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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  • Ole

    It can hardly come as a surprise anymore, that

    K N E E C O N E

    rules the photography world!

    • Pablo Ricasso

      All those who said I was a fanboy blinded by brand loyalty or the spec sheet…
      NOT. I LOOKED at the photos that were linked to me by this excellent site and used a critical eye. And I said that it would score WITHIN A POINT of the D800. If you dig back you can see where I wrote that. And I said that the high Iso performance was excellent to around 3200. I even thought the one at ISO400 was acceptable.
      Told ya so! Told ya so!
      All those talking smack about the camera need to use your eyes better. Or develop a new hobby. Photography IS a very visual thing…

      • Pablo Ricasso

        Correction. I even thought the ISO 4000 (4032) was acceptable. (fairly good)

        I also said the pictures were a little better than the D3X. If you dig back, you will see that. I call it like I SEE it. I agree with DXO. I also agree with Photozone regarding their testing of lenses. For the old lenses I agree with the specific data of Photodo and sometimes with their overall score.

        • fjfjjj

          OMG Pablo Ricasso, you are Nicassodamus! All kneel before the pixelpeeper.

          • Jabs

            You mean – Nostradamus???

        • Liam

          Dude, get a life.

          • BartyL

            You seem to be quite keen to have another man perform fellatio on you. As this is a site for people who are interested in Nikon camera equipment, not a homosexual dating service, you are unlikely to get what you are seeking.

            I heard somewhere that you may get what you are after by asking nicely in a public toilet after dark. Apparently (if counter-intuitively) the ones in bars frequented by outlaw motorcycle gangs are the ‘best’ places. Why don’t you try asking there?

          • Pablo Ricasso

            Dude, get a CAMERA! And then, get a GRIP!
            HA HA HA
            Told ya so!
            Told ya so!

      • Rudi

        One question: Is DxO only rating Nikon and Phase One? There is nothing more but the Pentax in the top ten???

        • jake

          Pentax cameras are DX only and so, who really care or at least they dont compare well against the D600.

          the D600 was the best high ISO camera that I have ever shot with , it is quite a bit better than my D800 at ISO1600 and on and much better than my 5D2(which I already sold last week for a Nikon AFS 28f1.8GED).
          so, no need to test these upcoming Pentaxcameras that still have the old 16mp DX sensor which has been tested many times (as the D7k , the K5 , the NEX5n).

          • shadowfoto

            Pentax rep’s say that it has never sensor than original K-5, however more interesting part is K5-IIs w/AA filter removed.

          • Fishnose

            Uh, no. Pentax also do MF. That’s an MF they got in the top 10.

      • PVS

        Okay, next time when applying critical eye at sampled portraits be sure to check if the dominant apricot tones in peaking highlights and deeper shadows blended with waxed look of human skin appeal to your taste.

        Horses for courses.

        • Pablo Ricasso

          Do you have her phone number?

          • PVS

            Yes I do – and she’s available for adoption, too.

    • Michael

      People who says DxOMark is biased are just blinded by brand loyalty. DxOMarks shows the truth. Sony sensors are the best. Canon seems slightly better in its feature but it seriously lacks the sensor performance, which is the reason why I bought Nikon. But this also helped Canon cut cost, as consumers are more features-oriented and they don’t really know much bout’ image quality – which is also one reason why Rebels sells better. This is a great balance. Nikon gives enthusiasts great IQ, Canon fuels competition. It’s a win-win situation for us consumers. 😀

      • George

        If Nikon cameras are that much better than Canon cameras then there is only one possibility left why our Nikon pro photographer produces much worse pictures than I do (semi pro)….

        • Rob

          My fanboy answer to that is technology has bridged the gap between good cameras (Canon) and very good cameras (Nikon). This happened in lens technology decades ago which is why photos taken with either brand of camera are indistinguishable.

    • Reple

      Go Sony! Canon should be worried how great sensor-designer Sony has become. No wonder that Nikon, Pentax, Fuji, Olympus and Hasselbland wants to use Sony sensors.

      • jake

        yeah and that is why used EF lens prices going down these days so rapidly.

        anyway, how do you know the D600 sensor is Sony, I think it is Sony but I cannot be sure about it until Chipworks shows us who actually makes it.

  • the results will be on DxoMark’s website shortly…

    • Wow really surprised seeing this! Not the rating, it was expected considering the top quality of sensors Nikon is coming up with. What surprises me is DxO giving rating to a camera which is on Pre-order whereas there are so many in queue unreviewed! Almost thought DxO testing department is dead. Anyway thumbs up for Nikon once again!

      • Fred

        Yup and it puts all thoughts of bias from DXO to rest that they’ve managed to test a camera just off the line whereas there are so many cameras they haven’t tested yet.
        methinks they’re holding back on some to give Nikon a head start?
        (BTW, I’ve shot Nikon – and still do – for 15 years or so now so not trolling, just stating reality).

        • Foolishcfo

          I’m a die hard Nikon owner as well but put a grain of salt into DxO’s evaluation process. It seems hard to believe that they could have done comprehensive testing in the past day or two. I’m still waiting for their D800/lens tests which should have come out months ago. They can’t do that but have already evaluated the D600’s sensor? I’m not buying it.

          • don

            I think Nikon provided DXO with a production D600 for testing but ask them to hold back from publishing the results until after the camera’s official release date. Not the first time something like that happened.

            • Andrew


              The fact that there is a wide availability of stock means that the D600 much have been in production for the past few months.

            • Foolishcfo

              I don’t doubt you are correct. I just find it funny that DxO Mark has already tested the D600 when other cameras have been in the queue for some time. Also, when are they going to release D800/lens combo test results? I love Nikon but I don’t consider DxO to be 100% impartial in their evaluations.

