Nikon D7100 vs D600: which DSLR should you choose?

Nikon D7100 vs D600: which DSLR should you choose?

Nikon D7100 vs D600: key points to know (4-10)

4) Lenses part 2

The 1.5x crop factor of the D7100 means that your telephoto lenses will have a longer reach. This could be especially important for sports and wildlife photographers. Fast, professional-quality telephotos become exponentially more expensive as the focal length increases, and here’s a comparison that makes the point plainly. On the D7100, Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom offers an effective focal range of 105-300mm, and it costs £1600. To get the same focal length and maximum aperture on the D600, you’d need the Nikon 300mm f/2.8 prime lens, which is a whopping £4000. That’s not all. The D7100’s new 1.3 ‘crop’ mode, which still delivers 16-megapixel images (the same as the older D7000), gives your telephotos more reach still. The 70-200mm f/2.8 we used as an example earlier now effectively becomes a 136.5-390mm f/2.8! The Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lens, the nearest equivalent for the D600, costs £6600.

5) ISO range

Both cameras offer an ISO range of 100-6400 but, all other things being equal, we’d put our money on the D600 to offer the best quality at high ISOs. Again, this is subject to a full set of lab tests, but with photosites twice the size of those in the D7100, it’s got a big head start. Besides, Nikon would not want the D600 to overshadow the D800, so it’s possible that its ISO 6400 maximum (the same as the D800’s) is conservative.

6) Autofocus

There’s no competition here. The D7100 uses the latest version of Nikon’s pro-spec 51-point Multi-CAM 3500DX AF system, with 15 cross-type sensors and the ability to work with apertures down to f/8. This becomes very important when you use telephoto lenses with teleconverters. The D600 uses Nikon’s more amateur-orientated 39-point Multi-CAM4800AF sensor. It’s the same as the one used in the D7000, and because the D600 has a larger frame area, the AF points are all near the centre of the frame, whereas the AF points in the D7100 reach practically to the edges.

7) Continuous shooting

The D600 can shoot at a creditable 5.5fps, but the D7100 edges slightly ahead with 6fps. What’s more, if you use the D7100’s 1.3x ‘crop’ mode, this goes up to 7fps.

8) Shutter speeds

The D7100 offers a shutter speed range of 30 sec to 1/8000sec, while the D600 only goes to 1/4000 sec. There won’t be many occasions when that difference becomes significant, but for those shooting super-high-speed action, it could be important. And that’s not all. The D600’s flash synchronization speed is 1/200 sec (or up to 1/250 sec with reduced range). The D7100’s flash sync speed is 1/250 sec (or up to 1/320 sec with reduced range). This gives the D7100 an edge for fill flash photography in daylight, too.

9) LCD and Live View

The D7100 and D600 LCD displays are the same size at 3.2 inches, but the D7100’s screen has more dots (1229k versus 921k) and a new high-intensity display for extra brilliance. The Live View mode has an interesting innovation, too – ‘spot white balance’. We’ve yet to use this properly, but it looks much faster than setting custom white balance in the normal way.

10) Movies

There’s little to choose between these two cameras here – both have formidable movie-making capabilities. Again, though, the D7100 edges just slightly ahead, by offering high speed 50i and 60i (interlaced) full HD movies in its 1.3x crop mode.

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)


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