The Nikon D610 is, or will be, Nikon’s cheapest full-frame DSLR. It’s aimed at enthusiasts ready to take their first step into the larger format, though it boasts performance and features which could attract many professionals too. But it arrives just a year after the launch of the D600, and brings only a handful of minor improvements. In this Nikon D610 vs D600 comparison we examine what’s improved, what has changed and what remains the same in Nikon’s new full-frame DSLR.
It looks likely that the explanation for this update to the D610 lies in the D600’s chequered history. It was very well received when it was launched, but widely reported problems with dust and/or oil on the sensor have dented its reputation. Not everyone agrees it’s an issue, but it has put doubt in users’ minds.
Nikon has not made any official comment on the cause or its remedy, but the Nikon D610 does have a new shutter unit, which is significant.
There are some other improvements to note in our Nikon D610 vs D600 comparison, but they’re so minor that you can think of it as a ‘maintenance release’ rather than a brand new camera.
So if you’re thinking of investing in a full-frame DSLR, here is a list of what you get for your money, and the key differences between the Nikon D610 vs D600.
Nikon D610 vs D600: 01 Sensor – no change
The Nikon D600 and D610 use the same 24.3-megapixel full-frame 35.9 x 24mm CMOS sensor. The ISO range is the same at ISO 100-6400, expandable to ISO 50-256000. This sensor performs very well in the D600, with excellent sharpness, dynamic range and high ISO performance. The only DSLR to beat it for resolution is Nikon’s larger and more expensive D800.
Nikon D610 vs D600: 02 Continuous shooting – improved
The D600 has a maximum continuous shooting speed of 5.5 frames per second, but the D610 improves slightly on this with 6 frames per second. The new shutter unit gets the credit for this, though the increase in frame rate is so small that most would regard it as minor.
It certainly doesn’t put the D610 in a different class. The slight increase in speed comes with a slight reduction in buffer capacity, the D610 will shoot around 2 RAW files fewer in a burst.
That’s because the camera is capturing frames faster, not because the buffer is smaller.
Nikon D610 vs D600: 03 Quiet Continuous mode – new
Both cameras have a Quiet mode. Here, the mirror return is delayed until you release the shutter button completely, giving you time to move away from the subject or quiet environment.
The D610, though, adds a Quiet Continuous mode which runs at 3 frames per second and effectively distributes the shutter/mirror noise more evenly during the burst.
This could be useful for timid subjects, though DSLR mirrors and focal plane shutters are noisy by nature, so you can’t make them completely silent.
Nikon D610 vs D600: 04 Features – minor change
There are no changes to the photographic features and controls in the D610. Both cameras offer full PASM exposure modes, scene modes and advanced features like in-camera high dynamic range modes and more. The only difference is an improvement to the auto white balance control in the D610, a change so minor it hardly counts.
Nikon D610 vs D600: 05 Memory – no change
The D600 and D610 both offer twin SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots. You can use these to double the storage capacity (‘overflow’ mode), but they’re more useful for a rolling backup or to separate RAW files and JPEGs, for example.
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