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Thread: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

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    Question Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    Just wondering if anyone here had compared the real-world RAW output of both the Nikon D600 and the Canon 6D? How close are they in terms of IQ and DR?

    The 6D feels more comfortable in the hand... but really the quality of optics in each system, construction and RAW output quality are what count.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?


    My advice would be that you bring a cash deposit to a store along with a memory card of your own so that you can borrow each of the cameras one at the time to shoot for half an hour outside in the street in front of the store.
    Deliver back each camera and get your money back and go home and evaluate the image rendering of the available light captures on your memory card.

    For some mysterious reason most photographers tend to prefer to make statements over showing comparison illustrations even when they own both relevant brands or both relevant formats for a given discussion.
    I never learn to understand this but that is how it is.
    By this I do not mean to say that statements are totally useless, because at least the statements do tell you something about what to look for when you try out the gear yourself.

    Fred Miranda compared a couple of other models (5DIII & D800) of the two brands you mention, not directly relevant for your choice but still it might give you a hint about some things to look for (like the rather poor implemented LiveView on D800 which I believe is the same on D600).
    You can read Fred Miranda's comparison here.

    (P.S.: There's also this 6D - D600 comparison on YouTube, haven't seen it yet myself)

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    I did a comparison myself, and from where I stand, it looks like this:

    Ergonomics: I prefer the D600 by a healthy margin, but then I am a Nikon user.

    Lenses: Canon has some lenses that I would have liked to have (but hardly can afford), like 17mm T/S and 50 and 85mm f/1.2. With Canon, I would also be able to use all my Nikkor, Zuiko and Zeiss lenses with adapter.

    Practicalities: Canon has built in GPS and WiFi. Since I do some travel stock photography, GPS would be very convenient.

    Image quality: Canon seems to me to be a bit better at high ISO, but I haven't tested this myself, and tests seem to differ a bit.

    What I did buy: A D700, and I would prefer a D3X to both of the above

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    As stated - try both out - the ergonomics are very different - I never adapted to the Canon feel ( barring the F-1 and A-1 - good grief that is ages ago ).
    Also try and make a list of lenses you would like.... if you need a TS 17mm, the case is clear....

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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    Again, I'm not sure if this will add to the discussion, but I own both the D800 and 5D Mark III. IQ and DR don't always tell an equal story.

    Let me begin by saying, I almost have a complete Canon L lens collection up to 200mm and will preface what I have to say about the cameras, that the lens will make a huge difference, but also depends on what type of lens (primes vs. zooms) you are shooting with and how you shoot (Wide open aperture vs. stopped down.)

    The D800 has hands down better dynamic range, but is the 5D Mark III really that bad? No not at all, but working in LR, you will discover this. However, if you only own the 5D3, it is still very good!

    The D800 has more resolution, but the 5D Mark III has better high ISO performance and 22MP is more than enough for most things, except the very largest of prints!

    Now the 5D Mark III is hands down the better camera in my opinion, but the D800 has the better sensor. So does the D800 have the better IQ, that depends on the lenses. I have much more wow factor images taken from my Canon system because of the lenses I have over the Nikon.

    Now if all I had was the D800, would I be in a pickle? No.

    The end verdict I hope you can take away from what I am trying to say here, is that unless you are looking for the best of the best in one particular area, you could be happy with either system.

    However, personally I feel in your case, the Nikon 600 may be the better camera body and sensor combination. However, depending on what you are shooting, the lens at the end of the camera will sway your taste of the images it produces. I hope this makes some sense to you and I hope you can take something away from my crude and long winded explanation! Also like Swissblad has mentioned, there's nothing like trying it out yourself!
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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post
    My advice would be that you bring a cash deposit to a store along with a memory card of your own so that you can borrow each of the cameras one at the time to shoot for half an hour outside in the street in front of the store.
    Deliver back each camera and get your money back and go home and evaluate the image rendering of the available light captures on your memory card.

    For some mysterious reason most photographers tend to prefer to make statements over showing comparison illustrations even when they own both relevant brands or both relevant formats for a given discussion.
    I never learn to understand this but that is how it is.
    By this I do not mean to say that statements are totally useless, because at least the statements do tell you something about what to look for when you try out the gear yourself.

    Fred Miranda compared a couple of other models (5DIII & D800) of the two brands you mention, not directly relevant for your choice but still it might give you a hint about some things to look for (like the rather poor implemented LiveView on D800 which I believe is the same on D600).
    You can read Fred Miranda's comparison here.

    (P.S.: There's also this 6D - D600 comparison on YouTube, haven't seen it yet myself)
    That U-Tube link is one of the best general user comparisons I've seen to date.

    If I were shooting in lower available light the choice would be clear.

    The opposite would be my choice if I were shooting sports.

    -Marc

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    One issue to consider with the D600 is the very small size of the AF array - which is a lot smaller than comparable FX arrays.

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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    I've been using a D600 in RAW mode pretty much since they came out and I am very pleased with it. I have read all the horror stories about oil on the sensor, etc (ps Canon have also suffered this way in the past!) and I have to say that my D600 after at least 5000++ shots has not suffered with this issue and has given me faultless service. I also use other Nikon cameras which are also great.

    Whilst I haven't had any real experience of Canon, I have recently seriously considered going over to Canon, partly because of their lenses.

    I have asked around, read reviews, visited the various sites and blogs such as the notoriously pro Canon (He shall remain nameless) site where he praises anything Canon to the Heavens and takes every opportunity to pour scorn on anything Nikon .... so shallow! His approach is get a D600 if you have to .., so subtle? I got better more balanced evidence to make my decision elsewhere. And so with what I believe is a balanced conclusion, I stuck with Nikon.

    There are very good reasons to buy Canon as well as Nikon but what persuaded me to stick with Nikon was the image quality. The sharpness, the lack of shadow noise, better DR and the colour rendition are all to my liking.

    As stated in previous posts, I will probably buy a Canon to access some of the Canon lenses, but for my own personal preferences, I prefer to earn my living using Nikon.

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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    Since you asked in a Nikon forum, I'd say buy the Nikon


    Seriously, it doesn't really matter -- both and either are great systems. If you are just starting out, then it could be a good idea to rent or borrow a sample of each and spend a day or two shooting with them before deciding; they each have their idiosyncrasies and you can then choose the one that best fits you.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    Ditto Jack - my feeling as well - you need to test and see what system you like most.

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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    I use Nikon, because the d800's sensor is better suited to what I do than anything else. There really isn't much to talk about.

    But if there were no obvious technical advantages one way or the other, I'd lean hard toward Canon. Just because Nikon USA's policies and customer service have gotten so insultingly bad.

    The owner at lensrentals.com blogs about this quite a bit. He publishes his repair turnaround and cost statistics from the last few years. He says Canon seems to be working hard to catch up with Nikon's level of suckiness, but they've still got a way to go.

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    Re: Nikon D600 VS Canon 6D. Which to buy?

    Hello, Hassiman.

    I will try to help you a little. I have the Nikon D600 and I shout 11k pics by now. The high ISO in low light quality is good, not AWESOME, but good. the AF is good, sometimes have a delay but nothing to worry about. Until now, i'm very pleased by the D600 and my work is doing great.

    My idea for the future is to have the D600 as a second camera. I'm not saying that she isn't good for a first camera, but a D700 or D800 brings more confidence to the job.

    See ya!

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