image quality between D90 vs D600, is it a big difference?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by raihan_malik|1, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Hello Everyone,
    for last two years i'm keep coming back when i have something in my mind and for a final answer. This time i'm back again. I do photo shoot in a small scale level and charge people for that, mostly Wedding, but apart of them i love to shoot fashion, portraits and lately thinking of starting newborn photography.
    Its my passion and i dream some day I'll make my bread n butter out of it. But even after 3 years in business i call myself a novice as i'm still struggling to take picture with off camera flash or keep failing to achieve the effect i want using strobes, get lost when its big room with no options to bounce flash, can't even guess an exposure just looking at the environment so i guess i have a long way to go.
    I limit my self to buy fancy stuff as i believe i have pretty much everything i need at this level and as i was advised before, so i was thinking of doing more courses, watch other people work (offline/online content) and for sure practice.
    Just to give you some idea or to analyze my skill to tip me correctly i'm adding my link which is Currently i own two D90's, 2 SB 600 &900, nikon 50mm, 85mm, 80-200mm, tokina 100mm and a tamron 17-50mm and 2 studio strobes (with some umbrellas, soft box, grid, snoot, barn door etc but nothing fancy or expensive)
    I got an online diploma from photography institution (run by renowned food photographer George Sapper), do some courses and workshops from local school, enrolled in and presently at PPSOP. I got some books written by Scott Kelby, Brian Patterson, Joe McNally etc and planning to go back to summer school for Light and Subject, Portrait & Wedding courses. Please forgive me for bragging about all these but my whole point is to try to make you explain how much i know and to direct me to the right path.
    SO I was very excited when D600 came out and i was planning to get one, then i remember some of you told me here in an old Blog that try to focus and learn how to take better picture, so i haven't bought that yet but lately i faced two incident which making me think again. 1. one of my videographer friends was telling me "To be able to compete in the market, to get more attention from the customers sometimes you need to have fancy stuff and that's why you should get a Full Frame camera." 2. my real estate friend hire another PG to get his house/apartments shoot, so i offered him my service for less. He said, "My PG has a D600 which is full frame which renders crystal clear picture, you don't have it."
    So after that i was start thinking do i really need a D600 now? should i sell one D90 body and get a D600? is there a really big difference in image quality???????
    Please advise and again sorry for the long post. Thanks
  2. Yes, there is some difference in some shooting circumstances. But the differences are going to be really seen in your use of light, your choice of lenses, your composition/vision/technique, and your post-production skill.

    There is no point using a D600 if you don't have the lenses to take advantage of it. Your collection is missing a wide-to-short-tele lens that will work on FX. Your 17-50 would need to become an FX-friendly 24-70. And (since you mention architecture and interiors) you probably need something wider than that, too.

    Getting the business won't depend on the camera you're using. It depends on the results you can show people, and what your references will have to say about what you're like to work with. Word of mouth and a killer portfolio are far more important than camera model number - something most customers neither know nor care about.

    If you're right, and you're still struggling with what to do in a dark room, buying a new camera will not help matters.
  3. my real estate friend hire another PG to get his house/apartments shoot, so i offered him my service for less. He said, "My PG has a D600 which is full frame which renders crystal clear picture, you don't have it.​
    I would imagine this is more of an excuse to let you down gently than anything else. It is the photographer not the camera. That said, a D600 with a tilt shift lens would be a powerful real estate tool. Why? A Nikon 24mm tilt shift lens offers a 24mm FoV on a full frame camera but a 36mm FoV on a cropped sensor. And here is where a full frame can make a big difference: if you have the distance to work with, in other words if you can back up enough to get the same FoV with the cropped sensor camera, then you are good to go. However, often you do NOT have the room to back up like that, in which case you want the full frame. Having said that, is there a difference between the image quality between a D600 and a D90? Yes. But if you show someone the same image, framed the same way with one taken with a D600 and the other with the D90, I doubt there are many that could see any difference.
  4. I've shot both, and of course the D600 is a much better camera. You could make a living with either, but I think that you would find a lot of shots easier to get with the D600.
