Nikon D610 £1300/$1500

Th e least ex­pen­sive route to full-frame pho­tog­ra­phy

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

At a glance, it’s hard to tell the D610 and D7200 apart. Both cam­eras have an al­most iden­ti­cal lay­out of but­tons and di­als, in­clud­ing the front sub-com­mand dial and the top panel info LCD that are lack­ing on the D3400 and D5500. Both of these cam­eras also use the same mix of mag­ne­sium al­loy and poly­car­bon­ate pan­els in their con­struc­tion, but the D610 is phys­i­cally a lit­tle larger and heav­ier, and is based around a full-frame rather than a DX-for­mat im­age sen­sor.

The D610 it­self is a mi­nor upgrade of the orig­i­nal D600, which was launched just over a year ear­lier. Some D600 own­ers re­ported oil spots from the re­flex mir­ror and shut­ter unit con­tam­i­nat­ing the im­age sen­sor in the D600, but the D610 fea­tures a re­designed as­sem­bly, plus a slightly faster max­i­mum con­tin­u­ous drive rate of 6fps, and a new ‘quiet’ con­tin­u­ous drive mode.

This slight re­fresh aside, how­ever, it’s worth not­ing that the D610 is now more than three years old and is start­ing to lag be­hind its sta­ble­mates. Although it has the same megapixel count as the D750, the D610 has an older de­sign of im­age sen­sor, cou­pled with an im­age pro­ces­sor that’s at least one gen­er­a­tion older than any of the other cam­eras on test. The 39-point aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem

It’s worth not­ing that the D610 is now more than three years old, and is start­ing to lag be­hind its sta­ble­mates

is the same as the one found in the D5500 but, in the FX-for­mat D610, all of the AF points only cover a rel­a­tively small, cen­tral area of the im­age frame.

Per­for­mance

The 6fps max­i­mum drive rate is wel­come, but the memory buf­fer reaches full ca­pac­ity after just 14-26 shots in RAW qual­ity mode, de­pend­ing on the bit-depth and com­pres­sion set­tings used. The stan­dard sen­si­tiv­ity range is also quite lim­it­ing, at just ISO100-6400. Ex­panded sen­si­tiv­ity set­tings of up to ISO25600 are avail­able, but im­age noise be­comes a real prob­lem once sen­si­tiv­ity has been cranked up that high.

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