Nikon D610 Technical Info

by Mike Tomkins | Posted: 10/08/2013

Sensor. The D610 digital SLR is based around a 35mm full-frame CMOS image sensor (FX-format in Nikon parlance) that was originally designed for the D600. Effective resolution is 24.3 megapixels.

It can also operate at 10.5 megapixels in an APS-C crop mode for use with DX lenses.

Nikon says that the chip has a similar pixel pitch to that used in the professional D3X SLR, along with a broad dynamic range and high signal-to-noise ratio.

Nikon notes that it has chosen an optical low-pass filter that optimizes sharpness for HD video. (More on that later.)

Output from the FX-format sensor is handled by Nikon's proprietary EXPEED 3 image processor. Together the combination provides up to 6fps burst shooting for full-res JPEGs or RAW files.

Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 6,400 equivalents, expandable to a range of ISO 50 to 25,600 equivalents.

Construction. The Nikon D610's construction consists of magnesium alloy top and rear panels, as well as in the handgrip of the optional portrait grip, with plastic elsewhere.

The D610 is said to feature moisture and dust-resistant seals and gaskets throughout, providing a similar degree of weather sealing to that offered by the D800.

Lens mount. The Nikon D610 provides a Nikon F-mount with screw-drive autofocus coupling and electrical contacts. As you'd expect, it's compatible with almost every F-mount lens made since 1977. (Currently, there are over sixty lenses in the system; over 80 million F-mount lenses have now been sold worldwide.)

Note that some lens types will have a few limitations with regard to availability of individual focus, metering, and exposure modes.

Optical viewfinder. The Nikon D610's eye-level pentaprism viewfinder has ~0.7x magnification, and an eyepoint of 20.6mm.

In FX-format mode, coverage is approximately 100% horizontally and vertically. For DX-format shooting, a framing guide indicates the active area with 97% coverage on both axes.

A diopter adjustment provides correction from -3 to +1 m-1.

Displays. On the rear panel of the Nikon D610 is an LCD panel with a 3.2-inch diagonal, wide viewing angles, and a total resolution of 921,600 dots. (That works out to be a 640 x 480 array, with each pixel comprised of separate red, green, and blue dots.)

It's likely the same panel featured in the Nikon D600, D4 and D800, and the horizontal / vertical viewing angles are 170 degrees.

Of course, no enthusiast DSLR worth its salt relies on a color LCD alone. The D610 is no different, with a roomy, backlit monochrome status LCD that helps you quickly confirm settings without wasting battery life on the main panel.

Autofocus. The Nikon D610 features a 39-point, wide-area phase detection autofocus system, of which nine points feature cross-type sensors, sensitive to both horizontal and vertical detail.

Seven of these points at the center of the frame work all the way down to f/8, allowing use with teleconverters and longer lenses.

When using live view mode, full-time contrast detection autofocus is used for both still and video imaging.

Shooting modes. As well as the Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, and Manual exposure modes that are the go-to options for enthusiasts and pros, the Nikon D610 also offers consumer-friendly Auto and Scene modes. There's also a Flash Off Auto mode, and two User modes that save settings groups for quick recall.

Beneath the locking Mode dial is a locking Drive mode dial, which offers a choice of Single, Continuous Low, Continuous High, Quiet Shutter Release, Quiet Continuous Shutter, Self-timer, Remote and Mirror-up modes.

Exposure metering. The D610 features Nikon's 3D Color Matrix Metering II exposure metering system, operating on data from a dedicated 2,016 pixel RGB sensor. The system has a working range of 0 to 20 EV.

If not supported by the lens, this falls back to Color Matrix Metering II, and both center-weighted (75% weight for 8mm circle) and spot (4mm circle) modes are available.

Exposure compensation is available within a range of +/- 5.0 EV, in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV.

In addition, you can bracket either two or three frames, in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 EV.

Shutter. The new shutter mechanism Nikon has selected for the D610 DSLR has a rated lifetime of approximately 150,000 cycles.

Available shutter speeds range from 1/4,000 to 30 sec., plus a bulb mode. The new shutter also enables up to 5.9 frames per second in continuous shooting mode, an improvement over 5.4fps for the D600. Additionally, the shutter allows for 3fps shooting in quiet continuous shutter mode.

Flash. Although it's aimed at enthusiast use, the Nikon D610 does include a popup flash, and it supports wireless Commander mode. It's a worthwhile addition -- sure, external or off-camera flash is better, but we can't all carry a full camera bag everywhere we go.

