Ever since the Nikon D600 and Canon 6D were announced I've been really excited because finally there was a full frame offering that was about the same weight and size as my current APS-C camera. And these cameras were positioned as "Entry level full frame cameras" with a price considerably below the traditional cost to get into a full frame camera. The Nikon D600 (24MP) and its big brother, the D800 (36 MP), were released first. DxOLabs, which is a respected independent lab that tests and scores cameras and lenses, gave the D800 the highest overall score they had ever given and the D600 was ranked 2nd! That's above some mega-dollar medium format cameras, and ALL of the Nikon and Canon pro cameras. The D600 scored a 94 while the Canon 5D Mark III scored an 81, and the Nikon D4 scored an 89. The D600 scored especially well in dynamic range and color depth, specs very important to a landscape photographer. This was going to be my next camera!
What followed was a ton of research about what lens(es) to buy. I settled on the Nikon 24-120 f/4G ED VR which seemed to be the best "walkabout" lens available for this camera. In most tests about the only weakness was vignetting and distortion at wide angles. But, both of these issues are easily handled in post processing. Another lens that really looked attractive was the Nikon 16-35 f/4G ED VR which is a more specialized WIDE angle lens with incredible quality. I sorted all the pictures from my recent trips by focal length and found that well over 50% were taken in the 24 - 35 range. This lens was going to be a tough call because it doesn't have enough range to be my only lens, and I sure hate carrying a 2nd lens, but on the other hand the quality of this thing looked amazing and it fit my style of photography very well.
So I waited till the Black Friday weekend, hoping to snag some deals and I ended up buying the D600 and both lenses. And then there's all the other stuff that goes with switching camera brands and formats. So here's all the stuff I ended up getting:
Nikon D600 Body
Nikon 24-120 f/4G ED VR lens
Nikon 16-35 f/4G ED VR lens
Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash
(2) Hoya 77 mm UV Haze HD (High Density) digital filters
(1) Hoya 77 mm NXT Polarizing Slim Frame Glass filter
(1) Hoya 77 mm Neutral Density (NDx8) 0.9 Filter
(3) Sandisk 32GB SDXC Extreme Pro 95 MB/s SD cards
(2) Nikon EN-EL 15 Lithium-Ion batteries
Nikon ML-L3 Wire Remote Control (Infrared)
Cotton Carrier Carry-Lite camera holster system
Lowepro S&F Lens exchange case 100 AW
Epson Stylus Pro 3880 17" printer
Yikes!! That's a hit on the bank account! But, as I've said before, photography has become an integral part of the travel experience for me. No compromises here. Gonna have to tighten the belt somewhere else, I guess. I will try to post impressions of the new equipment as I get a chance to try it out.
Merry Christmas to me!!
P.S. Anyone interested in a really good deal on a nice Canon 50D with an EOS 15-85 lens, and lots of extras? It's the outfit that took all of the photos on the recent trips. EMail me for details, if interested