The New Nikon D600 HDSLR: Bridging the Gap Between Professional and Enthusiast


Nikon has just announced the D600, their most compact full-frame DSLR, featuring a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, EXPEED 3 image processing system, low-light sensitivity to ISO 25600 and a continuous shooting rate up to 5.5 full-resolution frames per second. In addition to image quality, the D600 also features the ability to share your imagery wirelessly with the optional WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter. This camera bridges the gap between professional-level DSLRs and more affordable cropped-sensor DSLRs by integrating a large FX sensor into a much more compact body than other full-frame models, allowing you the convenience of carrying a lighter weight body without sacrificing on quality.

FX-Format 24.3 Megapixel CMOS Sensor and EXPEED 3 Image Processor

At the heart of this camera lies a large full frame imaging sensor that is powered by a powerful processing system. This combination alone places the D600 in a unique position, allowing it to attain imagery of the highest quality and sharpness. An FX-sized sensor permits greater capture of nuance and minute details in a scene and allows for more control over the focus plane in your imagery. Additionally, it renders images with greater visual depth and smoother gradations between tones.

This sensor is adequately paired with an EXPEED 3 image processing system, which in addition to the speed afforded across the entire platform, also helps to boost the sensitivity to an expanded ISO 25600. This increased sensitivity also comes with the benefit of reduced noise levels for improved results when working in extreme lighting situations. There is support for continuous still image capture up to 5.5 full-resolution frames per second and Full HD video recording up to 1920 x 1080p at 30 fps.

Intelligent Metering and Focus Systems

Enhancing the sensor’s ability to capture impeccable detail and clarity, the D600 integrates a highly accurate 39-point autofocus system for expedited precision while shooting. The 39 points cover a broad area across the entire image plane, and benefit furthermore with the inclusion of nine cross-type points and seven center focus points. These AF points are functional down to f/8 and are ideally paired for use with tele-converters and longer lenses. When working with Live View and recording HD video, a contrast-detection-based autofocus system is employed for continuous focusing with the mirror up. This ensures critical focus across all working modes and in a variety of situations.

Exposure metering is determined through Nikon’s Intelligent Scene Recognition System, which utilizes 3D Color Matrix Metering II. This metering system makes use of a 2016-pixel RGB sensor for evaluating the entire scene’s brightness and contrast values, subject distance and colors in order to determine the exposure settings. The acquired data is then stored for comparative use to ensure consistency among different exposures in regard to white balance and overall exposure values. It also helps to improve i-TTL flash measurements and subject-tracking focus.

High Definition Video Recording

Mutually benefitting from the full frame sensor size, HD video recording is improved with the D600 and can support recording in both Full HD 1920 x 1080p as well as 1280 x 720p formats in a variety of frame rates.  While recording video, you have manual control of your exposure settings through use of the exposure compensation dial, shutter speed, or ISO settings; continuous autofocusing capabilities with face priority; still image capture capability; and dedicated inputs for both headphones and an external microphone. For the highest video quality, the camera can also output uncompressed 8-bit Full HD video during recording through the HDMI port. This enables you to use an outboard recorder to capture footage for rich detail and image fidelity.

Design and Compatibility

In conjunction with the innovatively large sensor, the size of the body is innovatively compact. The combination allows for users to gain the image quality potential of a professional-grade camera within a more convenient form factor. While the body is small in comparison to the imaging technology, the D600 still possess a large, high-resolution 3.2-inch LCD monitor with a 921K-dot resolution. The monitor provides 100% frame coverage and supports wide-angle viewing up to 170° in all directions.

The D600 features Nikon’s proprietary F lens mount, which provides compatibility with a vast array of lens choices. Being a full, 35mm-sized sensor, there is also more support for wide-angle lenses, compared to cameras with DX-sized sensors. The D600 is available as a body only, or in kit form with the inclusion of the AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens. This lens provides an ample focal length range for most shooting situations and features VR vibration reduction for reducing the appearance of camera shake.

Wireless Compatibility

For instant gratification after shooting, the WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter provides full Wi-Fi connectivity for instantly sharing your images straight from your D600. This small adapter kit plugs directly into the camera body and enables your camera to send images to your smart phone or tablet. Once the images have been transferred, you can easily share your work on social networking sites, through email or upload to cloud-based storage sites. Additionally, it allows you to gain remote control of the camera from your mobile device. Wireless control of the D600 is available for iOS or Android-based smart phones or tablets once the Nikon Wireless app has been downloaded. When working in this app, you can view from your camera’s perspective and trigger the shutter release, making it ideal for self-portrait or distant applications.

