that Nikon designed the sensors and Sony fabbed them to Nikon specs? And in any event, wouldn’t the processor also play a key part in the final image, so that even using identical sensors in two different cameras by two different manufacturers, it would be possible to get different results?

    • Dakota

      You are correct, Sony is simply a fab house for Nikon spec’d sensors, and you are also correct the processor has a lot to do with the final image.
      Kinda like saying Intel deserves all the credit for Apple computers.

      • Paul

        Or Kodak taking credit for Leica, now that you mention it. Thanks for that… thought maybe I was mistaken, or missing something.

  • http://iphoto.blog.163.com/ Trueblue

    D600 must be hot…
    it’s obviously the most competitive one in the top ten…

  • D600 User

    I am a Nikon user with D7000 and just got D600. I really do not believe D600 has better low light than Canon 5D mk3 by looking at low light images from both cameras. I agree on the DR values though.

  • I can’t believe

    Here’s how my mind works:
    Too many X cameras on the DXO’s Big 20 = DXO is Sponsored by X
    In this case: “Nikon” applies to “X”
    Too many Nikon cameras on the DXO’s Big 20 = DXO is Sponsored by Nikon!! cheater!!! boohooo!

    And my weapon:
    “The image quality is affected by the photographer, not by the camera, the camera is just a tool; I believe that the greatest photographer ever will produce clean, noiseless, sharp, and color-accurate photos from a $99 Nikon Coolpix!! So don’t think too much about your camera, folks!”

    cheers!

    • Josh

      This actually isn’t far from the way many people think. Especially the last paragraph.

    • Fishnose

      “I believe that the greatest photographer ever will produce clean, noiseless, sharp, and color-accurate photos from a $99 Nikon Coolpix”

      Wow, just think if that were true. I can just see all those big pros running around with pink or light blue Coolpix’s getting perfect shots regardless of the light, situation or subject. Dang.

  • http://www.envirosea.org Paul W

    I am now officially lost. I think Nikon should share their road map with us because this is confusing as hell.

    • BartyL

      Let me simplify it for you:

      1) Whatever is ‘around the corner’ will probably always be ‘better’ than what is available right now. Don’t die waiting for the ‘perfect’ camera or system.

      2) Nikon (and other manufacturers) make a range of great cameras and lenses right now.

      3) Choose one or several that meet your needs and budget.

      4) Take photographs.

      I hope that helps.

      • 103david

        And always remember what exactly is just around the next corner…
        That’s right…another corner.

        • yes

          You ruin the fun for many people who have subconsciously been thinking that the greatest achievement in photography is when you are actually buying yourself that *great something new* which is… just “around the corner”, as usual. People might have been enjoying thinking about this for years, so let them be in peace!

          • peterw

            hummm
            philosophy and sociology are great sciences

            I wonder, what did people do in the past. Say you bought yourself a nikon FM. It took something like ten years before FM2 came out. And was that so much better? The only consolation for their lust to buy would be in lenses. (oh yeah, you could go crazy on film).

            • check

              Hmmm, they were busier shooting than thinking, I guess.

  • Judd McKenzie

    Definitely.
    I’ll buy one someday…
    Till wait, and see if any bugs revealed and get fixed… :D

  • Alan

    I’m sure this got discussed when the D800E results first got posted– did anyone come up with a satisfactory explanation for why the D800E outperforms the D800 for color and low light? I can’t of any good reason based on the very limited difference in those cameras.

    I get the feeling it’s just margin of error in the testing– which suggests those top three cameras are roughly indistinguishable and their overall scoring metric is too sensitive to individual test results.

    • blubbeli

      Could be that they’re using a different color filter array too.
      I doubt it, but when I look at the results, that’s what I see.

    • Fishnose

      DxO said as much at the time – that the difference in score between D800 and D800E were within the margin of error.

  • roy

    Which is a better buy now?
    D600 or D700?

    • Fishnose

      D600 of course.

    • check

      If you don’t shoot action much OR take on jobs in which you have to work with sophisticated lighting, D600 it is. If you need the video feature for something, D600 it is.

      Right now, the D700 (with the MB-D10 grip) would only mean something to those who prefer high-FPS low-MP cameras like the D3/D3s/D4 but want to save some cash, and to those going into the used market, where a good used one can be bought for much less than brand new D600.

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    Why not?

