Is it worth changing my D7000 to the new D600? Is FX format so much better?
I see such conflicting arguments when reading about it. Do we need to be pro's to 'need' an FX. There are many more DX lenses (I appreciate DX can be used in crop mode).
I just wonder if the quality, apart from low light performance, is that much better. Just mathematically you would think so but I have never handles an FX camera so interested in people who have. There is a major cost difference. Tom
#1. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 0 Wed 26-Sep-12 02:10 PM by km6xz
St Petersburg, RU
The higher cost of a FX system is the main reason there is a fairly clear line dividing FX and DX ownership. There are benefits to both, and limitations that are mitigated by the other. The assumption of better imaging results from FX by users of DX is sometimes misplaced or exaggerated. There are differences but the biggest difference I believe is that FX users tend to have more experience with photography and have to be pretty serious about their craft to invest as much in lenses as FX requires. The basis for that conclusion rests primarily on how the same shooters display such nice images from FX, also do it when using their DX cameras. In both formats, we have cameras that far exceed the capabilities of their users to fully exploit the technical performance available to them. I think people switch cameras way too quickly and often, well before they have exhausted the capabilities of their prior camera that still has a lot to teach. The D7000 is a good case in point, it is the best imaging device ever in the crop sensor size, better than pro cameras costing much more just a few years ago. The big steps in advancing in the craft tend to be related to learning rather than buying. A weekend workshop on flash or birds in flight or whatever ones special interest is, will almost always improve the quality of images more than a new camera or lens. Given better lighting or better camera, the wise money is on the better lighting will produce results that are most noticeable and appreciated by viewers. Is FX for you, or anyone asking this question now? It really depends on your goals and effort you wish to invest in the craft. If you are selling your images, it is doubtful that there will be any increase in value of selling price in your images if you make the $5000++ step up in investment. For a hobbyist, the choice is more of "want" rather than need, and comes down to disposable income that if used for a camera does not harm the family budget. For a pro, it is a simpler call. Does buying higher cost FX increase my income more than the cost of acquiring and maintaining the new system? If a pro is looking at it as a true business choice, it is unlikely that they could justify the major expense but a bit of the hobbyist in everyone comes out and "want" is usually injected into the calculation to sway the decision. So what do you expect to get from a change? Will that change make a visual difference that is important? When we look at images in galleries or in museums and admire them, their compelling nature seldom has anything to do with what camera was used, but what we perceive is greatly influenced by things that are free: composition, perspective, concept, lighting and esthetics. You will care what lens or body was used.. You might be curious about those facts but you know that reproducing such an image would be aided by having the same gear.
This is long answer to a question that many will answer in 1 line but this one asks for you to evaluate what you expect and how you intend to put any differences, real or imagined, to use to make a visual difference. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#4. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 0
Port Charlotte, US
I hear the D600 is calling my name as well, but I'm resisting. Moving from the D7000 to the D600 will give me more capability, not skill. Poor exposure or composition on the D600 won't look much better than on the D7000. I'll just wind up with larger file sizes.
Consider upgrading your lenses first. I'll go to a D600 or other FX body at some point, but am investing in good FX glass first. That way the transition won't be so financially brutal.
Received my 24-70mm f2.8 yesterday and put it on the D7000. The test shots were amazing. Had a similar experience with the 70-200mm f2.8 a few months ago. Lenses can generally give you an easier step up in the IQ of your photographs than a more expensive camera.
Nikon considers the D600 as an entry-level FX camera for consumers. You can buy them legally, even if you're not a pro! (just kidding)
If you're at a point where you feel your skills can take advantage of the additional capabilities of a FX camera, go for it.
"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right ....and which is an illusion"
#6. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 5
I can't thank all who replied enough. Excellent advice all round. I'm sure I am in the "want" category without realizing that photo skills don't necessarily come with more expensive gear. When FX becomes the de facto standard I think that may be the time to make the switch. Until then the D7000 I think might just be as good as it gets!
Funnily enough I have golfed all my life & to a pretty good standard (single figure handicap) & the advice I say when somebody wants the latest go further set of clubs is, Skills first, the gear helps but is no substitute. Thnx again. BTW Stan I will be 3 days in St Petersburg next year before going on the Volga river cruise.
#7. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 27-Sep-12 11:09 AM by jckingca
One way to look at the comparison of image quality of DX vs. FX is to view similar images made with different cameras but using the same lens on both cameras. Imaging Resource has some RAW .NEF files with full EXIF data that seem to indicate the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 was used.
#8. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 6
St Petersburg, RU
Howker, give me a call or send a message if you would like some assistane in finding things to do or where the good vantage points are for photography. It is always nice to meet up with Nikonians when they come through. It is a fascinating city from the visual as well as cultural perspective. That is why I moved here 9 years ago.