    That said, you are not going to get much money for the D90. I would keep it and add the D600 and lenses as I was able. Crop sensor cameras have their uses.
    The D600 has twice the pixels of the D90, but not twice the resolution. You would need to take the square root of 2 to see how resolutions stack up. Since the square root of 2 is 1.414, the D600 would give you about 41.4% more resolution than the D90--a substantial amount, but not as massive an amount as you might expect.
    Having said all that, the D90 is a sweet little camera, and I have gotten some fine 13x19" prints from even 5-megapixel cameras. You could do worse than try to perfect your skills using what you have.
  5. Either way Raihan, it seems like you're really doing your homework and being serious about learning and that's great!
    Learning digital after years of film is a huge step for me. I am not that technical with programs and computers and all that
    stuff, so every week I'm learning something new how to work with the digital medium. Keep at it.
  6. Hi Raihan,

    I own both cameras. The D90 was my first DSLR. I will say this. If you can afford to buy the D600, it is well worth the
    expense and I believe you will notice a substantive difference in many situations. Those difference present themselves
    mostly at the edge of the D90's capabilities. ISO >1600 or the need for better dynamic range are two examples. You will
    be able to get usable photo's in more situations with the D600. In ideal or nearly ideal conditions, the difference would be
    negligible, but as things get less and less ideal, the D600 will begin to outpace the D90. Although not present in this thread you'll sometimes find people who say, "oh it's just gear and if you need a D600 you aren't a very good photographer", which is a somewhat misleading statement, likely made by someone who hasn't shot with each. No one needs a D600, but I guarantee you'll be happier shooting it and end up with more photo's that you find worthy of your portfolio,

  7. Of course you should always try to get better and by the best glass you can afford etc..., but all else being equal, the
    D600 will always outperform a D90. I also agree that you shouldn't sell that D90. It is a great camera as a back up or to
    take places that you have concerns about it getting damaged or spilled on or stolen (like Disneyland, hard hikes, sporting
    events etc...)
  8. Thanks each and everyone for the advises, much appreciated.
  9. Not everyone should upgrade. You should, though. At this point, if you're a working pro or aspire to be, I think full-frame is a must now.
  10. What lenses do you have? I've been finding that lenses seem to be the most important thing for weddings. I don't see any way that most customers are going to tell any difference at all between a wedding shot with a D7000 rather than a D600. The D7000 costs less than half what a D600 does. That gives you money to buy something more important--an SB-900 flash. The difference between having just a D600 and having a d7000 + SB-900 is huge. If you are making money from photography, the less money you spend on gear the more money you will have to feed your family, or spend promoting your business. None of your customers are going to tell the difference between photos made with a D600 and a D7000. I guarantee it.
    Kent in SD
  11. Only buy the D600 if you need it and if you don't know if you need it - you don't need it.
    For wedding shooters who are forced to shoot in situations with very low light levels and are not allowed to use flash (for instance during the ceremony) it makes sense to buy a D600. For those dreaming of creamy backgrounds and faster than f/1.4 lenses it also makes sense to shoot full frame. And for commercial shooting where 24 Megapixels are needed or if some special lens is required that only work on full frame, for instance a wide tilt shift lens. For the rest it makes more sense, especially from a business perspective, to stay with DX cameras. In this day and age you need to be smart when it comes to money.
    But it would make sense to upgrade from two D90s to two D7000 cameras or the D7000 replacements whenever they arrive. Primary reason for this would be two memory slots (and an overall improvement on all counts).
    If you want to impress clients who don't know any better, put an empty battery grip on the camera and put some big hoods on your lenses :)
  12. I had some time and reread your question. I think your lenses are OK. What are you triggering your studio flash with--radio triggers I assume? You could make them easier to work with by getting a simple handheld flashneter from ebay etc. Something like a Minolta IVf would work great. A flashmeter tells you exactly what the exposure is, and is very fast. For weddings, you want something fast and simple. If you don't completely understand how to use flash, that is where to begin. It's use of flash that will make you or break you. It's the difference between a pro and someone who just likes to buy gear.