The guide number of the built-in flash is 39 feet (12m) at ISO 100.

There's still a hot shoe on top of the viewfinder prism, of course. The Nikon D610 does lack a PC sync terminal, but that's easily solved with a hot shoe adapter, if you're a studio photographer.

Flash exposures are determined using i-TTL metering, and -3 to +1 EV of flash exposure compensation is available.

You can also bracket flash exposures with either two or three frames, in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 EV.

X-sync is at 1/200 second.

Video. The Nikon D610 is, says the company, capable of shooting cinema-quality video. Capture is possible at either Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 720p (1,280 x 720) pixel resolution.

At Full HD, you can choose from frame rates of 30, 25, or 24 fps. For 720p, meanwhile, rates of 60, 50, 30, or 25 fps are on offer. Bit rate choices are 24Mbps, or 12Mbps at 1080p with 720p adding an 8Mbps option, and you can shoot in FX- or DX-format at either resolution.

Full manual exposure control is possible, so you can tweak aperture, shutter speed and ISO to match your creative vision.

Video capture is started and stopped with a dedicated Movie button, or you can also do so from a remote cable release.

Videos are recorded in a .MOV container with H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression.

Audio. Audio is taken from a built-in monaural microphone, or an external stereo microphone, plugged into a 3.5mm jack on the left side of the camera body. There's also another jack into which you can attach a pair of headphones, letting you monitor audio levels.

You can adjust levels with a fairly fine-grained twenty-step control, and the Nikon D610 provides a levels display with peak audio indication to help you in making your adjustment.

The audio portion of your videos is stored as Linear PCM.

Memory/storage. The Nikon D610 caters to storage with dual Secure Digital card slots, located in the right side of the hand grip.

Both slots are compatible with the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC card types, as well as the higher-speed UHS-I types. Eye-Fi cards are also supported.

Storage management options include "Overflow", "Backup", and "RAW primary, JPEG secondary" that lets you record NEF and JPEG files separately to each card. You can also copy images between the two cards. When shooting movie clips, you can select the slot according to the remaining capacity.

Connectivity. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 data and Type-C Mini HDMI video, 3.5mm stereo microphone and headphone jacks, and an accessory terminal. The latter is compatible with Nikon's MC-DC2 remote cord, as well as the GP-1 GPS unit. You can also use the ML-L3 infrared remote with the D610.

The Nikon D610 lets you output uncompressed video via the HDMI port, helpful if you prefer to record on an external device. Should you choose to do so, it's possible to have both the LCD panel and HDMI port active at the same time, letting you frame from the camera.

Wireless accessories. Among the accessory options for the Nikon D610 are the WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter and UT-1 Communications Unit.

Both devices attach via USB on the left side of the Nikon D610's body. The WU-1b is a tiny dongle, where the UT-1 is a taller and has its own power source.

The WU-1b lets you transfer photos and video from storage (or at capture time) to your smartphone or tablet via 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. Both Android and iOS devices are supported.

The WU-1b is priced at a very reasonable US$60, making it a no-brainer to accompany your camera.

The UT-1, meanwhile, lets you connect to the D610 over Ethernet networks, or via Wi-Fi through the WT-5a wireless transmitter. Images and video can be sent at capture time or manually from a memory card, via FTP.

You can also control many camera functions such as exposure mode, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, and shutter remotely, and even view a live preview, using Camera Control Pro 2.

The UT-1 can be purchased separately or in a bundle with the wireless transmitter, and it mounts on the D610's accessory shoe.

The UT-1 is priced at US$380 alone, or US$1,000 with the WT-5a wireless transmitter.

Battery/power. The D610 draws power from a proprietary EN-EL15 lithium ion battery pack, as used by the D7000, D7100, D600, D800, and D800E SLRs, as well as the V1 compact system camera. CIPA-rated battery life is 900 shots per charge, the same as the D600.

There's no DC input jack on the body, but an optional EP-5B dummy battery adapter is available for about US$50 to connect to an optional EH-5b AC adapter (US$80).

The optional MB-D14 battery grip doubles battery life when using another EN-EL15, or you can use six Ni-MH, Alkaline or Lithium AA batteries. The grip is equipped with a shutter-release button, AE/AF lock button, multi selector, and main- and sub-command dials, and costs about US$260.


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