Nikon is the first to hit the market with an "entry-level" full-frame SLR, the D600.
Ahead of our full review of the Nikon D600, take a look at some sample photos, straight from the camera. Unless otherwise specified, all images are displayed without any processing, apart from cropping where noted.
We have been testing the D600 in conjunction with the kit 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G lens. These images are all JPEG files — RAW conversions, video and more sample photos will appear in the review.
The 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor has a lot to live up to, especially considering the excellent results delivered from the 36-megapixel monster found in the D800. One of the first things to take for a whirl is the camera and sensor's dynamic range. A scene like the one above, with dramatic differences in shadow and highlight areas, is a really good way of testing this out.
Like other Nikon SLRs before it, the D600 comes with Active D-Lighting, which is designed to recover shadow and highlight detail that's lost when shooting in challenging lighting conditions. By default, it's turned off, but in this comparison image, you can see that switching it on can help an image look more balanced. Active D-Lighting is off on the top image, and on for the bottom one.
It's subtle when used on a low setting, but can be cranked up to a maximum value for more dramatic results.
One of the big advantages of a full-frame sensor is the shallow depth-of-field effects you can create when shooting wide open. Though the kit lens isn't particularly fast, you can still get some lovely looking bokeh without any effort at all. This one was shot at f/4.5.
Photographing subjects indoors and under artificial lighting is a good way to see how the automatic white balance copes. Things look pretty good when observed on a screen, but the LCD monitor on default shows the image looking a little cooler than it really is.
Time to get in a little closer and look at how the D600 copes at high ISO levels. From a 100 per cent crop, you can see that at ISO 2000, noise is very well controlled. There's hardly any chroma noise, and the grain that does appear looks almost like it's film grain. All up, pretty pleasing results.