The Nikon D600 is an innovatively designed camera, poised to blur the boundary between the professional and enthusiast markets. The incorporation of a large, FX-format sensor within a compact body brings the best of both realms together without neglecting attention to details. Cinematic-quality HD video, intelligent exposure and focus systems, and processing power are all highlights of the D600 that serve to bridge the gap between previously polarized worlds.

Type Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens Mount Nikon F bayonet mount
Effective Pixels 24.3MP
Total Pixels 24.7MP
Sensor Size 35.9 x 24mm
Image Sensor Format FX
Image Sensor Type CMOS
Dust Reduction System Image sensor cleaning
Image Area (Pixels) FX-format
L: 6016 x 4016
M: 4512 x 3008
S: 3008 x 2008
L: 3936 x 2624
M: 2944 x 1968
S: 1968 x 1312
Still Image File Format JPEG (Fine, Normal, Basic), NEF (RAW; Lossless Compressed, Compressed, or Uncompressed 12 or 14-bit), TIFF (RGB)
Picture Control Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Standard, User-customizable settings, Vivid
Storage Media Type SD, SDHC, SDXC
Card Slot 2x SD
File System Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge
Viewfinder Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex Viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame Coverage FX: approx. 100%, DX: approx. 97%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.7x
Viewfinder Eyepoint 20.6mm (-1.0m)
Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment Built-in diopter (-3 to +1 m)
Focusing Screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII with AF Area Brackets (grid lines can be displayed)
Reflex Mirror Quick-return type
Lens Aperture Instant-return type
Compatible Lenses AF NIKKOR lenses (including G and D lenses), AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU AI lenses
Shutter Type Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane
Shutter Speed Range 1/4000 to 30 sec., bulb
Flash Sync Speed Up to 1/200 sec. (synchronizes with shutter at 1/250 sec. or slower)
Shutter Release Modes Continuous low-speed, Continuous high-speed, Mirror-up mode, Quiet shutter release, Self-timer mode, Single-frame mode
Continuous Shooting Rate Up to 5.5 fps
Self-Timer 2, 5, 10, 20 sec. delay
Exposure Metering System TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor
Metering Method Center-weighted, Matrix, Spot
Metering Range 0 to 20 EV
Exposure Modes Programmed auto with flexible program (P), Aperture-priority (A), Shutter-priority (S), Manual (M)
Exposure Compensation +/-5 EV in 1/3, 1/2, or 1 steps
Exposure Bracketing 2 or 3 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, or 2 EV steps
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100-6400 (expandable to ISO 50-25600)
Focus Modes Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), Continuous-servo (AF-C), Face-Priority AF (available in Live View and D-Movie only), Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder, Normal area, Single-servo AF (AF-S), Wide area
Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points 39
Autofocus Sensitivity -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F / 20°C)
Flash Bracketing 2 or 3 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, or 2 EV steps
Built-In Flash Guide Number 39' / 11.9m (ISO 100)
Flash Sync Modes Front-curtain sync (normal), Rear-curtain sync, Red-Eye reduction, Red-Eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync
Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in 1/3, 1/2, or 1 steps
White Balance Modes Auto, Choose color temperature (2500K–10000K), Cloudy, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Fluorescent (7 types), Incandescent, Preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored), Shade
Movie Metering TTL exposure metering using main image sensor .
Movie Maximum Recording Time 20 min. at highest quality, 29 min. 59 sec. at normal quality
Movie File Format MOV
Movie Video Compression H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
Movie Audio Recording Format Linear PCM
Movie Formats 1920 x 1080/30p, 25p, 24p
1280 x 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p
Microphone Built-in microphone (monaural) or external stereo microphone (optional)
Monitor Size 3.2" / 8.1 cm
Monitor Resolution 921,000-dots
Monitor Type Wide viewing angle TFT-LCD
Monitor Angle of View 170° wide-viewing angle
Monitor Adjustments Brightness (5 levels)
Interface Type C mini-pin HDMI, headphone jack, USB 2.0, stereo microphone input
Wi-Fi Functionality Eye-Fi compatible, WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter compatible
Power Source EN-EL15 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery Life 900 shots per charge (CIPA)
Tripod Socket 1/4"
Operating Temperature 32-104°F / 0-40°C
Dimensions 5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2" / 141 x 113 x 82mm
Weight 2.6 lb / 1.2 kg

Discussion 67

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What is the max shutter speed?

