D600 vs D700 ISO H 2.0

D600 vs D700 ISO H 2.0 

After scouring online articles about the ISO differences between the D600 and the D700, I could only find tests containing evenly lit Siemen stars and color charts. That's great as a controlled environment in which to compare two systems side by side, but it doesn't help many of us to see how the camera performs when you really need to push the camera's capabilities to its limit in order to capture a moment with truly limited light. Having the chance to have both cameras on my desk tonight, I decided a little test was in order. Using a static computer screen as my light source I shot a typical high contrast scene that I encounter during many night shoots to see how both cameras dealt with skin tone, sharpness, detail, and noise.

The camera's settings are identical apart from their white balance, which were both set to auto.

When these photos were opened in LR4 no sharpening or noise reduction was applied. Higher rez


The D600 favors a warmer more saturated image than the D700, and appears just slightly softer. The D700's image seems to hold slightly more detail, but contains much more noise. Much much more.

I am very surprised as to how well the D600 holds up when pushed to its ISO limit. As a low light shooter's camera, the D600 is excellent. Recently, even another wedding photographer has ditched his D800/D3s combo for a pair of D600s because of their lighter weight and fantastic IQ.

Normally handling a D700, however, I have noticed 2 things that make the change a hard one (for me).

1. Ergonomically its very different. For example, every time I try to zoom out on the D600 I lock the photo instead, and when I try to press OK I end up doing nothing (the OK on the D700 is the zoom out button on the D600)

2. There's no exposure meter on the top LCD panel of the D600. The meter is handy because I like to set my exposure while walking without having the camera against my face.

There are a number of other major difference between the cameras, but none that really presented themselves as being an issue during the slower paced shooting I have been doing recently (the FPS, AF points, dual slots, and movie mode).