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Canon EOS 6D vs Nikon D600 DSLR Comparison Review

Canon EOS 6D vs Nikon D600 DSLR Comparison Review - Canon and Nikon both offer full-frame Digital SLRs, but which one should you choose?

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Category : Digital SLRs
Product : D600
Price : £780
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon D600 Vs Canon Eos 6d 9

The Nikon D600 and Canon EOS 6D are some of the most affordable full-frame sensor (ie the same size as 35mm film) cameras available. Here we compare the two cameras in our quick comparison review. We have reviewed them, previously, so for full details, please see the following reviews:

Nikon D600 Digital SLR Review
Canon EOS 6D Digital SLR Review

Canon EOS 6D vs Nikon D600 Features

Nikon D600 Vs Canon Eos 6d 1

The Nikon D600 and Canon EOS 6D are both feature packed cameras, with a number of impressive features, and despite both being the most affordable full frame cameras from Nikon and Canon, they hardly scrimp on features, with both offering weather sealed bodies, and a host of other desirable features, as outlined below:

Key differences at a glance:


Nikon D600 Canon EOS 6D
24.3mp Full-Frame CMOS sensor 20.3mp Full-Frame CMOS sensor
3.2inch screen, 921k dots 3.0inch screen, 1040k dots
100% viewfinder 97% viewfinder
Focus points: 39-point, 9 cross type, -1EV 11-point, 1cross, -3EV
ISO50 - ISO25600 (extended) ISO50 - ISO102400 (extended)
1/4000s shutter speed 1/4000s
5.5fps continuous shooting 4.5fps continuous shooting
Flash sync 1/250 1/180
2x SD slots 1 SD slot
Optional Wi-Fi / GPS adapters Wi-Fi / GPS built in
Dual Axis Electronic level Electronic level
Headphone, Mic, HDMI HDMI, Mic sockets only
Built in Flash None
900 shots battery life 1090 shots battery life
760g body only weight 680g body only weight
141 x 113 x 82mm (WHD) 144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm  (WHD)

Nikon D600 Vs Canon Eos 6d 8

Both cameras feature built in HDR creation, multiple exposure, AF Micro-adjustment, full HD video recording, electronic level (dual axis on the Nikon D600). The Canon EOS 6D has a silent single and continuous shooting mode for quieter operation, and the Nikon D600 has a quiet shooting mode.

Canon EOS 6D vs Nikon D600 Handling

Nikon D600 Vs Canon Eos 6d 3

Handling - The Nikon D600 features the same number of buttons on the back as the 6D, as well as a rear command dial that is positioned to line up with the end of the thumb when using the camera. The top of the camera has three buttons in addition to the shutter release, and there is a dedicated drive mode dial under the main mode dial, while on the Canon there is a drive button. On the front of the Nikon D600 you'll find a total of 5 buttons, compared to the Canon's 1 button. The Canon has a light button for the LCD, while the Nikon uses the on/off switch surrounding the shutter release. The design and layout of the majority of Canon buttons is centered around the main hand used to hold the camera, while the Nikon's buttons are also on the left hand side for two handed operation. The buttons on the Nikon are generally larger, although the directional pad on the Nikon is quite small.

There isn't a huge difference in weight between the two cameras (760g vs 680g body only), although the design of the Nikon D600 makes it feel a little chunkier at times. Both cameras feel comfortable to hold although the slightly lighter body of the Canon EOS 6D may help if you are using the camera for any length of time. Of course, this is dependant on the lens used.


Nikon D600 Vs Canon Eos 6d 4

Menus – The Nikon menus are well laid out with colour coded sections, with a number of advanced options in the custom menus, each section within this is colour coded as well. You can also adjust settings directly on the rear screen. The Canon EOS 6D gives direct access to settings on the back screen with the Q button, and the Canon menus are well laid out with the sections colour coded to provide simpler access to each main area, although some of the more advanced options on the 6D are slightly hidden in a submenu.

Nikon D600 Vs Canon Eos 6d 6

Battery life - The Canon EOS 6D will suffer decreased battery life if the Wi-Fi and GPS features are used, however despite this, we still managed to shoot more with the Canon EOS 6D.

