Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D Epic Shootout Comparison by Michael Andrew

Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D Epic Shootout Comparison by Michael Andrew

Epic indeed, the introductory scenes are shot with a Canon 5D Mark III. Michael Andrew, A.K.A Michal the Maven, A.K.A Michal the Mentor is very careful in his review not to offend fanbois of either camp: 

"This is my long awaited review of the Nikon D600 vs the Canon 6D in an Epic, side to side shootout testing some of the most important aspects of the two cameras. As I mention on the video, these are 2 very different cameras. D600 is better as an "all round" camera, the 6D excels in low light (wedding photographers are going to love the 6D). You can check out the Crash Course DVDs I have for both cameras on my products page, they are available both as DVD & immediate download:

I'm sure there will be plenty of criticism about this comparison, and my intent is to inform my viewers the best that I can about both cameras to the best of my ability. Something I wanted to do was actually show you (evidence) how I came to the conclusions I did, instead of just reading sheet specs. It was a lot of work. If there are mistakes I have made & I imagine there will be, I will do my best to point these mistakes out. I am making a very serious effort to improve the quality of both the information and method of presenting, so I thank you for your support!"

Photo ID Database: 
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Company Canon Nikon
Model EOS 6D D600
Canon EOS 6D front view
Release Date 09/2012 09/2012
Initial Price $2100 $2100
DXO Color Depth 23.8bits 25.1bits
DXO Dynamic Range 12.1Ev 14.2Ev
DXO Low Light Performance 2340 ISO 2980 ISO
Lens Mount Canon EF mount Nikon F mount
Type Full frame Full frame
Effective Pixels 20.2 Megapixels 24.3 Megapixels
Sensor Dust Removal (1) Self Cleaning Sensor Unit
Removes dust adhering to the low-pass filter.
Self-cleaning executed automatically (taking 2 sec.) when power is turned on or off. Manual execution also possible (taking 8.0 sec.).

(2) Dust Delete Data acquisition and appending
The coordinates of the dust adhering to the low-pass filter are detected by a test shot and appended to subsequent images.
The dust coordinate data appended to the image is used by the provided software to automatically erase the dust spots.

(3) Manual cleaning of sensor

Image sensor cleaning,
Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
Stabilization details No
ISO Sensitivity Manual setting range of ISO 100-25600 (expansion possible to ISO 50, ISO 51200 and 102400) in 1/3-stop or whole-stop increments)
ISO 100 - 6400 in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV. Can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 50 equivalent) below ISO 100 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 25600 equivalent) above ISO 6400; auto ISO sensitivity control available
Image Processor Type DIGIC 5+ Image Processor EXPEED 3 image processor
Memory Card Type SDXC SDXC
Metering Mode Max. aperture TTL metering with 63-zone SPC with the following selectable modes:
Evaluative metering
Partial metering (center: approx. 8% of viewfinder)
Spot metering (center: approx. 3.5% of viewfinder)
Center-weighted average metering
TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor
Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data;

Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 12 mm circle in center of frame. Diameter of circle can be changed to 8, 15, or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU lenses use 12-mm circle or average of entire frame);

Spot: Meters 4 mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)

Metering range 1.0 - 20.0 EV 0.0 - 20.0 EV
Shooting Modes Program AE (shiftable)
Shutter-priority AE
Aperture-priority AE
Manual exposure
Custom shooting mode
Basic zone
Scene Intelligent Auto (Program AE / non-shiftable)
Creative Auto
Special Scene (Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control mode)
Auto (auto; auto (flash off));
scene (portrait; landscape; child; sports; close up; night portrait; night landscape; party/indoor; beach/snow; sunset; dusk/dawn; pet portrait; candlelight; blossom; autumn colors; food; silhouette; high key; low key);
programmed auto with flexible program (P);
shutter-priority auto (S);
aperture-priority auto (A);
manual (M);
U1 (user settings 1);
U2 (user settings 2)
Exposure Compensation Braketing 2, 3, 5, or 7 settable with a Custom Function. 2-3 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV
Shutter Type Vertical-travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter with all speeds electronically-controlled Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 30 sec., X-sync at 1/180 sec. (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode.) 1/4000 - 30 s in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb, time (requires optional ML-L3 remote control), X200
Drive Modes Single shooting
Continuous shooting
Silent single shooting
Silent continuous shooting
10-sec. self-timer/Remote control
2-sec. self-timer
Single frame,
continuous low speed (CL),
continuous high speed (CH),
quiet shutter-release,
remote control,
mirror up
Continuous Shooting Details Continuous shooting: Max. approx. 4.5 fps
Silent continuous shooting: Max. approx. 3.0 fps

