Nikon D600 vs D700: which camera is the better upgrade?

Nikon D600 vs D700: which camera is the better upgrade?

In this post we’ll compare the Nikon D600 vs D700 to see if the latter, a classic Nikon DSLR, can still hold its own when compared to the newer D600?

In addition to bringing out the highly touted D4 and D800 this year, Nikon recently announced what was then (before Canon launched the EOS 6D a week later) the world’s first ‘entry-level’ full-frame DSLRs, the Nikon D600. But as we get to grips with what this new Nikon camera offers, it’s also worth comparing it to older Nikon cameras, which will likely see a drop in street price.

Nikon D600 release date confirmed

The Nikon D600 has many photographers intrigued; it shares many features seen in Nikon’s high-end D800 and D4 models, such as Nikon’s EXPEED 3 processing engine and the new 24.3-megapixel, full-frame (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor, 100-6400 (expandable from 50-25,600), a maximum continuous shooting rate of 5.5fps, 39-point AF system, in-camera HDR and full HD video recording. The icing on the cake is that the D600, at £1,955.99/$3150 (body only), is one of the most affordable full-frame cameras yet.

In fact, when making a Nikon D600 vs D700 comparison you only need to look back to the similar reaction at the Nikon D700’s launch back in 2008.

The Nikon D700 was subject to much speculation prior to launch, much more excited discussion post launch, and many rave reviews. Boasting a 12.1-megapixel full-frame sensor, ISO sensitivity ranging from ISO 200 to 6400 (expandable from 100-25,600), EXPEED processing, 51 focus points and a maximum continuous shooting speed of 5fps, the D700 was certainly a camera that comfortably held its own in a competitive marketplace.

Nikon D600 vs D700: which camera is the better upgrade?

So what are the big differences between the Nikon D600 vs D700?

For those interested in video recording, the D600 clearly wins vs the D700. The D600 has 1080p HD video recording, plus a mic socket for an external microphone, and a headphone jack. The D700 does not include video recording.

The Nikon D600 also offers U1 and U2 positions on the camera’s mode dial with which you can save certain preferred default settings. For instance, if you’ve set up your camera to shoot wildlife but want to quickly take a landscape, twist your mode dial to U1 where you’ve stored your preferred landscape settings. The Nikon D700 doesn’t offer this.

The D700, however, offers more focus points and a much faster maximum shutter speed – 1/8000sec vs 1/4000sec (though the D600 wins with cross-type focus points at 15 vs the D700’s nine).

Nevertheless, these are two very good cameras with excellent specifications, but if you’re a photographer looking to get the most pro features you can from a DSLR at a bargain price, the D700 might be the better upgrade.

Now discontinued, the Nikon D700 can be found for around £1000 at some retailers, and will certainly start to drop even further in street price. What’s more, like its sibling the D90, the D700 still demands respect despite its age.

On the other hand, the D600 is a smaller, lighter, more portable full-frame DSLR than others on the market, and that is something of value in and of itself.

Whatever is more valuable to you, the latest and lightest or the best in its class at the lowest price, the truth is it’s hard to go wrong with either camera when choosing between the Nikon D600 vs D700. Nikon DSLRs have a history of being a good investment and providing value for money.


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