October 25, 2014, 03:13:05 PM

Author Topic: Rented a D600  (Read 12785 times)

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Rented a D600
« on: September 28, 2012, 11:45:21 AM »
For the past couple of weeks many people on this board have been telling those of us that are not overly enthused about the 6D but are still wanting to go full frame to "Jump Ship to Nikon".  Well... I decided to dip my pinky toe into that water and rented a D600 and the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8G.

I received it late last night (wife missed the Fedex guy).  First impressions: body feels lighter than my 7D but still well made;  lens is damn heavy.  I put the lens on and proceeded to go through my normal rituals of learning a new camera.  This is where trouble started.

I was expecting the control layout to be different... but I wasn't expecting it to be retarded.  It's as if someone was throwing darts at a picture of the camera to decide where to put buttons / functions.  There is no central "theme" or purpose behind the design at all.  Let me go through a few functions to demonstrate:

1.  AF selection.  This is the worst offender.
  1a. Manual Focus.  There are two places to choose manual focus vs AF.  On the lens _and_ on the body.  They both have to be set to AF for AF to work.
  1b. AF mode selection.  There is a stupid button down by the barrel on the front left (if you are holding the camera to your face) _on_ one of the AF/MF switches that you have press and hold and twirl one of the two control wheels (but which one?) to select AI Focus, Single, Continuous and the other control wheel (but which one?) to select an AF point selection mode.

The first problem there is that you have to use your left hand to change AF modes!  How the hell do you do that with a big 400mm+ lens while you have the camera to your face?

The second problem is that it's not clear which wheel changes which thing.  On my 7D anything controlled by the wheels is on a button by the LCD (which, first of all I can press with my right hand while holding it to my face) and it is obvious (because of the label on the button) which wheel controls which option.  This is a small thing because you will ultimately remember which wheel is which... but it's this lack of thought that permeates the whole way this camera works.

Now... as for the AF modes themselves... they suck compared to my 7D.  I love being able to toggle through AF point selection modes _while my eye is to the camera_ and use the joystick to move it around on my 7D... it is EXTREMELY fast.  On the D600 that's not really possible (because of the button location) but even if it were there are really only _two_ AF point selection modes: Auto and Single Point.  Now, there are some "restrictions" you can put on Auto... but it's still basically Auto.  Compare to my 7D where I can cluster, I can do point expansion, single point, full Auto, etc.  Even worse: the D600 doesn't have Orientation Sensitive AF Point Selection!  I really don't understand that and it's one of those things I love about my 7D.  I could go on about how limited the AF system is for quite a while but I'll stop there.

2.  Everything looks cheap.  This is harder to put down in words.  The LCD on top looks like an old 80's LCD watch and the menus on the back screen look like they would be more at home on a $100 P&S.  For instance when you hold down (yes you have to hold it down) the exposure compensation button (which is in a random position next to the LCD) and twirl one of the wheels (which one? and why?) to set some exposure compensation it shows you a big 80's style watch number instead of the cool pointer that you move left and right on a 7D.  It's a small thing, but it just leaves me feeling that they were cutting corners...

3.  Finger gymnastics.  As I've already pointed out, to change any settings you have to _hold down_ buttons with one finger (or even another hand) and twirl a random wheel.  But it gets worse.  To change shooting modes you have to hold down the lock button (I know some people like that, and that there is even an free "upgrade" you can get for your 7D that does this, but to me it's just a pain) AND you have to hold a release button to change "Drive Modes" while twirling a tiny ring around the shooting mode selector.  All of this adds up to sore finger tips and sore fingers.  Seriously, I shot for hours last night with this thing around my house and as I'm typing this my fingers are sore!  I have rather big hands, but even for me it is uncomfortable to hold down some of the buttons and locks and twirl wheels.  This is not too mention the fact that the grip is uncomfortable (it has a pretty sharp edge just under the front twirly wheel that digs into your finger when you have a heavy lens on like the 24-70 and it's smallish... which means I am gripping pretty hard with my fingers instead of my hand unlike my 7D)

4.  ISO.  Why in the holy hell of the world is the ISO selection button (that you have to HOLD DOWN and twirl a random wheel to change the ISO) on the back bottom LEFT of the camera? Again... you cannot do this with one hand.  You canNOT do it while holding the camera to your face.  One other quick hit on ISO: Why does it BLINK at me in the viewfinder that it's on Auto ISO?  Why?  Why blinking?  Right in my eye!  I truly don't understand.

