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Have you tried opening them in CameraRaw? I find the easiest way to access it is to open your image in Bridge which links directly to Photoshop's CameraRaw. You can either save the image or continue in Photoshop.
If you want to spend a little more money our business uses ACDSee Pro. I think it costs about 50 bucks but in terms of editing and sorting images it's my absolutely favourite to use so far. They have a free trial for 30 days. The version for windows is top notch. The version for Mac is sub-par. A nice thing about ACDSee Pro is that - if you don't need to keep them in NEF - you can easily batch convert your images into a desired format (like jpeg).
I think Nikon also has an editing program for NEF files. When I googled for it this came up: http://www.nikonimglib.com/nefcodec/ (this may or may not be a trusted source - please use your own judgement). That may be worth a try.
Good luck and have fun!
I can open them in Nikons NX2 but it has very limited editing options. I have not tried ACDSee Pro so thanks for the info.
It sounds like you are using a older version of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) and Photoshop.
The latest version of Photoshop CS6 with the latest version of ACR will open NEFs from the Nikon D600.
You have to understand that the camera manufacturers slightly alter the NEFs for each model of camera. So the NEF from the D600 is slightly different from the NEF from a D800, D4, D7100, and so on. Canon does the same with CR2s from their cameras.
The manufacturers don't share this proprietary info with Adobe, so Adobe has to reverse engineer this info and release an updated version of ACR every few months so they can open and edit the raw files from the newest cameras.
The versions of ACR are specific to versions of Photoshop,
An ACR 7.x will only work with CS6, CS5 works with ACR 6.x, CS4 works with ACR 5.x and so on.
And NO, Adobe never updates older versions to ACR.
If you have anything other that the latest CS6, you will need to use the Adobe DNG Converter. download the latest version and convert a folder of NEFs from your D600 to DNGs. Older versions of Photoshop can open these DNGs. When converting, point the DNG converter to the FOLDER containing your files, do not attempt to point it directly at a NEF by itself, it won't work,
Adobe DNG converter is a separate application, so even people with older versions of Photoshop can use it to access files from the latest camera.
For DNG converter you should get the latest version.
For ACR only get the latest version to will work with your version of Photoshop.
I have Elements 9, so I have been trying the free 30 trial versions of Elements 11 and CS6 and they didn't work. I don't know if I can download anything to a trial version but you would think it would be the latest edition.
This is the forum for the full version of Photoshop.
You need to state upfront what software you are using,
Not wait till a day later to clarify that you aren't using the full version of Photoshop.
Elements is a stripped-down, limited feature version of PS.
The forum for Elements is here: http://forums.adobe.com/community/photoshop_elements
You need to get the latest version of Adobe DNG Converter. Just make sure you get the correct version for your OS, Mac or Windows.
Use the converter first then open the DNGs in Elements.
Google is your friend, try "photoshop elements+DNG for download links.