on January 4, 2014
I have the D610 since December 14 2013, and I wanted to wait for some time and after a few thousands pictures before I'd write the review.
I owned 2 D600s that I loved for the image quality and its features but they had the dust/oil problem - I managed to sell them and I bought the D610, that I can confirm does not have the oil issue. The D610 behaves as the D600 that I consider a great camera and one of the best on the market.
For the people that are complaining in this thread about the D600 and Nikon customer service, I must also say that my experience with the Nikon NY service center has been more than satisfactory - they have been very professional and helpful when I sent the D600s for the shutter replacement; After the shutter replacement, the D600s did not present oil on the sensor.
With the D610 I decided to do the following test to make sure that if there was dust on the sensor it was not generated by the camera.
The camera arrived with a clean sensor, so I mounted a prime lens (50 mm F/1.8) and I made about 500 shots without changing the lens; then I checked again taking a white picture at f22/ISO 100 and the sensor was still clean as the first "check" picture.
Then I changed the lens and I mounted a zoom lens (28-300mm) and shot a few hundred pictures before I checked the sensor that a this time had a few dust spots (~10) spots - they had the same pattern of the D600 on the left top corner and also at the bottom right corner of the picture - I continued to shoot other 500 pictures before I checked again and at this time the sensor had about 40 spots also at the right upper corner.
At this point I cleaned the sensor using a dry method (not wet, needed if it was oil) and I was able to fully remove all the dust/spots from the sensor.
After the cleaning I mounted the prime lens and I shot again about 500 pictures before checking the sensor that was still clean.
From my experience, the dust appears to find a way from the zoom to the sensor, even if I'm very careful making sure that the zoom is clean inside - the dust may cluster to the corners because of the whirl generated by the mirror.
on November 2, 2013
Edit for clarity: I do actually own the D610.
Nikon has finally got it right with the D610 - it is truly a fantastic camera, and that's quite a statement coming from a former D600 owner like myself.
The D600 was an absolute debacle; after 2 replacements I still had massive dust and oil problems. I strongly disagree with the way Nikon "handled" the D600 problem, but people should know that the D610 is truly a fantastic camera. I was motivated to write this review after I saw numerous people writing poor reviews of the D610 based on their disapproval of Nikon's actions.
I don't think it's fair to criticize the D610 based on the shortcomings of its predecessor, so I wanted to take the time to say that all of the problems I had with the D600 seem to have been solved with this camera. My D610 produces absolutely fantastic images and there hasn't been a hint of the dust or oil problems that plagued the D600.
For detailed analysis of this camera and its image quality, check out DXOmark.com; they do a much better job of objectively reviewing cameras than I can. But in my opinion the D610 is an excellent camera. I highly recommend it.
on October 24, 2013
If you own a D600, and have an issue with spots on your images, search the internet for "Technical Service Advisory for Nikon D600". Nikon is replacing all of the defective shutters.
I have had the D610 since Oct 22, 2013 and I am very impressed with everything about this camera. This is my first FX format camera and I love it. A friend of mine has the the D600 and he has never had an issue with oil on the sensor so I was never worried about it with the D610. I purchased through Amazon and the packing was awesome, just make sure someone is home to sign for it : ) . I own the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG,Nikon 50mm f/1.8D, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G, and the Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8. Nikon SB-600 flash works with it fine. It does have a DX crop mode that you can use on a non DX lens, might help with the the long end of a zoom for sports to make a 200mm equal to a 300mm. Nice big viewfinder image helps me with focus issues I had on the D90. I loved the D90 but the D610 is on a different level. I use this for high school and college sports, orchestra and band. The quiet shutter mode has helped with the indoor events.
After using it this weekend, I have noticed that there is a big improvement with low light focus on the Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8/D610 over the D90. It did not "hunt" like with the D90, I think because it could find contrast easier. I tried shooting in the shadows, even though it found contrast in very low light it was not always in focus but did not hunt all over - and it was a usable shot instead of no shot. It correctly did not auto select DX with the Tamron. With the D610 the "70" end of the 70-200 is now much more usable. Essentially with the D90 I was carrying a 105-300 lens. Now I don't need to bring a second lens if I can stand 5 or 6 feet back to get waist to head coverage shots. I did not notice color or corner issues in the shots I got, I was expecting to see problems.
Shooting an indoor swim meet I noticed the corners where very sharp with no perception of light fall off. There was no focus hunting at all, and I took over 100 shots. Because of the higher resolution of the D610, I was able to crop to get a lot closer to the subject. For sports this combo is awesome, use the 3D mode for auto focus.
