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D800 vs D600 questions

AZ Nikon

Oro Valley, US
204 posts

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AZ Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd May 2004
Thu 15-Nov-12 04:26 PM

Okay fellow Nikonians, I need some help. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the D600 and D800 cameras, maybe too much, and have a lot of questions.

I am a amateur photographer. I mostly take photos on high school sports (volleyball and basketball) inside poorly-lit high school gyms. I currently use my D300 set at ISO 3200 and my 70-200 f2.8 AF S VR zoom lens for shooting these sports. I am disappointed with picture quality due to the noise in the image.

I’ve been reading with great interest about the D600 and D800 cameras, primarily because they have minimal noise at high ISOs. For my primary shooting needs (inside the gym), as far as picture quality is concerned, will I see much difference between these two cameras using the 70-200 zoom lens? My zoom lens is about seven years old. I read somewhere that Nikon updated this lens and that I may be disappointed with the results when using this older lens on a D600 or D800 camera? True?

What about when I shoot other photos using my DX lenses? I know about the crop factor, but do I lose any resolution in the image within the DX FOV on the full frame camera? Any other concerns about using DX lenses on an FX camera?

What about construction of the two cameras? I tend to “baby” my cameras, so will that matter?

I would use the camera primarily for still photos, but I am still interested in capturing video. Any preference between the D600 and D800 for this purpose? And, if I were to get the D800, should I buy the D800 or the D800E, considering the video is secondary to me as opposed to taking still photos?

If money were no object, which one would you buy, and why?

Sorry if some of these questions seem elementary, I need some thoughts from the experts. Thanks very much.

AZ Nikon

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mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 vs D600 questions" | In response to Reply # 0

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Thu 15-Nov-12 03:50 PM | edited Thu 15-Nov-12 03:50 PM by mklass

If I were shooting indoor sports in questionable lighting conditions, I would get a D4 or D3s before I would go with a D600 or D800. Your ability to have lower noise images at higher ISO is more critical than overall resolution. The higher burst rate may also be desirable.

I have no qualms shooting my D3s at ISO 6400. I have shot and gotten decent results with more post processing at ISO 12,5000 or 25,000. I cringe at the results with my D800e at anything over ISO 3200, and prefer to keep it below 2000. I don't have one, but my guess is the D600 may be slight better than the D800.

As for the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, some people, including me, were bothered by the vignetting on the V1 version mounted on an FX body. Others are not. If you already have the earlier version, try it on an FX body before you spend the money on a upgrade.

Mick
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dkaye23

US
7 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 vs D600 questions" | In response to Reply # 1

dkaye23 Registered since 27th Sep 2010
Fri 16-Nov-12 12:45 PM

I own a D3s, D600 and D800E. As mklass wrote, the D3s or D4 are ideal for indoor sports, but they may be over your budget. I bought my D3s used for just under $4,000. Between the D600 and D800, I would strongly recommend the D600. It has a somewhat faster shutter rate and the files aren't as (unnecessarily) large. There's really nothing about the D800 that's better for indoor sports. Maybe a slight (!) improvement in noise, but not that much.

In any case: rent! I'd go to someone like borrowlenses,com and rent both bodies for the same 3-day weekend. It will be money well spent. Don't rent a D3s unless you're prepared to fall in love with it. That's what I did and it ended up costing me just under $4,000.

...doug

Me: portfolio, blog

AZ Nikon

Oro Valley, US
204 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 vs D600 questions" | In response to Reply # 2

AZ Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd May 2004
Fri 16-Nov-12 12:56 PM

The D3s is beyond my budget, that is why I am "focusing" on the D600 or D800. I am looking into renting. If I am more interested in still than video, should I get the 800 or 800E?

AZ Nikon

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dkaye23

US
7 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 vs D600 questions" | In response to Reply # 3

dkaye23 Registered since 27th Sep 2010
Fri 16-Nov-12 01:04 PM

I have the D800E, but I don't think there's any advantage. I've yet to see the difference other by extreme testing. Plus, the moire problem is much more likely to appear in video than in still images and it's much harder (impossible?) to remove from video. Save the $300. Stick with the basic D800.

