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.