The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG is amazing. I will probably use this lens most of the time. The only lens I will need to take along with is the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G . Between the two lens and switching to "DX" mode, I will have essentially 35, 50(dx crop), 85 and 127(dx crop) in primes with me.
I hope this helps someone switching from DX to FX.
on November 11, 2013
I don't usually write product reviews, but I feel like there are a lot of people who may need a little encouragement before deciding to purchase this camera. Reading through this product page can certainly drive one crazy trying to filter through actual reviews and the bitter remarks about D600s and sensor debris. I owned a D600 and it did have problems with oil spots on the sensor. I understand that not all D600s have this problem, but mine did, even after it was refurbished by Nikon. For those of you who have a D600 with no problems, you lucked out and have no reason to upgrade to the D610. For those who DID have problems with a D600 and are feeling apprehensive, come on over to the D610. I'm happy with mine. And finally, for those who have not owned either camera and are wondering if it is a camera worthy of purchase, maybe you're considering going from DX to FX, I highly recommend it. I also own a D7000, which I love, but I wanted to make the jump to an FX body. The D600 was the natural choice for me with its "affordable" price and overall fantastic performance. Oil issues aside, I really liked the D600. And since the D610 is virtually identical in specifications I know it will perform amazingly.
I do a lot of long exposure photographs of stars out in the desert. The low-light capabilities of this camera have been nothing short of impressive. The amount of noise in the images at higher ISOs (1600 and 3200) has been dramatically reduced from the shots I was taking with the D7000. My other focus is wildlife photography, for which I will still primarily use my D7000, but the D610's 6fps burst rate is a really nice feature in case some Bar-Tailed Godwit(rare bird) flies by while I'm taking some seascape shots.
The Nikon D610 is a great camera that I highly recommend. I hope this information is helpful.
on May 2, 2014
Like many D700 owners, I had been waiting a while for a direct update of that camera, but it never came. The D800 seemed like overkill at 36MP, and the D600/610 lacked some of the pro features that the D700 had. But after a lot of research and agonizing, I decided to take a chance on the D610 and, so far, I'm really glad I did.
I shoot weddings, events, and portraits professionally, and also do some freelance photojournalism. Low-light capabilities are really important to me, and the D700 has a well-earned reputation as an absolute beast in low light. I also like to use a two-body combination to avoid having to change lenses. For several years I'd been using the D700 with the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII, along with a D300S fitted with a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8. The combo served me well, but I was getting increasingly dissatisfied with the image quality on the D300S and tried to avoid going above ISO800 whenever possible. I seriously considered getting a second (used) D700 before ultimately deciding to go with the newer technology and higher megapixel count of the D610.
These are my unscientific impressions, pro and con. If you need a detailed and/or technical review, there are plenty of them out there, and if you're about to spend two grand on a camera you should read them.
The image quality is fantastic. Some friends described the D700 as "magical" in terms of image quality, and I agreed, but the D610 is even better. The colors and white balance seem more accurate, the tonal gradations more subtle, and while I used to think 12MP was more than enough, I can definitely see the advantage to having 24MP at my disposal. I was a little worried that the larger files would slow down my processing (I always shoot RAW), but I've got a pretty fast i7 Windows machine, and Lightroom5 works just fine. Yes, it takes longer to import and export and build previews, but the increased resolution and detail are worth the tradeoff. As one of my pro friends says, it's always better to have more megapixels than less. You can crop away or downsize if you need to, but you can't add them if they aren't there.
It's a low-light beast -- just as good as, and maybe a little better than, the D700. You can shoot clean images at ISO1600 all day long; ISO3200 is no problem; and even 6400 is completely usable with a little noise-reduction in Lightroom.
The autofocus system is very capable. This was one of my concerns, since the D610 uses only a 39-point system, compared to the 51 points in the D700 and other Nikons. According to the spec sheets and some reviews, the D610 wasn't supposed to perform as well in low light, but I've found to work just fine, especially when you have the AF-assist lamp activated. It's fast and accurate, especially when using the center point, which I do most of the time. It's not perfect - but my D700 isn't perfect, either. As many reviewers have said, the 39 points don't cover enough of the image area, but I haven't found this to be a serious problem.
The body, while lacking some of the external controls of the D700 (and nearly identical D300S), is "pro enough" for me. It's a little smaller and lighter than either of those, but feels robust enough and comfortable in my average-sized hands, and it balances well with heavier lenses. I would prefer to have the other models' dedicated switches for focus mode and metering method, but I'm finding that I actually like the D610's position for the ISO button (bottom left on rear of the camera) better than the top position of the other two. Some users will also miss the separate AF-On button of the pro models, but you can program the D610's AE-L/AF-L switch to serve as a back-button focus if you like. Still, it's a little farther away from the command dial than the dedicated button on the other models. I'm not a big back-button focus user, so it's not a problem.