Based on 8GB memory Card:
JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 73 Shots
RAW: Approx. 14 Shots
RAW+JPEG Large/Fine: 7 Shots
Based on 8GB UHS-I memory card:
JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 1250 Shots
RAW: Approx. 17 Shots
RAW + JPEG Large/Fine: 8 Shots
* Figures are based on Canon's testing standards (ISO 100 and Standard Picture Style).

1-5 fps (CL) or 5.5 fps (CH)
Self Timer 10-sec. or 2-sec. delay 2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1-9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 s
Focusing Type Phase Detect Phase Detect
AF Modes One-Shot AF
AI Servo AF
AI Focus AF
*Switches between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF automatically.
Manual focus
Autofocus (AF):
Single-servo AF (AF-S);
continuous-servo AF (AF-C);
auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A);
predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status;
Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used
AF Working Range -3.0 - 18.0 EV 1.0 - 19.0 EV
AF System Points 11 points 39 points
AF Assist Beam No Yes
AE Lock Possible
* During movie shooting, press the <*> button for AE lock and press the button to cancel AE lock (not automatically cancelled).
* AE lock (cancelled automatically when metering timer is turned off) possible before movie shooting. Movie shooting can start while AE lock is set.
Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
AF Fine Adjustment Yes Yes
Closest Focusing Distance
Depth of Field Preview Enabled with depth-of-field preview button Pressing depth-of-field preview button stops lens aperture down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (other modes)
Flash Hotshoe Yes Yes
Built in Flash No Yes
Guide Number Approx. 12/39, 12/39 with manual flash (m/ft, ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F)
Flash Modes E-TTL II autoflash (evaluative flash metering and average flash metering) TTL: i-TTL flash control using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor is available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, or SB-400; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighted metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering

Flash mode:
auto with red-eye reduction,
auto slow sync,
auto slow sync with red-eye reduction,
red-eye reduction,
slow sync,
slow sync with red-eye reduction,
rear-curtain with slow sync,
rear-curtain sync,
off; Auto FP High-Speed Sync supported

Flash Xsync 1/180 X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/250 s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/200 and 1/250 s)
External Flash Wireless Sync E-TTL II with EX series Speedlites, wireless multi-flash support (with optional accessory) Yes, Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, or SB-700 as a master flash and SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes, or SU-800 as commander; built-in flash can serve as master flash in commander mode; Auto FP High-Speed Sync and modeling illumination supported with all CLS-compatible flash units except SB-400; Flash Color Information Communication and FV lock supported with all CLS-compatible flash units
Viewfinder Type Optical Pentaprism Optical Pentaprism
Viewfinder Coverage ~97.0% ~100.0%
Viewfinder Eyepoint 21.0mm 21.0mm
Viewfinder Magnification ~0.7% ~0.7%
Rear Screen Details 3.0-inches (Screen aspect ratio of 3:2) TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor with Resin cover and anti-reflection AR coating 8-cm/3.2-in., approx. low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD
Resolution 1040000 dots 921000 dots
Live View Autofocus Autofocus
FlexiZone - Single
* One-point, contrast AF. Switching to another AF point is possible.
Face Detection Live mode
Face detection, contrast AF. Face is selectable.
Quick Mode AF
* Phase-difference AF with 11 AF points.

Manual Focus
Magnify the image by 5x or 10x and focus manually.