5. Drive mode selection "ring".  I mentioned it earlier... but it warrants it's own section.  Why is drive mode (Single shot, Continuous, 2 Second Delay, Remote, Mirror Lockup) selection a _physical_ ring that you have to press and hold a lock button and twirl?  This is dumb on a number of fronts... but I think the most egregious is that it mean that I can't set the drive mode to one of the user defined settings (U1, U2).  On my 7D I have a "Fast Action" user setting (which is the last one BTW... so I can just crank over the mode dial and I know I'm on it... the Nikon mode selector spins all the way around so you have to actually take the camera away from your face and LOOK at the dial to know where you are) that sets continuous focus and highspeed continuous drive (among other things).  You CANNOT do that on a D600.


I could go on for longer about stuff I don't like... but what about things I like about the way the D600 works?

1.  The on/off/LCD light switch switch integrated into the shutter button is cool.
2.  Minimum shutter speed with Auto ISO is really nice.
3.  Max ISO selection is good.


All griping with no pictures on a photography forum?  Yes.  I haven't shot anything worth posting yet (just around the house last night and my office this morning).  I'm headed into the mountains this weekend to put it to the Landscape test... and I'll post back with my findings.  From what I can tell on the back screen the image quality looks really good (which is why I'm doing this in the first place).  But can the IQ overcome the inequities in the functioning of the camera?  We'll see....

canon rumors FORUM

Rented a D600
« on: September 28, 2012, 11:45:21 AM »

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 11:59:03 AM »
One more thing because it pertains to the discussion on the 6D.  39 AF points sounds great.  But if they only cover a postage stamp in the middle they are worthless.  I'm starting to think that 11 well spaced AF points with only one cross type MIGHT be better than 39 points jammed into the center and with no grouping or any other good way to control them....


rumorzmonger

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 12:15:32 PM »
Sounds like you need to sit down and read the instruction manual - a lot of your complaints could be remedied by changing a few settings.

The ergonomics of the D600 aren't as good as my 5D Mark III, 7D, or D800e, but there are really only a few minor annoyances as far as I'm concerned (like not being able to review an image by pressing the "ok" button in the centre of the rear dial like on all of my other cameras...).  Once you set the controls the way you like and get used to the camera, it works pretty well, and the image quality is light years ahead of the 7D.   :)
Nikon D800E, Nikon D7100, Fuji XE-1, Nikon FE2, Olympus OM-4Ti, OM-1 MD

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 12:22:39 PM »
Sounds like you need to sit down and read the instruction manual - a lot of your complaints could be remedied by changing a few settings.

I suppose that is true.  I might be able to remap ISO and AF buttons the right hand side.  What about the drive mode selector?  It is also definitely the case that I would get used to a lot of these annoyances... but some of them (like lack of AF points outside of the center of the frame and lack of AF point selection modes) are definite steps back.

The ergonomics of the D600 aren't as good as my 5D Mark III, 7D, or D800e, but there are really only a few minor annoyances as far as I'm concerned (like not being able to review an image by pressing the "ok" button in the centre of the rear dial like on all of my other cameras...).  Once you set the controls the way you like and get used to the camera, it works pretty well, and the image quality is light years ahead of the 7D.   :)

Good to hear!  I'm hoping that's the case.  I was really excited to rent this... and have been planning to sell my Canon gear to get one.  I (obviously) was really disappointed with the ergonomics last night which has definitely brought down my "camera high".  I'm hoping to recapture it this evening with some landscape photography of some local waterfalls in the sunset... we'll see!

Tammy

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 12:30:01 PM »
But is the rear LCD screen green??

Also, what I find interesting that no review has specifically mentioned is that the D600 has 39 AF points, 9 of which are crosss type, but only sensitive to F/5.6. There is no center F/2.8 cross type for use with larger aperture lenses. Not even F/4. I just thought that was quite interesting, and could cause some people some frustration.
5D Mk III - 24-70L Mk II - 24L Mk II - 100L - 135L - 50mm F/1.4

weekendshooter

  • Guest
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 12:32:12 PM »
Sounds like you need to sit down and read the instruction manual - a lot of your complaints could be remedied by changing a few settings.