          • Andrew

            Unfortunately, you provide no evidence for us to question DxO’s impartiality. Don gave you a strong reason to refute your original assumption on how much time DxO had to test the D600. Let me provide a reason to refute your second argument about impartiality.

            As far as selecting what product to test is concerned, the D600 was anticipated to be a major product release potentially upending the entire full frame camera market. So it makes sense that the D600 should get a greater priority in DxO’s test schedule. Think about it, many authors write books, but the top publications (or magazines) typically review new book releases by top or well known authors. The same goes for movies. DxO is no different. What you think is suspicious is simply how the business world works and it makes sense. DxO has every right to prioritize its review schedule; there is nothing wrong with that.

        • jake

          well, I dont care what you think about it but if you used the camera already like me , you might have got different opinion on this issue.

          the D600 sensor is really good , I think it is the BEST BALANCED FX sensor ever made , period.
          I have the D800, the Sony A900 and I have tested the D600 a few times at Nikon and I am sure I will get it on 24th of this month , and I have to say it is better than anything else I ‘ve used in last 4 years.

          I know the AF or metering of the D800 is better but I dont really care for a bit better Af than this since this D600 AF is already good enough for anything I put it up for.
          So, for me this is kind of reinforced version of the D3X with a lot better high ISO perfomance and video.

      • Michael

        It is a Sony sensor. We all expected it to be good. You shouldn’t really give credit to Nikon.

        • Andre

          It’s a Nikon designed and tweaked sensor, manufactured by Sony. Sure, Sony has it’s own similar sensors too, and they’re excellent as well.

          • fjfjjj

            DAC and DSP counts for image quality as much as the sensor. Compare A900 to D3x, same sensor, blah blah.

            • bas076

              Color filters, color filters is a key. D3X have better noise score but A900 have better colors. Sonsor the same.

          • Rudi

            Where is it written that it’s a Sony sensor??

          • tony

            Its not designed by nikon -_-, it is only tweaked. Sony made and created the sensor(designed). Nikon has barely any sensor patents, one or two? while sony pushed out 60-100 in the last year.

            • Andrew

              And what is your point? You can take a picture of a beautiful meal which seemly has all of the right ingredients with the exception of one (which becomes evident when you taste the meal!) – not enough salt! That is all it takes to ruin a good meal. You cannot say “it is only salt”, or likewise “it is only tweaked”.

            • JorPet

              Remind me how much film Nikon produced back in the day…

              The sensor is perhaps a more central part of the camera now, but the post processing is an order of magnitude (at least) more important to the finished image.

          • jake

            yeah Sony has the similar sensors used in A99v but as with the A900 vs D3X , I dont know why but Sony cannot fully optimized it.
            I bet that the A99v DXO mark score is quite a bit lower than this one.

          • james

            I thought previous reports said the sensor of D600 is made by Aptina, is it not?

            • Muzza

              Yes, that’s correct. Many here have missed that fact.

              All these Sony-fanboys should shut their faces.

            • Andrew

              I have not seen any press release that Aptina has developed a full frame sensor.

      • Royl

        What pre-order? Mine has shipped.

  • OsoSolitario

    Simply WOW!!!!!!!!!

  • fmj

    wow, this is impressive, thought Nikon would cheap out on this entry level unit, but looks like the sensor is up to par with the big boys….

    wonder what the 6D can do, probably DR won’t be as good for sure

  • jcs

    why is it not appearing in there official web site, Iam using chrome. Hopefully it is not browser related delay like what happened previouslt.

  • Greg

    Blimey. Canon lovers will, of course, dismiss these results.

  • peterw

    these DXO tests should not be overestimated…
    real life photography is more importent…
    … but six amongst the best ten is ahummm…
    … some indication of good quality.

    bravo Nikon

    • fiatlux

      Indeed, great that Nikon deliver such excellent cameras, but this exclusive focus on sensor performance in DxO marks should not make you believe that you need on of those cameras to enjoy photography.

      I have a D700 but still prefer my obsolete Leica M8, and still have fun with my “extremely poor” D2Hs 😉

      • don


      • jake

        why do care about anyone says anything about what you love?
        just use what you like , it really does not matter how old you cameras already get or how bad they look like compared to the D600/D800/e ,etc…if you still like them , they are fine cameras for you.

        that said , I never use my camera for over a couple of years , I just buy D600/D7000 class of body and keep changing to the latest and I am happy.


  • This pretty much seals the deal for me. I was debating between a used 700 or a new 600, and at the moment the new 600 seems like the better over all value. The only advantage the 700 seems to have are its:

    1)build quality
    2)AF system (debatable)
    3)flash sync
    4)and max shutter speed

    a) I dont really get out in the nitty gritty to say that I truly need a camera built like a tank.
    b) I’ve owned the 700 and LOVED the AF system, I really hope this can at least match it.
    c) 1/200 should be plenty for weddings and events. I dont really do high speed studio work.
    d) As Dr. Steve Brule has said, “Slap an ND filter on it silly, why didn’t you think of that!? …For your health.”

    So really, what it all comes down to now is the reviews of how the AF system does, esp in low light situations. Lets hope Nikon didn’t cut any corners here…

    • tomas to-mas halasz

      I agree with you on all points, but you forget the price.
      If I compare 1000e for used D700 and 2000e for a new D600 I am not so confident that its worth it. If I exclude video the only thing what is better with D600 is ISO. Otherwise AF & built will be worst.
      Looking forward to test this baby.

