Made for the Enthusiast, Strong Enough for a Pro : Nikon D600

There have been a flurry of camera announcements this week, plus one little phone.
As brands like Sony fully embrace the mirrorless category, touting a DSLR experience, they seem to be cannibalizing their own DSLR line-up.
Honestly we’re big fans of the NEX series. Shooting the NEX 5N with a Leica lens, these days.

Now Nikon, on the other hand, has had a stellar year of releases, all in the DSLR line.
From the flagship D4, which shoots like a Ferrari, to the new DSLR video standard in the D800,
This new entry, the D600 gives you a ton of solid , usable features, for about $1000. less than a D800. And it’s FX (full frame) format.

But it does borrow from it’s bigger brother.

Maybe a small feature to some, but 100% Viewfinder: shoot what you see. Not all viewfinders give you that.
5.5 continuous shooting with NEF and jpeg., uncompressed 1080p HD video out.
Here’s the big deal about that last feature- you can have the LCD on live-view and port out to an external monitor at the same time! Or go right into an external hard drive with uncompressed video.
Yes, you want to know: 24.3 megapixels with the sweet Nikon EXSPEED 3 processor.

The top dial now caries many of the functions, you had split over the camera or had to dig in the menu for.

and the back panel looks pretty familiar, right?

You see, this makes it easy to add a camera body like this to your bag, since the operational learning has pretty much already happened.

What’s new is this wi-fi module, that sells for an affordable $60.. Or will.
Why is that a cool feature? because the coming app that runs on Android and iPhone (OSX) will let you transmit photos from the camera to the device.
Look ma, no hands…umm….no wires.
Is it the holy grail of wireless transmission? Remains to be seen.
We’ll have one of these cameras in our hands in the morning, ready to shoot.
That’s when the rubber will meet the road.
This unit takes 2 SD cards, which can be a mirror back-up incamera, or overlfow.

You can shoot up to 20 minutes of video at 1080p, so get a coupla big, fast cards.
Oh yeah, there are 20 levels of audio controls, so enjoy some manual creativity.
yes, there is a headphone jack, critical to monitor you video shooting.

What there is NOT, is a 10 pin classic Nikon connector.Hmmmm…what do i do with my remotes that count on that?
ISO from a possible 50-25,600.

So: smaller footprint, 24.3 MP, 1080p HD vid, uncompressed HDMI output,39 point focus, 5.5 fps, takes all of the Nikon 60 plus line-up of lenses, a battery grip is available, and the shutter is good for 150,000 shot.

How much? $2100.MSRP. Available next week.
And a little birdie told us there may be some good deals about, so look around.

Our dilemma is since the D700 is still our mainstay, do we go D600 or D800 for the second body.
Still not sure.
And remember, this is not a review.
We only hung out with it.
Tomorrow we start shooting with it. And we’ll report back in.

and now, the official press release:

MELVILLE, N.Y. (September 13, 2012) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the 24.3-megapixel (MP) D600, a camera that is designed to deliver the image quality and performance benefits of a full frame FX-format sensor to the enthusiast looking to take their dedication to the next level. The Nikon D600 offers a remarkable value, merging the perfect combination of a lightweight, compact form factor and superior image quality, making the leap into FX-format photography more attractive than ever.
Whether shooting stills or Full HD video, advanced features and Nikon technologies like the newly developed high resolution CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 image processing engine are designed to meet the needs of the most demanding creative vision. Additionally, Nikon’s new optional WU-1b wireless adapter allows users to shoot high quality HD-SLR images and transfer them to their mobile device, making it easier to stay connected, without the need for wires.
“For many, image making is so much more than a hobby; it is a way of life that changes the way the world is perceived. The Nikon D600 represents a new category of camera for this user and demonstrates Nikon’s devotion to the passionate photographer who is always looking for new ways to express their creativity through their photos and HD videos,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “By offering users the advanced FX-format and key features inherited from our professional cameras, along with new functions like optional wireless capabilities, Nikon is inspiring photographers by providing an imaging experience that satisfies like never before.“

Superior Image Quality

Nikon’s FX-format offers photographers exciting image quality possibilities, from dazzling dynamic range and exacting detail to stellar low-light ability. The D600 employs Nikon’s newly developed, large 24.3 MP FX-format CMOS Sensor (35.9 x 24mm) to offer photographers a versatile camera that provides amazing image quality and sharpness, with ample resolution to tackle almost any project. Because the needs of the advanced amateur varies widely, the new CMOS sensor provides a wide ISO range from 100-6400 (expandable from 50-25,600) to give photographers maximum low-light flexibility yielding clean images with minimal noise and accurate color. The full ISO range can also be used while capturing HD video in challenging light. Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED 3 image processing engine interprets the massive amount of image data flowing from the sensor to quickly process images and HD video. The result is striking images and impressive HD video that exhibits faithful color reproduction and tonal range throughout the frame.

Precision Technology Engineered for the Enthusiast

Enthusiasts of all types demand the best from their gear, and the Nikon D600 is a camera engineered with intuitive features that give photographers an edge in the field. Whether shooting lush landscapes, action sports or the elusive animals of the Serengeti, Nikon’s Scene Recognition System and 2,016 pixel RGB sensor excels in any situation. By recognizing the scene prior to capture, the system meticulously analyzes factors such as color and brightness with extraordinary precision and compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. The result is enhanced AF performance and flattering exposures.