    As for the blogger guy and the D600, keep in mind that most of these guys like buying cameras more than they like photography. Some of them get to use free gear supplied by Nikon etc., and they are being used as advertisers. I have shot six weddings for pay in the past year and have used a combination of a d300 and a d5100. I don't really recommend the D5100 as I can't lock down the AF point selector. My second shooter uses a D7000 and I really like that camera. It works very well for weddings--I've shot it myself for several now. The only way I could recommend that you buy a D600 is if you routinely photo weddings that are lit by candlelight, at night. The d7000 is more than good enough for weddings in a church, even at night. Keep in mind that your main lens, the 17-50, will have to be replaced to use it on a D600. To buy another f2.8 zoom will cost you big $$ and is not worth it. What would be the point of buying a d600 but then have to buy a slower zoom? You would lose more than you gain. Another point is that for weddings, you really need two cameras. What if your only camera quits working? Or is stolen? Telling a paying client you can't take any photos because you only brought one camera isn't going to cut it! I would suggest buying a d7000 and keeping your D90 as a backup. That way, your 17-50mm f2.8 works on BOTH cameras. You will save a LOT of money. Again, I am POSITIVE none of your customers will know the difference between a photo made with a D600 or a D7000. If they can't tell the difference, why spend all that money? Makes no sense.
    Kent in SD
  13. +1 to Pete S's last comment! Equally, balance wise, they might actually be helpful too....a Win-Win scenario...:)
    I'm not sure if the D600's focusing is so much better than the D7000's in dim scenes, I haven't used either! Someone else can answer that one.
    But to add to others comments, you do need a back-up camera if you're charging for the job.
  14. The D600 has the same focusing system as the D7000. As a result, the focus points are clustered in the middle of the frame and don't reach very far toward the edge. So depending on how you look at it, the D600 AF is the same as the D7000 or worse. If you want better AF you need a D700, or a step up to a D800.
  15. I have shot over 80 weddings with a pair of D90's having only just recently upgraded one to a D600 and a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens. This lens is as good as the Nikon lens but a fraction of the price and bulk.
    I still use one D90 as a back up and also during the ceremony as you don't have time to change lenses I have the D600 with wide - med zoom and the D90 with Med - Tele zoom. Editing these images in Lightroom 4 it is hard to tell them apart without looking at the metadata. The D600 does have so much more detail and will let you push the adjustments further.
    The D600 has the same focusing system as the D7000. As a result, the focus points are clustered in the middle of the frame and don't reach very far toward the edge​
    If you want an automatic camera buy a point and shoot that decides everything for you. You really should learn to use the centre focus point to select the exact point you want to focus on then using your Focus lock to lock on this point and then recompose. Gives you much more creative control and you will get the image you want not what the camera thinks you want.
    To sum up the D90 is a great camera and is very capable of shooting weddings. The D7000 is a step up and the D600 is another step up again. I opted for the D600 as I don't plan on upgrading again for 4 years and wanted the best possible camera I could afford. The file size on the D800 is way to big as far as I am concerned. Shooting around a thousand images in raw at a wedding requires a pair of 64gb cards in the D600 (one backing up the other) the D800 I guess would be close to 100gb of data. Both the D7000 and D600 have twin card slots that are a huge save guard against card fail.
    Good luck with your decision
  16. Interesting Andy, there seem to lots of people with focus problems with the D7000. I emphasize 'people' with problems as it may be user inexperience, not a D7000 AF issue...... but I don't think I've seen any D600 issues other than the focus point clustering. Equally, maybe the D600 has better or tweaked processing with the same AF Module?
  17. I wasn't saying the D600 is bad or not appropriate for shooting weddings. There was a question on comparing the D600 AF to the D7000 AF, and that was all my comment was about. BTW, it's true that the Tamron 28-75 is a winner. Great performance on every camera I've used it on (D90, D7000, D700, D800 and F100) and you can't beat the price.
