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Nikon D7100 D600 Image Comparison Essay

Nikon D7100 vs Nikon D600: Sensor Comparison

Both Nikon D7100 and Nikon D600 have 24.0 MP resolution sensors but Nikon D7100's sensor is APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm ) and Nikon D600's sensor is Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm ).

Since Nikon D600's has a larger sensor area with the same resolution, this means that it also has a larger pixel area hence better light collecting capacity for a given aperture compared to Nikon D7100.

Another difference between these two cameras is that Nikon D7100's sensor lacks anti-alias (Low-Pass) filter. Removing anti-alias filter increases the sharpness and level of detail but at the same time, it increases the chance of moire occurring in certain scenes.

Below you can see the D7100 and D600 sensor size comparison.


As seen above, Nikon D600 has a 2.4x Larger sensor area than Nikon D7100. Larger sensors give photographer more control on the depth of field and blurry background compared to smaller sensor when shot in same focal length and aperture.

What types of Photography are Nikon D7100 and Nikon D600 Good for?

In this section, we rank and compare Nikon D7100 and Nikon D600 for five different photography types in order to make your decision process easier in case you are specifically interested in one or more of these areas.

Nikon D7100 for Portrait Photography

Nikon D600 for Portrait Photography

Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
Very High Resolution Sensor: 24.0MP
Optical Built-in Viewfinder
Good Ergonomics&Handling
No Image Stabilization
Read the details

Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
Very High Resolution Sensor: 24.0MP
Optical Built-in Viewfinder
Good Ergonomics&Handling
No Image Stabilization
Read the details


Nikon D7100 for Street Photography

Nikon D600 for Street Photography

Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
Optical Built-in Viewfinder
Live-view
Face-Detection Focusing
No Image Stabilization
Large Body
Read the details

Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
Optical Built-in Viewfinder
Live-view
Face-Detection Focusing
No Image Stabilization
Large Body
Read the details


Nikon D7100 for Sports Photography

Nikon D600 for Sports Photography

Optical Built-in Viewfinder
Good Ergonomics&Handling
Environmental Sealings
Fast Max shutter speed: 1/8000s
15 Cross Type Focus sensors
51 Focus Points
Good Battery Life: 950 shots
Good Low Light ISO
Average Continuous Shooting: 6.0fps
No Image Stabilization
Read the details

Optical Built-in Viewfinder
Good Ergonomics&Handling
Environmental Sealings
Fast Max shutter speed: 1/4000s
9 Cross Type Focus sensors
39 Focus Points
Good Battery Life: 900 shots
Good Low Light ISO
Average Continuous Shooting: 5.5fps
No Image Stabilization
Read the details


Nikon D7100 for Daily Photography

Nikon D600 for Daily Photography

Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
Environmental Sealings
Large Body
765g
Body Thickness 76mm
Read the details

Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
Environmental Sealings
Large Body
850g
Body Thickness 82mm
Read the details


Nikon D7100 for Landscape Photography

Nikon D600 for Landscape Photography

Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
Very High Resolution Sensor: 24.0MP
Environmental Sealings
Live-view
Read the details

Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
Very High Resolution Sensor: 24.0MP
Environmental Sealings
Live-view
Read the details


Nikon D7100 vs Nikon D600: OUR DECISION

You may have already made your decision about which camera suits better for your needs and your budget so far but in case you wonder how we rated Nikon D7100 and Nikon D600, below you can find their scores in five different aspects. Our Decision Algorithm dynamically scores cameras using 63 different specs, current price and DxO Mark scores (where possible) in order to make a more objective and consistent comparison.

Here is a summary of how Nikon D7100 and Nikon D600 scores compare:

Nikon D7100 Ranked #29 out of 92 in Mid-size SLR cameras
Ranked #69 out of 1131 in all Cameras
Nikon D600 Ranked #19 out of 92 in Mid-size SLR cameras
Ranked #36 out of 1131 in all Cameras

Nikon D600 scores higher than the Nikon D7100 in Overall. It has better image quality and better value than Nikon D7100. On the other hand, Nikon D7100 is more portable and has more features than Nikon D600.
If image quality is very important for you and you want to get the most bang for your bucks, choose the Nikon D600.
If you are looking for a small camera where you can take everywhere with you, and having more features are also important, Nikon D7100 is the right choice for you.

Our last comparison will be to show the difference between the new Nikon D7100 and the full-frame Nikon D600, which we reviewed last year. Despite the price differences, seems like a lot of people are wondering which one of the two cameras to choose – the D7100, a cropped-sensor “DX” camera, or the D600, a full-frame “FX” camera. In this article, I will first go into detailed specifications of both cameras, then talk about main features that differentiate the two. Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on specifications.

First, let’s go over the bare specifications:

