Review Nikon D600: measurements

The measurements for our Nikon D600 review have been carried out with Imatest. For the test method and explanation of terms, see FAQ. Conclusion and sample images are shown in our Nikon D600 review. Nikon-D600-no-lens

Resolution Nikon D600

We have measured the resolution of the Nikon D600 with the Nikon 24-85 mm zoom lens, set to aperture 8, in the center of the picture. The resolution remains consistently high from 50 to ISO 3200 with approximately 2,500 LW / PH. The resolution jpg files of the Nikon D600 is about 10% higher than the Nikon D3X jpg files, which is a camera with the same number of megapixels. On the other hand, we measured a resolution for the Nikon D600 which is just below of you what  you - on the basis of the number of megapixels - would expect compared to the Nikon D800E, where we found approximately 3500 LW / PH (using a 50mm macro lens) . These differences will not be seen with the naked eye.
Above ISO 3200 the resolution decreases due to increased noise reduction in jpg files.


Dynamic range Nikon D600

The total dynamic range of a Nikon D600 RAW file is impressively high (12.5 stops). Of the 25 cameras we have tested so far, the Nikon D600, Nikon D800E and the Nikon D7000 rule over the other cameras in terms of dynamic range. DxO Mark also tests the dynamic range of RAW files without noise suppression, but using a different method compared to CameraStuffReview. We have no illusions about achieving the same accuracy as DxO mark. Nevertheless, despite our measurements of the total dynamic range being systematically about a stop lower, the trend that we see corresponds to the results of DxO mark. Also DxO Mark reports a higher dynamic range for these Nikon cameras compared to the other cameras we have tested.

The signal / noise ratio in the shadows is worse (for any camera) than the signal / noise ratio in the midtones or highlights. Jpg files deliver a usable dynamic range of 10 stops at the low ISO settings down to approximately 3 stops at ISO 6400. This is just incredibly good.

For the test method and explanation of terms, see FAQ.


Noise Nikon D600

Cameras with a full frame sensor are unsurpassed when it comes to the signal to noise ratio. Here you see a 100% image area of a 3200 ISO RAW file without noise reduction. The noise starts here only to show. A little noise reduction is sufficient for a perfect print.

At the lower ISO settings, so little noise is present, that there is (practically) no noise reduction necessary. Comparison of Imatest measurements of noise in jpg files with the measured noise in RAW files without noise reduction, shows that the noise reduction in jpg files starts above 400 ISO. Here you see a 100% crop of an ISO 3200 image jpg file. In comparison with the RAW file without noise reduction, Nikon chose beautiful settings for the noise reduction: there is still a little grain left and therefore you don't have a smooth plastic-like impression. 3200ISOJPG-NoNR

Color accuracy Nikon D600 @ daylight

Daylight color accuracy (Delta E94)

Skin tones6.74.7
Natural Colors5.25.6
Bright Colors5.46.0
White Balance2.63.2

The color of jpg files was tested in the standard Picture Style. The illustration shows the color error of a 100 ISO jpg picture taken in daylight. The further the ideal color (square) is removed from the color of the camera (circle), the greater the color difference. Remarkably, dark blue and dark green (nos. 4, 8, 13 and 14 of the ColorChecker) are a little more saturated. For Canon cameras this is almost always the case with the orange colors, in stead of dark blue and green. In particular, the rendering of RAW files in daylight is very good. The Nikon D600 delivers files with a good, a little too saturated (105%) color. Which is very pleasant for a professional photographer, who in general appreciate less in comparison with aateur photographers, the oversaturated colors (120%) that most amateur cameras show. Are these natural colors so nice to your taste? Choose the Picture Style Vivid.

Color accuracy Nikon D600 @ tungsten light

Tungsten color accuracy (Delte E94)

Tungsten lightRAWjpg
Skin tones1817
Natural Colors1514
Bright Colors1213
White Balance2014
In tungsten light you can, both jpg and RAW files, not blindly trust the auto white balance. The images show a strong orange color cast in tunsten light, as can clearly be seen in the results shown above for a 200 ISO jpg file. This phenomenon applies equally to cameras of competing brands. The Nikon D600 auto white balance performs OK in tungsten light, but the Nikon D800E did better on this topic in our Nikon D800E review.

Read our Nikon D600 review or see our list of tested cameras to compare the performance of this camera to other cameras.

Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.

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