Nikon releases new firmware upgrades for the D800 and D600

The new firmware adds support for the new AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR for both cameras, and several image and AF performance issues for the D800 are resolved. In D600 it also changes the HDMI frame output size  from 95% to 100%

D800 firmware A: 1.01 / B:1.02 addresses the following issues:

  • Support for the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR has been added.
  • Subject tracking performance in AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) autofocus mode with framing using the viewfinder has been improved.
  • Gamut for Adobe RGB images displayed in the camera's monitor has been changed. This enables more vivid display of images.
  • With live view photography in [M] (Manual) exposure mode, exposure preview was always on.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases when certain memory cards were used, movie recording would stop, even when the time remaining display indicated remaining recording time.  This issue has been resolved.
  • With shooting at an image quality setting of TIFF (RGB) and an image size setting of Small, the right edge of images contained a purple line.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some rare cases, images recorded in JPEG format could not be opened by some software applications.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases, colors would change with shooting when white balance was set to a specific color temperature, as with Preset manual or Choose color temp.  This issue has been resolved.

DXO Mark almost a year after the release of the Nikon D800, publishes a four part review trying to discover the best lenses for the 36 megapixel beast

“Nikon D800 functions as Nikon’s flagship camera” according to DXO Mark, and it is currently the top camera on their Sensor Scores. The 36mp image sensor is an extremely demanding piece of photography both to the photographer and the lens. The resolution advantage is easily lost when it's not focused properly, or the quality of the lens does not meet the highest standards. Only when using lenses like the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR  will get some decent zoom performance wile the best results will only come when using prime lenses like the Carl Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G and will shine with the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM.

"Announced in 2012, the Nikon D800 is the current undisputed king of DxOMark, with results that eclipse every other camera from all other manufacturers. However, with so much resolution on tap, the question is, which lenses should you use to make the best of what you’ve got? The DxOMark labs have tested 61 different lenses on the D800 to bring you an unparalleled resource of which lenses are best and which should be avoided. . . . read more

Nikon D600 review by Ivo Freriks at Camera Stuff Review

Ivo's lens of choise for this review was the Nikkor 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G VR lens.

"Is the Nikon D600 a game-changer? When you look at the image quality, the Nikon D600 still has to acknowledge the superiority of the Nikon D800E. But that is the best camera we've tested to date. Both cameras are more or less equal in terms of dynamic range, color reproduction in daylight and signal / noise ratio. The Nikon D800E trumps the Nikon D600 in our lab actually only with the automatic white balance in tungsten light and in resolution. The latter is not surprising, because the Nikon D800E has 24 megapixels, and not 36 megapixels like the Nikon D800. . . . read more

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: http://www.michaelthemaven.com/products/ . . . read more

Kyle Clements revisits the Nikon D600 oil/dust/? on sensor splatter issue, finds its still there, but less gory.

Kyle is the original 'Nikon D600 sensor oil/dust on sensor time-lapse showcase©' inventor. In the 4th installment of the series, he has this to say:

"After having the camera serviced by Nikon, my D600 is still suffering from an accumulation of dust, even after 5000 shutter releases"

Now, as someone that has used everything but a toilet brush (darn thing didn't fit in the mirror-box) to clean out goo off my various EOS cams, I have just one thing to say: If you buy a Dslr, especially a full-frame one, you have got to learn cleaning  the sensor yourself. Don't be afraid of it, there's a very high chance the official service center will do a worse job than you anyway. Befriend Google, check out some of the myriads of tutorials out there, get some cheap cleaning accessories and swab that CMOS (CCD if you're unlucky) clean! . . . read more

Famous Photographer Dave Kai Piper posts a gallery of gorgeous pics taken with a Fuji X-Pro1, taken with a Nikon D700, or maybe something else. (Updated)

Dave Kai Piper is famous for his award winning model & portrait work and also known to work with only 'with natural light or an Orbis Ring Flash'. So, here's his wonderful X-Pro1 gallery, but at least the dozen or so images I've checked out so far are all shot with a Nikon D700., according to their EXIF. The disparity is compounded by the fact that each file name contains the words 'fuji-Xpro1'.
Since the same EXIF information is repeated in photo after photo, all shot on the same day, with a 85mm lens, at ISO 200 and 1/200 sec speed, it makes this probably a case of EXIF manipulation gone wrong, but it still begs the question: Why?

