Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm calling BS on the Malaysian forum's Nikon D600 specs

Yesterday, Nikonrumors.com posted specs of the D600 that were reported in a Malaysian forum. I expressed doubts about the shutter speed and sync speed based on my observation that newer, higher-end Nikons always have equal or better specs than older, lower-end Nikons.
I noticed that the post about the D600 included a quote about the white balance:
"The D600's intelligent auto white balance algorithm renders white as truly white even when shot under a wide range of light sources, including mercury vapor light. The D600 analyzes color and brightness information of the scene before shooting utilizing Scene Recognition System, and detects the light source highly accurately by referencing its massive collection of in-camera shooting data. The D600 also carries another auto white balance mode that maintains warm lighting ambience when you shoot under incandescent light"
Read more on NikonRumors.com: http://nikonrumors.com/2012/09/11/more-nikon-d600-leaks-full-specs-and-new-images.aspx/#ixzz26HOvgUGb

It got me thinking, if they have a quote, it must be official information right? Well check out this quote: "The D7000's intelligent auto white balance algorithm renders white as truly white even when shot under a wide range of light sources, including mercury vapor light. The D7000 analyzes color and brightness information of the scene before shooting utilizing Scene Recognition System, and detects the light source highly accurately by referencing its massive collection of in-camera shooting data. The D7000 also carries another auto white balance mode that maintains warm lighting ambience when you shoot under incandescent light." Source: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d7000/features02.htm

Well, is it possible Nikon just copies and pastes its marketing blurb about white balance on every camera it produces?

D800: "The D800/D800E's auto white balance is incredibly accurate in a diverse range of shooting situations, aided by unique Nikon technology that effectively identifies your light sources, both natural and artificial. With the 91K-pixel RGB sensor and the image sensor working together, the camera renders white as white with supreme accuracy. Or if you prefer, the auto white balance can be set to reflect the warmth of ambient, incandescent lighting." Source: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d800/features01.htm

D4: "Incorporating years of research into ambient lighting, the unique Nikon auto white balance technologies in the D4 are capable of identifying and compensating for a broad range of artificial and natural light sources. Using data from the image sensor and 91K-pixel RGB sensor, the camera can automatically render white as white with supreme accuracy, or can incorporate the warmth of ambient, incandescent lighting as required." Source: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d4/features01.htm

D3200: "The D3200 analyzes color and brightness information of the scene utilizing the light source identification function of Scene Recognition System and detects the light source precisely by referencing the in-camera database for auto white balance. In this way, it can determine the ideal white balance even with difficult light sources." Source: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d3200/features01.htm

So, I don't think the Malaysian forum's D600 specs are anything more than speculation. For them to make it sound like they have the 'real' info by pretending to quote from Nikon information is BULL. If they do correspond with the real specs, it would just be a coincidence. And for now I'm reasserting the shutter speed, sync speed, commander mode, etc. Again: I believe the D600 will have equal or better specs than the D7000 and D3200 in every respect. Anyway the D600 announcement is only hours away. We'll know soon enough.

UPDATE: FYI here is the real language about white balance in the brochure

"By effectively identifying every type of light source, Nikon’s auto white balance feature delivers incredibly ccurate results. Choose from two options: Auto 1 renders white as white, while Auto 2 renders warmer hues under incandescent light sources. Now with the D600, you can alternate between Auto 1 and 2 during in-camera NEF (RAW) processing even after you shoot."

and here is the real language in the D600 webpage:

"The D600 detects color and brightness information of the shooting scene before shooting utilizing Scene Recognition System and identifies the light source highly accurately by referencing its massive collection of in-camera shooting data. In addition to the conventional setting of Auto 1 (Normal) that compensates lighting colors, the D600 allows you to set another auto white balance mode, Auto 2 (Keep warm lighting colors), that maintains warm lighting ambience when you shoot under incandescent light. If the image is shot in RAW, these modes can be applied using the NEF (RAW) processing of the D600's in-camera retouch menus regardless of the shooting setting."


Unfortunately the 1/4000 max shutter speed is true, and so is the 1/200 sync speed, but at least there's a non-HSS 1/250 option (with slightly reduced flash range).

These are minimum specifications:
EXPEED 3 processor (D3200)
ISO up to 6400, expandable to 25600 (D7000)
2016-pixel RGB sensor D7000)
Image sensor cleaning (D7000 and D3200)
39 focus points with option of using 9 or 21 focus points (D7000). 
2016-pixel RGB sensor (D7000)
3D Color Matrix Metering III (D3200)
warm lighting option under AWB (D7000)
Magnesium-alloy body (D7000)
Double SD card slots, SDXC compatible (D7000)
150,000 shutter life (D7000)
Quiet shutter mode (D7000 and D3200)
Mode dial with U1 and U2 modes (D7000)
Virtual horizon (like D7000)
Continuous AF during movie recording (D7000 and D3200)
Sync speed: 1/250 with 1/320 option (D7000)
Face priority AF (D7000 and D3200)
You can view the histogram of a magnified area (D7000)
Zoom on a face automatically during playback (D7000, D3200)
Optional adapter with Wireless capability (D3200)
GPS option (D7000 and D3200)
Video at 1080p/30 (24fps optional) with manual setting of shutter speed and ISO (D3200)
720p @ 60fps for slow motion (d3200)
External microphone option (D7000 and D3200)
In-camera movie editing (D7000 and D3200)
Built-in popup commander (D7000)
Retouch menu (D7000)
Eye-Fi compatible (D3200)

What I'm not sure of:
- Sensor: 24mp like the Sony a99? 16mp like the D4?
- Viewfinder coverage: D7000 has 100% coverage but it is DX; having 100% coverage for FX is more difficult and expensive.
- I also don't know if Nikon views the D300S as being a higher-end model or a lower-end model than the D600.  If Nikon views the D600 as a higher-end model, then the D600 will have 51 focus points, PC sync, and a dedicated AF-ON button, just like the D300S.