Shun Cheung , Oct 17, 2012; 10:56 a.m.
I shot the D600 almost a week ago and was surprised at how small the array of focal points seemed--and how they took up so little of the viewfinder. That was not what I was expecting.
In photo.net's D600 First-Impression Review: http://photo.net/reviews/nikon/d600-first-impressions-review
I have an image showing the D600's AF point coverage. That issue is not a secret. Back when the D3 was introduced, I always feel that even the Multi-CAM 3500's 51 AF points are too concentrated in the center of the FX frame. The D600 is unfortunately one further step in the wrong direction.
Now that I have used the D600 for a few weeks, I can deal with its AF system. Like the D7000 that uses the same AF system, AF speed and accuracy are both quite good, but those 39 AF points do not cover the FX frame all that well.
"Focus and recompose" may work for static subjects. For action photography, there is simply no time to recompose. That is why AF points that cover more towards the edges of the frame, especially cross type ones, is important. Otherwise, we have no choice but keep the subject in the center of the frame, leading to poor compositions that require more cropping on the computer.