Update: Dave Piper sent us this message:

"Hello Sir, I can clear up this problem - All of the photos in the gallery had been placed onto a template in photoshop ( all of the photographs in my portfolio have been laid out this way

Nikon D800 Review at Digital Camera Review: It's great for studio, portrait and product photographers, as well as landscape shooters who want the ultimate amount of information.

The reviewer, Theano Nikitas tested the D800 with the Nikkor 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm and 24-120mm lenses, with the latter struggling to meet the demands of the camera's sensor in the detail department.

"With its 36 megapixel sensor, sophisticated feature set and amazing image quality, the Nikon D800 offers a solid--and more affordable--alternative to photographers who crave medium-format files without stretching a budget to the breaking point. It's no speed demon with a continuous shooting speed of about 4fps but it's not designed that way. It's great for studio, portrait and product photographers, as well as landscape shooters who want the ultimate amount of information. Heed our warning, though. Be sure your computer and storage systems are up to the task of handling large files. This . . . read more

Canon 6D vs 5D Mark III and Nikon D600 comparison by Ron Martinsen: From an image quality standpoint these are all excellent cameras that are sure to please at their full range of ISO’s – especially when using in-camera JPEG’s.

D600 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 1/200, ISO 25,600

"None of these cameras are speed demons, and while the 5D Mark III is the fastest, the buffer on the Mark III is only a couple RAW files bigger than the 6D. As a result, I wouldn’t really classify either Canon body as a sports body, but both – especially in JPEG only mode – will be good enough to capture some basic action shots of kids running around. The AF system of the 5D Mark III blows away the 6D, so if you are going to shoot moving subjects it’s going to give you the best results over the 6D and D600. . . . read more

Nikon D4 review by Theano Nikitas at Camera Stuff Review: The D4 is a powerhouse camera with amazing video and still image quality.

Nikon D4 test at camera stuff review

"The full-frame DSLR market is highly competitive with solid options from several manufacturers including Nikon, Canon and Sony. And while Canon has had a grasp on those shooting DSLR video since the introduction of the 5D Mark II, Nikon has definitely moved forward with the D4's video features.

But this powerhouse of a camera isn't just for shooting video. Exceptional still images, a feature set that is far too long . . . read more

100 Nikon DSLR tips you need to know right now, by J.Meyer at NPhoto Mag. (Tip 101 added by us: Don't be an early adopter of a newly released Nikon Dslr, til they sort out their teething quality control issues)

d600 100 Amazing Nikon DSLR Tips

All i can say is that this article is epic in its scope and should be bookmarked by every Nikon shooter, newbie or not:

"You can get great shots with your Nikon DSLR straight out of the box, but your results will be even better once you start taking over the controls and making the shooting decisions yourself with manual white balance, shutter speed, lens aperture and ISO settings. But it doesn’t end there. The Shooting menu offers additional options for extending your camera’s capabilities, such as Nikon’s Active D-Lighting mode.
And the Setup menu handles important housekeeping tasks, such as firmware updates and how your files are named. . . . read more

Apparently Nikon recognizes-and fixes the green tint issue on D800 Cameras, (albeit after some nagging) gives AF calibration as a bonus.

