Nikon D600: A Professional Camera This Awesome Cannot Possibly Be This Cheap

For a lot of people, a professional DSLR like the Nikon D800 is something you dream about but can't afford. The new full-frame Nikon D600 is $US800 cheaper than the D800 and packs many of its big brother's features. Yes, you, the non-professional should be very excited.

AU Editor's Note: We're chasing Australian pricing on this one. Shouldn't be too long. In the meantime, check out this preview.

The Nikon D600 has a 24.3-megapixel, full-frame (35.9 x 24mm) sensor. That's much lower resolution than the 36-megapixel full-framer on the D800. The camera's also lighter — 759 grams compared to 899 — and slightly smaller in size. That's not going to bother most people and especially not the target audience for this camera because if those spare megapixels are really important to you that means you're probably a professional who can afford to spend a little more on the pricier camera. The camera's image quality is likely still all there.

But what do you lose besides resolution, some heft, and $US800 off the price tag? Importantly, you lose some handling. The D800 is covered in buttons that allow you to adjust basically every setting without ever having to dive into a menu on the camera's 3.2-inch LCD. After all, the speed and ease of adjustments is one of our favourite parts about using the D800. While the D600 has its fair share of on-body controls, it doesn't have quite as many. Again, will the person buying this camera care about that? Maybe, but it also might be a luxury they can live without if they're getting the great image quality the D600 promises.

Another drawback is that the D600 uses a 39-point AF system compared to the D800's more sophisticated 51-point system. That's maybe the biggest disappointment of this camera, and even then, it's hardly a dealbreaker.

But otherwise you're looking at basically the same camera. The D600 uses the same Expeed 3 image processor as the D800, and it's rated to the same 6400 maximum ISO. It even shoots identical 1920 x 1080 resolution video at 30, 25, 24 frames-per-second and 1280 x 720 video at 50 and 60 fps. Hell, the D600's 5.5 frame-per-second continuous burst shooting is even a tick faster than the D800's 4 fps spec.

At $US2200 for just the body, the D600 is hardly a bargin. Rather, the D600 is designed for serious photographers who found the D800 and other comparable cameras just a wee bit too expensive. At that price-point the D600's only real competitor is the nearly five-year-old Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Sure the 5DMKII is a slick camera, but on age alone, the decision seems like a no-brainer, right?

Another nice touch is that the D600 has a kit option; for $US2700 the camera comes bundled with a sweet 24-85mm f/3.5 lens. Consider that Sony's just announced a99 costs $US100 more for the body alone. The two cameras have nearly identical specs, so it's pretty obvious that the cash-strapped enthusiast will want to spring for the D600. Yes, we realise that specs aren't everything so let's just hope the D600 is as good as it sounds. We're expecting a review unit of the camera within the next couple of hours, so we'll let you know what we think as soon as we get our mitts on it. [Nikon]

Nikon D800

• Price: $US2200 (body only)/ $US2800 w/ 28-85mm f/3.5 lens

• Sensor: 24.3-megapixel, full-frame (35.9 x 24mm)

• Max ISO: 6400 (Standard)/ 25600 (expanded)

• Max Image Size: 6,016 × 4,016 pixels

• Video: 1920 x 1080 30/25/24 and 1280 x 720 60/50/30/25

• Max Drive: 5.5 frames-per-second at full resolution

• Screen: 921,000-dot dot, 3.2-inch LCD

• Storage: Dual-SD card slots

• Weight: 759 grams


Comments

    I think you made a little bit of typo you have just written Nikon D800 and listed all the D600 stats.

    sounds like a good camera though, if only i had a spare 2 grand! ill just have to stick with my d90 for now.

    If you don't need the extra resolution (ie. the majority of people, and if you do, spend the extra and get a D800), a smarter buy is picking up a second hand D3 or D700.

      A 2nd hand D3 is a great idea, but the D700 doesnt have a video option even though it is an amazing piece of kit.

    the rumoured price was consistently around 1500 US. as much as this is a cool piece of tech i won't be considering it at this price.

    my d7000 will do for quite some time i think without a partner

    Just checked the nikon USA website and it is listing the price $100 US cheaper at $2099 US. Above the expected price and , as usual we will be gouged for more in Australia , but 10.4 MPS in Dx mode is great - I will be getting one within the next 6 months . I never buy the first production runs of any model.

    I Agree , iTS 600 DOLLARS more than the expected Price, BIG LET DOWN..600 DOLLARS! NO THANKS

    It just announced in Bangkok 2 hours ago. The price is 72,500 Baht (approx. 2,400 USD), body only.

