I often get into heated debates about camera design and aesthetics. Whenever I make a sharp remark on how ugly any particular camera is, there’s always some practical soul to answer that cameras are tools and we shouldn’t care what they look like, as long as they produce good pictures. To which I invariablty answer that all cars are equally traveling tools, taking us from point A to point B, but that car users seem to care very much with what style, design and class they do.
I took delivery of a Nikon D600 yesterday morning, and brought it to the stables shortly after. I’ll make a long story short, it did master the indoor arena horrid light conditions like no camera before it. Here’s proof :
Of course, being a well specified DSLR, it also offers superior performance in terms of AF and operational speed. So, it is the answer to my needs ?
Yet, I still have to make up my mind 100%, but I think it’s going back. First of all, I took a test shot of a sky at F16 (the smallest aperture the 50/1.8 AF-S has to offer), and it does show the dreaded oil and spots on sensor. Nothing huge or that would ever be a problem at the wide apertures I always use, but still unacceptable on the camera this expensive, and brand new. And even if it weren’t for this very severe issue that would justify not keeping it by itself, I have another big problem with it : I dislike shooting it.
How is it possible ?! Why ? Because after 18 months spent mostly shooting unconspicuous, small and sleek looking mirrorless, that big black plastic box of a camera is terribly lacking any charm or enjoyment in my view. Sure, it’s capable. The AF module is not as good as the D700’s, I shot previously, which I was aware of, yet it is still very capable. No issue here. Yes, the IQ, despite not having had time to fine tune my settings and get familiar and proficient with the camera, is stellar. And yet, I have a strong urge to pack it back in its box and return it asap…
But I hate holding it. It feels weirdly both heavy and hollow, the plastic texture is horrible to handle. My NEX 7 runs circles around it for tactile enjoyment.
I think the use of smaller, less intrusive and yet highly capable mirrorless bodies has totally spoiled the DLSR for me. I just can’t seem to be happy with one anywmore ?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that yes, of course, output is a huge criteria of choice for a camera, but if a body delivers tremendous IQ, but you have no enjoyment shooting it whatsoever, it sort of kills its appeal.
So yes the D600 is an amazing proposition that does solve my low light challenge in the indoor arena, but yet I don’t consider the issue taken care of, since I hardly see myself putting up with the bulk, weight, clanky shutter, etc, long term. I’m thinking out loud here, so any input, opinions, thoughts or advice from you guys are welcome !