  Nikon D600 Canon EOS 6D
CIPA rating 900 1090
Actual 580 700

Nikon D600 Vs Canon Eos 6d 5

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Nikon D600 Canon EOS 6D
Shutter Response 0.05 0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25 0.3
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.30 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.15 0.35
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.4 0.3
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.0 N/A
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
5fps (27 shots) 4.5fps (28 shots)
Continuous Shooting - RAW 5fps (15 shots) 4.5fps (13 shots)

Shutter response, focus and shot to shot times from both cameras is very quick, and there is a slight advantage in the speed of the Nikon D600's continuous shooting speed, as well as switch on time, although buffer depth of both cameras is very similar allowing you to take a similar number of shots before slowdown.

Nikon D600 Vs Canon Eos 6d 7

Canon EOS 6D vs Nikon D600 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Nikon D600 Digital SLR Review, and
Canon EOS 6D Digital SLR Review.

Nikon D600 Canon EOS 6D
Snow Scene Outpost | 1/320 sec | f/9.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Outpost | 1/320 sec | f/9.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Canon Eos 6d Outpost IMG 1812 | 1/320 sec | f/9.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 125
Outpost | 1/320 sec | f/9.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 125
Snow Scene Thoresby Hall | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Hall | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Thoresby Hall | 1/320 sec | f/9.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Hall | 1/320 sec | f/9.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
 Snow Scene Thoresby Hall Clock | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100Clock | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100 Thoresby Hall Clock | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Clock | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Nikon D600 Laura Snow DSC 1358 | 1/160 sec | f/2.0 | 50.0 mm | ISO 100
Snow Model | 1/160 sec | f/2.0 | 50.0 mm | ISO 100
Snow Model | 1/200 sec | f/2.0 | 50.0 mm | ISO 100
Snow Model | 1/200 sec | f/2.0 | 50.0 mm | ISO 100

There is higher default contrast settings on the Canon EOS 6D, although both cameras are capable of being adjusted to suit your own preferences for things like colour saturation, contrast, shadow lighting etc, with the Nikon featuring D-Lighting, and the Canon version called Auto Lighting Optimiser (ALO). Both cameras feature customisable colour shooting styles.

Canon EOS 6D ISO test images


Nikon D600 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - You can view full size images by clicking "High Res" on the required image. We have shown crops below from each camera side by side:

Canon EOS 6D vs Nikon D600

Actual view at 100%, JPEG from camera. The Canon EOS 6D delivers usable images at ISO25600, and perhaps even ISO51200, whereas the Nikon D600 struggles at ISO12800, and definitely at ISO25600. The Nikon D600 has worse noise, but better detail at ISO12800. If you process the RAW files from the Nikon, you can get much better results using some of the latest RAW processing software, however for straight out of the camera results, the Canon EOS 6D does an excellent job delivering images with very low noise.

Canon EOS 6D White-balance test images


Nikon D600 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Both cameras generally perform well under a variety of lighting conditions, and this shouldn't cause any issues, particularly as you're able to correct any issues when shooting RAW. Canon's white balance performance is excellent in both tungsten and fluorescent lighting, and in comparison the Nikon D600 struggles a little to give neutral results, because of this manual white balance will be needed for the best results.

Video - Both cameras share very similar video specifications, however the Nikon D600 adds a headphone socket, a larger screen, and dual memory card slots may also be advantageous for longer recording.

Value For Money

The Nikon D600 is available for £1450 vs £1599 for the Canon EOS 6D, a saving of £149, although, if you want or need to add GPS or Wi-Fi to the Nikon D600 then that money will be quickly gobbled up. If you need a flash for the Canon EOS 6D, that will be an additional expense.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon EOS 6D vs Nikon D600 Verdict

  Both the Nikon D600 and the Canon EOS 6D offer exceptional image quality at a new (more) wallet friendly price point and bang up to date features, without some of the weight and size usually associated with full frame Digital SLRs. Whichever you choose they should be able to satisfy the majority of users for many years to come.
Both cameras are capable of delivering stunning image quality with excellent colour and detail.

The Canon EOS 6D offers Wi-Fi and GPS, which is great for anyone who is travelling, as is the longer battery life available.

The Canon EOS 6D may deliver lower resolution images (20mp vs 24mp), however this gives the 6D the benefit of lower noise at higher ISOs. The Canon EOS 6D has noticeably less focus points, just 11 compared to 39 on the D600, which could be another concern for some.

