Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Professional DSLRs here.
If you are looking to break into professional photography, but you still want to maintain your budget, the Nikon D600 is a quality professional DSLR camera. The full-frame 24.3 megapixel sensor captures amazing images, but because of the size, your memory card can become bogged down quickly. The camera also records HD video and gives you full control over your audio. Unfortunately, the low shutter life and average battery life make it fall toward the bottom of our list.
The full-frame sensor offers 24.3 megapixels that give you high-quality images. Even when compared to more expensive cameras, the D600’s sensor still captures rich color and stark contrast. The ISO range extends from 100 to 25,600, which is on par with other digital SLR cameras. At an ISO setting of 6,400 - generally the highest sensitivity setting you will want to use - the D600’s colors aren’t as rich as other DSLR cameras, though it does still have the same noise-reduction technology.
The D600 has a 39-point autofocus system that is useful for macro photography and other close-shooting situations. This does fall short in darker or low-contrast settings, but this camera does have a 5.5 FPS continuous shooting speed, which is higher than those found on some of the more expensive cameras. However, if you are into action shots, you will be disappointed by this speed. The maximum shutter speed is only 1/4000 seconds, which is half the speed of some of our higher ranked cameras.
The ability to record HD video is always a benefit with professional DSLR cameras, and the D600 is capable of recording at 24 and 30 FPS. This DSLR camera has two ports: one for an external mic for capturing audio, and one for headphones, allowing you to hear audio while you are shooting. There is an audio level (VU) meter display in the movie settings menu with 20 levels available, but you can’t adjust mic and headphone volume and sensitivity while recording.
The viewfinder has 97% coverage, and the 3.2 monitor has a resolution of 921,000 dots. It has a 170-degree viewing angle, and you will like how easy it is to view your media, even in bright situations. The built-in flash adds more opportunities for you to shoot in low-light situations. The flash works in hand with the i-TTL system and communicates exposure information to the camera.
Nikon gives you access to product forums regarding the D600 and features a community of users, both professional and amateur. You can find firmware updates on the site as well as tips and tricks regarding your photography.
It may make more sense to spend the extra money to find a more powerful camera, both in terms of photography and the ability to record video, but the D600 is a decent mid-range, professional camera. It still has the ability to record 1080p video, has 5.5 FPS continuous shooting and captures sharp color. Consider your shooting needs before purchasing this camera.
There are two separate ports for audio: one for your external mic and one for headphones.
Video recording on this digital SLR camera has issues with aliasing.
You can find better cameras, even for the price. However, we do like this camera’s ability to record 1080p video and capture colorful, strong images.