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CNET First Look
The Nikon D610 is fast with generally excellent photo qualityThough a minor update to the D600 (sort of), there's still a lot to like about this entry full-frame camera.
Hi. I'm Lori Grunin, Senior Editor with CNET, and this is the Nikon D610. Given that the D610 is nearly identical to the D600. It should be unsurprising that I still really like the models design and operation. Enjoy shooting with it. It's a little bit lighter than other than other full framed DSLR bodies but not ILC bodies like the Sony A7R series and is constructed from a magnesium alloy chassis covered in polycarbonate with moderate dust and weather sealing. The camera's exposure in release mode dials both have locks, one in the center non-adjacent. As with Canon's designs, I don't really like the lock button in the center as I find it a little awkward to operate single-handed that way. There are two user setting slots on the mode dial which is nice but I prefer three. Also, I'm not a big fan of the tiny top record buttons and I'm a little disappointed that you can't program one of the buttons on the back for this function. Plus with other modern Nikon models, there are two programmable buttons to the right side of the lens. Viewfinder is really nice. It's big and bright with the useful overlay grid that's in many of Nikon's DSLRs. You can assign one of the buttons to activate a digital level in the viewfinder that uses the exposure bars, which I like but I wish I didn't have to toggle between that and the typical exposure information. And that there was a vertical indicator as well for front and back tilt. Although it's missing desirable features like WiFi and GPS, the D610 does have a full compliment of shooting options unlike the Canon 6D, it has a built-in flash. While I don't recommend using on camera flash, it's useful in a pinch and it enables in camera control of wireless flash. It also gets props for dual SD card slots and a headphone jack. Other features the 6D disappointingly lacks. It retains Nikon's staples like time-lapse shooting and an intervalometer, plus it offers clean and uncompressed HDMI output which was first offered by the D800. For some however, the biggest advantage, the D610 immediately offers over the 6D is the ability to use all variations of both DX with a PSC cropping of course, as well as FX lenses. With one exception, the D610 still delivers perfect photo quality. It produces relatively clean image data at low and midrange ISO sensitivities and it's very smart JPEG and noise reduction algorithms. JPEG images are generally quite usable through ISO 1600, depending on the scene and lighting. You can probably push it to size ISO 6400. Though, I'd recommend working with what ought to be on the safe side. With the D610, Nikon has changed the shutter mechanism which enables a continues shooting quiet mode, just nice, and Nikon also says that they tweaked the white balance for bluer skies and better skin tones. Like most full framed cameras, the D610 produces photos with a nice natural sharpness and tonality. It renders a broad dynamic range, although there's a lot less recoverable detail and clipped highlights than with more expensive models. The camera does very well with shadow detail though. The D610 is pretty much fast enough to handle most things that you throw at it and it's a bit faster than the D600. Live view autofocus is still cumbersome and slow though and the LCD is really hard to view in direct sunlight. Relatively inexpensive, smartly designed, fast and with generally excellent photo quality, the Nikon D610 mix compelling case for upgrading to a full frame camera. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Nikon D610.