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Nikon D610 DSLR Camera

Updated on April 9, 2014

The Nikon D610 the least expensive of the Nikon Full-frame ("FX") sensor DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras, but that is not to say that it is cheap or for beginners. It is a professional quality (i.e. "pro-sumer") camera, aimed very much at the enthusiast photographer, but with a smaller lighter body than it's big brothers, the D800, D3S, D4 etc. but still with a full-frame (i.e. same size as 35mm film) sensor. Similar in concept to the retro-styled Df, but less expensive.

Most of the rest of the Nikon range are even smaller and lighter than the D610 and have "DX" sized sensors, many with the same pixel-count as the D610, at 24.3 MP, but the D610's larger sensor allows for better quality pixels and better lowlight performance.

The whole Nikon range (with the exception of the retro styled Df) have similar controls and it is easy to switch between different models, with the D610 having nearly all of the functionality of even the top of the range professional models and the same fast image processing capabilities. The body of the D610 feels solid and very well made and fits nicely in even my very large hands, with all of the most important controls easily accessible even while looking through the viewfinder. It is slightly larger than the top of the range "DX" camera, the D7100, with the same pixel count and similar layout, but feels better made and slightly heavier and has the advantage of the higher quality sensor which can take full advantage of the high quality FX lenses.

The Nikon F-mount has remained the same for decades in that it can take virtually any F-mount lens, but there are some variants. The D610 and the cheaper D7100 camera can auto-focus older lenses using an auto-focus motor built into the camera body (newer lenses have the motor in the lens and the cheaper cameras have no built-in motor, so older lenses have to be manually focussed) but if you want to use the aperture ring on an older lens (newer lenses have their aperture controlled via the camera body controls only) only the D610 and above (D800, D3 etc.) can be configured to use the aperture ring. I personally have always used the aperture ring and enjoy interacting directly with the lens, although professional photographers tell me that the finger-wheel control on all of the cameras is every-bit as good if not better. It's nice to have the choice though (The aperture input mode is set via the menus and by default the aperture ring is locked at the narrowest setting and the actual aperture controlled via the camera)

I use my D610 mostly with a 50mm F1.8 lens, which shows off the camera's full-frame sensor beautifully: Portraits have a wonderful "Bokeh" effect (pleasant defocussed background, with pin-sharp foreground) An effect difficult to achieve using cameras with smaller sensors or with narrower aperture zoom lenses, but the D610 is also available with a good quality "kit" zoom lens (24mm to 85mm), which will also give stunning results.

The Nikon D610 is the replacement of the D600, which was an excellent camera, but was also somewhat controversial, due to an oil spot problem that occurred on the sensor: tiny oil drops from the shutter mechanism, would sometimes appear on the sensor, causing spots on the photo images. This required occasional cleaning or even professional repair. The D610 has a new faster shutter mechanism that also addresses this issue, but is otherwise virtually identical to the D600.

The whole Nikon range of DSLR cameras is excellent, with a good competitive product at each price-point. The D610 is the cheapest of the full-frame cameras and will give even better results than the cheaper models, while being smaller and lighter than the more expensive ones, such as the D800. It also has a higher pixel count than the beautiful retro-styled Df camera. I waited years for the Df to come along, then bought a D610. In my opinion the best camera in the range for an enthusiast.

The Nikon D610 body can be purchased on it's own or with one or more "kit" lenses. A 24mm to 85mm lens gives an ideal range for general purpose shots: from a good wide-angle (24mm) for indoors, exteriors of buildings, when close-up or for landscapes, to a short telephoto (85mm) ideal for portraits. Alternatively a 50mm F1.8 or F1.4 is the classic general purpose lens, less versatile than the zoom. but really shows off the quality of the D610's full-frame sensor.

Nikon D610 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera with 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Auto Focus-S Nikkor Lens
Nikon D610 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera with 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Auto Focus-S Nikkor Lens

My favourite camera in the Nikon line-up with a good quality general purpose "kit" zoom lens

 
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

My preferred lens for use with full-frame Nikon DSLR camera body (e.g. D610)

 

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