Steven Brokaw Photography

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First Shoot With My Nikon D600

Today I did a full photoshoot with my new Nikon D600.  I'm excited about giving the D600 a workout, as it will become my primary digital camera.  The challenge I was going to have was the comparison in the form and features versus my trusty Nikon D300s.  I've had a D300s for approximately 2 years and have shot about 90,000 photos with it.  I can operate it with my eyes closed.  I know it's feel, it's weight, the location of buttons and how to get the most of out it.
So my first concern was the learning curve to get use to the D600's form & functions.  I have no doubt the D600 will allow me to take a wider range of photos and its features are more contemporary.  The video capacity is better, the ISO range is wider on both sides, and the sensor is an FX full frame versus the DX crop sensor D300s.  This means I get the true focal length of my non DX lenses.
I'll post a blog post on the image quality and functionality based on today's model shoot and an after dark shoot I did.  In the meantime I wanted to point out a few differences in the D600 versus my D300s that I'll need to get used to.
First as a caveat, my D300 has a battery grip that makes it a bit bulkier and easier to hold.  I do not yet have a battery grip for my D600.  Here goes:
  • The D600 is a smaller camera than the D300s.  Noticeably smaller.  I actually like the larger camera at this point.  The first thing I noticed with the D600's size is it feels off balanced with a AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 & an AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII lens.  The center of gravity is different and it will take some time to get used to the feel.  The camera feels like a mini-me to the larger D300s.
  • Right off the bat there appears to be dust on the sensor.  I've only changed the lens 2 or 3 times in a non-dusty environment.  Not a good omen.
  • My thumb constantly hit the Main Command Dial on the back of the camera while shooting.  I noticed several times in manual mode that I accidentally changed the shutter speed to a faster speed.  This never occurred on the D300s and could be due to the lack of a vertical grip so my thumb is up higher on the camera.  Not sure.
  • The Multi-Selector dial is too small for my taste.  It doesn't seem as responsive
  • The Tripod Socket is farther back (not in the center) on the bottom of the camera.  Therefore, my Manfrotto D ring tripod plate sticks off the bottom of the camera by about 1/4".  This is really weird.
  • It's hard to turn the mode dial with one hand, although I like the locking button.
  • I am REALLY surprised it doesn't have a 10-pin connector.  Honestly, I didn't notice this when I was testing the camera out at the camera store.  This means my shutter release cable and electronic release (radio) won't work.  I'm going to need to research how I can use a shutter release cable since I use these all the time for low light photography.  What gives???
  • My version of Adobe Lightroom, version 4.1, doesn't support the RAW file format.  I'm downloading version 4.2 and hope this handles it.  If not that totally blows. - as a follow-up I ended up loading Nikon NX2, Adobe LR 4.2, and downloading the images again.  Works OK.
Bottomline, anytime you change cameras there is a learning curve.  However, I think that because I'm going to FX from DX and have a different form the learn curve may be steeper.  Stay tuned to the bat channel....

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