    Hence ,The Title "Cannot be Possibly This Cheap" is Sensationalism at his Worst.The Writer Should be Wiser than that, I am sure He is aware the Expected Price was 1500 as well.With The Combo Lens the Price winds up being practically the same as the D800! Folks That were looking for an Upgrade are let down. Nikon Should have reduced the d7000's body to $999 then Have the 600's at $1599, and the 800's at $ 2999. Keeping a margin of 700 to 800 dollars between each , plausible marketing. Hmm This may be a plot to keep the 800 selling. You wont get CANON users to switch , as the 5D Mark 2 is still an awesome full frame and now 200 dollars cheaper. Had it been about 1600 then Canon users are thinking to get rid of their lenses for a complete switch over . the 5d mARK 2 couldn't be possibly this cheap , could it? Are you for real..

    The question no preview has answered is: Are Nikon manufacturing this camera in Thailand or Japan?

    It's a question I wouldn't have to ask of Canon.

      Its made in Thailand. I have played with it.

    Wow. The spec sheet says D800. Should really fix it before it confuses some of your readera

    Misleading title for sure. It is no more 'professional' than the D7000.
    It is also NOT "basically the same camera" as the D800. It IS basically a D7000 with Sony's 24Mp full fram e sensor shoehorned in, and a feature or two borrowed from the D3200 and D800
    It looks like a very nice camera - and if I could afford one I would get one , but the build quality and lower spec autofocus places it as a top end enthusiasts camera, not a professional camera.

    Vanbar imaging has just confirmed a body only price in Aus of $2575. This is compared to $2099 US.- which at close of business today equals $2010 Aus. Even factoring in the 10% GST this camera should retail at about $ 2200-2250 in Australia. Once again we are being treated as suckers.

      Just checking your math here: (US2099 = AU$2087 cash rate today when converting via travelex) so AU2087 x 1,1 (GST) = AU2295.70 + give or take around AU$80 shipping = AU$2375.70.
      So the Australian price is around $200 more than US, or around 8% higher.
      Yes we should be buying at the same price! but for under 10% difference Australian 2 year warranty and a local business this is where Ill go. You'll probably get 8%-10% off in store anyway.

        Do you honestly think that wholesalers pay $80 per unit in shipping?

        US$2099= $1984.70AUD plus GST=$2183.20.
        Getting a discount of 10% on a newly released camera, unlikely. But hey if you do find a store that gives you that type of discount please! post it here.

    ...and at that price the uptake of this camera might not be as spectacular as predicted.

    At the announced price on the day of release $2600 is too much. I'll have the D800 which I've found @ just under $3000.

    Let it settle for about a month or so. The street price if you hunt round will come in at about $2100.
    A 24+megapixel FX camera at roughly $2 k is good value. This is the D7000 upgraded to a full frame.
    We might see a D7100 but I think we're looking at full frame from now on. just a guess..

    There is some nice mid-range FX glass which will suit enthusiasts quite nicely.

    If you bought this and really top end fast glass, the files would be very nice indeed.

    As a second body for a pro or a first body for a semi pro/enthusiast this is a bang for buck camera. Just look at what $2500 bought you 5 years ago.

    The thing that does bother me is the price of the Nikon battery grips.T are very expensive for a battery with a button .

    The starting price is meaningless unless you're one of those idiots who lines up the day it's released just so you can boast you've got the latest gadget (and the smallest bank balance!). Unlike a company like Apple, Nikon doesn't tell it's resellers what price they must sell at and I predict competition will be fierce for this camera and will drive the price down quickly.

    This is overpriced. Perhaps Nikon leaving room to fit a replacement to D7000 (D7100?) in the $1800 price range. But D600 is too much for keen enthusiast.

    Let us wait & see. Do not rush for the first lot. As always, the next lot will have all bugs fixed & as you all said, the price may get lower. I have the 800 & I will be awaiting your comments for the600

    I hope you folks realise that the 1500 price was just a rumour and here-say not actual fact. Thinking otherwise is just delusional.

    2100-2500 for a new full frame body that is relatively well specced is a steal compared to what else is on offer. For the very keen DX enthusiast who already owns thousands of dollars of FX lenses upgrading to the D600 should not be a cost issue. Seriously Nikon did a damn good job of squeezing all this into a sub 3k full frame body and people are STILL complaining some people just can't be pleased.

    $2699 @ Camera House. In Stock Next Tuesday, for my store anyway.

    Digital camera warehouse and Cameras direct are already undercutting Vanbar by $100 . All good Australian stores .

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