  • NikonMania

    To anyone out there who has D600 in hands, could you please share your feedbacks about its AF performance? I heard rumors and comments that D600’s AF is worse than D700 and D800.

    • Toonie

      51 vs 39 points, you don’t say? the appropriate question is: is d600 AF good enough ? :D

    • georg

      The AF of D600 is “worse” than D800.
      AF D600 vs D700 depends.. D700 has a greater coverage but D600 has a little bit more light sensitivity in the middle sensor(s)..
      Its a question which one is good enough for you or which one you prefer. For example: I would prefer the AF of the D800 but I don’t like the complicated setting compared to D600, D700 or D7000.
      Overall I would prefer the D600 over the D700 because of resolution (yes), noise.. AF would be a point for D700 for me. I personally don’t like the handling of the D800 so – besides its my belief the D800 has the best DSLR quality which is availale now – I would not buy a D800.
      Try them and decide youself.

  • timon

    in dxomark the charts to get clicks in screen mode (100% magnified, pixel to pixel), then you can see all the key tested data that in d600 gotten slightly better, like SNR18, TR, DR, Color depth.

    I did not care for what “overall score”.

    • timon

      In screen mode (100% magnified, pixel to pixel), the SNR18 in d600 is 40.6dB/ISO79, TR 8.9bits, very excellent!
      (d800 is 38.4dB/ISO74, TR 8.53bits).

  • Mr D600

    The problem I have with DX scores, if I understand them correctly, is that they rate every sensor down sampled to 8 megapixels. So the D600 fares amazingly well, but at the same time the D800 gets ZERO credit for having 50% more megapixels.

    In situations where more megapixels come in handy — either really huge prints, or more likely, very heavy cropping (ie birding or some macro), the 36 megapixel would be a huge benefit, assuming the photographer has a sharp lens and executes the shot properly. DXO doesn’t reflect this at all.

    Am I misinterpreting this?

    • BartyL

      DxO now have ‘screen’ comparisons in addition to the ‘print’ comparisons for which they are known. In the ‘Measurements’ section, select the ‘Screen’ button. You will then see results on a per-pixel basis rather than the normalised print results.

      • Mr 600

        Yes, but the “screen” metric is apples and oranges because it compares at 100%, which in the case of the D600 and D800, is 24MP vs 36MP (moreover the overall summary score appears to be based solely on the “print” 8MP metric).

        Again, no weight in the final score whatsoever appears to be given to the ability to shoot above 8MP. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

        I just don’t think it makes any sense to pretend that being equal at 8MP makes the D600 and D800 sensors equal. An amazing score nonetheless for D600, but it’s important to point out this unbelievably obvious gap in DXO’s rating system.

        Perhaps they should do scores at various MP levels, though it would not make for a clean PR headline. A 36 MP sensor that delivers at nearly the same 100% levels as a 24 MP sensor is fundamentally different (and superior, though most might not need/want the extra MP)

        • blubbeli

          DxO only looks at the signal characteristics in theses tests.
          You will have to refer to the lens tests for resolution (but they’re a bit behind…).

          Even if they used 36MP as a reference, the resulting graphs would look identical because the resolution is a mere scaling factor (not linearly though).

          Make sure you understand exactly what the DxO Mark measures. Then you will see that a good results doesn’t mean “a good sensor” but rather a good “signal processor system” (or whatever).

  • Joopey

    Great news. This really has me rethinking my initial disappointment with the D600. Now I’m going to have to rent one rent for a week or so just to see how it truly performs. I will probably hold off on buying until next year though. Call me foolish but I think Nikon has a true D700 replacement coming next year. First they will milk the D600 for all its worth and then they will introduce a true D700 replacement.

    My bet is it will come in around $2,499 to $2,599. That would put it dead smack in between the D600 & D800. It will have a more professional body, perhaps 16 or 18 Mp, 1/8000 shutter, 5 to 8 fps, and great video. More or less, a scaled down D4 and a scaled up D600.

    As appealing as the D600 is, I still think that there is a viable market for people who want something more sturdy but don’t want the D800/e 36 Mp or can’t afford the D4’s price tag.

    But that’s may just be my wishful thinking.

    • anon743

      Honestly I’m not too happy with this kind of result. Not that I’m bashing the D600, it’s just that many pros and serious high-amateurs wanting a stronger body in the 24MP category will have to either wait, or live with the D600’s deficiencies — should they end up getting one.

