Nikon D600 review
35.9x24mm 24.3-megapixel sensor, 3.5x zoom (24-85mm equivalent), 850g
The D800's AF On button for invoking autofocus separately from shutter release is absent here, but the AE Lock button can be reassigned to this task. So too can a front-mounted Function button that falls below the little finger (this is in addition to the depth-of-field preview button). The metering mode is on a button and is adjusted in conjunction with a command dial rather than a dedicated switch.
There are a few other changes, including a conventional mode dial with scene modes and an Auto mode. This gives the D600 a more consumer-oriented feel, but there's nothing missing in terms of controls, and the viewfinder is just as big. Our one gripe is that buttons for ISO speed, white balance, picture control and quality have alternate roles during image playback. If image review is enabled then pressing the buttons directly after shooting adjusts playback parameters and not shooting parameters. Still, it isn’t too much of a chore to half-press the shutter button again to cancel image review before adjusting settings.
Other downgrades will bother some people more than others. The 1/4,000s maximum shutter speed is half the speed of the D800's, and flash sync is at 1/200s rather than 1/250s. There are some online complaints about this, but it only affects people who use off-camera flash to fill in the shadows of action shots taken in direct sunlight, and that’s a fairly niche group. There's no PC sync socket for triggering strobes, but a suitable hot-shoe adaptor only costs a few pounds.
The slightly smaller size and lower weight, down from 1kg to 850g, will be seen by many as an improvement, although it's still big enough to be extremely comfortable. Wedding photographers and others who need a camera that looks like it means business can add the battery grip for £250 including VAT. A Wi-Fi adaptor (WU-1B) is also available, and at £65 it's much more affordable than the WT-4 for the D800, which costs over £500. Those upgrading from a consumer SLR will appreciate the dual SDXC slots more than the D800's SDXC and CompactFlash slots. The second slot can be used for overflow, backup or to split RAW and JPEG files for faster performance.