For precise AF performance in a wide variety of shooting conditions, the D600 features a 39 point AF system with the new MultiCAM 4800FX AF module. This AF array is well suited to a wide variety of shooting styles and disciplines, offering AF modes to let users select a single point, continuous AF, Dynamic AF or use 3D tracking to keep pace with a moving subject throughout the frame. Additionally, the system features nine cross type sensors for maximum accuracy, while seven AF points are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8 for extreme telephoto applications.

To keep up with action sports, active wildlife or the photo opportunity that unexpectedly arises, the D600 is ready to shoot in 0.13 seconds, with a 0.052 second shutter release. The camera emphasizes speed and performance, from overall operation and image processing, helped in part by the exceptional EXPEED 3 processing engine. The camera is also capable of bursts of images at 5.5 frames per second (fps) at full resolution with full AF, to capture decisive moments. To further enhance speed and workflow, images and video can also be rapidly transferred to dual SD card slots that are compatible with the latest SDXC and UHS-1 high speed standards.
Enthusiasts will also appreciate other thoughtful features made to appeal to more advanced photographers, such as the 100% frame coverage seen through optical viewfinder. The wide and bright view makes it easy to compose in a variety of conditions, and affords the ability to enjoy shooting for hours on end with minimal eye fatigue. Additionally, the D600 features several scene modes and features to enhance creativity, including one-touch access to Picture Control functions through a new dedicated button. Photographers can also shoot images in High Dynamic (HDR) mode for amazing highlights, and create awe-inspiring time lapses with ease.

Experience Full HD

The Nikon D600 has advanced video features that are ideal for those ready to embrace the world of HD-SLR video, as well as those already enjoying its benefits such as manual control, depth of field, low-light ability and lensing options. This camera gives users the ability to record Full HD at varying frame rates and resolutions including 1080p video at 30, 25 or 24p, and 720p video at 60, 50 and 30p. When shooting HD video at the highest quality setting, up to 20 minutes can be recorded, or up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds in normal quality for added convenience when shooting static shots such as interviews and events. The large 3.2-inch 921K dot LCD screen makes it easy to preview images or video captured, navigate the menu system or confirm critical HD focus, while automatic brightness control adapts seamlessly to changing lighting conditions.
Sophisticated video features help to increase the production value on any project, including full manual control of exposure, and the ability to switch between FX and DX-format (1.5X) at Full HD for a telephoto boost and alter depth of field. Users can opt to focus manually or can take advantage of the full-time AF while recording to help ensure faces are in focus or track a moving subject.
Additionally, videographers have the ability to capture audio with the onboard microphone or record stereo audio externally using the mic input. Audio can be monitored through the headphone jack and levels can be displayed on the LCD with peaking.

In addition to the ability to play back HD video and images through the HDMI terminal, users are also able to experience pro-grade video features in the Nikon D600. For monitoring and streaming applications, the image can be displayed on the LCD screen while simultaneously shown on another monitor through the HDMI, with or without shooting data. What’s more, the D600 adds the ability to transfer uncompressed video via the HDMI connection, which can then be routed to a digital recorder or similar device.

Remote Sharing and Capture

Photography is a form of expression, which can now be shared more ways than ever before through social networks and online communities. To accompany the D600, Nikon has also announced the optional WU-1b Wireless Adapter that allows users to connect wirelessly to the camera. A companion Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application for Android™ based mobile devices is also available at no additional cost. 1 Furthermore, an application for the iPhone® and iPad® mobile digital devices will be available on September 15, 2012.2

When connected, users are able to share their images taken with the D600 through their mobile device to their social circles, as well as send and download images from their camera to a compatible device.3 The adapter also allows users to remotely fire the D600’s shutter from up to 50 feet from the camera, which is ideal for capturing photos from unique vantage points.

NIKKOR, Speedlight and System Compatibility

Supporting the D600 is Nikon’s heritage in optical excellence, more than 70 NIKKOR AF and AF-S compatible lenses for maximum versatility. Those with DX-format lenses will also be happy to know that these lenses can also be used on the camera as well as the ability to set DX crop for stills or video to extend the reach of telephoto or telephoto zoom lenses.

The new Nikon HD-SLR is also a gateway to Nikon’s renowned Creative Lighting System (CLS) which illuminates a whole new world of creative image making using multiple Speedlights. A built-in Speedlight commander can control multiple Speedlights such as Nikon’s SB-700, SB-910 or Wireless Close Up Speedlight System, and the camera can also control up to two individual speedlight groups for further creative control.

Constructed to Inspire

Built to withstand the wide variety of shooting conditions enthusiasts face, the body of the D600 is sealed and gasketed against dirt and moisture. The camera uses magnesium alloy top and rear construction to provide a lightweight camera with maximum durability. The shutter has been tested for 150,000 cycles, and sensor cleaning is also employed. The battery is rated for approximately 900 shots, affording photographers the ability to shoot all day. Additionally, the optional MB-D14 Multi PowerBattery Pack extends the grip for comfort and can effectively double the battery capacity when using two batteries.

The D600 is also built with an emphasis on handling with thoughtful ergonomics and button placement, in a body that is compact enough to carry comfortably on any excursion. The hand grip has been improved for comfort, while the overall impression from using the camera is reassuringly solid. To avoid accidental engagement, the shutter button has been recessed, while the Mode Dial can be locked.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D600 will be available on September 18, 2012 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $2,099.95*, for body only, or with the AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR for the SRP of $2,699.95*. The WU-1b will be also available on September 18, 2012 for an SRP of $59.95*. The MB-D14 Multi Power Battery Pack will be available in late September for an SRP of $322.00*. For more information on the new Nikon D600 and other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

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