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Nikon Z6 vs Nikon D600

Mirrorless or DSLR? That is the question we photographers must consider when contemplating a new camera. My Nikon D600 Full-Frame

DSLR has served me well for the past six years, but I was looking to step into something with an upgraded feature set, smaller size, and less weight. Enter the Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Full-Frame camera. The Nikon Z6 seemed to offer the features I was looking for, so I compared features of the Z6 against features of my D600.


Lenses

When buying into a camera system, the prevailing wisdom is to invest in "good glass". If you follow that train of thought, then the NIKKOR Z lenses are reason enough to get the Z6 camera. Nikon introduced a new lens mount with their Z-series mirrorless cameras that is larger and closer to the sensor. This new larger lens mount design enables the Z lenses to gather substantially more light for better low-light performance. Tests have shown that the Z lenses are sharper and have less distortion than their F-mount counterparts for the Nikon DSLR cameras. Currently, there are only 12 lenses in the Z lineup. Nikon plans to add another nine lenses to the line up by the end of 2021. If you are a Nikon user and have existing F-mount lenses, you can use the FTZ adapter to attach your F-mount lenses to the Z6 body. Also, other adapters will allow you to mount Canon, Sony, and different brand lenses. When it comes to lenses, the Z6 has the advantage over the D600 with its adaptability.


Body

How does the body of the Z6 compare to the D600? The Z6 at 20.7 oz (585 g) is 23 percent lighter than the D600 at 26.8 oz (760 g). The body dimensions (width x height x depth) for the Z6 is 5.3 in (134 mm) x 4.0 in (100.5 mm) x 3.2 in (82 mm) versus 5.6 in (141 mm) x 4.4 in (113 mm) x 3.2 in (82 mm) for the D600. The Z6 is 15 percent smaller than the D600. Ergonomically both cameras feel good in the hands with comfortable grips that have a non-slip texture applied. Both cameras have good weather-sealing and can be used in inclement weather. The back LCD panel on the D600 is a fixed 3-inch diagonal screen with a resolution of 921k dots. The Z6 LCD panel is a tilting 3.2-inch diagonal screen with a resolution of 2100k dots. The tilting screen makes shooting overhead and low-angles shots more convenient. The LCD screen on the Z6 is also a touchscreen that allows smartphone-like functionality when navigating the camera menus and previewing images. The Z6 has a state-of-the-art electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3690k dots. The Z6 viewfinder has the advantage of being able to offer real-time feedback on exposure and depth of field. You can also review your images and camera menus right in the viewfinder. The D600 has a lag-free optical viewfinder. The D600 offers a popup flash that the Z6 does not have.


Internals

Internally is where the Z6 has a clear advantage over the D600. Beginning with the processor, the Z6 has a more advanced image processing engine, the EXCEED 6, whereas the D600 has the older EXCEED 3 processor. The new EXCEED 6 processor in the Z6 offers better noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed. The sensors in the two cameras are similar, with a native aspect ratio of 3:2. The resolution of the Z6 is 24.3 megapixels with an image resolution of 6048 x 4024 pixels compared to the 24.2 megapixels for the D600 with an image resolution of 6016 x 4016 pixels. The Z6 has on-sensor phase-detection that results in faster, more reliable auto-focusing compared to the D600. The Z6 has an impressive native ISO range of 100 – 51,200 ISO and can be extended to 50 -204,800 ISO. The ISO range on the D600 is 100 – 6,400 ISO, extendable to 50 – 25,600 ISO. The Z6 has both a mechanical and electronic shutter capable of a 1/8000 of a second shutter speed and can capture 12 frames. The electronic shutter of the Z6 offers completely silent shooting with no shutter noise. The D600 only has a mechanical shutter capable of 1/4000 of a second shutter speed and can capture 4.5 frames per second. The D600 offers video at 1080/30fps. The Z6 provides 4k video at 30 fps. The Z6 has other video modes the make it ideal for hybrid photo/video shooters. In-body image stabilization is unique to the Z6 camera. It can allow hand-held shots at slower shutter speeds than typically recommended for a particular focal length lens. Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are also unique to the Z6. Both cameras can use the EN-EL15 type battery. According to the specs, the D600 can get about 900 shots per charge, where the Z6 gets about 310 shots per charge.



Verdict

The features and technological advances in the Nikon Z6 compared to the Nikon D600 made my decision to switch to the Z6 clear cut. Here are some of the features the won me over, More compact, Less weight, Better low-light sensitivity, Fast data transfer, Better auto-focus, What-You-See—is-What-You-Get Exposure, Silent Shutter option, Faster Shutter, and more frames per second burst. I have been shooting with the Nikon Z6 for about a year now and it has been a pleasure to use. Overall, I find that the images from the Z6 are sharper, has better colors, and less noise straight out of the camera. I have even noticed the photos taken with the F-mount lenses on the Z6 look a lot better than the images taken with the D600 and the same F-mount lens. I would recommend anyone looking to upgrade their camera to take a serious look at the Nikon Z6 and compare its features to your current camera.


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