The ergonomics of the D600 aren't as good as my 5D Mark III, 7D, or D800e, but there are really only a few minor annoyances as far as I'm concerned (like not being able to review an image by pressing the "ok" button in the centre of the rear dial like on all of my other cameras...).  Once you set the controls the way you like and get used to the camera, it works pretty well, and the image quality is light years ahead of the 7D.   :)

This is really all that needs to be said - Nikon's control layout is VERY different. I love it, others hate it. It is highly customizable though, so if you sit down and really pore through the options, you'll be able to get it to a place where you feel comfortable.

I'm pretty sure you're just flat out wrong about the AF mode selections; my D700 can do auto, single point,  single point + 9, 15, or 51 point tracking, or single point + 51 point 3D tracking (using data from the RGB metering to aid in AF). The menus and operation are very similar in the D600, so I'd be surprised if the D600 didn't have these options, but with 39 points instead of 51.

Holding down and twirling knobs is a hallmark of Nikon's control layout - i like it, but it's not for everyone. If you can't get used to it, there's an option in the custom menu under Controls that lets you press any button once and then be able to spin the appropriate wheel to change the settings, rather than have to hold the button down.

That said, almost all of your points are just harping on things that are different on Nikon and do take some getting used to; it took me a couple of weeks to get fully comfortable changing settings on the fly, but now I can do everything without taking my eye off the viewfinder just like I would on a 7D or any other camera of that level. The D600 is definitely a step down in construction from a 7D, but it's still a very usable and well-put-together camera, and the image quality is top-notch from what I have seen.

Tammy

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 12:35:27 PM »
Sounds like you need to sit down and read the instruction manual - a lot of your complaints could be remedied by changing a few settings.

I suppose that is true.  I might be able to remap ISO and AF buttons the right hand side.  What about the drive mode selector?  It is also definitely the case that I would get used to a lot of these annoyances... but some of them (like lack of AF points outside of the center of the frame and lack of AF point selection modes) are definite steps back.


It is an entry level full frame. The 5D Mark II is/was no different with its 9 AF points. That was my biggest gripe when I started using one, coming from the well spaced out 9 AF points on a 60D. From what I read, the AF points in the 5D2 are like that because Canon actually used a APS-C AF sensor mapped to cover the full frame etc to save costs. Completely explains all the focus points in the middle, as if I really only had ONE! Nikon has opted to do the same thing, using the APS-C D7000 based AF.

The autofocus on the 5D3 can not be understated in how much better it is and how much easier it is to take the shots that you really want. People on this board that complain about the features for the increased price have never used one. Those who have don't need to complain.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 12:50:37 PM by Tammy »
5D Mk III - 24-70L Mk II - 24L Mk II - 100L - 135L - 50mm F/1.4

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 12:35:27 PM »

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2012, 12:35:35 PM »
But is the rear LCD screen green??

Also, what I find interesting that no review has specifically mentioned is that the D600 has 39 AF points, 9 of which are crosss type, but only sensitive to F/5.6. There is no center F/2.8 cross type for use with larger aperture lenses. Not even F/4. I just thought that was quite interesting, and could cause some people some frustration.

I haven't noticed any greenness.

The other thing about the cross type AF points on the D600 is that they are all clustered in the middle (it's the very middle 9).  Those 9 middle points cover essentially the same area as the _one_ middle cross type on my 7D... so even though it says there are 9... it doesn't mean the same thing....

weekendshooter

  • Guest
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2012, 12:35:56 PM »
Sounds like you need to sit down and read the instruction manual - a lot of your complaints could be remedied by changing a few settings.

I suppose that is true.  I might be able to remap ISO and AF buttons the right hand side.  What about the drive mode selector?  It is also definitely the case that I would get used to a lot of these annoyances... but some of them (like lack of AF points outside of the center of the frame and lack of AF point selection modes) are definite steps back.

