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Just a year after the arrival of Nikon's full-frame D600 in the fall of 2012, its replacement arrived in 2013. The D610 is the exact same as the D600 but with a new shutter mechanism that boosts continuous shooting and adds a 'Quiet Continuous' mode. The only other upgrade is an improved auto white balance system.

The D600 is an excellent DSLR, with top-notch photo quality, a well-built body and impressive movie recording capabilities. Unfortunately for Nikon, the D600 is probably best known for collecting oil on the sensor - an issue for which Nikon only initially issued a service advisory, without admitting the actual cause of the problem. Nikon only directly acknowledged the issue over four months after the launch of the D610, saying: 'Nikon has thoroughly evaluated these reports and has determined that these spots are caused by dust particles which may become visible when the camera is used in certain circumstances'. It's now offering D600 users free inspection, cleaning and replacement of the shutter assembly and related parts even if the warranty has expired.

Internet theorists have suggested the D610 was created to leave the troubles of the D600 behind. And the appearance of a new model so soon after the D600's launch, with almost no changes other than a new shutter mechanism, seems to give that theory some credence. However, given the company's reticence to discuss the problem with the D600, we haven't had absolute confirmation from Nikon that the oil issue has been 'officially' resolved.

With that out of the way, let's take a more in-depth look at the D610, and what's changed. The D610 shoots 6 fps, up from 5.5 fps on the D600. A new Quiet Continuous mode shoots at 3 fps and, as its name implies, makes less noise while doing so. Finally, the auto white balance system has been updated to produce more accurate color in artificial lighting, and more realistic skin tones.

Nikon D610 key features

  • 24.3MP Full-frame CMOS sensor (10.5MP DX-format crop mode)
  • ISO 100-6400 (expandable to ISO 50-25,600 equivalent)
  • Maximum 6 fps continuous shooting; new quiet continuous mode shoots at 3 fps
  • 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type AF points
  • Refined auto white balance system
  • Wireless flash control
  • 3.2in 921k-dot LCD screen
  • Dual SD memory card slots
  • 1080p30 full HD video
  • Uncompressed video recording via HDMI

As mentioned above, the D610 is literally the D600 with three new features (four if you count the new shutter mechanism). That's actually not a bad thing, as the D600 is a truly excellent full-frame camera, as you can see in our review.

The D600's 24.3MP FX-format CMOS sensor produced excellent JPEG image quality, and performed very well at high sensitivities. Its Raw files had an impressive amount of dynamic range, as well. The D610 performs just as well since the sensor and processor are unchanged from the D600. Some other things we enjoyed about the D600 that carries over to the D610 are its solid, weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, large optical viewfinder, responsive (and customizable) interface and high-end video specs.

There is little to complain about in the D610 since from our experience the reported oil issue seems to be fixed. Otherwise, just like the D600, we found fault with the D610's poor outdoor LCD visibility and some live view quirks (AF speeds and lack of a histogram). The point here is that the D610 offers all that made the D600 excellent, plus a few nice improvements.

Key specs compared

Nikon D610
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D800
 Effective Pixels  • 24.3 MP • 20.2 MP • 36.3 MP
 ISO Range  • 100-6400 standard
 • 50-25600 expanded
• 100-25600 standard
• 50-102800 expanded
 • 100-6400 standard
 • 50-25600 expanded
 No of AF points  • 39 • 11 • 51
 Screen  • 3.2"
 • 921,000 dots
• 3"
• 1,040,000 dots
 • 3.2"
 • 921,000 dots
 Viewfinder • 100% coverage
• 0.7x magnification
• 97% coverage
• 0.71x magnification
 • 100% coverage
 • 0.7x magnification
 Built-in flash   •  Yes  • No  •  Yes
 Continuous drive  • 6 fps • 4.5 fps • 4 fps
 Storage  • SD
 • 2 slots
• SD  • SD and CF
 • 2 slots
 (inc batteries)
 • 850g (1.87 lb) • 770g (1.7 lb)  • 1000g (1.98 lb)
 Dimensions • 141 x 113 x 82 mm
   (5.6 x 4.5 x 3.2")
• 145 x 111 x 71 mm
(5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8")

 • 146 x 123 x 82 mm
(5.8 x 4.8 x 3.2")

 Wi-Fi + GPS   •  Optional • Built-in •  Optional

Kit options and pricing

The D610 is available in different kits in different markets. The most widely-available kit includes the 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR standard zoom, which comes at a recommended price of $2599.95 / £2299.99 / €2499.

The US also sees the camera offered in a variety of kits with other lenses, and it's available body-only both there and in mainland Europe for an RRP of $1999.95 / £1799.99 / €1949.