D600 or D700 for back-up camera?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by randleman, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Hello all,
    I recently moved from DX to FX format, going from the D300 to the D800.
    Now I am in the process of converting the remaining DX only gear to FX, and I am considering a second body now or in the future to serve as a back-up/complement to the D800.
    I'm not made of money but should have some additional dollars once I convert my equipment, and while I haven';t fully decided about getting a second body, I'm curious what people would recommend for a second Nikon to complement the D800.
    I shoot mostly landscape/cityscape but do occasionally like to shoot faster moving subjects. It seems that new D700 is still higher than D600, but a used D700 would also be an option.
    Thanks in advance for any advice,
  2. Well used equipment is only going to go down in price, so parking your funds for the rainy day might be your best option. What you might consider buying today might not be a good choice 3 years down the road.
  3. If you do any long lens work, a 24 MP
    DX camera could be a nice
    complement to your D800.
  4. The D600 and D800 share batteries, and can share SD cards. The D700 and D800 can share the CF cards, and they share the handling, size and button placement of what you're used to from the D300. The D600 is slightly different in that respect, though not massively (though I will say, as a D700 and previous D300 user, I do find the D7000 a wee bit too small).
    I think you have to put down for yourself where the priorities are; it's hard for any of us to say whether you can get frustrated by 2 different handling cameras, or carrying 4 batteries, whether 12MP will be enough usually, etc.
  5. Another D800 is your best bet. Refurb D800s are just a little bit more expensive than a new D600.
    You can get one here:
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Except for the fact that the controls are somewhat different on the D800 and D600, that is a good combination to own. As Wouter points out, those two cameras use the same EN-EL15 batteries and you can use SD cards on both. I like the fact that the D600 is smaller, for the occasions that you want to carry a bit less weight.
    I do prefer the controls on the D800, as those are similar to the D300 and D700. The D800 has somewhat better AF but the D600 has faster frame rate.
  7. FWIW I found very little difficulty in moving from a D700 to the D800 in terms of handling and features. The D800 can be frustratingly slow in Liveview compared to the D700, but in optical viewfinder mode there's not a lot in it. Having said that, there's enough difference between the two cameras that they cover a slightly wider range of use between them.
    Since the D800 gives you 15 megapixel DX sized files, I really don't see any need for a dedicated DX body as well. There aren't that many tele lenses on the market that can do justice to 15 megapixels, let alone a higher resolution.
  8. I like Elliot's option of a second D800 just to keep things simple, but I personally went through practically the same exact upgrade (D300s to D800). My backup to my D300s was a D90, and I liked the fact that the D90 was smaller when I wanted to carry something light, they both had the same video, shared the same batteries, and shared the same sensor. It made a lot of things very convenient when preparing for a shoot.
    However, I found that I REALLY liked the frame rate of the D300s, and if I replaced the D300s with a D600, I would lose this capability in addition to losing focus point spread (the D600 has less focus point spread than the D90 over the size of the frame). For these reasons, I went with a D700. Sure, I have the inconvenience of carrying two different battery chargers, I don't have video (which I never really use anyway) on my second body, but I have identical focus systems on both bodies with great focus point spread. Also, I have 8fps with the battery grip on the D700. I really like the D600 as a backup to the D800, but I could not get over the 39 focus points crammed into the center of the frame and the 5.5fps versus 8fps. I may have been convinced to buy a D600 if it had a higher frame rate or 51 focus points (I understand why it can't have both for D4 cannibalization reasons), but not having both was a deal breaker. I think the D600 should have had the 51 point focus system given the 39 point focus system crams all of these points in the center of the frame. This is a feature better optimized for DX versus FX. Including this (and not including the higher frame rate) would not have eaten into D4 sales.
    If you are considering a D600 or a D700 as a backup to your D800, you'll have to ask yourself which set of these camera features is most important to you.
  9. If you are considering a D600, Adorama has a great 'Black Friday' deal here:
    Nothing against the D700 (I have a D3) but when it comes to features and overall IQ, Nikon's newest bodies like the D800 and D600 make the D3/D700/D300 bodies a lot less appealing regardless of the cost IF you need or want the advanced features they offer. To me IQ is paramount. I shoot a lot of fast action sports and always grab my D800 over the D3, in spite of the ability of the D3 to shoot at 11fps (which I used a lot), primarily because the AF is better and the IQ is noticeably better over the D3.
  10. Thanks to all for all the great information! Not sure if it will make the choice easier or harder, as their are great arguments
    for 600, 700, AND 800 here. I'll keep you posted if/as I get a second body.

  11. If you go with the D700, keep a spare charger in your bag! If it's really just a backup camera, chances are the batteries will be dead if you ever do need it.

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