Nikon D600 Digital Camera Review
Nikon's D600 is just a strong as the D800, minus the extra resolution.
The D600's right hand grip is rubberized and textured, plus there's a deep lip underneath the trademarked red accent, giving the middle finger plenty of extra leverage. The right thumb rest on the rear panel is also thoroughly rubberized, and there's another tall lip protruding from the area beneath the rear dial, allowing the thumb to latch on. Even the left side of the front panel is rubberized, and you'll also find a third ergonomic lip in this area, should you decide to position some finger tips over there.
While the rear panel's ergonomic features actually represent an improvement over the D800, we found the front hand grip a little too shallow. The grip doesn't protrude far enough from the rest of the body to give the full length of our fingertips a place to stay. Perhaps this is by design, considering the close proximity of two front panel shortcut buttons nearby. Either way, the body does have excellent overall balance, and all buttons and dials are positioned with attention to ergonomics, so we're awarding a strong score here.
Buttons & Dials
Logically, the D600's control scheme is typical Nikon. A cluster of dual-purpose buttons are arranged vertically along the left side of the monitor, while the right side of the rear panel is reserved for buttons within reach of the right thumb, including AE-L, Live View, the directional pad, as well as the rear control dial (one of two found on the D600).
Surrounding the shutter release, which feels excellent by the way, a few of the most important buttons are within easy reach, including exposure compensation, metering, and video record. You'll need to hold these down and then jog the dials to change settings, and you'll need a second hand to support the body while doing so.
The top panel is also home to the dual-function mode dial / drive mode dial, each half of which is locked by a mechanical release. This represents a tradeoff of speed for security: it takes extra effort to swap shooting modes and drive modes, but the locks prevent accidental adjustments.
The rear LCD monitor is a 3.2-inch display clocking in at a resolution of 921,000 dots. Frame coverage is once again 100%, but we spent far more time with the viewfinder and reserved the LCD mostly for video purposes (though proper videographers will want an external monitor). Nikon's classic scratch guard covers the entire monitor, but even with this addition neither reflectivity nor viewing angle are ever a problem. Brightness is more than sufficient for outdoor use, and onscreen color rendition is remarkably accurate to the final image.
The D600's bright optical viewfinder is a joy to shoot with. Coverage is 100%, and the screen overlay illuminates red when a focus point locks on. The focus screen displays small boxes around each point, rather than dots or crosses, so you can always see exactly what you're focusing on.
Around the viewfinder is a removable rubber eye cup. Built-in diopter adjustment is accomplished via a small wheel above the eye cup, and it extends from -3 to +1m-1.
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