Nikon has today announced its smallest and lightest full-frame DSLR camera to date, the Nikon D600.

The new Nikon D600 will bridge the gap between the top of Nikon's line of consumer DSLR cameras and the professional DSLR cameras, bringing the FX format sensor to photographers at a launch price under £2,000.

Nikon is pitching the camera at those who want full frame photography but have previously been put off by the price or size of FX format cameras.

The Nikon D600 weighs 760g (body, no battery) and offers a magnesium alloy frame, top and rear cover with the same level of weatherproofing as the D800.

Newly developed for the Nikon D600 is the 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, offering an ISO range of 100-6400, extendable up to ISO 25600, claiming excellent low-light performance and low signal to noise ratio, backed by the EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, as found in the D800 and D4.

Frame rates of up to 5.5fps are available, with the battery promising 900 shots, recording to dual SD cards. The shutter is rated to 150,000 cycles, with speeds from 1/4000 to 30s.

nikon d600 full frame dlsr for under 2 000 image 5

The 39-point Multi-CAM4800 AF system offers four AF phase detection modes and four contrast detection modes, with easy access to AF-A, AF-S and AF-C modes without having to move your eye from the 100 per cent field of view glass prism optical viewfinder.

The Nikon D600 also offers 1080p movie capture at 30p, 25p, 24p and 60p; 50p and 25p options at 720p. Movie clips can be up to 29 mins and 59 seconds in length.

There is an external microphone jack and uncompressed HMDI output if required. The new WU-1b (£64.99) wireless adapter offers connection to and remote control from, your smartphone with the Android app already on Google Play and an iOS app scheduled to land this month.

Setting this camera aside from other pro models is the placement of a relatively conventional mode dial, with access to common shooting modes, including Auto and Scenes, with 19 scene modes offered. As such, it should be much more straightforward for those stepping up from DX models, baring a likeness to the D7000.

The Nikon D600 will be available from 18 September 2012, with a body only price of £1955.99. It will also be sold with the 24-85mm as a kit for £2,443.99.

We've already had the chance to play with the new camera, so check out our first impression and pictures of the Nikon D600 here.