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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One thing I did not see was wireless remote control RF or IR. For instance will the D600 support the inexpensive ML-L3 IR remote?

I own two SB-800 are they compatible with the new D600 or do I have to upgrade?

I have a D7000 with a bunch of lenses. Since the new 600 only shoots 10 MP with a DX lens it seems like a bit of a down grade unless I buy more lenses.

Will the eyefie / wifi adapter allow me to download direct to a PC?


Does anyone know if the hotshoe can accept a xlr adapter. New Sony a99 will.

I am likely to buy the D600 as it is getting great reviews. Does anyone know if the SD cards can be written simultaneously for video, so you would have backup video on second disk as you record.
The question also applies to Still photo images for recording twice for backup. (I have also D300s which has data flow over to second card or jpeg and raw saved on separate cards.) I imagine you need fast SD Extreme or Extreme Pro such as Sandisk brand to achieve this dual copy video recording, which the Canon XF100 (pro video camera, which this DSLR is an alternate choice to) the XF100 can do dual record copies but with Pro CF instead. Would like to know if Nikon D600 is setup this way as well for 2 copies, in case of corruption of data or data drops on long HD maximum length recordings, a second recording copy could be useful. Or would this not be an issue for a need of backup video recording when camera is in use?

Is the Vello Shutter Boss compatible?

I am very interested in the output of uncompressed 8-bit Full HD video during recording through the HDMI port. Would you suggest an outboard recorder that I can use to capture footage with the best quality? Will hiperdeck shuttle 2 do it?
I read on the manual (page 205) that some devices may not support this camera frame rate and resolution and that movies may be output at a frame size smaller than that selected for frame size/frame rate. That's what I'd like to avoid. Thank you very much.

I am excited about this camera but have read several complaints about dust and oil spots. Has thi been an issue at B an H?

I have a question that is never stated in articles or anything. I shoot an independent professional baseball team and the lighting is borderline dangerous for the players; it's that bad. I presently have a D80 which I'm pushing to its limit to get action photos. I'm interested in upgrading the camera body. I really am an FX fan; I've been doing photography for close to 50 years and do shoot a lot of subjects, but the DX is fantastic for the baseball.

All FX cameras are tested and rated only in FX but not DX mode. The D600 is 10meg in DX mode. Obviously it is great in FX but how is it in Dx? My D80's 10meg could sure be better for resolution when I take photos and have to crop them. Is the D600 going to be any better in DX mode in low lighting than the D80? Is the D7000 a better choice for the baseball and enough to continue to give up the FX format. All my lenses are FX lenses; I have never bought a DX lens both because I've always wanted an FX digital camera and quite frankly the DX lenses are generally far inferior to the FX lenses.

Is is possible to remotely and wirelessly start and stop D600 video?

Will the d600 get the very best out of the Nikkor 85mm 1.4G lens?

Two questions:
1. I currently have a D-90 with am AF-S 18-300mm DX lens as my primary "walk around" lens and other DX lenses. Can the D-600 use DX lenses and if so what happens to the MP.
2. Does it have two memory cards and if so, can you designate one to be used for Raw and the other for .jpeg?

With the WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter
does the d600 have a print feature directly on camera
to utilize with a wifi printer or would you
have to use the mobile app?

Hi everybody,

I just bought Nikon D600 along with the new lens 24-85mm VR 3.5-4.5 and my main purpose is the video shooting as we already have Nikon lenses (24-70mm, f2.8 & 70-200mm VRII f2.8 & 50mm f1,4) and we also have the new Nikon D800 and 2 speedlights SB-910.
Although this camera is very good at shooting stills, I am very disappointed of the fact that, unlike D800, D600 does not have the option to control-change the exposure, aperture (f-diaphragm) manually while in D-movie mode! (Here you say that you change aperture manually WRONG!) This is a real issue because if somebody wants to control the depth of field and check this change straight at the LCD, this camera does not allow! So, I have to switch off D-movie, change the aperture and then switch the D-movie on again! Disaster especially when shooting weddings and events generally! This is also a problem of D7000 which I sold in order to buy the D600. Unfortunately, Nikon didn't correct this issue through a firmware update.
If it hadn't been for the lenses and the whole Nikon equipment I would have bought Canon for video. For a company such as Nikon these things are unacceptable and very disappointing.
Please, if anybody can help, will Nikon solve this problem through a new firmware or this is impossible? Is a matter that has to do with the firmware or has to do with the construction of the camera?

Thank you...

Yes, you are correct that the D600 does not support manual switching of aperture when working in live view or movie mode. However, it does afford you manual exposure control when working in live view. In Program, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority modes, you can control your exposure settings with an exposure compensation dial for up to three stops, either under or over. If working in Manual mode, you can change exposure settings by modifying either the shutter speed or ISO setting.

Unfortunately we have no knowledge of the types of firmware updates Nikon might have planned for the D600 or which features they will improve or add to the camera.

I'm delighted to find that mtd600 works wuth my legacy lenses.

Will it work with my old SB 17 Speedlight?

To mount the SB-17 on a standard ISO type shoe(D600), you would need to get a Nikon AS-6 Flash Coupler, if you don’t already have one. With that coupler, you could use the SB-17 on the D600 in non-TTL auto and manual modes. Unfortunately, that coupler has been discontinued, and we have since sold out of all stock. So, you would need to find one used (again, if you don’t already have one).