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Author Topic: Rented a D600  (Read 12331 times)

weekendshooter

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2012, 12:54:47 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...

Oh another trick is that you can use whatever point expansion you want while limiting the number of selectable points to 11 - this effectively gives you a sort of zone AF system, as you select from one of 11 points and let the camera do expansion to aid in tracking. This makes it easier to move between points if you don't want to scroll between all 39.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 12:56:54 PM by weekendshooter »

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2012, 12:54:47 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2012, 01:03:28 PM »
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.

This is true on the surface, but might actually be false in reality.  Nikon bodies all have f/5.6-sensitive AF points (or f/8 now, in some cases).  They've never had the f/2.8-sensitive points of Canon's AF system.  But...let's look at Canon's 1D III, 1DsIII, and 1D IV.  All of the AF points except the center are f/2.8 in one orientation and f/5.6 in the other.  The center point is f/4 and f/8, respectively.  Conventional wisdom is that the f/2.8 (and f/4) points have higher accuracy because of the wider baseline for the AF system - and that's true, all else being equal.  So, does that mean that the center point on those 1-series bodies is actually less accurate than the surrounding points, beacuse of the narrower aperture baseline?  No.  Canon has stated they achieve the required accuracy (equivalent to f/2.8 and f/5.6, respectively) at the center point because the AF sensor lines that make up that point have double the pixel density of the standard AF lines.

So...what if some or even all of Nikon's f/5.6 AF sensor lines have a higher density of pixels?  That could make all of those f/5.6 points as accurate as Canon's very limited number of f/2.8 points.  I have absolutely no information on the pixel density of Nikon vs. Canon AF sensor lines, I'm just suggesting it as a possibility.
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weekendshooter

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2012, 01:17:41 PM »
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.

This is true on the surface, but might actually be false in reality.  Nikon bodies all have f/5.6-sensitive AF points (or f/8 now, in some cases).  They've never had the f/2.8-sensitive points of Canon's AF system.  But...let's look at Canon's 1D III, 1DsIII, and 1D IV.  All of the AF points except the center are f/2.8 in one orientation and f/5.6 in the other.  The center point is f/4 and f/8, respectively.  Conventional wisdom is that the f/2.8 (and f/4) points have higher accuracy because of the wider baseline for the AF system - and that's true, all else being equal.  So, does that mean that the center point on those 1-series bodies is actually less accurate than the surrounding points, beacuse of the narrower aperture baseline?  No.  Canon has stated they achieve the required accuracy (equivalent to f/2.8 and f/5.6, respectively) at the center point because the AF sensor lines that make up that point have double the pixel density of the standard AF lines.

So...what if some or even all of Nikon's f/5.6 AF sensor lines have a higher density of pixels?  That could make all of those f/5.6 points as accurate as Canon's very limited number of f/2.8 points.  I have absolutely no information on the pixel density of Nikon vs. Canon AF sensor lines, I'm just suggesting it as a possibility.

Roger at LensRentals has a recent blog post about Nikon AF; he basically concludes that the single-point AF is solid and reliable, but does not have the extra precision that he found with the 1Dx/5D3 AF combined with the newest Canon lenses. This would indicate that the AF on the Nikons is about on par with the older many-point Canon systems, but lacks the magic combo of the double-precision point combined with whatever new feedback they put into the 70-300L, 24/2.8 IS, and 40 pancake.

friedmud

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2012, 02:42:57 PM »
Oh another trick is that you can use whatever point expansion you want while limiting the number of selectable points to 11 - this effectively gives you a sort of zone AF system, as you select from one of 11 points and let the camera do expansion to aid in tracking. This makes it easier to move between points if you don't want to scroll between all 39.

I will try that as I have found all the little points to be cumbersome.  Thanks for the tip!

So I just went downtown and did some shooting on my lunchbreak:

1.  IQ is amazing.  Flat out amazing.  Still can't process the files yet to post some here... 'cause I'm back at work but just using the back screen I can tell that ISO 100 IQ is awesome (which is what I'm after)... and higher ISO is _very_ good.  I'll post some pics tonight.

2.  Getting somewhat used to the control layout.  Still not super happy with the way AF mode selection and ISO selection works... but I haven't remapped them yet either (not sure it's really easier to hit the Fn button... but I'll try it).

