I recently got my hands on a Nikon D610 for some testing. As a D600 owner, I really wanted to see how the camera compared. I didn’t have the camera for a very long time (about 5 days) but I did put it through its paces and really try it out under tough shooting conditions.
The camera seems to be an improvement of note over the D600. I saw no issues with the sensor oil problem that plagued both the D800 and D600. The camera feels polished and professional offering a full frame sensor at a very low price.
I took the camera to Zion National park to shoot HDR and time-lapse for a new class I’m working on (as well as just to enjoy a few days with nature). The camera had zero issues with the cold. I got very long battery life using the optional grip.
What I Like
This is what stood out to me after shooting.
- Greater dynamic range, full two stops. The camera has a lot of flexibility for shooting in tough lighting. The larger sensor really pulls in the light.
- FX-format CMOS image sensor. The camera uses the EXPEED 3 sensor. This is the same image-processing engine found in the D4 and D800 series for much less cost. If you’re looking for the benefits of a larger sensor without all of the costs, this is a strong contender.
- Full-frame 100% viewfinder. The viewfinder is easy to use with solid feedback when shooting.
- 24 megapixel images. I prefer the much more reasonable sized raw files this camera produces. Plenty of resolution .
- Good frame rate. The camera can capture 6 frames per second, which is a good speed for most users.
- 2 card slots. Easily roll over from one card to another. Useful when shooting timelapse and video. You can also auto-back-up from one card to another.
- Weather sealed. I was in the cold and the snow. No issues to report (even though I ran the camera below the recommended temperature for shooting).
If you’re into video, this camera is one of the best Nikon makes. The video signal is very clean using a 422 compression scheme for greater color accuracy.
- 1080p HD video with 30p, 25p or 24p
- 720p HD at 60p, 50p or 30p
- Live View AF with face-priority and subject tracking or manually focus
- Dedicated inputs for an optional stereo mic and headphones
- Shoot using FX or DX movie formats to give you an extended reach on lenses for close-ups.
I’m not sure if I am ready to sell my D600 ( which I’m quite happy with) but this camera is a solid offering that responds to complaints raised by Nikon customers. It is a strong performer at a reasonable price. The autofocus system could be a little more flexible, but it still performs very well under challenging conditions.
Rich has published over 100 courses on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.
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