[News] Nikon D600 to Be an Entry-Level Full-Frame Body?

[News] Nikon D600 to Be an Entry-Level Full-Frame Body?

When Nikon said the D800 (which you can win here) wasn't meant to be the D700's direct successor, I'm not sure many trusted them. However, recent rumors show something in the works that would fit well into that realm. And so, we now have a lot of people talking about what could be a very cool camera -- with a few key things left behind...

Via NikonRumors

Aside from the odd direction of naming (though Nikon did it back in the day of the D70), the D600 moves forward with a rumored 24MP Sony sensor (D3x much?). It should include HD video recording features, dual SD card slots, and time-lapse control built in, but will lack HDR functionality. There's one problem with all this: the Nikon is supposedly not including an AF motor into the body. This would leave D600 users stuck to use AF-S lenses only, similarly to the D3000 and D5000 series bodies.

While some might not find this 'bad,' I think it'll be detrimental. Sure, they'll still sell a ton of these, given the expected $1500-or-so price-point. But there are some excellent prime lenses that aren't AF-S lenses and that are sold dirt cheap. Nikon got away with doing this in the D3000 and D5000 series because a lot of their lower-end AF-S offerings have been geared more to the smaller DX sensor format. But those wouldn't cover the full-frame, FX sensor of this D600. Want a fast prime lens? You'll be stuck with Nikon's f1.4 primes, the over-$1500 24mm f1.4G, 35mm f1.4G, and 85mm f1.4G. Okay, that's not fair. They have a great 50mm f1.4G for just under $500, the 50mm f1.8G for $230, and the newly announced 28mm f1.8G for $700. But assuming you'd want both a 50mm and a 28mm, you're still stuck paying almost what a D800 costs when you add that to the cost of the body. And when you can get a great 50mm 1.8D for $100, that D800 starts to look like a pretty sweet deal again!

I think a bulk of consumers won't see this. Though over time, they might become more educated and better-advised by dealers. Time will tell, but I'm hoping this part of the rumor isn't true...what do you think?

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42 Comments

Silent Wave all-the-way!  G lenses make the most sense for the prosumers/serious amateurs who will buy this camera.

I'm a semi-pro student tog who uses a D7000 and a 35 1.8G 50 1.8D 70-300VR and I love the D lens.  It was my first prime and what I shot with for a while.  I shoot sports and photojournalism so speed is important (6 fps is fine for me) If this camera has decent ISO (maybe D3s level) and 6 fps or greater, Im all in.  Even though one of my lenses would become obsolete, I could still benefit from the D lenses.  

Economically, it makes sense for NIkon-not I'll have to buy G lenses.  But it puts photographers in a rough spot.

Ronald Stewart's picture

I am also a student who uses a D7000 at the moment. I'd planned on buying the successor of the D700 and if these are the specs for the D600 I am still buying the D800 based exactly off the type of logic stated in the main posting. Over the last 3 years I have worked and slowly brought good glass, ALL of which are D lenses. There is no way I would compromise for the D600 if I had to buy all G lenses. It just doesn't make since for me and I am sure a lot of other people this camera would be marketed towards.

It may not be for everyone, but it if it's real, then I'm very interested. I have a D7000 and D90 with all G primes and zooms, so for those who are in a similar boat as myself, then the D600 sounds like a great stepping stone to break into full-frame. I'd sell the D90 and then have my D7000 as my back up. Also, this may also drive the prices of used D700's way down, which are currently going for $2k give or take. Which, I think is highly overpriced considering I've found many used 5D Mk II's online for $1700ish.

Ian Young's picture

This is 100% brilliant on Nikon's part.
Why? ...because with 50 years of F-mount lenses floating around on the used market for cheap, they would make ZERO money on a "budget-priced" FX camera. They'd sell the camera like hotcakes, but their lens sales would stay flat while consumers scoured eBay for 80-200mm f/2.8's and 20-35mm f/2.8s and 60mm micros and  50mm f/1.8s. 

So this would be a great idea for them; they'd make double the money. 

And, personally, engender double the anger: I've spent the last five years collecting a variety of old AF-D lenses waiting for this day, and now I'm boned.

Let's not forget that 'G' lenses don't refer to AF-S, but to 'gelded,' in which case the lens is missing the aperture ring. Many AF-S lenses are also 'G' lenses, and vice versa (especially as Nikon continues to introduce both features into their new lenses), but careful not to confuse the two.

It makes sense for Nikon to try to upsell DX users to FX, but users may not be ready to shell out for the lenses that FX has.  They will need to introduce more cheap FX lenses if that's the case.

It may also cannibalize sales of the D300s replacement, which will land at around $1300.

its a good move for nikon to start weeding out the older lenses. they cant keep putting their dinosaur technology in their cameras. They have to start somewhere. Plus, there are plenty of cheap 1.8G lenses out there for people on a budget. I look forward to hearing more about what is in store with the D600 :)

Hmm. I just looked through my lenses, and the only one that I routinely use with autofocus is indeed AF-S. This is not counting older lenses that have no AF capability at all. You're right that not having an AF motor will be a pain, but overall, I'm going to be keeping an eye on the D600.