Yes, Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)

Autofocus (AF):
Single-servo AF (AF-S);
full-time servo AF (AF-F);
Manual focus (M)

Face-priority AF,
wide-area AF,
normal-area AF,
subject-tracking AF

Live View Frame Rate
Live View Metering Real-time evaluative metering with image sensor.
Evaluative metering (315 zones)
Partial metering (approx. 11% of Live View screen)
Spot metering (approx. 3% of Live View screen)
Center-weighted average metering

EV 0-20 (at 73°F/23°C with EF 50mm f/1.4 lens, ISO 100)

TTL exposure metering using main image sensor, Matrix metering
Liveview Details Yes
Still photo shooting and video shooting
Yes, Live view photography (still images), movie live view (movies)
Image Sizes Large: Approx. 20.0 megapixels (5,472 x 3,648)
Medium: Approx. 8.9 megapixels (3,648 x 2,432)
Small 1: Approx. 5.0 megapixels (2,736 x 1,824)
Small 2: Approx. 2.5 megapixels (1920 x 1280)
Small 3: Approx. 350,000 pixels (720 x 480)

RAW: Approx. 20.0 megapixels (5,472 x 3,648)
M RAW: Approx. 11.0 megapixels (4,104 x 2,736)
S RAW: Approx. 5.0 megapixels (2,736 x 1,824)

FX (36 x 24) image area:
6,016 x 4,016 (L)
4,512 x 3,008 (M)
3,008 x 2,008 (S);

DX (24 x 16) image area:
3,936 x 2,624 (L)
2,944 x 1,968 (M)
1,968 x 1,312 (S);

FX-format photographs taken in movie live view:
6,016 x 3,376 (L)
4,512 x 2,528 (M)
3,008 x 1,688 (S);

DX-format photographs in movie live view:
3,936 x 2,224 (L)
2,944 x 1,664 (M)
1,968 x 1,112 (S)

Still Image Format JPEG, RAW (14-bit, Canon original), RAW+JPEG
RAW + JPEG Simultaneous Recording
Large RAW and JPEG images are recorded simultaneously

Complies with Design rule for Camera File system 2.0 and EXIF 2.30

12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed or compressed;

JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1 : 4), normal (approx. 1 : 8), or basic (approx. 1 : 16) compression (Size priority);
Optimal quality compression available;
NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

Movie [Full HD]
1920 x 1080 (30 fps/25fps/24fps):
235 MB/min. with IPB compression
685 MB/min. with All-I compression

1280 x 720 (60 fps/50fps):
205 MB/min. with IPB compression
610 MB/min. with All-I compression

640 x 480 (30 fps/25fps):
78 MB/min. with IPB compression

Frame Rates 1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 30p (29.97) / 24p (23.976) / 25p
1280 x 720 (HD): 60p (59.94) / 50p
640 x 480 (SD): 30p (29.97) / 25p

1,920 x 1,080: 30 p (progressive), 25 p, 24 p;
1,280 x 720: 60 p, 50 p, 30 p, 25 p;
Actual frame rates for 60 p, 50 p, 30 p, 25 p, and 24 p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; options support both high and normal image quality

Index marking,
time-lapse photography

Movie Length Based on 8GB Memory card
[1920 x 1080]
30 fps/25 fps/24 fps:
32 min. with IPB compression
11 min. with All-I compression

[1280 x 720]
60 fps/50 fps:
37 min. with IPB compression
12 min. with All-I compression

[640 x 480]
30 fps/25 fps:
97 min. with IPB or All-I compression

* The maximum recording time is limited to 29 min. 59 sec.

Up to 30min
Movie Format MOV (Image data: H.264, Audio: Linear PCM) MOV, H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
Power Source One Battery Pack LP-E6 One rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery
Battery Life Approx. 1090 shots with Viewfinder Shooting at At 73°F / 23°C, Based on CIPA testing standards. 900 shots per charge (Battery Life) (CIPA)
Width 144mm 141mm
Height 110mm 113mm
Depth 71mm 82mm
Weight 850 g (1 lb 14.0 oz) with battery and memory card but without body cap; approx. 760 g (1 lb 10.8 oz; camera body only)
Weather Sealing Details Yes Yes
Body Materials Magnesium Alloy Magnesium Alloy
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