THE FULL PIC­TURE

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TESTBENCH -

Hold­ing the world's small­est full-frame cam­era— that is, one with an im­age sen­sor the same size as the 35mm film frame—we were ex­pect­ing to be a bit in­tim­i­dated. In fact, we were a bit taken aback by the fa­mil­iar­ity fac­tor that the Nikon D600 brings to the ta­ble. In fact, it feels like hold­ing and us­ing any mid-level Nikon DSLR. And that we think is the USP of this de­vice.

DE­SIGN The D600, as we said, is build like any other mid-level Nikon DSLR. It is not much heav­ier than these mod­els, but had enough ex­tra grooves and grips to make it eas­ier to han­dle the 760 gm body weight plus that of the lens. The mode dial is on the left of the view finder and the re­lease mode dial around it se­lects shoot­ing speeds. The cam­era uses a 35.9 X 24.0 mm Fx for­mat CMOS sen­sor with 24.3 ef­fec­tive mega pix­els and hence there is a Fn but­ton un­der the lens to shift to the 24X16 mm DX for­mat when needed. The 3.2-inch LCD is flanked by but­tons on the left and the Live View dial on the right.

USER EX­PE­RI­ENCE De­spite be­ing a full-frame cam­era, the D600 can be su­per fast when needed. You will notice its speed when you use the CH mode for con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing. How­ever, the Q (quiet) mode is not as quiet as we expected it to be. And we no­ticed a la­tency af­ter the click at lower shut­ter speeds which felt as if the shut­ter had a dou­ble click or re­coil. The cam­era is easy to use, though there are so many func­tions in the menu that Nikon should soon be think­ing of adding a search but­ton for the same. We liked the fact that you can do some ba­sic edit­ing in the cam­era it­self and this will be help­ful for pho­tog­ra­phers who are in a hurry. The video mode is also easy to use as we were im­pressed by the speed of the auto-fo­cus. Also, the cam­era has two card slots which you can cus­tomise to maybe save RAW and JPEG sep­a­rately, thus im­prov­ing your pro­duc­tiv­ity.

RE­SULTS

We thought the best way to test a full-frame cam­era would be in low light and at high ISOs. The ISO can go two stops above 6400 for an equiv­a­lent of 25400. At this range the im­ages are bright even with­out any strong light sources, though we no­ticed noise when the light was halo­gen based. Yes, the low light per­for­mance is im­pres­sive com­pared to other DSLRs, but we have seen bet­ter per­for­mance with a com­pact miror­less, the Olympus OM-D EM-5. We also felt that un­der cer­tain con­di­tions the im­ages were not as vi­brant as we would ex­pect from a Nikon. But these are all small glitches when you con­sider the per­for­mance in nor­mal cir­cum­stances, which is top notch.

NIKON D600 Price:

`1,35,950 (body only) Specs:

24.3 MP CMOS; 1/4000 sec; ISO 100-6400 (5025600 with boost), 1080p at 30 fps, SD/SDHC/SDXC x 2 slots, GPS

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