Throughout history, the technology of photography has grown leaps and bounds. We've moved from chemical wet plates to film and from film into digital, but the digital world itself has grown tremendously in my lifetime. We all know that even the entry-level cameras nowadays have more capability in the professional digital cameras from 15 years ago. The photos that I have seen produced with cameras such as the Nikon D3200 astound me. As of around 2008, The full frame sensor market arrived and started to change the way people at professional digital photography. ISO range became much bigger, depth of field got even thinner. Fast forward to now and we have all types of cameras on the market with full frame sensors and they can practically see in the dark.
Of course the flagship cameras for all the brands show off the best everyone has to offer, but there is a lot to be said for everything coming out right now. What I want to focus on is in my opinion the best deal in photography right now, the d600.
This is the most controversial camera to come out in quite a while; not really because of its specs or design, but because of the fact that it received terribly bad press right out of the gate because of sensor dust issues that many of the first models suffered from. There would be spots on the sensor that plagued photos with clear skies or solid backgrounds and though Nikon bit the bullet and started fixing any cameras that were affected it started to become a real problem.
It wasn't that the problem was irreversible, only that Nikon treated it the wrong way. Instead of doing a complete recall on any damaged devices and continuing with the D600 name, They instead released the D610 which is essentially the same camera without the issues that the D600 was plagued with. This was great for Nikon because it allowed them to throw away the named everybody had associated with the bad camera and start fresh, but what they didn't expect was to crash the used market for everyone that owned a D600. What was once a $2000 camera on the used market now dropped over $500 and ruined the chances of anyone selling their D600 for what it's really worth.
I bought my D600 for $1300 from B&H Photo and fell in love with the controls. The camera handled extremely well and it felt very familiar as I was moving up from the consumer end of the Nikon range (For those who haven't used it, it feels very similar to a D7000 or a D300). I used the camera for around four months straight with no problems whatsoever, but while on an architecture shoot one day, I started noticing little dots which were obviously the sensor dust problem everyone else was having. Nikon was gracious enough to give free maintenance to anyone that was dealing with this problem and when my camera returned, I was made aware that they had not only cleaned the sensor, but replaced the whole shutter mechanism which supposedly was causing the problem. This was a wonderful surprise and a nice bonus to try and fix the problem at the source instead of just pacifying the masses, because as you can imagine, the public is already pretty unhappy about the whole situation.
As an added layer of protection from any problems I may have in the future, I decided to purchase a Visible Dust cleaning system for only a few dollars. It’s a wet cleaning system for sensors that has eliminated any extra spots that have shown up on my sensor. Though not many come up, I like being able to take care of them when I see them instead of having to ship out my camera to the Nikon repair center.
You may ask, “Why do you want a camera that has so many problems?” and I think the easiest answer would be that I know how to fix them and it doesn’t cost me much at all in the grand scheme of things. I bought in to the Nikon system and when it was time for me to upgrade I had very few options: The monster D800 that produces files much too big for me to want to handle, the premium priced DF that really peaked my interest even if it that spiked downward once the retail price was announced, the ever aging D700 that will soon be irrelevant because of just sheer age, and the D600 or D610. It has more features than any camera in it’s price range and is perfect for anyone especially wedding photographers. If you want the best camera deal of the last 5 years, start looking for a gently used Nikon D610. Thanks for reading!