Nikon D610

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Estimated Street Price: $1,999 (body only).

INTRODUCED 10/2013

A little more than a year after Nikon introduced its most affordable full-frame DSLR—the well-featured D600—we have its successor in the D610. The new camera retains its predecessor’s assets, adding a new shutter mechanism that ups maximum frame rate to 6 fps (from 5.5) and offering a new Quiet Continuous Shutter Mode, with discreet shooting up to 3 fps.

Like the D600, the D610 features a 24.3-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 processing, with a normal ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 50-25,600). An updated algorithm improves white-balance performance, while 3D Color Matrix Metering II with a 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor handles the exposures.

The D610 shares the ruggedness and dust- and moisture- resistance of the D600 (and D800), and its shutter is tested to 150,000 cycles. Top shutter speed is 1/4000 sec. The big eye-level optical viewfinder shows 100% of the actual image area, complemented by the 3.2-inch LCD for live-view and video shooting. The quick and accurate 39-point AF system is capable of autofocusing at ƒ/8, handy for teleconverter users. In cropped DX mode (which the camera enters automatically when a DX lens is attached, or which you can select manually with any lens), the D610 produces 10.3-megapixel images with a 1.5X focal-length factor. (The viewfinder shows 97% of the actual image area in DX crop mode.)

Other notable features include multiple-exposure capability, in-camera HDR, automatic time-lapse mode and intervalometer. Video features include 1080p at 30 and 24 fps and 720p at 60 and 30 fps, all in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. The camera provides continuous contrast-based AF during video shooting, when desired, and sound via built-in mono microphone or optional external stereo mic (there’s also a jack for headphones).

STANDOUT FEATURE: A new shutter provides quicker shooting and the option of silent shooting.

1. Unusual in full-frame DSLRs, the D610 has a built-in pop-up flash. It’s also compatible with Nikon’s highly respected i-TTL flash system.

2. Dual card slots let you save image files and videos on SD/SDHC/SDXC media.

3. The battery compartment holds an EN-EL15 lithium-ion unit, the same one used in the D800 and D7000/D7100. It’s CIPA-rated at 900 shots in the full-frame cameras.

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