This may seem like a small thing, but I love the shutter sound on the camera. It's somehow smoother or more muffled than the others, even when you're not shooting in "Quiet Mode." The D700's shutter sounds like the crack of a rifle shot in comparison.
All in all, I'm very happy with the camera. I still use the D700 a lot, but with every shoot, I'm finding that I'm ending up with more and more images from the D610, which I usually pair with the very good (though also not perfect) 24-120mm f/4. If you're on the fence about the camera, just buy it.
on January 24, 2014
I am in the process of starting a photography business and had big decisions to make when it came to which brand and model I was going to go with for my 1st SLR. I like to be different than the masses so I was leaning towards Nikon over Canon. I was looking at purchasing the D600, but then read about the oil spot problems and decided to hold off. I couldn't justify buying the D800 for the money, but didn't want to throw my money away on the D600. With no good options left, I reluctantly decided that Canon was my only good option (although I definitely would have considered Pentax if they were producing an SLR at the time).
Just as I was about to make the purchase, I saw that Nikon released the D610. I was ecstatic--thinking that timing is everything and that this might actually be the one for me. Positive reviews started flowing in--other than unhappy D600 owners. I will say that I sympathize with D600 owners because I would be mad as hell too after spending that kind of money. Needless to say, I don't rush out to buy something the day it hits the market. Especially, for $2k--I want to read a good sample of reviews first. Even though it's tough to support a company that left it's customers high and dry, I decided that this D610 was the camera for me and hoped that Nikon had learned it's lesson on the D600 so that a debacle like that doesn't happen again.
On to the camera itself. I've owned it for about 2 months now and have to say I'm very pleased with the purchase.
*** Picture Quality--has been phenomenal. It's amazing the level of detail 24 MP can provide. The RAW files are big--so I mostly work with the JPEGs. Make sure you have a big enough hard drive and fast enough computer to handle these files. I have the 27" iMac and it works seamlessly.
*** 6 FPS--is plenty fast unless you are shooting extremely fast moving subjects
*** Quiet shutter--is definitely quieter than regular shutter, but I wouldn't say it's close to silent
*** Dual Memory Card Slots--huge feature--you can use the 2nd slot from backup or solely for video or 1st slot for RAW / 2nd slot for JPEG (what I use)
*** Built-in Flash--I will mostly be using an external flash, but it's still a very nice feature to have in case you need it
*** U1 and U2 modes--these are customized settings that you can manually program to be able to use with the flip of a switch--certainly a nice feature to save time when shooting events such as weddings, etc.
***Low light photography--is exceptional. Photos end up being much brighter than they are to the naked eye--it's pretty unreal how much light this image sensor can pick up.
*** As others have stated, the 39 point auto focusing system is by no means terrible, but it does "hunt" at times--especially in low light. That's one of the main extras you're paying for in the D800, D4, etc. I imagine there is much faster reliable focusing on those models. Still the focus system is good enough for my purposes.
I also highly recommend using Lightroom 5 as your photo editor--it's way better than iPhoto and some of the others. And do yourself a favor--to take full advantage of this camera--invest in good glass. I have the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 and both combine with this camera for stunning detail. If you're investing this much money in a camera, don't go cheap on the glass. I also recommend buying the battery grip, if for no other reason than the camera feels much better in the hands. I can get 4 fingers on the body instead of 3 which makes me worry a lot less about my grip slipping.
And lastly, I've had no oil spot sensor problems after about 2,000 pictures. I hope this review is helpful. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about this model. Cheers!
UPDATE (03/2014): I've now owned the camera for 4 months and have taken over 4,000 pictures. There has been no dust/oil spot issues whatsoever. I continue to be extremely happy with the camera and am always discovering new settings/capabilities. I purchased the book, "Mastering the Nikon D610" by Darrell Young. It has really helped me understand the full functionality of the camera. The user's manual is not the easiest/most helpful reading material as you can imagine. I continue to get compliment after compliment about the quality of the images this camera produces (even from Canon owners of the 5DMIII and 6D). Once I decided on Nikon, I know I was torn deciding between the d800 and this camera. I feel confident in saying that this is the best bang for your buck in the current Nikon line. In fact, I like this camera so much that I've decided to purchase a 2nd one (being a wedding photographer--I need two full frame bodies).
on February 4, 2014
I owned the D600 and [Nikon] replaced it with this D610.
I had the spots on the D600 and was hopeful this model corrected that issue. More on this later.
Improved and noticeably better White Balance over the D600. My in-door "people" pictures now look as good as my friends photos who use Canon 5D or 6D DSLRs. This is a great new feature.
