Nikon D600 or D7100

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dspindle, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. I have owned a D90 for quite some time. I shoot mostly nature related photography and recently decided to upgrade to full-frame. Before purchasing a camera I decided to upgrade my lenses. Here are the lenses I now own: Nikon 50mm 1.8, Nikon 16-35 f/4, Nikon 24-85 VR, Nikon 70-200 f/4 VR and a Sigma 150 f/2.8 Macro.
    I have been hesitant to purchase the D600 for two reasons. The "dust" issue, and the tightly packed focus points grouped in the center. I had just decided that I could learn to live with focus and re-compose with regard to the focus points, and wait for a little while on the dust problem and hope I get lucky enough to buy one that no longer has the problem.
    Now, along comes the D7100 with focus points where I want them (and more of them) and I am re-thinking this whole DX to FX thing. I know that if I buy the D7100 I would not be getting the full potential from the lenses I purchased (especially the 16-35). But if I purchase the D600, I am mostly getting a bigger viewfinder and a larger sensor, correct? Am I really going to see enough significant image quality difference between a 24mpx DX sensor and a 24mpx FX sensor to justify putting up with possible dust problems and an auto focus array I don't like?
    I'd love to hear your thoughts and advice...thanks!
  2. Dave:
    I have been faced with the same problem. I have been using the d7000 since it came on the market and have had fantastic results. I have the 17-55 2.8 DX and the 16-85 plus some excellent primes. I can only expect the 7100 to be a step up. I have made the decision to go with the 7100 and keep the 7000 as backup. I am certain that the 600 will be excellent as the problems are solved but my good fortune with DX has persuaded me away from FX at the present time. I think that either choice would be fine in any event. Good luck.
  3. When you say "nature related photography" is that landscapes and nearby macro subjects or animals and birds? Your lenses suggest the former, but if you want to at some time concentrate on the latter, the D7100, with its very dense pixels and excellent autofocus, may be the better choice.
  4. Dave, I can't speak as some of the people here on the board that are really professionals, but I can tell you this. I have a D90 like you and I did go and buy the D600 and have been happy for it ever since. I believe that I am getting sharper images all around. I don't just specialize in one type of photography buy try to do most of it. All that I do does seem to be better at least to me.
    The dust issue .... well I thought I was going to have a problem after a thousand shots I was getting some specks. I used the Gitzo Rocket to blow off the sensor and ..... knock on wood nothing has returned and I almost hitting 2 thousand now. I really love my D600. I was lucky as all but one of my glass wasn't full frame so I didn't have much of an expense beside the body.
    Good luck in your decision!
    Phil B
    Benton, ky
  5. I spent some time today shooting the D3200's 24mp DX sensor right along side of the D600's 24mp FX sensor. Obviously the D7100 is going to be a very different shooting experience (ergonomics, AF system, etc) than the D3200. But with some carefully exposed RAW files coming out of both bodies ... yowza. The D600 is very nice, and it shows. Especially when you start messing around at much higher ISOs.
  6. I'm not a pro, but I bought the D600 a few months ago and I love it. I upgraded from a D7000. I have many of the same lenses as you. Obviously, you need to consider the crop factor of the D7100 which means the lenses you own will be a different focal length, i.e. 50mm will be 75mm, etc. As was previously mentioned, this may be an advantage if you are shooting wildlife (more reach), but the D600 allows you to shoot in cropped more as an option. The AF points being more in the centre bugged me a bit at first, but to be honest, most of the compositions I have been doing rarely go outside the point spread, and I don't mind focus-recompose when I need to go outside of the spread. The dust hasn't been an issue for me. Good luck!
  7. Be aware that you may have to have the Sigma rechipped for either newer camera. Many of the Sigma lenses require this. I'm moving
    from a D80 to the D7100 and have to have my Sigma 105mm macro and 120-400 rechipped. Fortunately it's only $10 per lens plus
    shipping, but it's a 2-4 week wait. Glad I have Nikon lenses as well!
  8. **crop mode
  9. Thanks, everyone for your helpful responses. I appreciate you taking the time. Hector...I should have mentioned this in my original post; most of my nature photography is macro/close up and landscape. No wildlife or birds. I believe the Sigma 150 macro will work fine with the D600, but I'm doubtful about the D7100.
