Nikon D610 Review
With a wealth of external controls that put nearly any shooting adjustments a button-press away, the D610 is a nimble camera to operate. The on/off switch is placed around the shutter button for easy one-handed operation and powers on nearly instantaneously (about 0.13 seconds) so you're never waiting for the camera. Accessing menus systems is also quick using the eight-way controller. It has a vast array of custom settings and buttons, along with two custom setting banks that allow you to configure the camera any way you like.
At 6 fps, the D610's continuous shooting speed and buffer capacity is more than enough for most situations (see below for tests). Only dedicated sports or wildlife photographers may want faster speeds for critical work.
The capable 39-point AF is easily and directly accessible via the eight-way controller. AF quickly locked in on targets in most environments we shot it. Like many cameras, it only started to struggle in low-contrast, low light situations or when using lenses at maximum aperture.
The new shutter mechanism in the D610 increases the frames-per-second from 5.5 to 6. And when in the new Quiet Continuous mode, you can fire away at 3 fps. At 6 fps the D610 tops the D800 and stays on pace with the D7100. Compared to its competition, it beats out the Canon EOS 6D, but is still slower than the smaller sensor EOS 70D.
Dual SD card slots are found on the D610 and these can be configured to capture images in a number of useful ways, such as overflow and duplicate storage. When shooting in RAW+JPEG mode, raw files can be saved to card slot 1, with JPEGs recorded to slot 2. You can also shoot single shot images and access camera menus and shooting options while data is still being transferred to the card (as we'd expect with a camera of this price).
For the timing tests below we used a SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB Class 10 UHS-I SD card (95MB/s). Active D-Lighting and lens distortion correction were disabled. Raw file output was set to the camera's default 14-bit, lossless compression settings.
FX Mode: Continuous Hi
The D610's 39-point AF system is inherited from the D7000. It's the same one found in the D600 and the Nikon Df. Although it's not as good as the 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors found in the D7100 or D800, overall it's a capable system for most situations. The D610 comes with nine cross-type sensors in the center area and can configured in a variety of the usual Nikon AF modes: single-point, dynamic-area (9 points, 21 points, 39 points), 3D-tracking and auto.
As mentioned in our D600 review, the centralized AF coverage area may be a sticking point for sports or wildlife photographers. Since it borrows the same AF system from the D7000, a DX format camera, the D610's AF points are clustered more toward the center than its D800 full-frame sibling. Shooters using the D610 along side their D4 or D800 will most likely notice this difference quickly. This bias for the center area is also seen in the Canon EOS 6D.
Depending on your subject, one way to minimize this limitation is to use the "focus, recompose" technique or set the D610 to its DX crop mode. This reduces the size of the frame allowing the AF area to cover a larger proportion of the scene and produces a very usable 10.5 MP file.
In bright sun or high contrast situations the D610, like nearly all cameras, AF is excellent. Where the D610 AF system starts to be challenged is in low-light or low contrast scenes, but this is not uncommon for most AF systems. In my time shooting with the D610, I found the low-light AF performance working well enough that I didn't have to change my shooting habits or compositions.
Overall, subject tracking performance with the D610 is good when shooting in continuous drive mode. However, there are situations where the D610 may cause some doubt in accuracy. In the example below we set the camera on 3-D tracking AF-area mode and followed the on-coming bicyclist with the outer right most AF point. As you can see in the 6-frame sequence, the D610 locks focus in the first two frames, but in frame 3 it completely blows focus on the subject. Frame 4 is usable, but at 100% the image is still soft. By frames 5 and 6, the AF has relocked on the subject.
In the course of our testing, we found greater AF acquisition consistency using with the center-9 AF points that have cross-type sensors than using the outer AF points. In the example below, the D610, in 3-D tracking AF-area mode, locks onto another bicyclist that is moving toward the the camera in the center of the frame. Despite any concerns with the outer AF points, the D610 is still a proficient camera for tracking moving subjects. It should be noted that our testing is limited in scope and you should test the D610 in the situations you're likely to be shooting the most. These were shot with the Nikkor 70-200mm F4 lens.
Shortly after the D600 was released in late 2012, some users reported a more than usual build up of dust and/or oil residue on the sensor, and we investigated this in our original review. Nikon responded by urging users experiencing this issue to send their cameras in for professional servicing, and only acknowledged 16 months later, that the D600 was prone to this problem. Although the company still characterizes the problem as a build-up of 'dust particles,' it appears that oil from the shutter mechanism could spit onto the sensor, making it hard to remove any dust that then stuck to it.
What we do know is that the D610 was released just a year later with a new shutter mechanism and, although in our time with the camera we found some dust and/or oil residue build-up, it was not a significant problem. Dust did accumulate on sensor after normal use, which included multiple lens changes and people handling the camera in a variety of conditions. However, a few pumps from our Rocket Blaster blew off most particles we found.
Below, is an image from just before we cleaned the D610's sensor with a Rocket Blaster. It's about 7,770 frames after the the last time we blew any dust off. As you can see there is a good amount of dust in the upper left of the frame. The second image shows the result of the our Rocket Blaster efforts. The image is much cleaner in the upper left region, but still has some spots. So, although the new shutter mechanism can still see dust getting stuck to the sensor, overall it doesn't appear to be the same amount being reported from some D600 users, and not enough for us to say there is a significant 'issue.' It should be noted that many other D610 users and reviewers have also concluded the problem has been resolved.
The D610 uses the EN-EL15 rechargeable battery, the same one used on the D800 and D7100. CIPA estimates about 900 shots per charge. We found we could go through a full day of shooting with regular use of the LCD and still have more than enough charge remaining. In our interval timer test, with no LCD use, we got more than 3,300 shots before the battery ran out. We found this very impressive.
|DSC_9643 by NOWHITELENS|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Thailand Sunrise by ozziebadger|
from Ships and Boats
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.