      • Pat

        Think of it the other way, spend $2000 on a new D600 then sell it in 2 years for more than the $1000 you would have spent on the used d700. It will prob cost you the same (if not less once the d700’s resell price plummets) and you will have been shooting with a much better camera for those two years.

        • tomas to-mas halasz

          Not bad thinking.
          I forget to add that I own D700 already and probably would rather keep it as a second body for weddings.
          But your argument will maybe help me with deciding :). Thanks

          • Andrew

            tomas, I responded to your question in this nikonrumor D600 post on how to make an extra $2,000. See my response below – I responded to myself in responding to you, hope you don’t mind. Cheers.

            • tomas to-mas halasz

              somehow I cant reply to your ideas directly under your post.
              Thank you for your time and ideas even I dont think they are usable in my case.
              My photobussiness is mostly in events & weddings, while personal projects are NGO & journalism and non of them is equipment based. Which I mean no one really care what equipment, I use as far its not point&shoot, and its all about the results, marketing, contacts and etc.
              If would want to impress with equipment it would be enough to show my 70-200/2,8 which is a BIG lens for most people. After years of using 300/2,8 and 400/2,8 in news agency I have different view what is big , but for normal people thats enough :).

              U1 & U2 settings are very welcome and I missed them since I switched from Canon, but its a such a small thing that its not worth the extra money IN MY CASE.
              Have a look from another alternative.
              For 2000euro I can go for a month to Asia (India or Laos for example) and make small exhibition from it. From my experience thats far more interesting for clients than what camera I use.
              Sure, this all is just about my case.
              Also its a different depending where you live & how much you earn. In Slovakia where I am from average month salary is 750euro before tax. Good is 1000e+ before tax. What is a huge difference compare to UK, Germany or US. That put the price in another perspective.

              Thats a nice thing about internet. Its connect people from around the world interested in rumors world 🙂

        • JBFunk

          Don’t forget to discount the future re-sale value to present day dollars (ie 1000 two years from now = 850 today)…

          • Andrew

            And factor in how much more he will earn in his business from using a better camera, let’s say $1,150. So now let us add up the math:
            Resale value: $850
            More business: $1,150
            Total: $2,000

            So in 2 years, he would get back $2,000. That’s like getting a free gift!

            • tomas to-mas halasz

              Hehe, how many clients do you think will see the difference between my pictures from D700 to D600? 🙂

              I cant imagine what new camera generate new business.
              Any ideas?

            • Andrew

              tomas, I know you are having some fun just as I was with my calculation, but let me respond to your question a little more seriously.

              Yes I have an idea what new camera can generate new business. Imagine – whether in your office/studio or in the field, a potential client sees your D4 with a D7000 next to it (or your competition’s D7000). Now that D4 sitting next to a D7000 will look quite impressive because of its size. That client may consider you to be more professional or a top notch professional because of the equipment you are carrying. In business, perception does matter.

              In the case of the D600 versus the D700, you may be in a situation where the U1 and U2 settings on the D600 may give you an advantage in quickly switching from settings to settings, allowing you to capture that precious moment that may get you a few extra of referrals.

              Also, in your advertising you may claim, “In our studio, we use the most advanced Nikon photographic equipment, capturing your memories in stunning 36 megapixel detail.” Sure that may not mean much to you as a professional photographer, but your customers may think differently. So there you go, a few ideas!

            • Jorge

              More business? By using a different body? What the heck are you smokin”

        • RoyL

          Those low used prices on the D700 are from cameras that are well used. A top condition D700 still gets $1800 or $1900 here in the US. The D600 is new with a warranty, 2 years if you use the right card to pay for it, even if you pay the card off at the end of the month.

          • Rob

            If you’re a complete idiot you might pay $1900 for a used D700. If you’re not, you get like-new ones for $1500-$1600. I guess if you HAVE to have one within 24 hours you might be caught paying $1700.

            It sounds like you have a D700 to sell and want to inflate the prices.

      • Rudi

        What means 1000e?? 2000 EUR for a D600 OK, but you won’t get a a good used D700 for 1000 EUR. I guess you won’t find a used D700 under 1450 EUR.

        • Blimpy

          I actually picked up a used D700 the other day for €1200 and it’s in fabulous condition…

        • tomas to-mas halasz

          Guys you surprise me :).
          I bought my D700 last november with 18000 shutters for 1350e.
          I was thinking that after a nearly yeah its worth 1000euro.
          Maybe I should sell it in US or UK, not in Central Europe where I am :).
          If you interested for around 1450euro write me a email. Shipping within EU is not that expensive.
          Thanks for this info.

    • El_Pickerel

      I just wound up with a D800, for all those reasons. The D7000’s 39-point AF is nice, but a couple of my lenses definitely favor the D700 / D800 AF systems over the D7000. 24mm f/1.4 in specific seems to miss focus far more on the D7000 than on the D700 and D800/e bodies I’ve put it on.

      Other than that one lens, the AF in the D7000 really is quite good. Reliable 3D tracking in very low light, and it did a pretty good job at f/8 autofocus when I tried that out with a 300mm f/4 and 2x TC. It definitely will be my second body with a long lens on it for some time to come.

    • javaone

      But for only $800 more you can fix all the issues.
      Its less than the cost of a good zoom.

      That where they hook you into the D800.

    • Ron

      In regards to the 1-stop lower max shutter speed (1/4,000 second):

      Assuming your issue with the 1/4,000 shutter speed is NOT actual speed of capture, but rather sensitivity with primes (for example), then you’re not disadvantaged. On the contrary. Your new base ISO is 100, and it’s got a lot more dynamic range than has the D700 (or any previous cameras of that generation or earlier). On top of that, you can use the Low-1 mode, which still has higher DR than the earlier cameras. In the end, it’s as if you are able to shoot in broad daylight at 1/16,000 with the D700, and that’s not too shabby. And that’s all possible without even mentioning ND filters.