    Anyway, lots to consider. Thanks again!
  10. I just bought a D7100 and have been shooting with it for the past two days. I tried it side by side to a D600, and have some experience shooting weddings with a d7000 (which is the same basic camera as a D600.) Some thoughts. The D600 will give you one more stop of reaqlly clean ISO, call it ISO 3200. That's about it for advantages over the d7100. What I'm finding with the d7100 is it very clearly has a superior autofocus. It locks on MUCH faster, even if you are using a TC on the lens. It doesn't hunt for focus anywhere nearly as much as the d600/D7000. The D7100 even focusses outdoors in the dark! The lack of the AA filter seems to make for sharper images much of the time, although the difference is slight (like the difference between D800 and D800e.) The D7100 is well sealed and fells very solid. If you shoot wildlife the D7100 is a no-brainer. Bottom line is if you shoot at night a lot and the one stop ISO improvement is crucial, or if your primary camera is a D800/D4, the D600 has advantages. If having a superior AF system is more important, the D7100 is THE camera to get right now. It shoots very, very cleanly and you will notice the difference in AF speed. The viewfind on the D7100 seemed a little brighter to me, and I think it's 100% (double check me on that one.) I am a night photogrqapher and the D7100 has been making me very happy. One last thing to consider is that with DX, you get one more stop of DoF with the same lens vs. an FX sensor. Thus, shooting macro at f8 on the D600 would have the same DoF as f5.6 on the d7100. More DoF is usually a plus for macro.
    Kent in SD
  11. Personally I would go with quality over quantity every time and your case this would mean the d7100. It's just a better speced camera. The D600 is a bit cobbled together.
  12. The "dust" issue was no issue for me. I bought a D600 kit from Adorama when they first came out. Noticed some sensor dust photographing a white wall & f22 after a few weeks of use. Dust was easily remover with a bulb blower & has not returned. I do not change lenses a lot. The 24-85 kit lens works fine for most of what I do.
  13. I'm glad Kent chimed in and that he mentioned the no-AA filter. What we all love to engage in is speculation. Kent doesn't need to do that (lucky dog). Thanx. I have a D7100 on pre-order and may see it in April if lucky. Canada. Northern Ontario. It's cold here. Snowy yet sunny. Spring is a while off and need something to hope for that will arrive before the black flies (biting insects).
    Now, how do you shoot in RAW and get your stuff into Lightroom, Kent?
  14. I choose FX and picked a D600 because I wanted the best image quality in a light weight body.
    Focus on the D600 is good enough for me and actually much improved over the D7000 according to a lot of people that shot both. For instance or
    Perhaps you can rent or borrow a D600 and a D7100 for a weekend and based on that decide? I mean if a D7100 will be good enough for you then you will save a lot of cash.
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dave Spindle writes:
    I have owned a D90 for quite some time. I shoot mostly nature related photography and recently decided to upgrade to full-frame. Before purchasing a camera I decided to upgrade my lenses. Here are the lenses I now own: Nikon 50mm 1.8, Nikon 16-35 f/4, Nikon 24-85 VR, Nikon 70-200 f/4 VR and a Sigma 150 f/2.8 Macro.​
    Nature photography can mean different things to different people. Fundamentally, you need to decide, again, whether you want FX or DX. If you mainly shoot landscape, I would go for FX and get the D600, and you already have the lenses for it. If you mainly shoot wildlife, I would get the D7100, but then you will be missing some DX wide angle lens.
    The D600 may indeed be more prone to dust/oil, but as long as you can do some basic sensor cleaning yourself, it should not be a major issue. In case you do run into a lemon D600, I would get it exchanged (not repaired) immediately. Otherwise, IMO all the exaggeration about the D600 dust problem on the web is not particularly helpful.
    Otherwise, IMO the D600's AF is quite good. Both Nikon's Multi-CAM 3500 (51 AF points) and 4800 (39 AF points) AF modules do not cover the full FX frame very well. That is an issue I have been pointing out since they first introduced the D3 back in 2007. Of course, coverage with 39 points is even worse than with 51.
    If your focus is wildelife, I have yet to test a D7100, but that is probably your best choice at this point. However, you'll probably need lenses longer than 200mm.
    P.S. Given that Nikon is willing to put the Multi-CAM 3500 onto the $1200 D7100, I would imagine that any future FX body will have at least the Multi-CAM 3500, but hopefully Nikon can do even better. A year ago I was a bit disappointed that the D4 was not introduced with a totally new and better AF system.