The ergonomics of the D600 aren't as good as my 5D Mark III, 7D, or D800e, but there are really only a few minor annoyances as far as I'm concerned (like not being able to review an image by pressing the "ok" button in the centre of the rear dial like on all of my other cameras...).  Once you set the controls the way you like and get used to the camera, it works pretty well, and the image quality is light years ahead of the 7D.   :)

Good to hear!  I'm hoping that's the case.  I was really excited to rent this... and have been planning to sell my Canon gear to get one.  I (obviously) was really disappointed with the ergonomics last night which has definitely brought down my "camera high".  I'm hoping to recapture it this evening with some landscape photography of some local waterfalls in the sunset... we'll see!

You can remap any function to the DOF preview or Fn button near it, so if you don't like the ISO placement you can put it there. Another neat trick is mapping one of those buttons to "first option in my menu" - My Menu is a place where you can put any of the menu options in any order, and then you can map a button to open the first function you place there. I use it to quickly turn auto ISO on/off, though you can put anything else there as well, such as AF point expansion modes, etc.

weekendshooter

  • Guest
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2012, 12:40:26 PM »
As I suspected, the D600 lets you choose from single point, 9, 21, or 39 point expansion, or 39 + 3D tracking.

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2012, 12:41:53 PM »
You can remap any function to the DOF preview or Fn button near it, so if you don't like the ISO placement you can put it there. Another neat trick is mapping one of those buttons to "first option in my menu" - My Menu is a place where you can put any of the menu options in any order, and then you can map a button to open the first function you place there. I use it to quickly turn auto ISO on/off, though you can put anything else there as well, such as AF point expansion modes, etc.

Great - thanks!  I'll give that a try.  But it does still boggle the mind why they would consciously put extremely important functionality on the left side of the body...

Any trick for mapping "Drive Mode" like (CH) to a userdefined mode like U1?  I really want to be able to turn to U1 and have it mean "3D AF" with "Continuous Shooting"....

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2012, 12:47:44 PM »
As I suspected, the D600 lets you choose from single point, 9, 21, or 39 point expansion, or 39 + 3D tracking.

What does 9/21 mean?  When I select that option it just looks like I'm in single point selection mode... I can select any one of the 39 points still.  Is it using the 9/21 points _around_ the point I'm selecting or what?

friedmud

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2012, 12:51:08 PM »
Nevermind - I saw it in the manual.  It is akin to "point expansion" on my 7D.  That's good to know.

But - it still means it's missing the Zone modes from my 7D and the orientation sensitive AF selection.  But I suppose I can live without it...

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2012, 12:51:08 PM »

weekendshooter

  • Guest
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2012, 12:51:34 PM »
You can remap any function to the DOF preview or Fn button near it, so if you don't like the ISO placement you can put it there. Another neat trick is mapping one of those buttons to "first option in my menu" - My Menu is a place where you can put any of the menu options in any order, and then you can map a button to open the first function you place there. I use it to quickly turn auto ISO on/off, though you can put anything else there as well, such as AF point expansion modes, etc.

Great - thanks!  I'll give that a try.  But it does still boggle the mind why they would consciously put extremely important functionality on the left side of the body...

Any trick for mapping "Drive Mode" like (CH) to a userdefined mode like U1?  I really want to be able to turn to U1 and have it mean "3D AF" with "Continuous Shooting"....

As far as I know, the drive mode wheel is an absolute and can't be overridden by a menu option or a U# setting. You can definitely set the U modes to cover the AF options, but I think you have to switch the drive mode manually. You should check on this in the manual though, as I'm not familiar with the U settings (my 700 doesn't have them at all).

I can say that the drive mode wheel becomes second nature very quickly if you give it a chance. Being able to set a custom speed for Continuous Low mode is really nice, and the lock is easier to operate than the top locking dial IMO.

weekendshooter

  • Guest
Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2012, 12:53:44 PM »
Nevermind - I saw it in the manual.  It is akin to "point expansion" on my 7D.  That's good to know.

But - it still means it's missing the Zone modes from my 7D and the orientation sensitive AF selection.  But I suppose I can live without it...

Yeah, the systems are just different. I find that leaving the tracking mode in 3D works well when I need to hit a moving target, and I switch back and forth from single point only to 51 + 3D with a flick of a lever. On the 600 I believe the analog would be hold down the left AF button near the lens and twirl the front dial.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2012, 12:53:44 PM »