Nikon D7100 vs D600: which DSLR should you choose?

Nikon D7100 vs D600: which DSLR should you choose?

Last week saw the launch of the new Nikon D7100 which presents photographers with an interesting (and difficult) choice: should you stay DX-format or go full-frame? Our friends at N-Photo did their best to answer this question in a compelling Nikon D7100 vs D600 head-to-head comparison. What do you think?

Nikon D7100 vs D600: which DSLR should you choose?

When Nikon launched the D600 it seemed like the dream camera for enthusiasts. It was expensive, but affordable – just – and the perfect step up from the D7000 and the ageing D300s.

But the brand new D7100, announced on February 20th, changes everything. It’s far more than just an upgrade to the existing D7000, as our 13-point D7100 vs D7000 comparison shows. In fact it’s Nikon’s most advanced DX-format D-SLR to date.

It’s so advanced, in fact, that it’s enough to make anyone think twice about the D600. The D7100 offers the same resolution, it’s cheaper and it means DX owners can keep using their existing lenses.

It’s a tough choice, so here’s our point-by-point Nikon D7100 vs D600 comparison to help you make your mind up!

SEE MORE: Nikon Df vs D610 vs D800: 12 things you need to know about Nikon’s full-frame cameras

Nikon D7100 vs D600: key points to know (1-3)

1) Resolution

Both cameras have 24-megapixel sensors. The D600 has a full-frame sensor, and the larger size (roughly twice that of the D7100) should give it an inherent quality advantage. But the D7100 dispenses with the usual anti-aliasing filter (just like the ground-breaking Nikon D800E) to provide super-fine sharp detail. We can’t say which camera will be best until we’ve carried out a full set of lab tests, but we predict it’s going to be closer than the difference in sensor sizes suggests.

2) Sensor size

It’s not just about megapixels and resolution. The larger sensor in the D600 produces images with less overall depth of field and, often, a greater feeling of depth and space. It’s easier to get shallow depth of field effects with a full-frame camera, though this can backfire if you want to shoot landscapes or still life shots where everything in the frame is sharp, from near to far. A full-frame camera gives you a reduction in depth of field roughly equivalent to 1 f-stop – it’s neither good nor bad, but something to be aware of.

3) Lenses part 1

If you have a selection of DX lenses, you’ll have to ditch them when you move up to the D600. You can use them in ‘crop’ mode, but then you’ll be wasting most of the D600’s potential. This means buying the D600 itself will only be the start – there will be plenty more expense to come. With the D7100, of course, your existing lenses will be just fine.

PAGE 1: Nikon D7100 vs D600 – key points to know (1-3)
PAGE 2: Nikon D7100 vs D600 – key points to know (4-10)
PAGE 3: Nikon D7100 vs D600 – key points to know (11-12)


Nikon D7100 vs D7000: 13 things you need to know
Full frame sensor size explained: how to exploit its advantages and cool effects
Infographic: full-frame vs crop factor lenses