      For the record I’m still hoping for something in a D800-grade body with 24MP.
      Having used the D7000 in various occasions I can’t say the D600 is very appealing spec-wise. For FF hardware I’ll always want something more robust.

    • check

      A midrange 16MP 8fps semi-pro body sounds plausible, at least one year after the D4 like you said. Not sure about naming. maybe something in the D7x0 format. I prefer the cooler “D700 MkII” though ;)

      • Joopey

        A D700 Mk II would be too Canon-like.

        A 24 Mp would be too much like the D600 and might eat away at its sales where as a 16/18 Mp D7x0 would force buyers to choose between a less professional, but higher Mp camera or a more professional, but lower Mp one. This way if Mp is most appealing to you, you will buy the D600. If semi-professional is more important then you buy the D7x0.

        Having them both in one camera would be ideal, but I doubt marketing will ever allow that to happen.

        • check

          A midrange 16MP 8fps semi-pro D7x0 would be to the D4 what D700 was to the D3. So it will be nothing new.

          Having both semi-pro-grade body and higher MP in one camera? That’s easily the D800.

          Or maybe Nikon likes to switch the situation from the previous lineup (now catering more to the high MP crowd):

          old:
          pro high-MP low FPS (D3x)
          pro high-FPS low MP (D3/D3s)
          semipro high-FPS low MP (D700)

          new:
          pro high-FPS low MP (D4)
          semipro high-MP low FPS (D800)
          consumer high-MP low FPS (without pro-grade AF) (D600)

          (arguably, all but the D3X have good “high ISO” capability so it no longer is the differentiating factor)

          All in all, a pretty solid lineup if you include the older models as well. Nothing to complain about really.

  • Dixie

    Haters gonna hate! This camera is love! D600 is a worth upgrade from entry level Nikon/Canon camera. We have different needs. As for me, D600 rocks! I am a Canon user who is about to shift to Nikon. I am sure I am not going to regret it. Nikon is the big revolution! They did a very good job this time! Way to go, Nikon!

  • malchick99

    I’ll have to say, that the D600 will be for someone who has not updated his/her DSLR for years and would like to get a taste on FF.

    But for anyone who has lived with the D7000 especially under work situations, then the D600 is a NO. Although, it can still be regarded as a decent backup for anyone who can afford a second body.

  • http://egozarolho.blogspot.pt jadiniz

    When the D7000 came out, everibody discussed wether it was replacing the D90 or the D300. Better IQ and features than both old models, body rugedness and controls in between.

    And we all know what a great pair the D700 made with the D300: same battery, control layout, etc.

    Nikon is doing it again with the D600, replacing the D700, and getting a great match for the D7000. So what was in the past.

    D300/D700
    now is
    D7000/D600

    Same lineup, jus a shift in priority towards IQ and less on built quality. Considering the bordeline amateur/enthusiast/pro people that use these cameras, I believe they made a right choice.

    As for 39 vs 51 AF points, give me a break. For me, a focus and recompose guy that uses the center 9 points 99% of the time, performance is all that matters. As is print and not pixel size.

    I’m a D7000 user. As soon as can save some money I’m getting a D600, and keep the D7000 for reach and backup.

    • check

      “D600, replacing the D700″

      No, but “complementing”, yes. I think it would be wiser for Nikon to keep the D700 in the lineup until they already have the real substitute (affordable semipro high speed camera). But it is interesting, the comparison that you made. Nikon is really catering more to the consumer side at this moment, which is not that bad, esp. since most D300/D700 users I know seem to be quite content with what they have.

  • vmlinuz

    Well, very nice, an entry level FX camera is better than pro tools!? So, I’ll definitely wait for D500!! :-) Just wonder how much “donations” has been sent by Nikon to DXO?

    • check

      Not “camera”, but “sensor”. Since it is semiconductor, this is akin to getting an entry-level CPU for your new PC which is much faster than the top of the line CPU from 3-4 years ago. So yes, waiting for 3-4 years from now might actually give you a better sensor than anything you can afford that’s available on the market today.

      • vmlinuz

        Yes, “sensor”, but you cannot make photos with it only. So, to get some pictures for analysis you need the whole camera, incl. a good lense. That means you analyse the camera (in the lab conditions well-understood). By the way, it is not 3-4 years, the D4 was announced this year as well! My point is – it is absurd to by a camera just because it is (on pixel peeping) a few points better than one you already have.