      As for the 1/200 sync speed:

      Regardless of what people say about the price of this camera being too high, or the build quality being to poor, they are blowing smoke. This camera looks to be an amazing new offering, and that Canon has piled on (once again) with their “we have the same thing only it will be available in three months just as soon as we put the prototype into production!” routine only confirms that. Nikon has done a great job, and this camera will give a lot of people the chance to get some amazing images (and video, in my case) with a pretty sexy price-point. That said, there are probably some cost and technical limitations of the smaller body with a larger sensor box. Sure, you could argue that the old film cameras were smaller still (and yet full 35mm), but one can also see that they didn’t have to hold nearly as much “stuff”.

      And if the camera truly syncs at 1/200 in the studio with big, heavy strobes firing, then it’s still better than the Canons that can really only sync at 1/160 in the studio – MAX. This new Nikon is another step in a pretty sweet trend.

      And Pat is right — this camera is the one to get if this camera’s weak points aren’t show-stoppers for you.

      • WiscShooter

        Ron, I know you are expecting your D600 from Amazon tomorrow. UPS delivered mine a couple minutes ago. Impressed with the build quality. Hope you enjoy yours.

        • Ron

          Thanks, WiscShooter –

          Glad to hear the build quality is noteworthy. It appears that way in the videos showing people handling it.

          BTW: after a handful of calls into Amazon (and the efforts of a very helpful supervisor Agustine), they came through and tossed it on a truck last night. I should have it this afternoon assuming the UPS truck doesn’t “tip over in transit”. 😉

          • don

            So will you retract your Amazon rant from yesterday? 😉

            • Ron


              😉 I mostly consider this a wash, given my past experiences with them. It may be that they would have delivered it today either way, but I get the impression it was my persistence that spurred today’s delivery. However, unlike times past, it is out for delivery today as promised, and I think that’s a credit to the supervisor Agustine and his willingness to personally make calls and get it back on track. That kind of “going the extra mile” will not go unnoticed by me.

              And yes, I’ll be updating the other thread.

            • twoomy

              No, Amazon really is like Soviet Russia!!! I think that’s a perfectly reasonable comparison for getting a brand new camera 24 hours late. LOL, I laughed too hard. 🙂

          • andy

            In fairness, I always thought Amazon has one of the best customer service. 🙂

      • You make some good points. If I was in the US then the dollar price would pretty much win me over. At nearly £2000 in the UK I have to think a lot harder before pulling the trigger. 1/200s sync is more of an issue with respect to balancing flash and daylight outdoors rather than in the studio. I look forward to d700 owners reporting back on how well the camera performs in the field – rather than a bunch of numbers!

        • SB

          Hi Steve

          They have the D600 in stock at Dale in Leeds for £1,899.00 with a free battery. So hopefully the price will track down a little further over the next few months.

          Fingers crossed

        • tomas to-mas halasz

          What about taking cheap airticket and come to Slovakia for a weekend?
          Beer is cheap and D600 cost here 2000euro. 2year warranty in EU, no extra tax.
          We used to go to US when it was cheaper. These days is not worth it.

      • Eric Calabros

        “video, in my case”

        Hope you find that great image quality in video too Ron. I’m afraid of line-skipping-again scenario. if the sensor has ISO performance equal to D4, a 3×3 pixel binning will give you 5d killer full HD output. but, can this sensor handle 30fps full resolution capture before binning?

        according to falk lumo about D800: “A native 1080p video frame is 6720 x 1260 px, demosaiced to a 2240 x 1260 px RGB frame.
        And the final 1080p video frame is further downsampled 7:6 to 1960 x 1080 px”

        same CPU and memory that do this, is under the hood of D600

    • babola

      For an amateur or enthusiast target marker, your thinking is fine.

      However a pro photographers will still favour size, heft and extra controls pro Nikon bodies like D700 come with, over a cut down simplified button layout on lighter and smaller D600.

      • Andrew

        I just heard 1,000 pros agree with you and another 1,000 disagree!

        • Gary Wells

          Your 50/50 math is flawed, sorry. As a pro photographer and friend of many more pro photographers I can tell you that I and them don’t hone small lightweight bodies with lack of direct controlls and out of balance with larger telephoto lenses. D600 as a backup body yes, but as a daily tool certainly not.

          • georg

            I simply don’t get this “argument”: I need a big, heavy body to be well balanced with big teles. ???
            If your lens weights 3,9kg (500f4) what difference make 140gr (D600 vs D800) or even 420gr (D600 vs D4)? I don’t get it. and why is the balance not off with a lightweight lens (eg 50f1.8) and a heavy body?

            If you really need weight, get a battery grip and fill it with lead.

            We can discuss about mg frame, direct controls and sealing which differ consumer to pro bodies. But bigger size, more weight and “balance” ist just esoteric blabla.

      • Pablo Ricasso


        • Pablo Ricasso

          Get your own silly name!

    • check

      Wow, a well-populated thread.

      @Adil Zaman, you have listed D700’s advantages…

      1)build quality
      2)AF system (debatable)
      3)flash sync
      4)and max shutter speed

      …but you missed D700’s potential for high-speed burst shooting, i.e. 8 fps with MB-D10 (or with a hack, but that’s another topic). So, I’d sum it up like this: the features that would separate D700 from D600 the most are:

      1) AF system (speed & accuracy in a wider range of situations); and
      2) max burst shooting speed

      Depending on your shooting style, flash sync, max shutter speed and build quality (and even the less mentioned features such as PC sync port or control layout) may or may not affect your actual shooting as much as the two points above. YMMV.

