Nikon D610 review: Nikon’s D600 update offers a few improvements and addresses the D600’s dirty sensor issue. But does it succeed? Find out in our head of testing’s Nikon D610 review video.
The Nikon D610 comes as an update to the Nikon D600 and from our tests, the Nikon D600’s dirty sensor issues have been addressed with a new shutter mechanism.
But will this and some of the Nikon D610’s other improvements, such as a Quiet Release mode, be enough to entice photographers to upgrade?
Angela Nicholson takes a look at what this new Nikon camera has to offer in her Nikon D610 review video.
Nikon D610 Review Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Angela Nicholson and in this video I’m going to take a look at the Nikon D610.
The D610 is almost exactly the same as the D600, but it has a new shutter mechanism which we assume is to resolve the problem of dust or lubricant finding it’s way from the shutter onto the D600’s sensor.
The dirty sensor problem with the D600 seemed to dry up after around 3000 images had been shot and the last of the dirt had been cleaned up. So to test if the D610 has the same issue I’ve shot over 4000 images on two D610 bodies. After checking samples of the images I’ve concluded that the D610’s new shutter mechanism solves the problem.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the D610’s other features.
Inside this fairly rugged-feeling part magnesium alloy body is a 24.3 million-pixel full-frame or FX format CMOS sensor that’s coupled with an EXPEED 3 processing engine. In a change since the D600 this allows a maximum continuous shooting rate of 6 frames per second, up from 5.5 frames per second.
There’s also a new Quiet Continuous or Quiet Release burst mode which slows the maximum shooting rate to 3 frames per second and is intended to dampen the sound, but I’m not convinced that it will make much difference in the field if you’re shooting near to nervous wildlife.
Of course you can always switch back to the normal quiet mode, which lets you take one shot and hold the mirror up with your finger on the shutter release until its safe to let it fall back down.
Nikon says that it has improved the automatic white balance system’s response to artificial light and our tests indicate that this is true as the Nikon D610 produces natural looking images that have a suggestion of the lighting colour and aren’t over-corrected.
However, I’ve noticed that in overcast conditions the 3.2-inch 921,000-dot LCD screen makes images look quite a bit colder than they actually are.
When shooting in a woodland I switched from auto white balance mode to the daylight setting as that produced more natural looking images on the screen.
However, on a computer screen the AWB images look fine while the daylight setting images are a little too warm.
In other respects the LCD is very good. It’s nice and large and it shows plenty of detail. But in low light the live view image becomes very noisy making it harder to focus manually.
The D610 has the same 39-point focusing system as the D600 and while this is excellent, getting subjects sharp very quickly, the AF points are all very close to the centre of the frame.
Speaking of live view mode, this reveals another change since the D600, the digital level now has a rectangle display to indicate whether the camera is tipped up or down.
Like the D600, the D610 is capable of shooting Full-HD videos at 30, 25 and 720 video at 24p or 60, 50, 30 and 25p. There are also audio in and out ports for better sound monitoring and recording.
The video quality is excellent, just like the D600’s. We’re shooting this video on a D600 and using a wireless mic to record sound, so judge the quality for yourself.
Our tests indicate that the D610 produces high quality images that are very similar to those from the D600 and have plenty of detail.
However, as the sensitivity rises the raw files (after conversion to TIFF) become progressively noisier yet sharper than the D600’s files. The noise isn’t excessive though, in fact it’s well controlled and there’s little chroma noise visible at 100% up to ISO 6400.
All things considered, the Nikon D610 is an excellent camera. The matrix metering system can be relied upon in a range of conditions and the image quality is superb especially if you shoot raw files so that any white balance mistakes prompted by the screen’s colour rendition are easily correctable.
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