        • check

          D4 is in a different class (fast low-MP vs slow high-MP), I thought you were comparing it with the more relevant (and much more expensive) D3X, or even the less relevant 645-sized IQ180.

          However I was responding to your comment re: DxO’s testing (where you used the words “camera” and “better”) which doesn’t fairly represent DxO’s objectives accurately. Your reply above basically answered your own point–it (DxO’s result) is not everything. Sorry for not detecting your sarcasm in the first place.

    • Fishnose

      DxO are a software company who have a reputation for objectivity to support, to make their software sell.

      The DxOMark scores are just a way to attract attention, a byproduct of the testing they do to put correct values into their software.

      If they favored one brand over another by cheating on results, they would be made irrelevant and be unable to sell their software as it would be completely meaningless.

      Period.

      • gigel

        please leave me!

  • kuba
  • Mike

    I’m particularly astounded by Nikons dynamic range performance. I don’t care too much about high ISO or megapixels, but one thing I easily notice between cameras is the dynamic range. Holy f@(&* Nikon all the models D3200, D7000, D600, etc.. have 2-3 stops more dynamic range than Canons flagship 5D3. Very impressed!

    • check

      Yes, it would be very interesting if 645 sensor makers catch up with Sony+Nikon and show what can be achieved with a larger format AND better dynamic range (IIRC Phase One is going CMOS for their next flagship sensor lineup).

      • Fishnose

        The MF guys are going to have to step up to the line. One of their main arguments for spending $30K+ for a body has just gone down the tubes.
        The D800/E are hurting them for sure.

        • Josh

          I bet in the next year or two we are going to see some New MF backs/cameras.

        • check

          While I agree that prices of MF backs should be going south by now, the larger sensors (at least the top of the line e.g. the IQ series 160 and 180) still hold clear advantage in overall image quality (easily observable from seeing full size samples). So I don’t think D800 is really hurting them except for their lower end/older models.

          Actually a digital 645 body doesn’t cost that much, probably in the range of a brand new D4 (of course, without the sensor, hehe).

          • Josh

            Actually when you factor in the high ISO noise the D800/D600 have overall better IQ than a medium format back as the MF back can only beat them at its’ lowest ISOs. I suspect the reason why the next PhaseOne MF back is going to be CMOS is so they can start competing at higher ISOs.

            • check

              Yes, at both camera’s lowest ISO. And what I mean by overall image quality includes the “acuity” that the larger format naturally gains compared to its smaller sibling (this is also why even larger format films such as 6×9 and 4×5 wouldn’t die anytime soon). Though it is also interesting to see what CMOS could possibly offer with a larger format in higher ISO as well.

        • georg

          Hmm.. that is correct if you just compare sensors. The MF sensor technology are or may be some years behind the sensors of the big N and C.

          The problem for FX (36x24mm) are lenses. Even if you put the best (Zeiss) primes on a D800(E) it will be equal at best but mostly outperformed by MF lenses.

          Nevertheless I agree that MF manufacturers may feel some kind of pressure because of the quality of the new DSLRs to improve their products.

  • michel

    D800 36 Mp? D600 24 Mp? Meh… You are going to have to do better Nikon! Check this out!
    http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/futureoftech/50-gigapixel-camera-straight-out-science-fiction-840003

  • Al

    Guys don’t worry. The D600s will be out in two years.
    24 mp
    100-12800 native iso
    51 pt af
    Full magnesium body
    8 fps
    3.2 screen
    Dual cf
    2500 shots per battery
    $3999
    Will rank as the new # 1 on dxo

  • TheFullFrame

    Received the D600 last night. Shot my first assignment last night at New York’s Terminal 5 Neon Trees/Offspring.

    Impressions:

    Shot in RAW and JPEG- Since there is ZERO RAW support from Adobe, I had to use the crap Nikon Poop (View) software. Files are VERY flexible.

    AF- Very snappy! Shot with the Nikon 24-70 in AF “S” mode. It made focus quite easily, but seemed to miss focus a bit more than I’m used to with the D700. (I’ll have images up this evening). I actually don’t mind the smalller coverage of the AF. This was a surprise to me.

    We’ll see if the autofocus misfires are me or the camera when I have more time to shoot with it. Neon Trees move fast!!

    Noise- I’d say about a half to a full stop better than the D700. Still has grain obviously, but details are preserved a little better when focus is perfect. I shot with NR OFF.

