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First Look: There's a lot to like in the Nikon D600

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First Look: There's a lot to like in the Nikon D600

2:42 /

The Nikon D600 is a really good camera for the money, as long as you're willing to shell out for the lenses that can do it justice.

Given the Nikon D600 is based on the D7000 which I still think is one of the best designed Nikon DSLRs which will be unsurprisingly that I really like this model's design and operation. I enjoy shooting with it. It's a little bit lighter than other full-frame bodies but not a lot, and it's constructed from a magnesium-alloy chassis covered in polycarbonate. It's got moderate dust and weather sealing. Camera's exposure and release mode dials both have locks. One in the center and one adjacent. As what Canon's design, I don't really like the lock button in the center as I find it a little awkward to operate single-handedly. There are two user setting slots on the mode dial. That's one way in which the D600 differs from pro bodies which have much more sophisticated and complexed set of custom settings options. I happen to like them better on the mode dial, but I also find the three slots is my optical number. Also, I'm not a big fan of the tiny top record buttons that seem to be becoming vogue. And I'm a little disappointed that you can't program one of the back buttons with this function. As what other modern Nikon models, there are two programmable buttons on the right side of the lens that I've become addicted to. The view finder is also really nice. Medium bright with the useful overlay grid that's in many of Nikon's DSLRs. Although it's missing desirable features like built-in WiFi and GPS, the D600 does have a full complement of shooting options. Unlike the 60 for instance, it has built-in flash, and well, I don't recommend using on camera flash, it's useful in a pinch and it enables in camera wireless flash operation. The camera also gets props for dual SD card slots and a headphone jack, other features that the 60 disappointingly lacks. For some people though, the biggest advantage that the D600 immediately offers over the 60 is the ability to use all variations of both DX as well as FX lenses with the appropriate cropping. With one exception, the D600 delivers terrific photo quality. It produces relatively clean image data at low and mid-range ISO sensitivities, and it's got smart JPEG and noise reduction algorithms. I found the camera fast enough to handle anything I threw at it. One minor exception is the processing of RAW plus JPEG shots, which occasionally held me up on reviewing images right after shooting. Relatively inexpensive, smartly designed, fast and with generally excellent photo quality, the Nikon D600 makes a compelling case for upgrading to a full-frame camera. I'm Lori Grunin, and this is the Nikon D600.

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