If you’re thinking about upgrading to the newest and cheapest full-frame camera, and you shoot video either professionally, amatuerely, or somewhere in between, it’s important to know about the D600 live view aperture problem.
Nikon wouldn’t call it a problem, since they designed it to work this way – but to many videographers it is a problem.
The problem is while using the D600’s live view for video, the user is unable to change the aperture value while still in live view. You have to exit live view, change the aperture, and then re-enter live view. The biggest problem is if your situation requires you to change aperture values while you’re recording – which you have to stop, then follow the aforementioned steps.
Say you’re filming an outdoor wedding, and the sun isn’t out. You’ve got your aperture at 2.8, and 5 minutes into recording the sun comes out, forcing you to stop recording, exit live view, change the aperture, re-enter live view, and start filming again. Even if you’ve had practice at this, it still takes a minimum of 5-10 seconds – which during a wedding ceremony – could be important parts.
(New Related Article: Six Reasons to Upgrade your Nikon D7000 to the Nikon D800)
There are some ways of dealing with this which we will mention below, but considering this is the newest release from Nikon – we’re surprised it’s designed this way. The D800 offers the ability to change the aperture while in live view, why not the D600? The D600 is a logical step up from those shooting stills or even video with a D7000, and that was a major flaw in the D7000 that didn’t get addressed in this model.
Workarounds to the D600 (or D7000) Live View problem with Apertures:
1) Set a high aperture value, then use ISO to control your brightness. The downfall with this method is you introduce unneeded noise to your video when a lower aperture would do.
2) Run a 2nd camera. In the example above, the 10-second changeover could be covered up by the other camera rolling. The downfall with this method is the light typically changes for both cameras, and adjustments may need to be simultaneous.
If you’re shooting events that require continuous coverage with changing light conditions (e.g. an outdoor wedding), you may think twice with the D600 or D7000 – or at least plan to use one of the suggestions above if the budget doesn’t allow a D800 or D4.