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Nikon D600 or Hacked GH2?
  • Hey guys,

    I've been using a hacked GH2 for a couple of years and have been really happy with the results. Just recently though, I had a shoot and the GH2 gave me some issues. My camera froze several times while using Moon T7, even with a 95mb/s Sandisk, causing me to miss several key shots. Also, when lighting conditions changed unexpectedly, the GH2 once again let me down with its poor low light performance. There were 2 other cameras on the shoot that picked up my slack, both were Nikon D600's. They smashed my low light performance and of course had no difficulties with their firmware. I've been wanting a full frame cam for a while anyway, so today I decided to buy a Nikon D600. Obviously I haven't really had a chance to do much yet, but after some brief initial tests, I think I'm coming down with a case of buyer's remorse. I was wondering if any of you guys had the opportunity to use both cameras on actual shoots and why type of results you got.

  • 8 Replies sorted by
  • Personally I would've gone with a Nikon D5200 (or for a little more a D5300) over a Nikon D600 any day for filming with. (a Nikon D5300/D5200/D7100 is the best APS-C DSLR that you can get for filming with, and in many ways can match or even exceed a Canon 5DmkIII)

    Or if you wanted to stay with m4/3 then consider the Panasonic G6.

  • I shoot both GH3 and D600. Main impressions? As a portrait photog who's made his living at it for the last 30+ years, for still work the D600 is a fine rig ... I've been using a D3 for the last 3 years also.

    For video ... the GH3 is a hell of a lot easier to work than the D600 ... focusing, everything. I love the touch-screen, which was weird for me when we first got it. Now I try to tap the D600 screen and practically cuss 'cause it doesn't do anything!

    Yea, the D600 can produce decent video files but clearly in handling it is NOT designed to be a video camera. Now if you're shelling out cash at the moment ... you are aware the GH4 just was officially announced, right?

  • In regards to patches I only use Cake V2.3 because I experienced the same thing whilst recording a shoot. To me the only benefit of T-7, T-5 etc is all Intra and better grading other then that Cake V2.3 is really hard to beat.. IMO the GH2 is hands down better in the video department then the D600. I only use the D600 for stills the video quality for the D600 is decent but the GH2 is way better. Try out Cake v2.3 it is really underrated IMO and a very good patch. I have this patch on 3 GH2's and it had not failed on me yet.

  • GH4 however is going to be another price level higher (especially once it is fully kitted out), and who knows when you'll be able to actually buy one yourself? Could be many months away still??

    But yes, you should keep an eye on the GH4 too.

  • Yes, I just saw the GH4 after I posted this topic. Its seems like something I would fall in love with, not sure of the price yet though.

    @Azo Before T7 I was using Flowmotion and never really had any issues. I'm greedy for quality, most things I shoot are primarily geared toward visual effects so I like to have the ability to do heavy grading. It seems that the D600 has more dynamic range but the low bit rate bothers me. If I keep it, I'm considering adding an external recorder to at least capture 4:2:2 through HDMI but I don't want to sink more money into a camera that still may not give me the results I want. With that said, which is more vital to grading, high bit rate or 4:2:2 compression?

  • @mjwhitaker

    The Nikon D600 is a great stills camera but for video I definitely prefer the GH2. Before you spend more money, do some comparison tests between the GH2 and the D600. This should answer your question because it is obvious to me. Shooting video with D600 you need to nail exposure, white balance etc otherwise the IQ will quickly fall apart if you attempt to grade it. Try it for yourself then you will see what I am talking about.

    I wouldn't invest any more money into an external recorder for the D600. I would purchase a BMPCC with a speed booster and shoot in ProRes or Raw if I were in your shoes due to the visual effects and heavy grading that you require. To me this would make more sense because you will get better quality going this route. I have a rig with a cage, matte box, external battery supply etc so for me the investment would be just the camera itself.

    In regard to the patches I feel the same way I want the best quality but stability is more important to me then quality. I was really embarrassed because the talent finally nailed the script and the camera froze and stopped recording. I had 3 cameras rolling so that sucked ass to say the least. Sounds like the best and cheapest solution is to use Flowmotion, keep the D600 for stills or lowlight shallow depth of field stuff. Just don't heavily grade the videos and make sure you nail the exposure white balance etc because it truly is a baked in image with the D600.

    Me personally I will probably purchase the GH4 if it is in the $1500.00 price range if not Black Magic here I come :-)

  • I'm not sure if the D600 has more dynamic range?? Make sure when you're looking at specs it is referring to video performance, and not the still performance, which is a very different thing.

  • The Nikon's all show about 12 stop of DR in video mode. The latest Apsc Nikon's are much better for video mode than the Nikon D800/D600. They use pixel binning so nearly no moire aliasing. very very good low light rivalling the Canon 5dmark3. The D7100 and D5200 had fix pattern noise in the shadows, but the latest D5300 and D3300 don't seem to have it. I think that is why Nikon has change sensor so fast on the D5200.

    The D7100 does come very close to the gh2 as you can see in my test but it seems that the D5200/D5300 are a little softer from what people reported. They do sharpen quite well. The latest D5300/D3300 also have 1080p at 60 fps.

    The perfect friend of these Nikon is the Ninja 2. It makes the Nikon a very complete package and adds Peaking, zebras, false colour exposure and high bitrate 422 recording. What is more astonishing is that it is barely bigger than a 5 inch monitor.

    Now we will have too see how the Nikon's fares against the gh4. For me it will be DR and low light that we will have to compare as they are important as resolution. Hopefully a new Nikon D7200 comes along with at least the same very good resolution of the D7100 and the 60 fps and no banding of the D5300. It would still be a very good camera against the Gh4.