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  • Nikon D600 vs D800 vs Canon 5DMark3 vs Canon 6D a summary of pros & cons

    Nikon D800 vs D600 vs Canon 5D Mark 3 vs Canon 6D a summary of their strengths and weaknesses.

    Background.
    I decided to have a FX dslr for two main reasons. Firstly, to achieve a shallower DOF(depth of field) for a given AOV(angle of view). Secondly, to have at least a 1.5 stops improvement (vs current APS-C sensor dslr) in high iso low noise performance.

    Realise cheaper models may have advantages not found in high end ones. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Did a little research to help me decide which is the right one for my needs.

    I have both Nikon and Canon FX lenses. Good video is not a must but definitely nice to have. Since I have more Nikon lenses that fits my intended FX use, I did a more thorough search on Nikon D800 vs D600. D4 and 1DX were not considered due their pricing vs my needs and more importantly their weight & size which are not acceptable for my travel use.

    Already bought my FX camera. Just wish to share my findings. Thought it may be helpful to others too. Note their key strengths are arranged according to my needs. Obviously others will arrange them very differently. The pros & cons are not exhaustive but rather the ones that are of at least a little interest to me. Others are welcome to add to or even make corrections to the list for the benefit of those who may be interested.

    D600 strengths (vs D800).
    1. About max 2/3 stop better high iso RAW noise performance (at 100% view) to about same level when normalized to 8MP.
    2. Built-in front and back wireless IR remote control receiver (vs optional clumsy attachment).
    3. About 30% smaller file size (at the same 14 bit lossless NEF compression level - 29.2 vs 41.3MB).
    4. STILL photo LV(Live View) 'gains-up' display (useful for focus check, but no exposure simulation display).
    5. Magnified focus assist LV shows much less interlacing/aliasing artefacts.
    6. Magnified focus assist LV has better low light performance.
    7. More glasses wearer friendly 21mm eye-point (vs 17mm).
    8. About 10% smaller in dimension & 15% lighter in weight.
    9. Handy U1 & U2 user banks (vs menu banks).
    10. Handy exposure & shooting mode dial.
    11. 5.5fps FX shooting speed (vs 4).
    12. Quieter shooting at both standard and quiet mode.
    13. 35% lower in price.
    14. Much smaller & inexpensive optional wifi attachment (but only very simple functions).
    15. Dual SD cards ( vs mixed SD+CF).

    D800 strengths (vs D600).
    1. Wider focus area coverage and better focus/tracking capabilities (currently Nikon's best).
    2. Better low light focus capability of -2 EV (vs -1 EV).
    3. More advance 91,000 pixels (vs 2,016) RGB TTL exposure metering.
    4. 1/8,000s max. shutter speed (vs 1/4,000s).
    5. Aperture is adjustable during LV.
    6. Histogram display during LV.
    7. In camera raw HDR (vs Jpeg only).
    8. Flash syn speed og 1/250s (vs 1/200s).
    9. More exposure & WB bracketing frames, up to 9 (vs 3).
    10. Higher 36MP (vs 24) resolution (can crop or print 22% bigger with about same level of details. However file sizes are about 41% larger at same 14 bit lossless NEF compression - 29.2 vs 41.3MB. D600 has no uncompressed NEF. D800 NEF file sizes range from 33 to 75MB while D600 is 21 to 30MB).
    11. Built-in eye piece shutter.
    12. Exposure meter at top LCD.
    13. STILL photo LV simulates final image exposure in manual mode - WYSIWYG (but no 'gains-up' LV to assist manual focussing).
    14. Dual axis virtual horizon in viewfinder ( D600 single axis only. Same double axis at rear LCD).
    15. Syn cord port.
    16. Additional dedicated AF button.
    17. Has one step LCD magnification customization option.
    18. Has a regular Nikon 10 pin port.
    19. Shutter life of 200k (vs 150k).
    20. Better built quality such as full magnesium alloy body toughness & supposedly professional Nikon dslr operational ergonomics (subjective preference).