The optical viewfinder in the Canon EOS 6D isn't a full size (97% vs 100%) viewfinder like the Nikon D600, however the 6D does have the benefit of allowing it to be swapped out for an alternative focus screen if required. The 6D also features a slightly smaller 3inch screen, instead of the 3.2inch screen on the Nikon D600 (albeit lower resolution), as well as slower continuous shooting. Another potentially off-putting negative of the 6D is the lack of a headphone socket on the 6D which could be of concern for video recording (although this could be resolved by an external audio recorder).

Any camera system is only as good as the lens used, so if you plan on using budget lenses with this camera then advantages of 24mp vs 20mp will quickly dissappear and to get the most out of each camera you will benefit from the best quality lenses you can afford. If you already have a collection of good lenses in either Nikon or Canon mount, then the Nikon D600 or Canon EOS 6D is extremely good value for money. If you have not invested in either then they both offer an impressive range of lenses, accessories, and upgrade paths should you wish to change your body at a later date.

Based on the Nikon D600 price being less than the Canon EOS 6D, the included flash, as well as a higher resolution sensor and (slightly) quicker continuous shooting speed, we would say that it gives it the slight advantage, add to that the additional focus points, larger screen, headphone socket, 2 year warranty, and additional buttons on the body would make it an excellent choice, particularly for videographers. However, the Canon EOS 6D has some of the best low-light performance available and extremely impressive image quality even at high ISO settings, if you're ever shooting on the edges of available light, in remote locations, or want to tansfer images as quickly as possible through Wi-Fi, then the Canon EOS 6D would be an excellent choice. Ultimately, the right camera for you will depend on your needs and planned usage of the camera.

Nikon D600 Digital SLR Review
Canon EOS 6D Digital SLR Review

Comparison Table

Nikon D600Canon EOS 6D
ManufacturerNikonCanon
Lens
Effective Magnification1x1x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels24.3Mp (Megapixels)20.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)60165472
Pixels (H)40163648
Sensor TypeCMOSCMOS
Sensor SizeFull FrameFull-Frame
Sensor Size (width)35.9mm36mm
Sensor Size (height)24mm24mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 3:2
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3.2in3in
Screen resolution921,000 dots1,040,000 dot
Touch ScreenNoNo
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • AF Fine Tuning
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
  • Multi Pattern
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Partial
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity50 - 2560050 - 102400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
  • Bracket
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Bracket
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
  • Incandescent
Exposure Comp+/-5+/-5
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting5.5fps4.5fps
Video
Movie modeYesYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS60, 30p, 25p and 24p1080p at 30,25,24fps, 720p and 480 recorded at 50/60fps
Stereo SoundNoNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYesYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNoNo
Interface
HDMIYesYes
USBUSB 2USB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeEN-EL15Rechargeable Lithium-Ion LP-E6
CIPA Rating9001090
Box Contents
Box ContentsEN-EL15 rechargeable Li-ion battery (with terminal cover), MH-25 battery charger, BS-1 accessory shoe cover, DK-21 rubber eyecup, BM-14 monitor cover, BF-1B body cap, DK-5 eyepiece cap, AN-DC8 strap, UC-E15 USB cable, ViewNX 2 CDEOS 6D, Eyecup Eb, Camera Cover R-F-3, Wide Strap EW-EOS 6D, Battery Pack LP-E6 (Except JP/CN), Rechargeable Li-ion battery LP-E6 Battery
Dimensions
Weight850g680g
Width141mm144.5mm
Height113mm110.5mm
Depth82mm71.2mm
View Full DetailsView Full Details


 

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Photographs taken using the D600

What's behind the eyes?Fun down-underBanded Demoiselle Male ( Caopteryx splendons ) (III)TintagelMono MistBehind meSnowy PloverBoscastleSouthern Hawker (Aesha cyanea) (II)sunsetMevagissey  HarbourServalst Ives
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Comments


stu8 5 6 Wales
26 Feb 2013 1:29PM
i own both and i think the nikon has the edge, even though i have been a canon fan for years.

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Andy_Cundell 3 1.1k 5 England
26 Feb 2013 7:07PM
stu, if you own both, how do you feel about the pending 'oil and dust' problems with the Nikon? I've got a D90 at the mo and would love to upgrade to a D600 but am slightly put off by this. (The D800 was just too big and heavy for me)

Andy
26 Feb 2013 9:19PM
I have a Nikon D600. My main interests are rugby and children.It is excellent for both of these and I have had some terrific results.
Guys - this and other such reviews of these cameras make them sound wonderful with the bonus of FF. Beware! They are relatively new products on the market and I suspect have not had much road testing.