You might really like FX but those of us who have it(D800) sometimes post how we are very favoribly impressed when trying the lonely D7000 gathering dust in the bag. Last weekend I shot a wedding with formals in the park, and a river/canal cruise reception over a 10 hours period. I used both the D800 and D7000, mostly with the 70-200 on the D7000 and 24-70 and 95 1.4 on the D800. The couple was equally impressed with the images from both...so was I. The D7000 really desrves repect, easy to use, excellent DR and metering. Its AF has always been very effective for me. The size and weight difference between the D7000 and D800 is not as much as most peaple believe and in fact, they work together as a team very well. With equal lenses, both having grips and SB900 attached, you have to open your eyes to see which is which. Size and weight are often mentioned as being an advantage in DX but in practical operational ready configuration, there is very little difference. If one wants low weight, they should get a V1, not a slightly smaller DSLR. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#10. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 0
Not that MP is everything, but if you shoot DX on the D7000 (Only choice by the way) you get 16.1MP. If you shoot DX on the D600 (that is what you would need to do if you use DX lenses), you will only get 10.3MP or about a 36% reduction in MP.
Shooting DX on the D800 would yield 15.4MP which is virtually the same as the D7000.
I personally couldn't see a good justification for "upgrading" to the D600 unless I could also afford the FX lenses. If I could afford an assortment of FX lenses, then I should be able to also afford the D800.
#11. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 10
Thank you all for really helping me decide. Lots of good advice, as usual, from Nikonians. Since the D7000 is only a few months old I think I will stick with it mainly I think the lenses tip the balance. I have of course mainly DX lenses bought in the last 2 years. My older glass I know the limitations but still use them on occasions. Stan - I will contact you nearer the time. We still have Australia to go to this year, for 6 weeks!!
#12. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 0
I recently got a D600. The big difference I see in the images is considerably more resolution and better high ISO noise performance. I also like the slightly larger body and deeper grip of the D600.
That said, I'm keeping my D7000. I love it for street photography with a small prime, and will also use it with my telephoto lens for extra reach, and as backup. It's a stellar camera, and I could be quite happy with just it alone.
#13. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 6
>When FX becomes the de facto standard I think >that may be the time to make the switch. Until then the D7000 >I think might just be as good as it gets!
Probably wandering from the topic but I must point out that FX was the de facto standard for a long time. We called it 35mm then. DX primarily came about in the fledgling digital age as an achievable sensor size. And if it delivers what you need there is no optical imperitive to go to larger sensors. While I still have lenses from 35mm film days and they work fine on my D7000, they rarely travel as the DX lenses are lighter.
Consider some examples from recent history.
When Philips introduced the compact cassette at a miserable 1/8" width and only 1-7/8 inches per second speed, the industry sniggered. Philips reasoned that tape magnetics would improve over time and they were right. Open real tape machines using wide tape and high speeds all but vanished. Yes, you could still buy such machines. Yes, they still deliver superb audio. And they cost. With improving magnetics the compact cassette did all the majority of the day needed.
Likewise, digital image sensors continue to improve. On the small DX format they deliver easily what most need. FX and larger formats will be available for those well-healed souls wanting more. But with further sensor improvements it may well be that the masses move to even smaller sensor sizes. Nikon's current 24 mega-pixel FX sensors use the same photo-site pitch as their 16 mega-pixel ones and only represent refined manufacturing techniques that allow a reject rate low enough to make them viable as products. Currently, they are primarily limited by photo-site noise. A breakthrough in this area would see smaller photo-sites become viable. Then the question is what to do. Build for higher mega-pixels or build a more compact sensor? My tip is the latter - until limited by lens technology. Yes, it's an ever-changing world of trade-offs where sales are the arbiter. But in terms of what the majority need (Shakespeare call them the "fool multitude"?) I suspect sub-DX has a bigger digital future than FX and larger. Even in the film era the improvements in film saw massive growth in sub-35mm formats like half-frame and 110. Yes, the same film improvements improved the large formats too. But market growth went for smaller, lighter and cheaper.
The bottom line? If FX is where you want to be, count the costs and go for it. Don't wait for it to become the de facto standard. That likely will not happen. But it is available.
#14. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 1
>I think people switch cameras way too quickly and often, well >before they have exhausted the capabilities of their prior >camera that still has a lot to teach.
I came to the same conclusion, which convinces me to stick with my D7000. I know I have a lot to learn, not just about my camera, but about lighting and how to control it. Of the 3 sides of the Camera, Lens, and Lighting triangle, the camera is the side you can get by with cheaper equipment. Glass and flash make or break the equation far more.
>The D7000 is a good case in point, it is the best imaging >device ever in the crop sensor size, better than pro cameras >costing much more just a few years ago. The big steps in >advancing in the craft tend to be related to learning rather >than buying. A weekend workshop on flash or birds in flight or >whatever ones special interest is, will almost always improve >the quality of images more than a new camera or lens. >Given better lighting or better camera, the wise money is on >the better lighting will produce results that are most >noticeable and appreciated by viewers.
I quite agree. Education, not new equipment, in this context is more beneficial.
Don't let NAS be your motivation. Better images are more important.
#15. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 4
>I hear the D600 is calling my name as well, but I'm >resisting. Moving from the D7000 to the D600 will give me more >capability, not skill. Poor exposure or composition on the >D600 won't look much better than on the D7000. I'll just wind >up with larger file sizes.