    5D Mark 3 pros & cons (vs D800, D600 & 6D).
    1. Rare moire & aliasing occurrances in movie (very important for recording once off events).
    2. Best movie high iso performance.
    3. Much less artifacts at magnified LV during assisted manual focusing (vs D800).
    4. Faster LV update rate/smoother during panning (vs D600).
    5. Touch sensitive rear dial during movie recording.
    6. Better built quality such as full magnesium alloy body toughness & supposedly professional Canon dslr operational ergonomics (subjective preference).
    7. Slightly less details are captured in movie (vs D800).
    8. Black focus point issue (cannot see focus points in dim lightings. No solution offered by Canon yet).

    6D pros & cons (vs 5D Mark 3, D800 & D600).
    1. Among the best in high iso RAW noise.
    2. Best in LOW LIGHT focusing capability (-3 EV rated vs 5D Mark 3 & D800 at -2 EV, D600 at -1 EV).
    3. No LCD auto brightness control (manual 7 steps only).
    4. Has histogram overlay in LV (vs non in D600).
    5. Built-in Wifi & GPS.
    6. Poorest focusing capabilities (except low light) & least focusing points (only 1 cross type, 11 focusing points in total).
    7. Only 97% viewfinder coverage (vs the rest with 100%).
    8. Smaller rear 3in. LCD ( vs 3.2in. for the rest).
    9. No HDMI output for external monitor or uncompressed movie recording (the rest has it).
    10. No headphone jack (the rest has it).
    11. Single SD card ( the rest has dual cards).

    Common advantages of Canon (5D Mark 3 & 6D) over Nikon (D800 & D600).
    1. Much better LV implementation. Canon LV has both exposure simulation & 'gains-up' display options.
    2. Canon's ISO expandable to 102.4k while Nikon only up to 25.6k.
    3. Has phase detect (much faster but mirror must momentary be lowered) auto focus option during LV.
    4. Whatever setting changes and displayed at LV is what you get when a photo is taken (unlike D600).
    5. Canon's LV does not black out while image is being written to card.
    6. Canon in camera Jpegs has better high ISO low noise vs details lost performance.
    7. Canon's rear quick control dial is much bigger and easier to use.
    8. Has better low light LV display.

    Common advantages of Nikon (D800 & D600) over Canon (5D mark 3 & 6D).
    1. Better shadow recovery details.
    2. Has a handy pop-up flash cum commander flash control (which can also operate in IR mode with a simple inexpensive Nikon SG-31R attachment).
    3. Built-in focus assist light.
    4. Nikon has a wide angle 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at a performance level not available from Canon or third party.
    5. Nikon D600 has a front and back built-in IR remote control receiver ( 5D Mark 3 & 6D only has a front one. None with D800).
    6. Supports crop type (APS-C) lenses.
    7. Has auto focus (though slow contrast type only) during movie recording (focusing noise clearly recorded by in camera mic & noticeable focus hunting).
    8. Internal intervalometer with auto movie creation.

  • #2
    Re: Nikon D600 vs D800 vs Canon 5DMark3 vs Canon 6D a summary of pros & cons

    Get the D800E. Period.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Nikon D600 vs D800 vs Canon 5DMark3 vs Canon 6D a summary of pros & cons

      The RRS BD800-L plate will stay on my D800E with

      BH-30 LR II: Compact ballhead with AS II on my Gitzo 1541T for Landscapes soon.

      No more messy 90 degrees angulation for Landscapes Portrait orientation panorama.No more.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Nikon D600 vs D800 vs Canon 5DMark3 vs Canon 6D a summary of pros & cons

        As for beginner, price comparison is absolutely major.
        Thanks for your effort.

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        • #5
          Re: Nikon D600 vs D800 vs Canon 5DMark3 vs Canon 6D a summary of pros & cons

          Originally posted by norrafi View Post
          As for beginner, price comparison is absolutely major.
          Thanks for your effort.
          Actually its already in the respective discussion in the forum, its a matter that beginners put some effort to search and compute it.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/nritzzphotos/

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          • #6
            Re: Nikon D600 vs D800 vs Canon 5DMark3 vs Canon 6D a summary of pros & cons