  18. Sorry Andy, re reading my post I might have been a bit strong on my wording. I agree totally with what your saying the D600 does have all the focus points clustered in the centre. Shooting weddings I don't think you should have your camera set on auto focus but single point focus to give you control and more creative flexibility. Other shooting situations I agree Auto focus mode would be best and the D600 would require you to keep the image you want to focus on pretty much in the centre of the frame.
  19. The Auto mode can work in some situations, and I also find the multiple points useful for things like selecting a point that's off center but, yeah, the center point probably gets the most use on my camera as well.
  20. The only way I could recommend that you buy a D600 is if you routinely photo weddings that are lit by candlelight, at night.​
    Whenever I read threads about needing super high ISO settings, it makes me wonder how my father used to photograph weddings using ISO 160 and 400 film. Perhaps weddings are much darker now!
    you do need a back-up camera if you're charging for the job.​
    Hopefully you will never need it but it would be foolish not to have it.
  21. Steve--
    One of the weddings I did last year was from a couple that wanted all the formals shot with b&w film, with the same poses the bride's grandparents had in their wedding album. I used my vintage 1951 Rolleiflex with it's 75mm Tessar, and ISO 100 film. I attached a CyberSync trigger to the Rollei to fire the White Lightning X3200 strobes. The results were very classy! You can make just about anything work if you think it through and have a Vision. The most important thing still comes down to understanding how to use Light.
    Like Andy, I tend to just lock the focus spot selector and use the AF-L button and recompose after focus. It just seems to be a lot faster and a more sure way to get the focus you want. I have not had any trouble with the D7000 AF using it that way, and neither has my second shooter (who actually owns the camera.)
    Kent in SD
  22. @ Steve Smith.... you hit the nail on the head!!! I shot weddings for 25 years using Hassleblad gear and 160/400 Kodak film and 150mm f4 and 80mm f2.8 lens. Some of my wedding ceremony work was done candlelight and at night. Exposure could be 4-5 seconds and everything still was great. I even did portraits using candlelight using the same gear.
    Today, I use a Nikon d300 and just picked up a d7000 and still try to keep my ISO below 800 and control the couple.
  23. Expectations of the bride and groom as well as family and guests change over time when it comes to weddings and wedding photography. What was fine 30 years ago may not be fine today. And what is fine in one culture may be frowned upon in another.
    Kit lens on Nikon 30 years ago was a 50mm f/1.4 or perhaps a 50mm f/2. Today it's a variable aperture zoom 18-55mm f/3.5 - f/5.6. 30 years ago you could use nice B&W ASA 400 film but today you need ISO 3200 to get the same exposure with the kit zoom.
    30 years ago everybody was posing when taking wedding photos and a couple of rolls of films what was needed. Today many are shooting throughout the entire day making several thousands images in a day.
    It's just not the same thing and we might as well start comparing apples and oranges.
    PS. Back in the day Real Photographers had view cameras and would consider a Hassy a toy for wussies :)
  24. Thanks once again everyone, to answer some of your questions:
    At Peter Hamm, yes I've started working as a Pro but Its still at the very beginning level, mostly community based.
    At Kent Staubus, yes i have some decent lenses at this point. D7000 was my first choice and was pretty close to get one but then came D600. To answer your question I own a SB900, a Minolta lightmeter, one you mentioned. I trigger with radio triggers but I also have the old but reliable cord to connect with camera and a hot shoe. I don't routinely shoot wedding (which i want to), 99% my works are from East Indian community so its not candlelight situation, sometimes its low light but can be managed with flashes. Ya got two D90 bodies as well. So I'm well prepared.
    At John McCosh, what's the best use for Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens? Portrait? I already checked the price and some of the asking prices are $350 which is tempting. Can it be an alternative for Nikon 24-70mm?
    Regards, Raihan.
  25. Hi Raihan,
    Yes the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 is a portrait lens and an alternative to the Nikon 24-70mm. you do loose a little on the wide end but gain a little on the other end. I have attached a picture to show you how sharp this lens is, this was taking on a D600
    Do remember though that on a D600 this is a true 28-75mm lens. fitted to a D90 or D7000 will in effect be a 42-112mm lens

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