  16. I have no comment on the dust/oil issue, but if you're concerned about focus points at the edge of the frame, why not just focus using Live View? Live View enables you to select ANY part of the frame as your focus point, as long as it has some contrast that can be detected. You're not stuck with pre-configured focus points.
    The full frame AF point arrangement isn't a big issue as far as I'm concerned. Lots of pros use these cameras for high speed sports action using those somewhat more central AF points. And if your subject is stationary, Live View gives you the ultimate in flexibility.
    The D7100 looks like a very nice camera. If you're more comfortable staying with DX, the jump from a D90 to D7100 would increase image quality quite a bit. Plus it's less expensive than a D600.
  17. I am interested in a comparison of the D5200 with the D7100. My Nikon got wet in Patagonia recently and I need a new body for the lenses I have. I am an amateur interested in nature but may have grandkids soon so action photography may be in the future. I understood the D7100 would be better for that. Thanks
  18. "If you mainly shoot landscape, I would go for FX"
    Shun, what is the reasoning for that, when both are 24mp cameras? It seems to me, with the better depth of field with the DX format along with the lack of an AA filter on the D7100, it would be a pretty good option for a landscape camera, if not the best option if comparing it to the D600. I realize for FX there are the 16-35 and 14-24 wide angle zooms available, but in DX there are some good wide angle zoom lenses as well, by Nikon and the independents. I currently have a D300s, and have been pondering about whether to get something with more resolution, but can't decide whether or not I want the expense of an FX camera and lenses, or to stay with the DX format. I shoot nearly all landscapes. Your thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    but in DX there are some good wide angle zoom lenses as well, by Nikon and the independents.​
    Not in my opinion. Ok, I haven't used Tokina's DX wide zooms, but I am not that happy with the Nikon 12-24mm/f4 and 10-24mm/f3.5-4.5 DX zooms on their wide ends. The problem is that in order to get really wide on DX, you need something like 15mm or below, and those are very extreme focal lengths but they still have the original flange-to-sensor distance for the F mount designed for 35mm film. Such backward compatibility leads to a lot of compromises on DX wide-angle lenses.
    That is why I prefer FX for landscape photography. While Nikon's 17-35mm/f2.8 AF-S and 16-35mm/f4 AF-S VR are not ideal on their wide end either, you have more choices such as the 28mm/f1.8 AF-S and T/S choices such as the 24mm/f3.5 PC-E.
  20. Thanks Shun. More than likely I'm going to go ahead and spring for the D800 or D800e later this year, unless Nikon releases a new semi-pro DX DSLR. Even then, I may still go the FX route so that I don't second guess myself, and not worry about upgrading for many years.
  21. I wanted to provide an update, and also to thank all of you for your responses. I have decided the D7100 is the best choice for me. As I said, I take mostly close ups and macros, and what I would call medium wide angle landscapes. I don't shoot wildlife or sports. Actually, the 16-35 f/4 in a DX format is perfect for me.
    The journey of deciding between DX and FX has been fascinating. It forced me to ask myself hard questions. It made me realize once again that continually learning to compose and take better photographs is more important ultimately than what camera I'm working with. It made me more aware that just because the Nikon marketing gurus say that the "natural progression" from a D90 should be a D600 doesn't necessarily mean it is right for me. And, surprisingly, this journey has made me appreciate just what a terrific camera my D90 is also. I have been very comfortable with it, and I think the D7100 will be a nice upgrade for my style of photography.
    Anyway, it's been very educational and fun and thank you! As soon as ACR and Lightroom catch up, and Kirk gets an L-Bracket to fit the D7100, I will be ordering one. I'm very excited, and can't wait.
  22. thanks for this post...I am JUST starting to contemplate this same change....I like macro, closeup, wildlife (birds, animals, etc) - and also plenty of outdoor family/children photos.

    The D7100 seems like the upgrade from my current D90....

    But may I ask a really basic question:

    What are the improvements you will realize from D90 to D7100 for these applications?
  23. One you go full frame there is no turning back!

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