Just wanted to share my not so good first experience with a D600 and Nikon in general. After 2 years of research for my first DSLR, I finally settled on the D600. Because of the high cost, I decided to get a used one, which only had 1500 clicks on it.
I knew all about the dust and oil problem, but decided to risk it after the announcement by Nikon that it will fix all D600 cameras for free.
From the first day, I noticed that occasionally, an "err" message would show up on the panel and the camera would refuse to take pictures. After a couple of shutter-release button presses, it would go back to normal. Since I was a newbie, I thought I was doing something wrong.
The first time I realised that it was not my fault was 2 days ago when the camera stacked on the "err" message for about an hour. Nothing I did would make it work and that really sucked since it was during my trip to Brussels. And then it started working again, after pressing the shutter release button for about a thousand times (maybe not as much). And then it happened again the next day and that's when I decided to return the camera and get a refund.
I thought I was done with all the research about cameras. Now back to square one...
Regrettable as your experience was, it's possible that the Err message had a lot to do with the shutter. Even with the low shutter use history, shutters do go bad on cameras, and it's hard to trace the provenance around used items. Sometimes the previous owner may have had the problem and just ignored it, other times the camera could have been handled poorly and damaged as a result.
I had recently picked up a used D2H myself to replace an older model that had provided long years of service, and even though the shutter count was also well below the 150K threshold, it immediately started throwing the Err phenomenon. I gave it a couple of days and then when it started firing blank frames, I knew for certain it was dying. Back to the seller it went!
I would strongly recommend buying a Nikon (again! ), but if you can get it from a reliable second-hand equipment broker, your chances are better that the used equipment is in good shape and has been tested prior to reselling. I see you're in NL, so unfortunately I don't have any recommendations for shops like that. Glad to hear you got your money back.
I just got my D600 back from being repaired. I had the "err" message as well. But my issue was caused by me - a mechanical problem caused my removing and mounting a lens in the dark. I was able to fire a single frame then had the error. It was temporarily resolved through turning off the power.
The repair in my case was to the aperture control module - and cost about $275 to fix.
I also managed to damage the lens - stuck aperture - and had it repaired as well.
There are lots of reasons for the "err" message. It has nothing to do with the model of the camera and can happen to any camera. It sounds like you simply got a camera that had been damaged and needed a routine repair.
Your research was good, you just purchased a used camera (or lens) that had issues. It may be why the camera was for sale in the first place. The chances of getting another defective D600 are very low, but your hesitancy is understandable. Personally, my D600 has always delivered outstanding performance.
Here's a link that provides a rough explanation of the various error codes.
Consider buying a Nikon refurbished camera with a limited warranty if you want to save a bit. Also, make sure that the SDHC cards are recommended by Nikon and that the lenses are either Nikon or have up to date firmware to work with whatever camera model you choose.
Best of luck with your next camera.
"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right ....and which is an illusion"
While it is a risk of buying used, it is a typical risk for any camera. And it's why you need to check out a used camera and have the ability to return it after a short look.
There is another thread going on right now about selling used gear to KEH. We know that KEH has a reputation for selling high quality gear at a fair price but not a bargain price. And when they buy, they typically pay 35-50% of their selling price. But they need to make a profit, they buy depreciating assets, and they have to deal with occasional repairs and bad luck on equipment they buy.