Manuel Mauer's picture

... and mabye stay on the ground. It´s a rumor, so mabye this whole af-point will change till release.

Jens Marklund's picture

Only one of my lenses for the D700 is an AF-S lens, and I'm gonna sell it. Seems weird not to put an AF motor on a 1500 dollar body.

I think it makes sense for Nikon, the lack of AF motor translates to a cheaper camera to produce. Most DX upgraders won't loose anything and with the expected sensor resolution could be very happy using their DX lenses with cropping. I think the replacement of the D7000 will be the top of the DX line, hopefully with AF motor and 'AI metering' and there will be no D300S substitute, there's not much room on their lineup between the D7100 or whatever it's named and the D600.

Casey's picture

I didn't buy a full frame body to shoot in crop mode...I doubt other people will want to either

I understand, but if you already have the lens it could be an upgrading step. And if the sensor in crop mode is better than that in a D300, which is more than probable, makes a lot more sense than the D400 DX people was expecting.

Mark Kauzlarich's picture

The Nikon 85 1.4D and the 18 2.8D are both great lenses and I'm about to pick up both for a two-lens prime set up for photojournalism when two big cameras and lenses is too much. So, it looks like I'll be looking into buying a D700 if I want a good replacement body.

Lupascu Alexandru's picture

shit...let's buy a ferarri with stone square weels :))

RUSS's picture

:-) WELL two things come to mind, for me.

First: A low cost FF camera would BE AWESOME!!!! BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT DAMNED TIME! SONY's A850 was a good start. but to pricey.;-)

Second: ALL MY LENSES ARE OLDER nikon pro and would need replacing.....

David New's picture

It makes perfect sense. While a built-in motor is nice, people looking to upgrade from a D5100 will look more seriously at a D600 than a D7000. They already have been buying AF-S lenses, so it is not a new thing. I will probably order a D600 when it is available. Can't afford a D800 right now.

Patrick Hall's picture

What d5100 owner has a N lens? Maybe they have the 70-200 but not the 24-70.

not having a af-motor is just robbery on Nikons part (more marketing genius) since most people will think 1500!? full frame!? then Id hope we'd come to our senses but we wont

Gavin Santos's picture

Lets hope that NIKON is listening and takes notice of the potential buyers, many of whom will be reading this thread and will not be pleased to hear of this potential deal killer!

For a wedding photographer like me who was finding it hard to justify the cost of the D800, the D600 makes sense.  As long as it performs well at high ISO it will be the perfect partner to my D700. 

I commented on a forum about this and will say the same thing here. If they put in a focus motor, weather sealed it, gave it a magnesium chassis, high FPS, and all this other stuff people are wishing for, why would it be any cheaper than the D800 and why would anyone buy a D4?

The D700 ate into D3 sales because it's basically a D3 without a grip for much less money, so maybe Nikon learned their lesson this time around. The D4 has the speed, the D800 has the high resolution, and the D600 will be smaller and cheaper with fewer features than both. Makes sense to me.

I hope the rumor becomes reality.  The D600 would be a great camera and would certainly get people upgrading from DX, especially the D300 and D300S.  

The requirement for AFS lenses would be a show stopper for me. I do have mostly AFS lenses, but I personally just wouldn't accept that limitation in an FX camera body. Might be great for a lot of Dx000 users, but I covet and require pro/semi pro features in my next FX camera.

I'm talking about magnesium body w/ weather sealing, fast accurate AF, major settings all reachable via buttons and dials (at least equal to D800/D700/D300s class bodies), screw drive for D series lenses, at least 5 fps (Not an absolute requirement, but much preferred), dual card slots (prefer CF to SD). 

Basically if these rumors prove to be true I think I'd opt for the D800 even though the FPS is slower and the file sizes are larger than I would prefer.  In my work I can rely on timing to capture "the" moment versus long fast bursts.  And, while dealing with those massive files will be a pain, how could anyone not love all that fine detail?

You realize your second paragraph basically describes the D4, right?

I really see no issues with a cheaper full frame without
motor.  Use manual focus until you can afford AFS lenses. Did I just say manual
focus? OMG!! I guess some of our hands and eyes have evolved so far that we can’t
do that anymore. Makes you wonder how photographers without AF captured some of
the amazing pictures they did.  Not to mention, people who buy into a
system without a motor already know what to expect.  It makes complete
sense from a Nikon business stand point as some people have pointed out.
 Plus, some older lenses do not have the resolving power for higher mega
pixel sensors. Anyone with a D800 would know and most likely will upgrade some
of their older lenses to better utilize the increased resolution. Not to mention its call ENTRY -Level for a reason. Oh wait....I want Pro-level at that level right? haha....

Unless nikon releases an AF-S 16mm Fisheye at the same time, i think this "no AF motor" thing is BS....Why would they introduce a camera to the market that cant take advantage of a pretty crucial lens.....it may not be crucial to EVERYONE, but still, that would mean that if you bought the d600, you cant have an AF fisheye...doesn't add up...

 Seriously?, why would you even need to focus with that lens?. hyperfocal will do 99% of the time

most people would agree with you...but i (and i know a ton of other photos that would agree) still want an AF fisheye for my camera system.....

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