Since the launch of the megapixel-monster that is the D800, there have been rumors that Nikon was set to release a "full-frame camera for the rest of us." Today, after several months of the worst-kept secret in the camera industry (probably since the D800 itself), Nikon has revealed the D600. It's a 24.3-megapixel full-frame DSLR aimed at enthusiasts, with a smaller body and featuring wireless sharing and capture.
The Nikon D600 feels like it's closer to being a cross between the D7000and the D800, rather than the expected upgrade to the aging D700. While that 24.3-megapixel full-frame sensor – down from 36.3 in the D800 – still exceeds the pixel count of most other DSLRs, and the D600 boasts Full HD video, this is all packed into a smaller body which uses a magnesium alloy top and rear, like the consumer D7000.
The full-frame FX-format CMOS sensor is obviously the highlight feature of the D600. Measuring 35.9 x 24 mm (1.4 x 0.94 inches) it's considerably larger than the APS-C size sensors found in most consumer cameras, and combined with an EXPEED 3 image processing engine and an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable from 50-25,600) it should be capable of impressive low-light shooting. There's also a useful 10.5MP DX crop mode for people with DX glass in their kit-bag.
Featuring a 39-point AF system with a MultiCAM 4800FX AF module, the D600 offers all the focus modes you'd expect (single point, continuous AF, Dynamic AF and 3D tracking). Despite only having a burst rate of 5.5 frames per second at full resolution, Nikon says the camera is no slouch and can be ready to shoot in 0.13 seconds, with a 0.052 second shutter release.
A 100 percent frame coverage viewfinder is complemented by a 3.2-inch 921K dot LCD screen on the rear. The D600 also boasts good ergonomics and a selection of buttons which could make it a good option as a back-up camera for pros, or give most enthusiasts all the options they would need. Of note are the exposure mode dial, which includes two programmable "User" positions like that on the D7000, and a combined AF/MF switch and AF mode control from the D800.
Measuring 141 x 113 x 82 mm (5.5 × 4.4 × 3.2 inches), and weighing 760 g (including batteries) the weather-sealed D600 also features image sensor cleaning, two SD card slots, a USB 2.0 socket, HDMI out, a microphone socket, and a headphone jack for monitoring audio in movie mode. HD video options include 1080p video at 30, 25 or 24p, and 720p video at 60, 50 and 30p. There's also the ability to transfer uncompressed video via the HDMI connection.
Nikon has also revealed the WU-1b Wireless Adapter which allows users to connect wirelessly to the camera with an Android or iOS app, and share their images using their mobile device or remotely fire the D600’s shutter from up to 50 feet (15 meters) from the camera.
Taking Nikon F mount lenses – and compatible with many older lenses thanks to an in-camera AF motor – the Nikon D600 will be available in September with a retail price of US$2,100 for body only. It will also be available with a AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens for $2,700.