According to Nikon website, top speed is 1/4000. Slowest is 30 seconds.

The maximum shutter speed of the camera is 1/4000 of a second. The slowest programmable is 30 seconds, and it also has a bulb feature for exposures longer than 30 seconds.

The word on the street last week was the fastest shutter speed would be 1/4000 sec, half that of the D7000, i have not seen the spec anywhere, do you know?

I don't think I have ever shot anything at 1/2000 much less 1/4000 or 1/8000.

Hello Ron -

The maximum shutter speed of the new Nikon D600 is listed at 1/4000 second.

Max shutter speed D7000 = 1/8000
Max shutter speed D600 = 1/4000
Min ISO D7000 = 100
Min ISO D600 = 50

When talking exposure they are the same. The only time you'd see a difference is when trying to freeze extremely fast moving objects in bright daylight. Otherwise, using a flash in the dark is how you'd freeze motion anyway.

Most compact? A few mm smaller than D700? I am still waiting for a camera like F3, small, without video and lot of unneeded buttons and functions, for manual operation, for enjoying in focusing. Without antialiasing filter, and of course a variant with BW chip (but, without additional cost like current D800). If you need less, you pay more (Leica BW). Is it a time for a change?

Just the Nikon I've been waiting for, to upgrade from my D90.
Full frame sensor, 39 focusing points & SD cards. My kind of camera.
I wonder how it performs with my Nikkor 18-200VR - DX ? Any thoughts?

Stick to d7000 if u want to use DX lens in this body

That lens is designed for crop sensor (DX) bodies ( d90, d7000, d5000, etc.). It will work but you will see heavy darkening in the edges of the frame or the camera will go into crop (DX) mode. In any case you will just have a very expensive crop body with this lens. This is an FX body and therefore need FX lenses to get full benefit of the camera. I would try to get the excellent ( for a super zoom) 28-300 FX from Nikon if you are thinking of getting this body. This lens has the same field of view as the 18-200 lens you have.
If you want to keep that lens, the D7000 would be an excellent choice.

Sell the 18-200 and use that money towards the Nikon 28-300. A perfect lens for the D600. Evens out in the end and the glass is better.

So excited! I have been waiting for this for so long! I want! It looks to almost have the same layout as the D7000.

Is a vertical grip available for this D600?

This camera is all about size but yet the dimensions of the camera are 'not specified by manufacturer.' What lame-brain in the marketing department at Nikon thought this wasn't important?

Why is it D600 when u already have D800. Why is it cheaper than d700 and other higher level of nikon. I love 600 features for the price. It what's the difference between 600 and 700?

The first I seen about the D600 the price was less than $1000.00 how did it get up to over $2000.00?

will there be a long wait for this camera ?? and is there a replacement for the d7000 coming on line soon

I hope they do a better job of meeting demand than they did with the D800. Most places still have a waiting line for that camera and it's been out how long????

Ahhhh...weight is 760 g. or 42 ounces? I think Nikon screwed up!

Wow!!! I really hadn't thought about moving to a full frame camera because I like the extra reach of the DX. However, this is a game changer. If it performs as well as expected this will be an amazing camera.

How about using DX lens in the 1080 hd video mode??

Interval timer capabilities? I don't see it listed.

lol heavier, thicker, taller than the D700. so much for "most compact".

This camera can be a real winner! From all that I've read on the websites and the additional info provided here in the other comments, this new Nikon will redefine the market.
Look forward to seeing it once it is released and then let's see if Nikon can keep up with demand.

I see that the maximum Flash Sync Speed is only up to 1/200 sec. I wonder if it’s capable of Auto FP High Speed Sync?

I am so choked! I just bought a D7000 after owning a D300 for 4 years. I bought the D7000 as I wanted video and photo. This camera is so much better for photo and video and not much more money. I also can't believe that the D7000 doesn't allow USB download like my D300. I've used Nikon since my first Nikon F, but I am surprised the things they miss in their development.