I heard it too, even to the point of handling one at a camera store. But it was not financially feasible, therefore not logical to think about moving to. And I am not going to listen to that siren call. Common sense spoke in my other ear and agrees with what you say.
>Consider upgrading your lenses first. I'll go to a D600 or >other FX body at some point, but am investing in good FX glass >first. That way the transition won't be so financially >brutal.
Lenses can generally give you >an easier step up in the IQ of your photographs than a more >expensive camera.
Can you give me another amen?
>If you're at a point where you feel your skills can take >advantage of the additional capabilities of a FX camera, go >for it.
#16. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 12
Jefferson Hills, US
I've kicked this around also. I'm staying with DX for another year or two (or until I either get a large influx of disposable income, or the cost of a D600 drops a little more). For me, it comes down to this:
DX is better if: You like smaller, lighter, less expensive cameras and lenses. You need the 1.5 crop factor to extend your long tele lenses for sports or wildlife (probably because you can't afford the astronomically expensive pro long teles). You don't print a lot of poster-size prints. You can't afford a camera that starts at $2,000, and the lenses that go with it.
FX is better if: You shoot action in low light. You like wide angle photography. You like/need reduced depth of field. You prefer the bigger, brighter viewfinder of FX. You already have a lot of older film lenses that work great on FX, but give you weird/less useful focal lengths on DX.
For me, pretty much all of the above apply. So, I'll eventually get a D600 or whatever replaces it, and keep my D7000 or another DX body for my telephoto needs. I think for a lot of us, there is room in the camera cabinet for both.
#18. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 17
I had the same decision to make and decided to buy the D7000. I own both the D5100 and the D7000. I also have five lenses including the 10-24mm,55-300MM and two primes 35MM 1.8G and the 50 MM 1.8G/ Until I learn how to shoot these cameras well on manual I seen do reason to buy full frames. My main interest is shooting Cross Country and track events my daughter compete in for Cornell University. I also shoot landscape but I need to get much better with exposure and really seen little interest in the FX cameras since I have not mastered my cameras yet.
#20. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 19
>expect more price drops.
The D600 sure looks tempting, but before it was announced I made a commitment to stay with my D7000 and splurged on the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 which is a DX lens. But if what you say is true and the price for the D600 drops to around $1600, it sure would be even more tempting!!!
#22. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 0
I have read most of the opinions offered and would say the vote is clearly in favor of NOT buying the D600 and keep using the D7000. HOWEVER, if you are a gadget-guy (as I confess, I am) and are going to lay out all that cash for the D600, why not just add another 200-300 dollars and get the D800 (or D800E)?
#23. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 22
it also about how much money you have invested in DX lenses. I own about 1500.00 in DX lenses that simply wont be good on the D800 or the D600 so for me its at this point in my photography hobby it is clearly to stay DX
#25. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 0 Fri 07-Dec-12 04:08 AM by WillisC
Aurora, CO, US
Tom, I kept my D7000 to use alongside the D600, and not in place of it. The two cameras are as close in control layout as you can get, and moving from one to the other is not distracting at all. They match up well for a second camera on a shoot. I don't consider one or the other to be a backup, as they are both very capable and have their own strengths. What and how you photograph matters the most.
If you travel in small bush planes or bicycle or backpack where weight is a serious issue, even the DX lenses are still very nice to have. Put a DX 16-85mm next to a FX 24-70mm sometime. 17.1 ounces for the DX lens, and 31.7 ounces for the FX, and the size difference is equally amazing. As a side note, the little DX lenses are also less intimidating for street photography, museum staff are not as likely to question you, and celebrities, police and thieves will take less notice of you.
The D7000 is my first choice for birds and small critters. Getting close to them and reacting quickly is a serious challenge, and the amount of crop that a FX camera often requires means that I should have used a DX format in the first place. 6 frames per second max in the D7000 is adequate to capture unexpected action, like a humpback whale breaching, or a sudden appearance of dolphins leaping alongside the boat. 5.5 frames max in the D600 gets marginal, and 4 frames per second max in the D800 does not cut it.
The D600 is my very first FX digital camera. I grab it for highest quality scenics, portraits, products and other relatively still subjects in more controllable surroundings, as well as night and low-light shooting. I think of it as a 35mm format camera that is treading on turf once reserved for medium format, especially the 645 or 6x6 cm formats, which I have used. The D600 is the entry level to this standard. At the rate cameras change, I would rather invest in lenses than the higher-level FX bodies, and as others have said in this forum, a lot of the quality equation for FX comes from those better lenses.
You have a great camera, and I would keep it for now. With that said, there may come a time when you see an actual need in what you photograph and how you want to present your photos to others. FX may be the answer - later.
#26. "RE: Do I change to D600?" In response to Reply # 16
> DX is better if: You like smaller, lighter, less expensive cameras and lenses.
I would agree wholeheartedly if there were some modern smaller, lighter DX wide angle prime lenses. I think the best FX small, light wide angle lens is the 28mm f/1.8G, but so far there is no DX equivalent.