  • Hans

    It’s going to interesting to see the Sony A99 results

  • Patrick Photos

    I LOVE IT………Glad I decided to go with the D600 for my first FX camera…


  • Alex

    So it beats the D4 in all areas including sports, but doesn’t beat the D3s for sports. Awfully close though, considering the price difference and increased resolution, that is freaking impressive!

    • blubbeli

      I’m afraid I have to disagree.
      When looking at the measurements, there are exactly three differences between the D600 and the D4:
      – More DR for the D600 up to ISO 400
      – More (esp. where it matters for sports) DR for the D4 from ISO 800 on
      – Obviously poor ISO 25600 performance in all areas of the D600

      Otherwise, you wouldn’t even know there are two curves in the graph. Impressive!

    • AM

      Well besides low light performance, a sports photographer will look at some other aspects such as fps and AF accuracy and speed. In both areas the D4 blows the D600.

      • Alex

        Yeah I realize the D4 has almost double the fps of the D600. If you don’t need the speed though, it’s still freaking impressive for the price.

  • Valters

    Canons 5D mark only now gets basically the same points as 4 years old Nikon D700. They just can’t make some good sensor.

    • inginerul

      Neither can Nikon, so they buy it from Sony.

      • Alex

        Which isn’t relevant unless your main criterion is whether the manufacturer makes all of the components (which never happens). If you just want the best product, you should expect companies to use suppliers if it means a better product. It’s kind of that silly “you didn’t build that!” mentality.

        • Michael

          Doesn’t make his point irrelevant in any way. He didn’t say Nikon couldn’t make a good product, just that Nikon knew that it couldn’t make a good sensor and therefore bought it from another company.

          • Josh

            The thing is canon also knows they can’t make a good sensor but still insists on making their sensors themselves. Nikon is actually doing the smart thing and it has payed off with DSLRs that have industry leading DR, noise preformance, and resolution.

            If you want the best for a certain component in a product and you dont’ specialize in manufacturing that component, you find some one who does to make it for you. That is just how it works. If you’re smart anyway. That fact that Nikon out sources sensors to get the best instead of trying make them all themselves makes Nikon look like a more capable company not a lesser one.

          • Alex

            My statement was conditional, read the part after the word “unless.”

        • Andre

          Nikon only farms out the production process. It’s a Nikon designed, Nikon tweaked sensor, produced by Sony on Nikon Precision process equipment.

          • john

            Stupid statement i’ve heard today. “Farms out the production process”. “On nikon Precision process equipment”.

            Sony owns 30-40% of the sensor market for cmos and ccd. To say that nikon farms out the production process is a fanboy inners speaking. Sony makes sensors for almost everyone and yes they designed and created almost all of them. Apple chose them for the iphone 4s because of their capabilities. Apple didn’t design them, why is it so hard for nikon fanboys to believe that sony created the sensor they are using. Fact is nikon has close to zero patents that came out in the last years. Is it really hard for you to believe that nikon just purchased then tweaked the sensors?

      • Nikon designed, Sony fabricated. There is a difference, otherwise Nikon and Sony cameras would have the same IQ.

        Sony has excellent foundries.

        • Dakota

          They have excellent foundries because they are using the best equipment; NIKON STEPPING MACHINES to make the sensors.

        • Cynog

          Pentax uses Sony APS-C sensors and manages to get better results than Sony out of them, if DXO are to be believed. So there’s a lot more going on than just sensor design.

      • Rudi

        Clown. Do you think they bought it as you buy your bread in the bakery? The sensor is fabricated by Sony but not developed. As I mentioned before, it’s the same as pressing CDs. It’s the music that matters, not the fabrique that pressed them.

        • tony

          You’re a fool if you think that. They are they testing the hardware which sony made. Nikon tweaked it, sony made and designed the whole sensor. Its been known sony been working on a 36mp sensor a year before the d800 was announced. If sony had only manufactured the sensor and not designed it, then nikon would have patents for the sensors. Guess what, nikon barely has any sensor patents. While sony pushed out 60-100 last year.

      • Except that they do have their own sensor tech as well. They developed the d3s, still king in low light, and recently, the d3200, one of the best current APS-C sensor. Nikon doesn’t have any manufacturing capacity, but they do have a sensor design team, used to develop their own sensors as well as tweak sensors bought from other vendors. This is a very successful strategy – it gives Nikon the option of using the latest and greatest in sensor technology while not relying exclusively on any particular vendor.

        That said, Sony has been their main partner for sensors not developed in-house for quite some time (d2x sensor was Sony I think).

  • Jon

    I think i will get a D600 as a backup for my D3s and use this little D600 for video! D800 Mpx race is far too much for my use.

  • Jose

    This results shoul increase the number of people who will buy d600 in the survey of this blog, Admin I suggest restart the survey in a month after the people start to use the camera.

    • Michael

      True. The survey would totally be different if it was posted after this.

    • RoyL

      True. I said NO yesterday. After seeing the low light numbers I bought one. Go figure.

      • check

        Don’t mean to offend anyone, but *image* samples (not “numbers”) have been shown since release that are quite representative of what the sensor is capable of (i.e. low-light and high dynamic range situations) which would be helpful to people who would actually judge things for themselves, but yeah… external confirmation doesn’t hurt either.

  • noble_elm

    Good job Nikon!

    Just wondering though that Dxomark is very fast in rating Nikon cameras (D600 which was just released) while very very slow in rating others (OM-D and X-Pro1 are still not rated).