Nikon D7100 vs D600 Specification Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon D7100Nikon D600
Sensor Resolution24.1 Million24.3 Million
Sensor TypeCMOSCMOS
Sensor Size23.5×15.6mm35.9×24.0mm
Sensor Pixel Size3.91µ5.96µ
Low Pass FilterNoYes
Sensor Dust ReductionYesYes
Image Size6,000 x 4,0006,016 x 4,016
Image ProcessorEXPEED 3EXPEED 3
Viewfinder TypePentaprismPentaprism
Viewfinder Coverage100%100%
Built-in FlashYes, with flash commander modeYes, with flash commander mode
Flash Sync Speed1/2501/200
Storage Media2x SD2x SD
Continuous Shooting Speed6 FPS, 7 FPS in 1.3x Mode5.5 FPS
Buffer Size (RAW, Lossless 14-bit)616
Buffer Size (RAW, Compressed 12-bit)927
Max Shutter Speed1/8000 to 30 sec1/4000 to 30 sec
Shutter Durability150,000 cycles150,000 cycles
Exposure Metering Sensor2,016-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II2,016-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Base ISOISO 100ISO 100
Native ISO SensitivityISO 100-6,400ISO 100-6,400
Boosted ISO SensitivityISO 12,800-25,600ISO 12,800-25,600
Autofocus SystemAdvanced Multi-CAM 3500DXMulti-CAM 4800
Focus Points51, 15 cross-type39, 9 cross-type
AF DetectionUp to f/8Up to f/8
Video CapabilityYesYes
Video OutputMOV, CompressedMOV, Uncompressed
Video Maximum Resolution1920×1080 (1080p) @ 24p, 25p, 30p, 50i, 60i1920×1080 (1080p) @ 24p, 25p, 30p
Audio RecordingBuilt-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
Built-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
LCD Size3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD
LCD Resolution1,228,800 dots dots921,000 dots
HDR SupportYesYes
Bracketing2 to 5 frames2 to 3 frames
Built-in GPSNoNo
Wi-Fi FunctionalityEye-Fi Compatible, WU-1aEye-Fi Compatible, WU-1b
BatteryEN-EL15 Lithium-ion BatteryEN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery
Battery Life950 shots (CIPA)900 shots (CIPA)
Battery ChargerMH-25 Quick ChargerMH-25 Quick Charger
Weather Sealed BodyYesYes
BuildTop and Rear Magnesium AlloyTop and Rear Magnesium Alloy
USB Version2.02.0
Weight (Body Only)675g760g
Dimensions135.5 x 106.5 x 76mm141 × 113 × 82mm
MSRP Price$1,199 (as introduced)$2,099 (as introduced)

At first, it might seem like these two cameras have a lot in common. However, there are a number of differences, some of which are so big that I will spend some time talking about them detail. The first main difference between the D7100 and the D600 is obviously the sensor. The Nikon D7100 has an APS-C sized sensor, also known as “DX” in Nikon lingo, while the D600 has more than twice larger full-frame “FX” sensor. I won’t spend a lot of time discussing differences in sensor sizes here, because I have already written about it in detail before. Head on over to my Nikon DX vs FX article, give it a good read and then come back here. In short, sensor size matters! While both cameras have comparably similar resolution (24 MP), the sensor sizes are different, which means that the full-frame D600 has several advantages such as: lower noise, higher dynamic range, better colors, shallower depth of field, less diffraction and wider field of view. Larger sensor also means a larger mirror and viewfinder, which is a huge advantage that many people underestimate. If you took a DX camera and an FX camera and looked through the viewfinder of both, you would notice the difference right away. I talked about this a number of times before, but it is best to experience this yourself. I highly recommend to go to a local camera store and compare – it is hard to visualize until you actually see it. Yes, it is that much different.

Lack of a low pass filter, also known as “anti-aliasing filter”, means that the D7100 will produce sharp images and take advantage of good lenses that can resolve a lot of detail. The D600 has such a filter in place, so it is at a slight disadvantage in that regard. Although for some people, the possibility of moire showing up in images is much worse than having slightly sharper images. Again, I won’t cover the advantages and disadvantages of low-pass filters, because I covered it in detail in my “what is a low-pass filter?” and Nikon D800 vs D800E articles.

Speed-wise, both cameras are comparable at 6 (D7100) and 5.5 (D600) fps, although the D7100 can shoot at 7 fps in 1.3x crop mode. The buffer capacity difference, however, is quite big. One of the limitations of the D7100 is its very small buffer that can accommodate a maximum of 16 smallest (compressed) RAW files before the buffer fills up and the camera slows down. The D600 is better in that regard: it can fit 60% more images before slowing the camera – an important metric for sports and wildlife photographers. At the same time, the D600 has an inferior autofocus system from the D7000, with 39 autofocus points that are tightly placed around the center of the viewfinder. The Nikon D7100 is the complete opposite of the D600 in that regard – because it uses the autofocus system from high-end full-frame cameras, its 51 focus points are spread out across the frame. Take a look at the difference between the two:

I will save my commentary on the above for the next article that I am working on.

Another important difference worth noting is the maximum shutter speed – the D7100 can go all the way to 1/8000, while the D600 is limited to 1/4000. Most people won’t care about this difference, but it could make a difference for shooting very fast prime lenses in bright light. The same goes for the flash sync speed limitations – the D7100 is better at 1/250 sync speed, while the D600 is limited to 1/200. For most photographers out there, this does not make a difference, but flash gurus will prefer the 1/250 sync speed for a number of reasons. Lastly, bracketing is also limited on the D600 compared to the D7100 – the latter can do 2 to 5 frames, while the D600 can only go as far as 2 to 3 frames total.

Screen sizes on both cameras are of the same size, but the D7100 has more resolution, with its 1.2 million dots versus 921K. The D600 is slightly larger and about 85 grams heavier. Lastly, the price difference between the two is quite big – the D7100 retails for $1,199, while the D600 is at $2,099 (although its price has been around the $2K mark for a while now).

So, here comes the big question – should you get the D7100 or the D600? It is surely a tough choice and not an easy answer. The D7100 is better in features, but the D600 is better in image quality. Personally, I favor the D600 for its better image quality and large viewfinder. But it comes at a much higher cost, especially for someone that owns a number of DX lenses. So I suggest to go through your priorities and decide what is more important for you and decide whether the cost difference is worth the change or not.

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