Thanks for the tips!

weekendshooter

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2012, 03:13:03 PM »
Glad to hear it! I definitely know the feeling of coming home with a new rental and being frustrated that it's not behaving the way I want out of the box. Nikon bodies give you lots of knobs, buttons, and wheels to fiddle with, so don't worry if you're not totally comfortable with it just yet. A good amount of the controls do rely on being able to use your left hand, but it's not too bad once you get used to it.

Another point to note about the ISO selection is that I use Auto ISO in either Av or M mode almost exclusively. You can set a minimum shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens and a maximum ISO value. Exposure compensation also works in any mode with auto iso enabled - you can even set it to be changed with the secondary dial in Av or Tv mode (whichever dial is not currently being used) without needing to press the +/- button. I usually don't worry at all about ISO as long as it's at 1600 or below, and I can see the current value of the auto ISO through the viewfinder, so I know where it is at all times and whether or not I need to adjust aperture/shutter speed.

That's just my perspective on the ISO controls, since I like to be able to control my DOF and shutter speed without bothering with setting an ISO for every shot. If i'm outside shooting landscapes and have time to set up in between shots then I can easily turn off auto ISO with the front Fn button that I mentioned earlier.

Edit: I think the AF controls should be quite straightforward. I stay in continuous mode all the time, as I haven't noticed any significant differences in accuracy between single-shot and continuous, even in very shallow DoF situations. This allows me to switch between single point only and full 3D tracking with the press of a button. I don't think there's any reason to use any of the intermediate settings, as 3D is the only setting that allows the camera to use information from the RGB metering to aid in AF tracking. In the case of the D600 i believe you would set this up by going to AF-C by holding the AF button and dialing it in with the rear wheel and then choosing between single and multi-point with the AF button and front wheel. You shouldn't ever need to change the point expansion setting away from 3D tracking.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 03:24:23 PM by weekendshooter »

friedmud

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2012, 12:34:09 PM »
Just an update... I just sold my Canon 70-200 f/4L IS to a friend.

This camera was _phenomenal_ to shoot with.  The picture quality is unbelievably good in every way (noise, color, DR, metering, AF).

It is good enough to switch... and that's what I'm now in the process of doing.

I haven't posted any full-res picture anywhere yet... but here is one I put on 500px:

http://500px.com/photo/14938023

friedmud

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2012, 12:44:02 PM »
(I made this post to another thread around here... but thought I should archive it here for anyone reading along)

For anyone that is thinking about switching I highly recommend renting a D600 like I did.  At LensRentals it was ~$200 to rent it with a 24-70 f/2.8G for 5 days.  During that time I was able to find out if I could live with the ergonomics issues (I definitely can... it won't ever be as good as my 7D in ergonomics.... but the tradeoff is worth it) and put it through its paces in a variety of environments.

What did I find out?  That the D600 is a _tool_.  What I mean by that is that by the end of my rental period I trusted the D600 as much as I do a hammer or a saw.  _It_ takes care of capture the photo... _I_ take care of choosing the photo I want to capture.  Yes, even in that short amount of time I came to just trust the D600.  The metering is so spot on I didn't have to worry about it.  The Auto-ISO is unbelievably good (since you can actually set limits on things like shutter speeds and min/max ISO!).  The AF is spot on (although I do lament having to focus and recompose a bit... I got used to not needing to do that on my 7D).

It all adds up to a package where even though the ergonomics are a bit off... it simply doesn't matter because you don't interact with this camera as much as with a Canon... you simply set a bunch of sensible limits and then let the camera do its thing and you come out on the other side with incredible photos.

Don't take my word for it - go rent it yourself and find out!

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2012, 12:44:02 PM »

weekendshooter

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2012, 08:30:57 PM »

What did I find out?  That the D600 is a _tool_.  What I mean by that is that by the end of my rental period I trusted the D600 as much as I do a hammer or a saw.  _It_ takes care of capture the photo... _I_ take care of choosing the photo I want to capture.  Yes, even in that short amount of time I came to just trust the D600.  The metering is so spot on I didn't have to worry about it.  The Auto-ISO is unbelievably good (since you can actually set limits on things like shutter speeds and min/max ISO!).  The AF is spot on (although I do lament having to focus and recompose a bit... I got used to not needing to do that on my 7D).