    • Alex

      It’s limited to a bimodal test: Nikon vs Canon. jk 🙂

    • javaone

      They probably know there customers. I would bet frequent DXO readers tend to be Nikon or Cannon shooters.

      So if I was DXO I would put highest priority on any SLR from Nikon or Cannon.

  • Jon D.

    I’m still waiting to see some real life examples and comparisons before I buy. The other day I just pick up a used but almost new condition D700 for $1500 USD to go with my D800. For that price, I couldn’t really turn it down.

    Go Nikon! Looks like a D600 may be in my future!

  • I must be crazy

    Looking at this results, I have to ask, when is the D4 drop in price in a way that reflects DXO
    I mean, since the D600 seems to exceed the D4 in all categories, the difference in price can’t be explained by the better body build and longer shutter life and some “extras”, can it?

    • Alex

      Because speed wasn’t a factor in any of those tests.

      • check



        > the difference in price can’t be explained by the better body build and longer shutter life and some “extras”, can it?

        yes, it can.

    • don

      DXO just rates the sensor. And if the sensor is the only measurement by which you judge a camera, then yeah, the D600 is better than the D4.

      But pick up both cameras and shoot them for an entire day, the way a pro would. You’ll then know why they extract a premium for the D4. Ergonomics and speed have to be experienced (and not recited as numbers in a table) in order to be truly appreciated.

  • Apollo


    D600 is a very nice body to be honest, but I still think that D4 suits for my needs, thanks to High ISO performance, though, D600 is slightly better in low light. But D4 has got higher ISO, higher frame rate, better AF system…Too many choices…

    But D600…wow…SMOKEY!!!

    • OsoSolitario

      Not everyone can spend 6000$ on a Nikon D4…. Is a great like-a-tank camera, but for my wage-earner pockets, the little D600 will be enough.

      • Apollo

        True. It’s shame that D600 hasn’t got the same feature as D700 had. 5FPS without grip and with grip you get 8 fps.

  • Michael

    WTF? I thought I would never buy this camera. But. WTF. I thought this was the D3x sensor. WTF WTF. I’m freaking going to buy this camera.

    • RoyL

      Hey !!! you taped my thoughts !!! Plagiarism !!!

  • rich in tx

    the collective restraint shown here is admirable.
    ok I will be the first to do it:

    sorry canon! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • Looks like nikon should update de D4 sensor with this!
    the d600 have a better iso rating

    • Michael

      Sony don’t seem to make any full frame sensors under 20MP for quite some time, Nikon has to either increase their processor speed to withstand the FPS or use a lower resolution sensor made by another company – which is inferior, Nikon took the latter solution. Although it kinda decrease its image quality, it does bring Nikon some advantage. Like a back up sensor producer in case Sony gets too strong in their imaging division.

      • Andre

        It’s a Nikon designed, Nikon tweaked sensor manufactured by Sony on Nikon Precision-supplied equipment. Nikon merely farms out the production process. So it has very little to do with “Sony getting too strong”.

        • Bruce

          Nikon Fanboy speaking without facts

        • RoyL

          Actually I think this one really is a Sony sensor, but of course Nikon designs everything connected to that sensor along with the software to deal with the data.

      • Big J

        You’ve got problems

  • JS

    It is hard to understand Nikon’s strategy. One of their best camera, the D600, is built using cheap plastic. Is it to get worn out soon and keep you buying another cut rate bodied camera?

    • OsoSolitario

      Car fenders are made of plastic nowadays, are they worse that steel ones on a seventies car?
      There’s plastics that are fire proof, or polycarbonate ones that are same prized than steel because their toughness or specifity…

    • ZinZun

      Have you actually tried it in your hand?, it’s not a cheap plastic build but if you are constantly shooting at the poles and in the deserts than you may want to take the D800 instead…

    • 103david

      Before you go off too vehemently on the evils of plastic, contemplate exactly what a ballistic garment, also known as a “bullet-proof vest” is made of. It’s an fiber known as “kevlar” (or similar material) which is yet another word for…plastic.
      It’s not so much exactly what an instrument is made of but rather that it be the right material for the job.

      • EastOfGratiot

        The D600 is a hybrid construction of mostly magnesium. The D7000 is a SOLID camera that can stand up to any non-abusive use. If I abused my cameras I’d rather buy three “disposable” D600 cameras than one D4 for about the same cost.

        As for extreme weather use the D600 is supposedly sealed to the same level as the D800. To me this is more important than sheer ruggedness.

        The differences between the mag/plastic and all mag cameras are mostly in percieved quality bias (metal better than plastic) and in the better feel of the rubber grips that Nikon covers its pro bodies with.

    • Cheap plastic? There’s nothing cheap about the camera. Engineering polymers have many advantages including toughness and thermal stability. Go talk to a materials engineer and you might be amazed at the new materials available to designers.

      Yes, the pro bodies are stronger, but their existence does not make this cheap.

      • Ron

        Exactly. Take the Glock firearms, for instance. You are welcome to go out and buy a gun with an all-metal grip, thinking of course that it will hold up better than the polymer grips of the Glocks. But let’s compare those two guns ten years from now, and I think you’ll be regretting your purchase.

        The tests show the polymers lasting longer and wearing better than metal in most cases.

        • Big J

          Another person with more than just one hobby, kudos. Completely agree with your statement.

        • 103david

          Ron is right. While I certainly purely like my Colt Python and brace of Colt 1911’s, they certainly don’t shoot any better than his Glock. His piece is superbly designed to do what it does with total reliability, accuracy, and repeatability. In other words, first time, every time. Interestingly enough this is exactly what we demand of a pro level camera like the D600.
          So,…you got to ask yourself…are you in it for the results, or are you in it to lead the pack of fanboys?