Photographer Noah Bershatsky was one of the unlucky few thousands that got a D800 with a greenish tinting lcd screen.
It took a bit of a drama and some wait, but finally Nikon came clean, and were talking about the worst Nikons of all, the dreaded Nikon USA service center:

"There was no communication from Nikon, but out of the blue my D800 was returned today.  It's in good clean condition and the LCD matches my Colormunki Display calibrated monitor!  From the enclosed impersonal letter, you can see that . . . read more

A black bear gets curious about Dean Swartz Nikon DSLR, decides to try its skills at photography. (And gave up soon afterwards when it probably decided that a mirrorless is what it really wants)

What no touch and shoot? It is mirrorless for me from now on baby!

"A Black Bear decides to become a Photographer. What do you do when you're taking photos of a black bear in the woods with expensive photography equipment and the bear starts coming towards you? Run of course. But if you're a true photographer, and have an extra camera, you stop and document what happens after you leave.

The photographer, said "While photographing a black bear sow and her three spring cubs near Ely, Minnesota, I noticed a . . . read more

Nikon D800E review at Imaging Resource: If you're a nature or wildlife photographer, this camera is just fine for you. But if you're shooting anything else, there will be moire issues, sometimes in the most unexpected places.

Nikon D800e tested by IR: Moire will show up in the most unexpected places.

"As we said at the outset, this review is more about the single difference between the D800 and D800E: the absence of a low-pass filter and its effects. It's clear from our analysis that both the D800 and D800E have moiré issues, but the D800E's is much more apparent and challenging to address. What we also found was that the D800E indeed captures more detail than the D800, making it uniquely suited to landscape photography, or scientific applications where moiré won't be an issue. . . . read more

Bob Atkins on the Canon EOS 6D vs Nikon D600 question: In the absence of any special deals and rebates, where both camera bodies have an MSRP of around $2100, I'd probably opt for the Canon EOS 6D

Canon 6d vs Nikon d600 by Bob Atkins

"DxoMark give the Canon EOS 6D a sensor rating of 82, while the Nikon D600 sensor gets a rating of 94. Sounds like a big difference. 12 points or about 14%. But what does that mean and why does the D600 get a higher score? It's worth noting that when discussing sensor performance we're really talking about the performance of the sensor and its associated electronics (readout circuitry, amplifiers etc.), since the two cannot be separated. Even wit a RAW file, the signal has to pass through multiple electronic stages after leaving the sensor before it is encoded into image data. . . . read more

Nikon d600 review at Imaging Resource: The Nikon D600 is very much like a D7000 with a full-frame sensor, with better video, but some oil/dust splatter on the sensor issues as well, however, these issues appear to go away after a while.

Dust and oil-spatter problem (may go away with time)

"Put simply, the Nikon D600 is very much like a D7000 with a full-frame sensor. Nikon drew on the extremely popular design when building the D600. Its 24.3-megapixel sensor was the first available for under $2,100 body-only, followed closely by the Canon 6D's 20.2-megapixel design for the same price. Since many balked at the D800's 36.3-megapixel sensor, it makes good sense for Nikon's consumer FX camera to stick with 24.3.

Smaller and lighter than the D800 and D700, the Nikon D600 is still bigger than a D7000. It's hard to hide that large, . . . read more

Canon EOS 6D receives the DXO Mark special: Matches its more expensive siblings, but gets whacked (totally!) by the Nikon D600, and of course every other current full frame Nikon. Ouch.

Straight in at the top of this sector, the Nikon D600 outscores the Canon EOS 6D

"Canon now offers three full-frame CMOS sensor cameras within the EOS range. This could potentially confuse the buying decision; however the prices are very well stratified. So, how does the lowest priced model, the EOS 6D, fair against its more illustrious stable mates?

Interestingly, the overall DxOMark scores for the three models are very similar, with the EOS 6D actually matching the flagship EOS-1D X on a score of 82. Each of the three models has one area in the three testing metrics where it performs . . . read more

Pop Photo camera of the year: Canon 5D Mark III. Runner up(s): Nikon D800 and Sony SLT A-99. Honorably Mentions: Fujifilm X-pro1 and Olympus E-M5.

