Nikon D610 Performance

Note: Apart from updated continuous mode results, D600 timing has been repeated here after spot checks to verify other timing has remained essentially the same.

Timing and Performance

Improved burst speeds over its predecessor.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.3 second

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Shutdown

~0.2 second

How long it takes to turn off.

Startup and shutdown times are good for a prosumer SLR.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.7 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching is quite fast, difficult to measure accurately.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Single Area
(center) AF

0.260 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All AF timing measurements taken with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 prime, unless otherwise noted.)

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF, Flash enabled

0.295 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. Auto Flash enabled.

Full Autofocus
Auto Area
(39-point) AF

0.335 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Continuous AF

0.054 second

This mode is release priority so subject may be out of focus; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.

Manual focus

0.054 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Pre-focused

0.054 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Live View

Full Autofocus
(Contrast-Detect AF)
Live View mode

1.78 seconds

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 prime.

Full Autofocus
(Contrast-Detect AF)
Live View mode

1.54 seconds

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture with Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR kit lens.

Pre-focused
Live View mode

0.218 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The first set of numbers above using the optical viewfinder measure shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. This largely removes the issue of differences in lens focusing speed, and measures how fast the camera can measure and act on focus information. In this metric, the Nikon D610 is slightly slower than average for a prosumer SLR. The D610 required 0.260 second for full AF when using Single-point (center) AF mode (our default full AF lag test). Enabling the flash increased lag a bit to 0.295 second. The D610 required 0.335 second when using the 39-point Auto-area AF mode, also slower than average. Continuous AF, manual focus, and prefocused shutter lag times were all 0.054 second, though, quite fast for a prosumer SLR.

As expected, the Nikon D610's Live View mode adds considerable shutter lag. The D610's Live View mode uses contrast detection autofocus, from data streaming off the image sensor. Using the gear-driven Sigma 70mm f/2.8 prime, full autofocus lag was a rather lengthy 1.78 seconds. That's slower than average these days, but faster than some earlier Nikons we've tested. With the AF-S 24-85mm kit lens, full AF lag was a bit faster at 1.54 seconds, but that's still pretty sluggish. Prefocused, the D610's Live View shutter lag was reasonably quick at 0.218 second, but that's still much slower than using the optical viewfinder.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. We also use the same Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro with every camera (on all platforms except Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds and Nikon consumer models lacking an in-body focus motor), to further reduce variation, and because our tests showed that focus-determination time with this lens was close to the fastest, across multiple camera bodies from different manufacturers. Being an older design with a non-ultrasonic motor, it wouldn't be the fastest at slewing from one focus setting to another, but that's exactly the reason we measure focus determination speed, which is primarily a function of the camera body, vs focus adjustment speed, which is primarily a function of the lens.

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
Optimal Quality

0.50 second

Time per shot.

Single Shot mode
14-bit RAW
Lossless Compressed

0.51 second

Time per shot.

Single Shot mode
14-bit RAW + LF JPEG

0.58 second

Time per shot.

Early shutter
penalty?

No
(YES with flash)

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
Optimal Quality

0.17 second
(5.92 fps);
30 frames total;
9 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over the buffer length of 30 shots, then slows to an average of 0.36 second (2.77 fps) for subsequent shots.

Continuous mode
14-bit RAW
Lossless Compressed

0.17 second
(5.93 fps);
15 frames total;
9 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over the buffer length of 15 frames, then slows to an average of 0.60 second (1.66 fps) for subsequent shots.

Continuous mode
14-bit RAW + LF JPEG

0.17 second
(5.94 fps);
13 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over the buffer length of 13 frames, then slows to an average of 0.95 seconds (1.06 fps) for subsequent shots.

Flash recycling

4.0 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

* Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are about average for an SLR, at 0.50 second for Large/Fine JPEGs, 0.51 second for 14-bit RAW, and 0.58 second for RAW+JPEG.

Continuous mode is slightly improved over it predecessor, at about 5.9 frames per second versus 5.4 frames per second for the D600, no matter the file type.

The Nikon D610's buffer depths are good for a high-res prosumer SLR, just slightly improved over the D600. The D610 managed to capture 30 L/F JPEGs, 15 RAW frames, or 13 RAW+JPEG frames before slowing down. (You'll likely do better with real-world subjects, as the target image we use for our tests is designed to be difficult to compress.) Buffer clearing is relatively quick with a fast card.

The D610's flash takes 4.0 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, a bit slower than average for an SLR.


Bottom line, the Nikon D610's performance varies from very good to a little slow. Startup and mode switching are quite fast. Autofocus speeds are slightly slower than average for a prosumer SLR, but still reasonably fast except in Live View mode. And continuous mode speeds have improved by about half a frame per second, which is quite good for its class.

Battery

Battery Life
Excellent battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Optical Viewfinder,
(CIPA standard)
900
Live View LCD,
(CIPA standard)
Unknown

The Nikon D610 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is the same as the D600, which is excellent with the optical viewfinder, but if you plan to use Live View or shoot movies much, you'll want to have a spare to bring along as those modes are a much larger drain on the battery.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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