Nikon D610 Review
By Eugene Lee
These days, for me, photography is about documenting the life of my young family and the places we go. I mostly shoot as I'm going about my normal life — taking pictures as I walk to work or between helping my children get dressed or waiting for them to finish an activity.
So in recent months, the D610 has been my tool of choice to capture those images. The D610 is nearly the same as the D600. The only differences are a new shutter mechanism that bumps up continuous shooting rate and adds a Quiet Continuous mode, plus it has an updated auto white balance system. It's still a camera that gets out of the way and lets you focus on your subject whether it's landscapes, portraiture, photojournalism or something in between.
All the photographic essentials can be checked off the list for the D610: Good low-light image quality, fast enough frame rate for most situations, tough weather-sealed body, accessibility to good glass, and well laid out controls for quick operation.
The following images are straight out of the camera JPEGs shot in RAW+JPEG mode.
One Saturday afternoon, I took my sons to the Seattle Central Library. Along with a few snacks, I tossed the D610 and the 24-85mm F3.5-4.5 kit lens into my backpack and off we went. While waiting for the elevator, I looked over railing and quickly grabbed the above frame before having to corral my kids through the doors that just opened for our ride down. The D610's matrix metering in did a fine job here.
As one familiar with Nikon and Canon DSLRs, shooting with the D610 felt like riding a bike — you never really forget once you learn. The controls and ergonomics were all familiar and quick to access since the D610 borrows a similar layout as the D7100. And there are enough customization and menu options to set the camera up just the way you like it. For me, I tend to set ISO higher than most to maintain a fast shutter speed since I'm usually shooting while walking (or sometimes running) after my kids or one of them is hanging on me — it's rare I'm left alone so I want to reduce any opportunity for camera shake.
So once the elevator doors opened, I adjusted settings and fired off a few frames without stopping my stride while in pursuit of my kids in the red room area of the library. No learning curve needed.
The new shutter mechanism in the D610 bumps up the continuous frame rate from 5.5 fps to 6 fps. This isn't a huge increase and many dedicated sports photographers aren't going to use the D610 as their primary body, but in this situation it — along with the continuous tracking of the 39-point AF system — was plenty fast enough to get my son in mid-stride.
Dust and oil
I think it's safe to say we consider the oil and dust issue fixed. During my time shooting with the D610 I didn't see the build up of oil or dust that many D600 users found (we covered it in our D600 review). The only dust I encountered was accumulated from fairly typical use. This included frequent lens changes and use by various members of our staff in a variety of conditions. A few blows from a Rocket Blaster took care of any particles. We've shot more than 15,000 frames with our D610 so far.
In addition to the minor increase in the continuous frame rate, the new shutter design also brings a new Quiet Continuous mode to the D610 that fires at 3 fps, in addition to single shot. The shutter sound isn't nearly silent like the Fujifilm X100s or Leica rangefinders, it's just not as recognizable as the traditional shutter clack heard in the normal setting. Compared to the D610's Canon counterpart, the EOS 6D's 'silent shutter' mode is still noticeably more muted and unobtrusive.
Both Quiet modes can be useful for sound sensitive situations such as weddings or certain street settings (and in the above example, not waking up my sleeping son). In practice, many will probably opt to shoot in single shot mode, tripping the shutter and delaying the return clack of the mirror at discerning moments because any sort of rapid fire or sustained noise — even if it is quiet — will draw attention.
Nikon says the auto white balance is improved in the D610 — especially under artificial lighting conditions. Other Nikon DSLRs I've used often struggle to find the right white balance in the auto setting (tending towards being too orange). In this image, lit only by the incandescent bulb in the lamp, the D610 gets it right for my taste.
It's also worth mentioning in this low-light scene of my son playing with the phone, the D610's second most outer left AF point locked on for most of the 22 frames I shot. Only two frames produced visibly soft images.
One area the D610 disappoints is live view shooting. The lens is automatically set to the aperture selected at the time live view is turned on, giving you an accurate preview of depth of field. However, you can not preview any further shooting adjustments even though the shutter speed and aperture figures change. The exposure indicator scale is your only guide to how changes affect the final image. So the only way to get an accurate depth of field preview is to exit and re-enter live view. Also, since the D610 uses contrast detection AF in live view (instead of phase detection AF), it's really only useful where critical focus is more important than speed.
In the above example, in live view mode, I used the zoom buttons on the rear of the camera to magnify the flower's center and adjust focus manually — something live view is very useful for. It would be nice if the D610 had features such as a histogram view (in the D800) and the option to show real-time depth of field preview on the LCD (in the Canon EOS 6D). For a more in-depth look see our original D600 review since D610 live view functionality is identical.
Being exactly the same as the D600 on the outside, there were no surprises in handling the D610. It's operation is tried and true. The 24.3MP full-frame sensor produces files full of detail, in any condition you can throw at it. The twin-dial controls are in comfortable positions and the shutter button action is solid. With the 24-85mm F3.5-4.5 lens attached, the D610 feels well balanced in hand and the magnesium alloy top and rear plates instill confidence that it can handle a few knocks. And while it's not small like mirrorless systems or the Canon SL1, the D610 is smaller and lighter than the D800, and can feel compact with the right prime lens.
One advantage of the full-frame sensor is the variety of wide-angle lens options that are available — especially primes. One of my favorites is the Nikkor 20mm F2.8. Since it's so short, when mounted on the D610 it makes a really light DSLR setup that can be easily carried anywhere.
In using the D610 I didn't feel limited by the shortcomings of technology or body design. I only felt limited by my own vision and skill — which is a good thing. With the D610 I was able to focus on creativity versus what my gear can and can't do.
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.
Photojournalist Pete Souza served as the presidential photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In an interview with fellow photographer Marcia Nighswander, he discusses several of his most noteworthy images.
Photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the crowded conditions of Tokyo's subway trains since the 1990s. The photos have gone viral regularly in the years since he started the project, and he just published the final edition in the series.
The just-launched OnePlus 5 is getting a minor update that should improve camera function.
A Belgian camera shop is showing off an extremely rare, limited 'Rex Edition' Nikon D500. The cosmetic alterations were provided by a customer's German Shepherd Rex, who got ahold of the camera within a day of its purchase.
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not famed as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you look in the right places. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.