    Feel- its ALMOST the same size as the D700. Has less girth, but the grip is better than the D7000 for you folks who hated the feel of that camera. It’s just a hair deeper. Still not as nice as the D700, which is perfect IMHO. The layout and AF def feels D7000, but it’s a larger body. I can live with it, but I’m def getting the grip. I also grip my D700.

    Image Qual- so far so good, buffer is good, TIFF/JPEGS looked great. I haven’t edited much in RAW yet.

    Negatives- The daunted green screen is back. Def has a green tint. Autofocus MAY Ned some fine tuning. MAY also be user error. I’ll play with it more tonight. Grip is not as fat as I’d like, but better than D7000.

    • Fishnose

      Cool with some real world feedback!

  • http://thefullframe.org TheFullFrame

    Ill have images up on http://www.thefullframe.org this evening.

  • stasio

    It’s amazing – this is my camera!

  • Lanskymob

    I’m curious what others think about David Hobby/Strobist being so upset about the 1/200 sync speed (vs. 1/250). I mean, whatever you think of the guy and his photos, he does make his living (and has made a name for himself) shooting with speedlights and really understand balancing flash and ambi. I’m not looking for personal attacks. I just don’t shoot with flash outside at noon, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

    • check

      Not everyone is affected by this in their everyday scenario. I think he just doesn’t want to accept another limitation to his style of shooting+equipments (esp. when using speedlights instead of powerful strobes) when there are other alternatives, but I can’t really speak for him.

      AFAIK D600’s sync speed is still better than what 5D series users have. Many D700 users have been using 1/320 successfully so it will be nice to see actual comparisons vs D600 in these scenarios (of course not at noon, but more like near-sunset or sunrise).

    • georg

      Flash at noon: Sure it may be a better picture if you can use some additional flash. And yes, you may need 1/320 sometimes. But: 1/320 ist just 62% of the light of 1/200. With really bright light at day you will need 1/2000 or less.. in this situations you better choose a ND8 grey filter.
      But if you want to freeze action in really low light situations you want 1/320sec (you really want 1/500sec flash sync but this is very rare). I photograph bicycle races at night and in this moments the D700 is an absolute top-performer compared to others (except D3(S) and D4). I simply can not imagine to be fixed to 1/200 in this situation. But ONLY in this situation…

  • PAG

    Question to those who want a better build camera with fewer MPs than the D800. Doesn’t the D800 support several smaller cropping modes? Wouldn’t this give you exactly what you want?

  • Bob Saget

    I’m not going to put much stock in a rating system that scores the D3200 the same as the 5D Mark III. I went with the D800E because I am in love with the 14-24 and 105 VR but to score it 14 points better than the 5D3 because of a 1/3 stop increase in ISO perfomance, 5% better color depth and 3 stops better DR is just ridiculous hahaha.

    • Fishnose

      “Ridiculous haha.”

      And on what do you base this brilliant conclusion?

    • check

      But “3 stops better DR” (despite the accuracy of the test) is not insignificant.

  • Nikon>Canon

    Anyone notice how there are NO Canon’s up there? That’s Canon sucks and only stupid people use them. Certainly not people who take their “photography” serious. LOL

  • http://thefullframe.org TheFullFrame

    DXO mark is wonky. I’ve shot the 5DIII, and know many GREAT “working”photographers” (rollingstone.com, SPIN, TheWaster, Jambase, etc) who uses it that get BETTER results than my D700 and the D4 in terms of high ISO. According to DXO mark, it’s about the same. Not true at all. I can’t do what the markIII does pre-post as my D700 does after lots of editing. I get banding above 6400. The MarkIII is MUCH cleaner.

    DXO I think is a little Details, noise and color are better. I’m a Nikon fanboy, but the DXOmark tests of the 5DIII are off on the MarkIII.

    From a Nikon Fanboy, admit it…DXO is biased toward Nikon.

    Arguments commence!

    • http://thefullframe.org TheFullFrame

      My writing sucked in the last post lol. Need a bigger iphone screen.

  • HSEAN

    Nikon has truly amazin range of products now, they dont shout enough about their lens range, and really should be, high mega pixel means, that genuine lenses strength are even more meaningful than before

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dragos.Stoica.Photographer DJ Shell

    Because there are always many that need to understand:

    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cameras-photography/digital/digital-camera2.htm

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