The Nikon D600 is a terrific camera. To produce a full-frame sensor with comparable image quality to the likes of the Nikon D4, Nikon D800 and Canon EOS 5D Mark III is no mean feat in itself; but to house it in a body that's almost as small and light as a cropped-sensor DSLR is barely believable.

It certainly fulfils its brief of being an easy to use full-frame DSLR, with a control layout and menu design based on consumer rather than professional cameras. As such it makes for a compelling upgrade for those seeking the benefits of full-frame photography without the complexity or physical bulk usually associated with such cameras.

We liked

It's compactness and light weight make the Nikon D600 a tempting proposition for those wanting a full-frame upgrade, or for professionals downsizing from larger bodies, especially since the Nikon D600's sensor is one of the best currently available and is backed up by excellent autofocus and exposure metering.

We disliked

While it won't hurt your neck, the Nikon D600's £1955.99/$2,099.95 full price is still quite a strain on the pocket. When compared to the current full-frame options it is good value, but remember that the Nikon D7000 now retails for well under half the price and, sensor aside, is a very similar camera.

Its autofocus coverage area is better suited to the cropped-sensor camera from which it's taken than to this full-frame sensor, which is the only real frustration when shooting with the Nikon D600.

Final verdict

The superb sensor, extensive yet accessible features and compactness make the Nikon D600 an exceptionally user-friendly full-frame.

It's a pity the Nikon D600's larger sensor commands such a price premium over the Nikon D7000, but assuming it sees the kind of price reductions that the D800 has undergone, we're in for a treat.

But Nikon won't have this sector to itself for long. Canon's new full-frame EOS 6D will undercut the Nikon D600 on size, weight and price. Let battle commence...