I bought the D600 somewhat against my better judgement having handled them both and preferring the handling of the Canon but I was persuaded by the apparently superior spec and the price of the D600 That was a mistake.

4 working days and 154 exposures after I received the D600 a nasty black spot appeared on the sensor and cannot be removed so I had to return to the vendor who has been most supportive. If you search the internet you will find that I am not alone and that Nikon have a significant problem with spots appearing on this camera's sensor.

This was a huge investment for me but the outcome has been most disappointing. I would not buy the D600 now or accept such a replacement. My work takes in weddings, pics that you cannot re-shoot. I am glad I never got that far as I had not put this camera into operational service.

My advice based on this experience is to think carefully before making the purchase of a FF camera. Best advice would be to buy something that has been well tried and tested, eg, the Canon 5D Mark II or III.
27 Feb 2013 6:14PM
I rented a D600 for a week. The sensor started out clean but after 2000 photos it was very spotted. That--and Nikon's weak response to the problem--would make me think twice about buying one, even though I saw them on sale at Costco which has a liberal return policy. However, the biggest trouble I had with the Nikon was the reverse mounting direction of the lenses; decades of doing it the "right" way is just too hard to overcome. Wink Next time I will rent the EOS 6D.
9 Apr 2013 4:37PM
This review leaves out a couple of more great features. D600 shutter life tested to 150,000 cycles versus 100,000 for the 6D. AF assist lamp that allows the D600 to focus better in low light than the 6D in many situations.

reply to jeanjosephchezmoi

"...a nasty black spot appeared on the sensor and cannot be removed..." Any spot can be removed with a cleaning kit within minutes. If you're a serious photographer you will have to do this many times with every DSLR. It actually would take less time to clean your sensor than it would for a Canon fanboy to fabricate a comment pretending to be a Nikon owner.

reply to Handheld

"...the biggest trouble I had with the Nikon was the reverse mounting direction of the lenses.."

After the 6D fiasco I'm not surprised that Canon shooters are switching to Nikon in record numbers but I am surprised that you aren't willing to at least give Nikons a chance. Complaining about the lens mount direction? Come on.
Reply to gearhead -

'Any spot can be removed with a cleaning kit...'.

I don't buy new hardware with the expectation of having to clean up the manufacturer's defects but in this case I could not clean the sensor and on contacting Nikon reps they advised against doing so. Dust or dirt is usually easy to remove but this was something akin to a lubricant that had oozed out of the camera's construction and could not be removed.

'It actually would take less time to clean your sensor than it would for a Canon fanboy to fabricate a comment pretending to be a Nikon owner.'.

I am not clear as to the point you are making here but I am guessing you are making an assumption about camera ownership or that I have some Canon loyalty. I do not own any Canon camera or lens.
15 Aug 2013 4:04PM
"I don't buy new hardware with the expectation of having to clean up the manufacturer's defects."

Nobodys expecting you to replace a sensor. We're talking about oil here. You keep saying things like "could not be removed.' Nikon removes spots every day. Other D600 owners report having their cameras cleaned by their local camera shops. Still others clean their own cameras like I have done whether Nikon likes it or not. As I said before any spot can be removed with a cleaning kit. To suggest that you would avoid this magnificent camera or return it because of oil/dust is laughable. The D600 blows the 6D out of the water and into the next country. Canon fanboys and Nikon haters have latched onto the so-called "oil/dust issue" with a vengeance. They are blowing it all out of proportion because the D600 is so vastly better than the 6D. There's nothing bad they can say about it so they push the oil and dust. There are Nikon posers posting that they are switching to Canon because the D600 has dust issues. As if any serious Nikon photographer would get rid of his camera and lenses because of spots. At the very least you would upgrade to the D800 before doing that. 20 minutes with a cleaning kit, that's all it takes. All this dust issue BS is solved by 20 minutes with a cleaning kit.
Reply to gearhead -

Thanks for your advice on sensor cleaning and clarity on Nikon and the magnificent D600 camera.
17 Oct 2013 9:25PM
Hi. I'm new here. It looks like the Canon pictures are a little-little bit sharper.

I wonder what lenses are used for the comparing pictures 'Snow Model'.
Maybe the writer, Joshua Waller, or anyone can tell me?
joshwa e2
4 600 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2013 10:06PM
Hi laro,

We used the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 and the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 (the old one, not the new one).

Thanks

Josh

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