By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Sometimes, when you’re in a hot and heavy arms race, you have to make a giant, bold leap in order to get an edge. Such may be the case with Nikon and the rumored entry level, full-frame D600. Here’s what it looks like …
What is often lost in the great arms race that has become HDSLR video production, is that Nikon was the first camera maker to add HD video to a DSLR in the D90. But when Canon released the 5D Mk. II, with a full-frame sensor and 1080p video, and filmmakers like Vince LaFloret made a giant splash with amazing imagery, the ability of the D90 to shoot HD video got lost in the excitement. As a result, Canon became the 800 pound gorilla in the HDSLR category, leaving Nikon struggling to catch up.
And if the rumors are true, catch up they almost have. The specs of the D600 are rumored to be as follows:
- 24.7MP full-frame sensor
- 3.2″ LCD with 921K dot with ambient sensor control
- HDMI output
- Video compression: H264/MPEG–4
- Full HD with 30p, 25p, 24p, HD with 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p
- Viewfinder coverage: 100% for FX , 97% for Dx
- Built-in AF motor
- ISO range: 100–6400 (with Lo–1 ISO 50 and Hi–2 ISO 25,600)
- 39 AF points (with an option of 11 AF points), 9 cross-type AF points
- AF face detection
- Exposure compensation: ±5 EV
The news of making the full-frame D600 an entry level model may be the push that Canon needed to move the 7D Mk. II into the Full-Frame category as we reported last week, but while that move evens part of the playing field for the D600, it loses a step or two with a relatively low ISO range to 6400 (boostable to 25,600). That’s so 2010.
But then again, when you’re moving into a new category, you don’t really want to toss in the baby with the bath water on your first time out. I’m betting that Nikon will increase that ISO range as time goes on, but that still makes them a bit behind it closest available full frame competitor the 5D Mk. III, which has an ISO range to 102,400.
Now granted, only astralphotographers will care about such extreme low light performance, but it just points out the gap that Nikon has to close in order to reach parity with the Mk. III. As it stands now, at best, it can go head to head with the mature Mk. II, which is the go to full-frame HDSLR for runners and gunners.
But what the D600 will give to shooters is the ability to shoot with Nikon glass, and there’s some that are the best in the world. The other huge advantage the D600 may bring is it’s rumored price tag … under $1,000. For full-frame. That’s ridiculous! That not only puts great pressure on Canon to respond (again, with the rumored 7D), but as an entry level camera, users of the T series looking to upgrade may just avoid the T4i altogether, sell their lenses, and go with the D600 for just a few hundred more.