          • Pablo Ricasso

            Ask yourself this…
            Do I feel lucky today?
            Well DO you, PUNK???

    • Patrick

      Maybe it’s built with expensive, high quality plastic.

    • Keoni

      Cheap plastic? Ahh the Boeing 787 is made of plastic!

  • Eric Calabros

    Nikon made photographers an offer they can’t refuse

  • GC

    Picked up my D600 last night! Can’t be more proud to be one of the first owners of such an awesome camera.

    Now time to learn more about it…

  • samer R.

    How much with D3X’s sell for now?!

  • rajahx

    Nice. i’m going to go run to the store now. I hope they still have some in stock.

  • BdV

    Pretty bad, now it’s going to be sold out.

  • cobby64

    Hmm.. I wonder how DxOMark comes up with the results. The D800 scores very high as it appears.. I watched this vid in which they compared the D800 (36MP) with the Hasselblad H4D-40 (40MP).

    HB H4D-40 has better dynamic range even when it comes to recovering blown out areas. The Hasselblads dont have any ‘good’ ratings on that site. (or it wasn’t a fair test?)

    Hmm again..

    • Michael

      Dynamic range aren’t determined by the highlight headroom. Almost all digital cameras has a highlight headroom of about 3 stops, it’s the shadow that contains the rest of the dynamic range.

  • cobby64

    So who was more upset? Nikon fans with the D600 having 39-AF points or Canon fans with the 6D having 11-AF points?


  • Bigeater

    My main concern is how my pictures look when printed in magazines, hanging on the walls of customers’ homes, or viewed on client websites.

    How well do D600 files hold up to abuse such as conversion to CMYK for offset printing, downsizing to 72dpi for websites, big color changes, extensive portrait retouching, and outputting to less-than perfect printers such as the equipment at Costco.

    What is the relevant measurement for that?

    • hogor

      check the tabs! there are two tabs print and screen result

      • blubbeli

        Which are not for that…

        Actually, by looking at all the DxO measurement curves, you can EXACTLY what you are looking for with the exception of the noise (SNR).
        A DR of something like 14EV is completely useless at ISO 100 if you just convert it to JPEG (10 should be enough). But when you start editing, things change a lot. Same goes for the tonal range and the color sensitivity.

        In short: at ISO 100, every recent sensor delivers A LOT more than can be viewed or printed when you don’t modify the result. But if you start doing things like single image HDR, you know why you bought a camera with a Sony Exmor sensor. And that, and only that, is where DxOMark results come in.

        Only the SNR is generally a very useful result.

  • Mordu

    Could someone please explain me how is it possible that both D600/D800 end with a higher score than D4/D3s on ISO?

    • blubbeli

      Ignore it and look at the measurement curves.
      They can be extremely useful while the scores are almost entirely useless in my opinion.

      For instance you can easily see that the D4 has a significantly better sensor than the D600 for people who push shadows less then 3 stops (which is a lot).
      Or that the D600 sensor is actually a bit better then the D800 sensor if you forget about the poor ISO 25600 performance.

      Just look at the graphs, they’re much, much more useful.

      • don

        Thank you. Excellent point about more information in the graphs than the tables, which don’t tell the whole story.

    • Roberto

      his is the “look” of the lab, in my opinion very different from reality.

  • One More Thought

    Great job by Nikon (and most likely Sony in the sensor dept.). And let’s face it, the difference in scores is negligible under most real world scenarios. The real difference between D600 and D800 is resolution and the body. IQ will not be the decisive factor.

  • One More Thought

    Add to this the fact that Nikon is shipping these in large quantities right now…and you have a big win for N!

  • fotopro

    Bravo Nikon!!! You did it again. Congratulations on another great product.

  • jorg

    omg no canon dslr in the top ten!

    by the way: people tend to forget, that dxo only rates sensors.there is a lot more to a camera. but on the other side: most important system in a car is the engine- in a camera the sensor 🙂
    good job nikon!

  • c

    take the ‘review’ for what it is…in no way would the d600 or even the d800 compare to a flagship high fps body for sports…the d4 and d3s are loaded with the subtle features that sports and news pros need to do their job on a daily basis and these sort of reviews don’t take that into account at all.

  • Tim Williams

    Awesome scores!! As a DX owner upgrading to full frame I cannot wait for mine to arrive!!

  • Z

    D4s anyone? … w/D600 sensor …

    Are you listening, Nikon??

    • c

      i will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are joking!

    • Z

      Or D800s with 6FPS, 24mp sensor? …

      It’s good to be a Nikon shooter …

      • Z

        THAT would be a real D700 replacement …..

      • jastereo

        Would be an absolute winner of a camera right there. Make it happen Nikon (after you’ve sold D4’s to everyone who will buy one so as not to have a D3/D700 situation on your hands again.)

  • SLRist

    The reason why DxO gets Nikon reviews out so fast is because Nikon gives them early release models to test knowing that they are fantastic performers and the results will help sell more cameras. The reason the Canon results come out later is because Canon are withholding cameras as they know they will perform poorly and it will harm their sales. It’s like when you see a film released and the critics aren’t given a preview. You know the film’s going to stink. Canon are still nowhere near the top 10. They have become obsessed with video to the detriment of stills shooting performance.

  • HelpComputer

    The D600 looks like Nikon’s best overall value now. Those saying that one should get this over a D4, though, need to remember that the D4 has a very specific purpose: speed and durability. The D4 has better autofocus and shoots many more FPS continuously in RAW than the D600.