...doug

Me: portfolio, blog

mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 vs D600 questions" | In response to Reply # 3

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Fri 16-Nov-12 01:32 PM

D3s prices seem to be falling. If you were prepared to spend $3,300 for a D800e, you might find a good use D3s or even D3 for close to that amount. I'd look around before you buy.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 vs D600 questions" | In response to Reply # 4

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Fri 16-Nov-12 01:42 PM

For Sports or Photo Journalism the D3s is your best bet.
You should be able to find a good one for less than $4k

As for the D600 I do not find it faster for sports,
and I so much prefer the feel of the D800 in my hand that
it more than makes up for the extra weight.

I often shoot at ISO 6400 and think those images are a better than the D300 at ISO 1600 but did not like what I saw at 12800.
You can shoot in DX mode or crop for more reach and still end up with more resolution than the D300.

I have been shooting in Best Quality, Fine, Medium size JPEGs at Events
for a file size slightly less than our D600.
It makes processing, storage, and emailing much easier.
I like the controls and Video better on the D800.
The deep/narrow D600 grip pinches my hand but fits my wife (2nd shooter) fine.

You should get "Hands On" before you buy your next camera.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2817 posts

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#7. "RE: D800 vs D600 questions" | In response to Reply # 0

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Fri 16-Nov-12 01:59 PM | edited Fri 16-Nov-12 02:08 PM by PerroneFord

>Okay fellow Nikonians, I need some help. I’ve been doing a
>lot of reading about the D600 and D800 cameras, maybe too
>much, and have a lot of questions.




>I am a amateur photographer. I mostly take photos on high
>school sports (volleyball and basketball) inside poorly-lit
>high school gyms. I currently use my D300 set at ISO 3200 and
>my 70-200 f2.8 AF S VR zoom lens for shooting these sports. I
>am disappointed with picture quality due to the noise in the
>image.

Certainly understandable.

>I’ve been reading with great interest about the D600 and D800
>cameras, primarily because they have minimal noise at high
>ISOs. For my primary shooting needs (inside the gym), as far
>as picture quality is concerned, will I see much difference
>between these two cameras using the 70-200 zoom lens? My zoom
>lens is about seven years old. I read somewhere that Nikon
>updated this lens and that I may be disappointed with the
>results when using this older lens on a D600 or D800 camera?
>True?

The difference between the D600, D800, and your D300 with the same lenses in the same conditions will be VERY large. I shoot the 70-200 regularly on my D800 and D600. In fact, it's my primary lens. The newspaper here in the Florida Capital just ran one of my photos taken with that lens: http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20121116/FSU02/311160023/FSU-women-upset-11th-ranked-Gators?odyssey=tab%7Cmostpopular%7Ctext%7CSPORTS

Needless to say, I am not disappointed with it.

>What about when I shoot other photos using my DX lenses? I
>know about the crop factor, but do I lose any resolution in
>the image within the DX FOV on the full frame camera? Any
>other concerns about using DX lenses on an FX camera?

Yes, you will lose a LOT of resolution. Do not use DX lenses on your FX camera unless you HAVE to. You gain nothing by doing it, and lose a lot.

>What about construction of the two cameras? I tend to “baby”
>my cameras, so will that matter?

Nothing to worry about.

>I would use the camera primarily for still photos, but I am
>still interested in capturing video. Any preference between
>the D600 and D800 for this purpose? And, if I were to get the
>D800, should I buy the D800 or the D800E, considering the
>video is secondary to me as opposed to taking still photos?

For video purposes, I would avoid the "E". Other than that, the D800 seems to be a bit more fully featured from what I remember, but I don't shoot video with either of these.

>If money were no object, which one would you buy, and why?

Sports only? D4. The D3s has about half a stop advantage over the D600 and it focuses faster and locks better. I typically shoot a D3s with a 70-200 or 24-70 in combo with a D600 with a 300/2.8 for ACC basketball. You can see results here:

http://perronetford.photoshelter.com/gallery-slideshow/G0000XZ4lKc._FEk/C00000s1T5aLj0hw?start=

Florida State on defense is the D600 w 300/2.8. FSU on offense is D3s with 70-200 VR1. Both cameras at 1/1000 or 1/800, F2.8, ISO3200

>Sorry if some of these questions seem elementary, I need some
>thoughts from the experts. Thanks very much.

No problem.

------
Webpage: http://www.ptfphoto.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G