Billed as a ‘game-changer', and unveiled just days ahead of photokina, the FX-format D600 boasts a new 24.3-million-pixel imaging sensor.
‘It shoots big and allows you to travel lighter,' said Hiro Sebata, product manager for Professional Products at Nikon UK.
Housed in a magnesium-alloy body, the D600 weighs 760g (with battery) and has a resistance to dust and moisture on a par with the semi-professional D800, says Nikon.
The firm stresses that ‘affordability' is key and has priced the camera at £1,955.99, body only.
Bid to 'broaden' full-frame appeal
Speaking at a press conference in London, Sebata said Nikon hopes to broaden the market by attracting those who may have been put off by the price of a full-frame camera in the past.
He claimed: ‘The D600 will open up new realms of photography for passionate photographers, particularly those looking to take the next step and enjoy the creative edge that comes with a full-frame sensor.'
The D600 is due to go on sale in the UK on 18 September, the opening day of the photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany.
It will sit below the £2,600 D800 and above the D300s in Nikon's product line-up.
The D600's sensor offers 14-bit A/D conversion and an ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50-25,600.
The DSLR borrows its 16-bit Expeed 3 engine from the flagship D4, in a bid to deliver benefits including faster image processing and an expanded dynamic range.
The D600's maximum shooting burst rate is listed as 5.5 frames per second.
Firepower also includes a new 39-point AF module - the Multi-CAM4800 - claimed to deliver the AF sensitivity of the D4. The 39 points include nine cross-type sensors.
Nikon says it has re-engineered the AF algorithms to ‘significantly improve low-light acquisition sensitivity capabilities' (detection down to -1EV).
In a move that should suit wildlife and sports photography, the central sensors are compatible with an aperture of F/8 (33 compatible with f/5.6-f/8).
The photographer can select AF modes without taking their eyes away from the viewfinder, according to Nikon.
AF coverage is selectable in 9, 21 and 39-point settings.
WU-1b wireless adapter
The D600 incorporates a 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor and will be compatible with an optional WU-1b wireless adapter (£64.99), allowing photographers to view live images on a smartphone.
It is also expected to enable them to control camera functions from a smartphone.
At the time of writing, Nikon was waiting for Apple to approve its use on the iPhone and it was unclear whether it will be available for the Apple iPad.
The D600's battery is built to last for 900 still images.
The camera will be available with an AF-S 24-85mm lens, in a kit priced £2,443.99.
An optional battery grip, the MB-D14, will cost £249.99.
To see the full spec click HERE
New prime lens for Nikon 1 system
Nikon is also poised to unleash a new prime lens for its Nikon 1 compact system cameras.
The 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 (see below) is due out in November priced £179.99.
Designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 50mm lens, it will be available in black, white and silver-coloured versions.