New Gear: Nikon D600 Full-Frame DSLR

It's not as burly as the D800 or the D4, but it costs just $2,100

Nikon D600

Nikon D600

dsc_0769.jpg
Nikon's new $2,100 full-frame D600 will be making its way into our test lab very soon, but to give you an idea of how it performs, here's a collection of real-world sample images shot with the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 kit lens. All the shots use Standard picture control mode, Auto white balance, with Matrix metering, in the sRGB color space. None of the images have been edited. This image of a glass jar in my home doesn't say much about fine detail, but it does show how the D600's auto white balance deals with the daylight pouring in through the window, mixed with the amber light on the left side colored by the slats from my air conditioner. It also shows off the bokeh of the kit lens at the tele maximum aperture of f/4.5. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 400, 1/100 sec., f/4.5, +0.67 EV exposure compensation, lens at 85mm. Download the full-resolution image
dsc_0775.jpg
Here's another shot wide open at the tele end of the zoom. There's only a sliver of real sharpness around the green sprout near the middle of the image. In this case we get to see how the bokeh deals with blurring a more complex surface while including lots of darker areas to show some shadow detail. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 100, 1/500 sec., f/4.5, -0.67 EV exposure compensation, lens at 85mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0779.jpg
This Verizon payphone that resides on a corner near my home has sat in its desperately mangled state for months. Zoom in to enjoy the relative lack of noise at ISO 1600 and see if you can count the number of scratches on the top of the earpiece from angry people bludgeoning the phone with it. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 1600, 1/250 sec., f/8, -0.67 EV exposure compensation, lens at 62mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0784.jpg
Lampposts in New York City are often covered in flyers. This one sits across the street from what is hands-down the best Italian restaurant in Washington Heights. It is called Saggio, and you can see its striped awning in the background. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 1600, 1/250 sec., f/8, +0.67 EV exposure compensation, lens at 72mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0788.jpg
Talentless hacks like me love to shoot pictures of rusty iron railings. I shot this one at ISO 3200 just to have an excuse to subject you to it. Being in a shadowy area, and with the railing a bit high for my limited height, I used live view and held the camera above my head. Using the contrast detection system in live view, focusing wasn't particularly fast, but not annoying slow either. The minimal grain at ISO 3200 is impressive. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 3200, 1/640 sec., f/6.3, +0.33 EV exposure compensation, lens at 42mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0791.jpg
When life hands you grapefruits, place them in front of the under-ripe oranges. There's not much more to say about this one, though again, it is shot at ISO 3200. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 3200, 1/1250 sec., f/6.3, no exposure compensation, lens at 72mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0793.jpg
This is a wacky stairwell at the south end of the 181st St A train station. Shot at ISO Hi 1, an equivalent of ISO 12,800, we can observe the diminishing detail available at this camera's penultimate sensitivity setting. We also get to see how the D600's auto white balance fares with what can only be described as the nastiest fluorescent lighting known to humankind. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 12,800, 1/250 sec., f/6.3, -0.67 exposure compensation, lens at 85mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0798.jpg
This is about as mean as you can be to the D600. Shot in the Continuous High drive mode, with 3D focus tracking engaged, and panning along as the A train slowly pulls into the station. Normally I'd have gone for a brighter, more pleasing image, but I wanted to keep it dark to see what happened to noise in the shadows. Compared to a lot of cameras, especially smaller-sensored ILCs, this is actually a pretty good result. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 12,800, 1/800 sec., f/4.5, -0.67 exposure compensation, lens at 85mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0815.jpg
Here's a better-exposed shot at ISO Hi 1. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 12,800, 1/640 sec., f/4.5, no exposure compensation, lens at 85mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0844.jpg
Have you mailed your grandmother a letter lately? Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 100, 1/50 sec., f/5.0, no exposure compensation, lens at 24mm. Download the full-resolution image here
dsc_0847.jpg
Don't misuse public trash bins in New York City or else you will pay dearly. With harsh sunlight at my back, it was a bit difficult to see LCD screen to frame this shot with live view. I did my best, but ended up with this somewhat haphazard composition. Shot info: Nikon D600, ISO 100, 1/50 sec., f/11, +1.67 exposure compensation, lens at 24mm. Download the full-resolution image here