I'm pleased to see my efforts to stir the pot are paying off. I'll have to remember to apply for my commission check.
Interesting comparison. For my purposes I downloaded the full JPG images of the D300 and D600, and then downsized them to a standard size of 2400 pixels wide, which was just a more or less arbitrary size but representative of "tough images" I have to deal with such as birding, where I need to do some serious cropping. The final image is about 50% larger than my 22" Dell 1680x1060 IPS monitors.
I thought the ISO 1600/6400 was a fair comparison. For some reason the D600 did relatively poorly on the greyscale progression on that Kodak Q-60R2 color card (see blotchiness in #15). Of course, these are images taken with different lenses 3 years apart. The problems with reproducing perfectly consistent results in that environment must be daunting so I don't make too much of that. Just find the process of pixel peeping those two images interesting .
It is also interesting to study the effects of the additional sensor resolution. The main differences between the two images is in the finest detail and there is no finer detail than noise!
All in all, though, if those were real world images I suspect the D600 would be overall easier to work with in post, requiring less post-downsizing sharpness, for example, to maintain equal or better detail. When I get a chance I'll play with the base ISO images but I don't want to look too closely because I really don't want to buy a new camera this week . Ignorance is bliss!
Last week or so a close relative looked to me for advice on a new camera. She has a D50 long in the tooth (pop up flash no longer works). She can afford FX if she really wants it, the question was if it makes sense.
I got into a long discussion about the history of SLR's, where digital meant DX and everyone had to adjust to the smaller sensor. And of course, you were there, in real time, as this happened. I remember all the kicking and screaming by the film shooters as they adjusted to the focal length/FOV "expansion/contraction".
And now it's almost reversed, where there is a huge group of those suggesting "DX is good enough... why FX?".
I'm not trying to imply or comment on who is right or wrong. I don't beleive there is a right or wrong. My comment is related to the fact that we are now going full circle on this matter. And, of course, in the background is the mirrorless revolution which is driving things in the diametrically opposite direction, which is basically more convenience but generally smaller sensors (notwithstanding the discussions about potential DX/FX mirror-less and the like, which would equalize that, but just talking about the here and now).
Another relative advised my relative that "she didn't need FX and it was too much for her". I advised her that the D600 was basically identical to the D7000 that would be her alternate choice. The only real difference is the sensor size; the other features are "essentially identical" (as far as I suspect she would view any differences). The practical differences were purely the optics and how they relate to all the various technical issues and the real world lens choices we have at the moment, plus fuzzy predictions of the future (I think the future probably favors FX but that is very debatable in many contexts).
I could have easily argued it either way and I was very clear that I could do that, and as best I could I tried to summarize the two very different paths, the costs, and the potential differences.
I didn't enjoy the process because the answers are not easy, at least for someone very interested in progressing along the path but not advanced enough to have well defined specialty needs that might help to lead to a clear decision. I was uncomfortable even tackling it.
She went with the D600, 24-85G VR and 70-300 VR. I'm interested in seeing her progress. What she really needs is some serious education and some books. That will all come, and in the meantime she can never blame her camera again .