Since there's no entry in my lexicon for 'camera of the year methodology' will refrain from a rant flood, and pass you on to the article, as the Pop Photo editors explain the why and how of the whole thing:

"2012 proved a truly great year for cameras. In the wake of 2011’s devastating tsunami in Japan and flooding in Thailand, camera manufacturers released nearly two years’ worth of terrific models in 2012, all within a span of eight months.

But our Camera of the Year choice came down to just three real finalists—the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the Nikon D800, . . . read more

A great collection of small articles about everything related to the Nikon D800/D800E and video, by Ron Van Den Kolk.

There are currently almost 20 such articles, covering stuff from "How do I get a clean full screen hdmi output" to "Does the Nikon D800/D800E have an ISO sweet spot with video?" Ron (or is it 'Kolk'? Dutch names confuses me sometimes) also keeps an 'upcoming articles' list, where he mentiones stuff like auto focusing modes, external monitors, how to set exposure for video, and more. If you have a D800/E and like to shoot video with it, this is definitively bookmark worthy. . . . read more

Affordable full frame SLR cameras shootout: Canon 6D vs Nikon D600 vs the rain, at DigitalRev TV

Canon EOS 6D VS Nikon D600

Here's a cheat sheet on some basics:

Image quality: About the same
Auto focus points and speed: Nikon is superior om both counts
High iso: Canon wins
Low light focusing: Canon wins (-3 EV vs -1 EV)
Video quality: Canon wins
Size and weight: Canon is lighter and smaller
Other features: Nikon is less downscaled compared to the bigger model (D800), but the Canon 6D comes with Wi-fi (and a cool remote control app for Ios and Android devices) and GPS. . . . read more

Are there underexposure issues with the Nikon D600? Sohail Mamdani from BorrowLenses digs into the question, that original started as a Canon 6D issue.

"Earlier in the day, as I was picking up gear, one of my BorrowLenses colleagues remarked in passing that he thought the 6D might underexpose things a bit. I didn’t pay much attention to this; depending on the metering mode set and the part of the composition that the camera’s metering sensor is looking at, exposure in one of the automatic modes can vary wildly. I didn’t even bother making a mental note to check on it.

As part of the 6D test, I decided to take a Nikon D600 along with me as well to do a side-by-side comparison of images. . . . read more

Nikon D800E vs Pentax 645D review at Pentax Forums: A battle primarily between resolution, versatility, and value.

"Given its surprisingly-good image quality and comparatively low price, it seems that the Nikon D800/800E has taken away many of the advantages that the Pentax 645D held just a year and a half ago.  The Nikon D800E lets professionals and enthusiasts alike enjoy extremely high-resolution photos without having to step up to a medium format camera.  

Granted, you won't get the most out of your D800E without premium lenses and a sturdy tripod, but the fact that the D800E . . . read more

Canon still holds a vast lead among pro photogs: Reddit users compile the most popular cameras and lenses settings from Reuters '2012 Photos of the Year' into neat pie-charts.

Reuters best of 2012 camera and lenses stats

"Not trying to make any point here, I just love cameras and also statistics. So, I copy, pasted, sorted and tallied the data from the "Reuters Full Focus - Best photos of the year 2012" page (look for the link and thread at the top of [1] http://www.reddit.com/r/photography/I'm an amateur and I like to absorb what I can from shot data. Here's what I tallied: Camera: Canon 1D Mark III (4), Canon 1D Mark IV (26), Canon 1D X (6), Canon 5D (3), Canon 5D Mark II (19), Canon 5D Mark III (8), Nikon D3, NIKON D3S, Nikon D4, Nikon D7000, Nikon D800, Sony DSC H5, Prime Lenses: 15mm, 16 . . . read more

Fake Chuck Westfall: The 5D Mark III proves itself; The D800 sucks b*lls.