    “I don’t think JPEG shooters are going to have any trouble with the buffer size. Best case they’ll be shooting continuously for 10 to 18 seconds. Worst case, they’ll still have probably a five second buffer. Raw shooters may need to watch settings carefully. I can see the camera getting to a buffer of 7 (r7 reported in viewfinder) when I set the camera in certain ways, which is barely over a second worth of buffer. I’m guessing that raw shooters will want to set 12-bit Lossless Compressed and turn off all the things that take buffer space (especially Auto Distortion Control), which should get them a bit short of four seconds of continuous shooting.”

    However, if one isn’t shooting sports as a major part of their work/hobby, holy moly the D600 is a beast.

    • blubbeli

      Yes it is.

      But most upgraders here forget that the D600 is more than $1000 more expensive because every piece of glass is either more expensive or delivers less range.

      Did I mention the 1 stop advantage in terms of depth of field? Which comes with a stop advantage in SNR if you can afford the shallower DOF or longer shutter speeds.

      The D600 is awesome for enthusiasts but at the same time still too expensive if you only use it every two weeks or so. Is that 1 stop advantage really worth that much?

  • Well done, Nikon! Now let’s see some new lenses.

  • David

    So no Canon cameras in the top 10…

    6 Nikons and 4 £10,000+ medium formats own the top ten. Wow.

  • I am putting my D800E up for sale !!!

  • blubbeli

    Can anyone explain the poor ISO 25600 performance?
    Considering that is just a digital boost like ISO 12800, the slope in the curves should be the same. But if you look at it you can easily see that the slop is very, very different.
    I have never seen such extremes. And usually it’s the other way round because some RAW NR was applied.

    • blubbeli

      I believe I figured it out:
      If you do dark frame subtraction to clean up the image (helps a lot on my D7000 at ISO 25600), you sacrifice 0.71 of a stop of dynamic range (square root of two) according to signal theory.
      And curiously, the D600 loses pretty much exactly 1.71 stops of DR from ISO 12800 to ISO 25600.

      I’m guessing they had some serious issues with the high ISO image quality (magenta tint in some parts of the image or the tone). Usually the ‘problem’ stays constant over time and can therefore be hardcoded into the firmware. That’s why my D7000 RAW images at high ISO look pretty bad compared to the JPEGs.
      However, they might not have had the time/money to implement this or the results were poor. So they just decided to subtract the darkframe that completely takes care of the problem (really, results are excellent), but makes a considerable sacrifice.
      So you get the SNR of ISO 36000 at ISO 25600…

  • Zen-Tao

    The endless battle betwen Canon and Nikon has broken out. Just to oppose Nik. D600 Canon has already launched a camera body 6D worst than 5D MkIII I’m eager to see the first comparative.

  • Have you actually tried it in your hand?, it’s not a cheap plastic build but if you are constantly shooting at the poles and in the deserts than you may want to take the D800 instead…

    • BartyL

      Even there the D600 may be as good. Nikon claim that the “various points of the body are effectively sealed to attain superior dust-prevention and weather-resistant performance equivalent to that of the D800 series” (my emphasis).

      The D800 all-magnesium body shell might be an advantage if you are very clumsy or careless with your equipment.

      • check

        Or if you frequently attach your camera bodies to a vehicle running 200 mph (or travel to space stations).

  • john

    I just ordered from B&H, within 5 min, received an email with status : SHIPPED with tracking number. Wow, that is fast.

  • freakout

    The worst thing with Canon’s fullframe offerings is, there is only 1 (one) choice for resolution (20/22) compared to Nikon 16, 24, 36, 36e. Isn’t that a real shame?

    • jake

      that’s right and that’s why I sold all my Canon gear a few weeks a go although I was a dual system user for a decade.

      now, I use Nikon FX DX and Sony NEX and I can’t be happier.

    • don

      But do you know the best thing about Canon’s full frame offering?

      You can now pick up a used 5D classic for under $1K (as low as $600 in some cases). That is a bargain!

      • freakout

        In some cases you can pick up a D700 below €1.2k – that is a real deal. And you can use 50 years old Nikkors on it, you can pick up them for shameless prices. Canon rendered to good FD-System to trash, which still makes the system much more expensive.

  • Dweeb

    Someone tell Fake Chuck Westfall, he seems to be hiding these days.

  • John

    here is the first review on for D600:
    Nikon D600 is probably the best thing ever., September 18, 2012
    By The Spaghetti KingThis review is from: Nikon D600 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
    Honestly, this camera saved my marriage. My wife was about to divorce me because my camera was too cheap, and the megapixel count wasn’t high enough. I spent sleepless hours contemplating my dslr selection, and she would go to other men for camera advice. Finally, I decided to sell my children and buy this camera, and real talk, it changed everything. My wife was out with some guy, who was using a Canon T1i (LOL). I showed up and was like, “hey, check this out,” she was like, “whatever Jim, go home.” I pulled out this bad-boy, and she nearly orgasmed on the spot.

    Yeah, it has 24 megapixels. Yeah, it has great ISO for low-light. Yeah, it has an auto-focus system that can take pictures of our rambunctious cat. What do you wanna do about it? This punk with his punk-ass T1i was basically shivering in fear as my full-frame sensor swung majestically across my neck. I could see the light in my wife’s eyes burn with a white-hot passion that I haven’t witnessed for years.

    Needless to say, she kicked that chump in the balls and we are happily taking high res nudes together in my bathroom again. Thanks Nikon.

    Only giving it 4 out of 5 stars because they forgot the in-camera HDR.

    • Ken Mockwell

      He may think he’s funny but he really just need some serious counselling.

      Poor boy…

      • Big J

        That same person has already made similar feedbacks on Amazon products before. He’s known for it.

      • check

        Actually his review is way funnier than those comments left here by guys who can only mock other people’s name 😉

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