Nikon D600 (updated)

Recently Nikon have decided to drop the cost of using their cameras. The D800/D800E and D3200  offer a lot for the money they cost and this trend is followed by the D600.  This makes it a relatively low cost alternative for those who want a 35mm sized sensor. 

I guess the significant price difference is between this and the Sony A99 and its going to be interesting to see what the street price difference between the two is. The Sony has a lot more features (fluff?) but the Nikon will win hands down in terms of the lenses you can use with it. 

Either way, if want a large / high MP count sensor with the consequent benefits in IQ and high ISO performance then there are now some real alternatives to the Canon and Nikon high price, bulky machines that previously were the only options. 

Interesting that this plus a 35mm Nikkor lens will be some way cheaper than the Sony RX1. And if size and weight is not an issue then you will certainly get a lot more for your money with the D600. Plus not have to buy lots of extra bits and pieces at inflated prices to get a viewfinder or a decent grip. The fact that of course, its an interchangeable lens camera, makes it even more attractive. It is though a DSLR (Hissing and crossing of fingers!!) and not a compact camera styled to look like a pretend rangefinder but it will have the same sensor and I can't see how it can fail to have more versatility than the RX1. 

Different markets you may say. But are they? Many photographers have both a DSLR and some kind of CFC / Mirrorless / E.V.I.L camera(s) and now there is a decent choice in the 35mm sensor marketplace and very welcome that is too. If you want small and light then you have that (expensive) option with the RX1, if however you just want a camera that takes excellent pictures then (obviously without seeing what this sensor can do) you have two DSLR options. Interesting that Nikon are now undercutting Sony when it used to be the other way round. Remember the D3X and the A900? 

I may well get myself one of these when they appear, if its competitively priced, as it would fit nicely with what else I use. The D3200 was a mistake, and despite its excellent value had pretty ordinary IQ. The same no. of pixels on a sensor almost twice the size will, I'm assuming, improve that situation. There are some jpg. samples here, and they look good. However I'm waiting till I've finished all my stock shooting trips before deciding what to keep, what to sell and what, if anything, to add. 

In conclusion, I must say that this is a very encouraging direction from Nikon. Seemingly they appreciate that they just don't have to release a camera and eveybody buys it. They now understand that they have lots of competition, from all sorts of directions, and they have responded accordingly. This more realistic pricing is welcome and it seems quality (*see update below), reliability and excellent features and handling doesn't come at a premium cost. That used to be something that Sony could point to with their cameras. However has their success at chipping away at the Canon and Nikon monoliths led to a touch of greed at Sony HQ? There would seem to be some signs of it. However they may well find that their gains are swiftly lost if they get too complacent. Brand loyalty counts for nothing in a fast moving overstocked marketplace, apart from the forum fanboys, and its much cheaper and easier to swap systems than it once was. Sony should be aware of this and realise that they aren't Leica, they aren't Nikon or Canon, all of whom have a long and distinguished pedigree (which Sony don't) and a few commercial and critical successes can mean little if they get the value for money equation wrong. I've applauded them in the past for their innovation and willingness to take risks, however yesterdays announcements still have to be seen in the light of what Nikon have come up with today, Canons announcements and of course the "real" Leica. There is also the m4/3 stuff to come yet, so we will see what the options are in a few days time.

Photokina time always was fun and its living up to expectations this time. Keep em coming!

*UPDATE - The starting UK price (body only) is just under £2000, which is a "dollar equivalent" since the US price is around $2000. "Rip-off Britain" rears its ugly head again. Plus you can buy a D800 for around £350 more. Makes a bit of a nonsense of an "affordable" 35mm sized sensor then. On the positive side the D800 is something of a bargain and a much better buy (and probably a much better camera)

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
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