What is it made of composition or metal?

Am I waiting in vain for a full frame camera with articulated LCD screen? There are a lot of great images that are difficult or impossible to get ****** on the ground or arms high in the air without such a screen.

This is going to be an awesome camera for those people that don't need all the pro features in the D800. I'm really happy that Nikon made this camera and it seems to have a decent kit lens option, all for $2800. (I'm speaking from a consumer pov.)

Hello, Full HD Video out during recording is a great, long awaited feature; which is not present in Canon DSLR (like 5D, 7D, 60D etc.)

Is there any Audio line input point to record audio out from mixer etc. What is the maximum length of video which can be recorded continuosly. (As ALL Canon DSLR camera video is limited to 12 minutes, whereas 5D can record 29 minute video clip.

Curious to get answers to my queries.

With Love

Comparing the D600 to the D800, it seems that one of the greatest differences is in the TTL exposure metering system: where the D600 has a 2,016 RGB sensor, the D800 has a 91,000 RGB sensor. Is this very significant?

This ought to drop the prices of the used D3 market a bunch!
Most used D3's are going for approx. $2,000.

What happened to the D400? When will that come out?

does the d600 have a pc port?

I already ordered mine

I love Nikon cameras, but seem to get a migrane when they start announcing new models as lately their numbering system is all over the map.

One of the Q-As already asks about a D400.

Is this D600 meant to replace the D300, or are we waiting to he hear about the actual emergence of the D400?

I've used my friends D7000 with a 17-55 lens on it. Didn't like the balance nor the small size of the grip. The size of the D600 is just a little bigger from what I've read, would the balance and feel be better?
Looking at the D700 for the larger body and FX of course. About the same price today as the D600.

With the D600, it looks like the percentage surface area of the viewfinder containing the autofocus sensors is much smaller than on the D700, D800, D7000. I wonder if that means it may not be possible to zoom in as close as might be desired on some shots because the point needing sharpest focus may be beyond the confines of this sensor grid resulting in the need to pull back to get a good focus lock on the point needing to be sharpest and then crop in post-processing. Do any others have this concern?

Unfortunately the D600 did away the AF-ON button, which was on the D300 and D700 cameras.

I wonder if the ISO 6400 camera performance is equal or better than the D700.

Long time Nikon user. Started in 1970 with FTN. I have a question;- I have Prime AI lenses I used for my F3 back in film days. Will I be able to use this in A priority,& Manual focus? I have the 24mm F2.8 and the 50mm F1.4. The others-- 105mm and 200mm I doubt I would carry. If so this looks like a winner. I now use a D80 but want to grade up to a full frame.

This is terrific, it's a full frame.......l am into sony.....hope they come out with this.........

I have a D200 and my son a D700. My son-in-law a D7000. BTW I also have a Nikkormat FTN and a Nikon 8008 :)
Will th ebattery pack increase the FPS as in the D700, or simply give you a longer battery life and square body lik ethe D7000

I currently have a D300 with several lenses. Will the lenses that I haved fit the D600? Does the D600 have all of the features of the D300 and what has been added? Are the differences worth buying the D600? Is it considered a professional camera? Will my 600 flash fit the D600?

Does the Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control work with the D600?

I have a D300 and am contemplating purchasing the D600. What features will I gain and what features will I lose? Will the Nikon lenses that fit my D300 still fit the D600? Will my SB600 flash fit the D600?

Does it have multiple exposure capability?

I currently use a D300 and am looking to upgrade. Other than video and a full frame sensor with 24mp. Is this camera a step up or down?Any suggestions?

Im not sure if I missed it, but is the camera capable of using an external flash unit?

The promo for this included a link to a site where two brothers were given D600s to tromp around in the wilderness. Photos and a lot of video were shown in the four clips, and it looked wonderful. One commenter asked about an intervalometer, and with a lot of time-lapse shown, I'd guess there must be some way of doing so, just the same as I can do with my D300. A question for those, perhaps a comment from the B & H folks who see a lot of stuff, are there some suggested ways to take the interval frames and make them into a movie? There is a way, or the demo clips wouldn't be able to show the rotating stars and speeding clouds, but can someone comment on or suggest some recent software solutions to do that combining? This may just make night sky time lapse much more fun than it has been.