            Originally posted by norrafi View Post
            As for beginner, price comparison is absolutely major.
            Thanks for your effort.
            Be carefull when you check out the prices. At the moment D600 body is about 5% cheaper than 6D in the market. However a D600 + 24-120mm f/4 VR lens is about 23% more expensive than a 6D + 24-105mm f/4 IS kit lens (and Canon 24-105mm is actually a much sharper lens than Nikon 24-120mm!). If you do not want the kit lens, can sell it away as second hand with about RM1,000+ profit. This way a Canon 5dMark3 or 6D can be cheaper than a Nikon D800 or D600 respectively. There is also a difference of about RM900 between a local/official and imported/grey 5DMark3 body.
            Last edited by RichardTeh; 21-08-2013, 11:50 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Nikon D600 vs D800 vs Canon 5DMark3 vs Canon 6D a summary of pros & cons

              The D4 is Nikon's flagship professional sports DSLR and targets a completely different market to the D800; it's a completely different price point too, costing twice as much. But as you'll have discovered by now, the D800 shares a great deal of key technologies with the D4, which of course begs the question, what exactly sets them apart?

              I'll start with what's in common: both the D4 and D800 are full-frame DSLRs with 100% viewfinder coverage and twin memory card slots. They share the same 51-point AF system, the same 91k metering system, the same 3.2in screen and almost exactly the same movie capabilities.
              micr code of different bank Now for what's different, starting with what's in the D4's favour. Most obviously it's physically larger and heavier which may not be seen as an advantage to some, but it is tougher and better weather-proofed overall. You also get a portrait grip and heftier battery pack as standard. The D4 is also equipped with a wired Ethernet port for fast tethered shooting, features a 2.7x 1:1 movie crop option and supports the new XQD memory card format in one of its twin card slots (the other being Compact Flash like the D800).

              Inside the key difference is a lower resolution 16.2 Megapixel sensor with a higher maximum sensitivity of 204,800 ISO and much faster continuous shooting of 10fps (or 11fps if you lock the exposure and focus).

              In the D800's favour, it's smaller and lighter, but can support a portrait grip with access to the D4's battery as an optional extra if you want it. It has a built-in flash, USB 3 instead of USB 2, and compatibility with the much more common SD format in addition to the Compact Flash slot both cameras have in common. Inside the key difference is a higher resolution 36 Megapixel sensor, albeit with a lower maximum sensitivity and slower continuous shooting speed. The D800 is also available in a version without the anti-aliasing filter effect.

              So basically the D4 is tougher, faster and more sensitive, while featuring a portrait grip, longer standard battery life, Ethernet and XQD compatibility along with the 2.7x 1:1 movie crop. Conversely the D800 is smaller and lighter while featuring a higher resolution sensor, and compatibility with USB 3 and SD in addition to Compact Flash. The D4 is a pro sports camera, whereas the D800 is a semi-pro body with a focus on ultimate detail, although in the absence of a D4x sharing the same sensor, the D800 also becomes Nikon's best option for high resolution.
              visit: http://mobilenumbertrackr.com

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              • #8
                Re: Nikon D600 vs D800 vs Canon 5DMark3 vs Canon 6D a summary of pros & cons

                This is definitely of an interest to many who plan to upgrade like me. As a Nikon user, currently using D300. I am trying to find excuses to upgrade. Frankly, the only valid excuse is the better higher iso performance that I am looking for.

                With higher iso, I can overcome low light situation and the need for flash. After reading so many posts, most reported the D600 low light performance is on par to d610 and d800 or about the same. A pre owned d600 is definitely much affordable than the other 2. What is your take?

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                • #9
                  I'd say get the D600.
                  Although it depends on what the camera will be used for, a D600 will suffice for most it.
                  I currently use a D700 (5 y/o) and D800 (2 y/o), I still like my D700 more then the D800.
                  Even when I'm on a wedding job, I use the 700 as the main, instead of the D800.
                  In terms of low light, I don't see that much difference between the two since I use flash. Both will do ISO 2k+ cleanly
                  In terms of focusing speed, 800 is faster but difference is negligible too me.
                  And the part that kills me the most on the 800 is the focus. I seem to hit more shots in focus with the 700 instead of the 800.
                  I don't know if this helps, but I'll say get the 600. better yet, get a 700

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                  • #10
                    D700 instead of d600? That is interesting. Be g a d300 user, d700 would be great if performance is on par.

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