It all adds up to a package where even though the ergonomics are a bit off... it simply doesn't matter because you don't interact with this camera as much as with a Canon... you simply set a bunch of sensible limits and then let the camera do its thing and you come out on the other side with incredible photos.


I fully agree with this assessment - this is exactly how I use my D700. I have 100% confidence in the camera being able to meter and AF in no time at all; this combined with the tremendous ISO performance means I can concentrate on getting the shot without worrying too much about what the camera is doing.

You should definitely think about renting a 14-24 next; I had one for a week and it's absolutely mindblowing. Glad to hear you had a positive Nikon experience!

friedmud

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2012, 09:02:27 PM »
I fully agree with this assessment - this is exactly how I use my D700. I have 100% confidence in the camera being able to meter and AF in no time at all; this combined with the tremendous ISO performance means I can concentrate on getting the shot without worrying too much about what the camera is doing.

You should definitely think about renting a 14-24 next; I had one for a week and it's absolutely mindblowing. Glad to hear you had a positive Nikon experience!

I will get a 14-24 eventually (it's one of the reasons to switch!) and I definitely will rent it for my next photography trip.  It is _damn_ expensive though... so it's going to be a bit before I can think about buying one...

Thanks again for weeding through my rant to give me some real and good advice on using this camera!  I can honestly say that had I seen a rant like that I wouldn't have responded with insightful advice ;-)

friedmud

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2012, 09:03:35 PM »
Hey - let me ask another question:  What is your favorite Nikon forum?

I tried Nikonrumors.com.... but I don't really like it (doesn't have the same community feel as canonrumors and the site is not as well put together).  Is there a good Nikon community somewhere?

Thanks!

tron

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2012, 09:09:00 PM »
http://500px.com/photo/14938023

This is cheating! Did you get this nice place as a kit with your camera ?  :o

friedmud

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2012, 09:19:32 PM »
http://500px.com/photo/14938023

This is cheating! Did you get this nice place as a kit with your camera ?  :o

lol!  It didn't come with my camera... but it _DID_ come with a job upgrade I took a few years ago ;-)

Southeast Idaho is a great place to live as a hobbyist landscaper ;-)

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2012, 09:25:14 PM »
Hmm, I read the info. You used a graduate ND filter which in my opinion is THE DR tool (in cases where it can be applied of course). Before reading the details I thought that you had gotten this image straight from the camera! But still this does not change anything. Good practice (grad ND in your case) must always accompany good gear.

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2012, 09:25:14 PM »

friedmud

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2012, 09:46:17 PM »
Well... it is "straight" from the camera (with just a light bit of PP in Lightroom 3 like I mentioned)... but yes, with an ND Grad.

What's funny is that when that guy asked if I had used a filter I started typing "no"... but then I remember that I really had.  It's such a part of my landscape workflow that I don't even think about it ;-)

But yeah... I'm not one of those guys that is expecting miracles from my gear!  Beyond a 2 stop (0.6) Lee soft ND grad it was also shot on a sturdy tripod, ISO 100, Av mode, 3 second shutter delay (mirror lockup), manual focusing using zoomed Live View at feature that approximated the hyperfocal distance (I estimate the distance, pick a feature at about that distance then manually focus on that feature).

One of the things that's been hard for me with my 7D is that I feel like sometimes I do everything right technique-wise and the camera just gets it wrong (too much noise, over/under exposed, flat color).  Of course, exposure is partly my fault... but I've never been able to fully trust the exposure on the 7D.

While we're on the subject... I LOVE the fact that on the D600 I can do "Full scene average" metering.  When I'm shooting landscapes I rarely have the subject in the middle... why do I want "center weighted average" metering?  I really want the whole scene to be exposed as well as possible with possible over/under exposure dialed in by me for desired effect.  I can do that on the D600.... but not on a 5DMk3...

Positron

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2012, 11:24:14 PM »
Great to know. I've been thinking of getting a D600 once I have a paycheck, and expected the difference in control, but good to know that unfamiliarity with the interface isn't incompatible with getting the shot.

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Re: Rented a D600
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2012, 11:24:14 PM »