Canon 5D mark III vs Nikon D800 for wedding photography

Confrontative title, but this is fake C.W after all. This post somehow slipped under the radar, but is IS an interesting read nonetheless that raises some valid Q&A. Quoting mostly a statement by photographer Phil Banno:

"I have a 5D mark 3 and my business partner has a D800. It started as a personal preference but the L series canon lenses blast the nikons out the water, so much so my business partner is selling his virtually new D800 to buy a 5D mark 3 (& he’s a Nikon fan). A lot of you rant about high ISO usage but in a church where you aren’t allowed to use flash, the 5D on 5000 ISO with a 70-200mm f2.8 ISM L series 2  has no equal in the D800 arsenal. . . . read more

Roger Cicala of LensRentals: Yes, the D600 dust/oil/crap on sensor issue seems to go away after some time.

Nikon D600 black front with lens and raised flash.

"hings are definitely better. Where 20 of 20 cameras required cleaning 6 weeks ago, only 11 of 20 did this time (our average for all SLRs would be about 5 of 20).

The location of dust also is looking more normal. When we took all 20 photos and stacked them up in the last article, virtually all of the dust was in the upper left 1/3 of the image, and they were large round specs. While there was still some upper left tendency this time, it wasn’t nearly as pronounced and dust was more evenly distributed around the sensor. And instead of . . . read more

Nikon D600 dust/oil on sensor problem will probably go away after a few thousand shots. Thankfully Nikon doesn't build Airplanes :)

Kyle Clements D600 timelapse dust and oil video on Youtube.

Kyle Clements was the guy with the now famous Nikon D600 dust/oil time-lapse video, and here's what he's come up to, after a third round agaisnt the camera:

"In the comments, a number of people have mentioned that the problem is oil/lubricant spatter, not dust (which explains why the spots will not blow away). And that this is a problem with new cameras, one that will go away after taking several thousand shots. . . . read more

Nikon D800 review at Imaging Resources: Worth every penny and pixel, but get an extra battery or two, and learn to deal with the greenish indoors lighting tint.

"Overall, the Nikon D800 is a gentlemanly camera, one that is true to all that its external appearance and demeanor promise. It is big and burly, with a solid feel appropriate of a professional tool. Its controls are excellent for the serious photographer, because almost all of the important aspects have a button or dial. Drive modes, ISO, White Balance, Quality, and Bracketing are all available on the top left, for example. Having to dig for these features in a menu is a trial . . . read more

Chilling: A timelapse video of the D600 sensor dust accumulation problem, by Kyle Clements.

"And, from that I’ve seen, dust on the D600 is indeed a serious issue. Right out of the box, after taking the very first picture, I could see several dust spots, but as my time-lapse series progressed, I could see more and more spots appearing on the sensor. Keep in mind that I am not changing lenses; all this dust is coming from inside the camera." . . . read more

Nikon D4 review at NeoCamera: A behemont deserving the title as best professional Dslr of 2012.

"This full-frame DSLR is built for professionals with a sturdy weather-sealed body that provides a large number of accessible controls including dual control-dials and an 8-way joystick on each of its two grips. The Nikon D4 has most features ever built into a full-frame DSLR save for a built-in flash. It adds plenty of its own include an FTP client, built-in HTTP server and Time-Lapse Video."

Nikon D600 review at Dpreview: It is both a beefed up D7000 and a slimmed down D800

"An issue that has been reported widely on the web concerns the unusual frequency with which the D600 attracts dust and/or residue on its sensor, particularly in the upper left area of an image, which of course corresponds to the bottom right portion of the actual sensor. . . . read more

Nikon D600 teardown at Ifixit: A lot of nuts and bolts, and too much plastics.

Nikon D600 Teardown

"We like cameras. We also like taking cameras apart. Today, we vivisect the D600. With the release of a "budget" full-frame camera, Nikon hopes to lure the mid-level/Prosumer camera junkies into taking the plunge into full-frame wonderland. Unfortunately, a "budget" full-frame camera still means a price tag of $2,099, so . . . read more

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