Good speed for multiple shoots--not Nikon D4s fast, but good enough for everyday things or the occasional soccer match.
Scene mode allows you to take great sunset pics when you don't have time to adjust the camera. I don't use the rest of those "scene" settings so I can't comment on how good or bad they are, but most cameras have a pretty good set of these I would expect this one to also support them.
Full-frame sensor (great depth of field shots using my 50mm lens).
Built-in flash is great (my Canon friends are jealous) for most short barrow lenses. Use an external flash for longer lenses.
Seeming better LCD color than the D600/D800, but remember that image is not the image recorded, just what is displayed on the camera's LCD so (for example) you could set the LCD to B/W in theory, if you preferred.
AE-L/AF-L button can be reprogrammed to AF-ON if you're like me and like to focus and then shoot.
Good photo buffer size. I can shoot 12 images in both Raw+JPEG before it starts buffering. Then get another 3 off in only a second or two. The recording-to-card speed is depended on the SD cards you're using.
Slow Expeed 3 CPU. The Nikon Expeed 4 is out in the new DX format camers, this one could have used it as well. I'm guessing Expeed 4 will be in all new models this year, so if they once again update the D610 to D620 it will probably include Expeed 4 which would help (slow to start up the Menus).
Would really like the AF-ON to work in conjunction with the shutter release. Here's what I mean: I would like the camera to use AF-ON when I press AF-ON. When I do not press AF-ON, I would like the shutter to work normally; meaning focus, then shoot. Today I have to toggle between these two modes. Perhaps a dedicated AF-ON button would provide this kind of feature?
If you want an FX camera, get a D610 or if you're a megapixel freak, consider the D800/D800e/D810. While there could potentially be a D620 in 2014, I would say if you need a camera buy this one. If you don't then wait a few months and see what happens.
Dust Spots: [EDIT: I forgot to include this in the original post] All DSLR cameras have spots on them. It is just that most people moving from the compact "PowerShot" or "CoolPix" to DSLR FX notice the spots for the first time. The D600 had a shutter or mechanism defect that caused particles of something (some say oil, some say dust, some say grease) to appear in photos at F8 to F22. Most notably on bluesky or snow landscape shots. I too had this issue, a friend of mine also owns a D600 and he did not experience that issue.
The D610 has dust on it, already. Do I notice it at less than F8? No. Is it as severe as the D600? No way! In fact it is what I would term "normal". Meaning it is the same as you'd expect to see on the D800, D4, Canon 5D, 6D and all the DX format cameras that have a shutter. D610 is probably a bit better and certainly no worse than the "cleanest" out there. A few puffs of air with the mirror locked up and the spots are gone.
[Update: Dust spots are returning after more and more photos, Nikon support notified me to send it in to someone specific rather than the general support address. "We've not seen this in this model before." said the support supervisor. So I'm sending it in. Fortunately I do not think this is oil or whatever was on the D600, it appears to be only dirty/dust particles probably from metal on metal during shutter release. I'm sure it'll be resolved.]
[Final Update: The D610 was returned cleaned and is working fine. A few trips and months later, some small dust particles appeared and a simple "rocket blower" easily removed them. So the infamous spots issue is certainly gone.
on January 13, 2015
I purchased this camera less than a year ago. I waited so long to write the following review because I need to make sure my statements are valuable for the potential customers.
It has been back to Nikon Service Center 3 times for oily sensor. On the first return, they replaced the shutter mechanism, same case as D600. The problem did not go away. Hundreds of round, un-blowable greasy particles are populated on the sensor without changing the lens within a couple hundreds of shots. Those horrible photos were confirmed by Nikon Service Center each time before sending it back for service. However, my last service has made the Nikon Service Center write me the statement as following:
"As we discussed, your service order xxxxxx will be free of charge. However, this is a natural occurrence of dust and any further servicing will not be covered under a warranty."
You will be the judge if you want to take the risk on this camera.
on November 11, 2013
Let me start off by saying I am not a technical camera expert. I'm a portrait photographer and just a few years in. I've been shooting with a d90 and have wanted a full frame camera. I've been eyeing the 800 for six months. When I saw the 610 was coming out it was less money for the same features I was looking for I got it, but I got so much more than just a full frame camera. I GOT EVEN SHARPER PICTURES! My pictures are tack sharp. Same lens, but my pictures look so much better. Everything that frustrated me before (fuzzy eyes despite doing everything right with focus, shutter speed and light), has now magically been fixed with the 610. Noise is reduced, low light options are better...The 610 has taken my photographs to a whole new level. I thought getting another Nikon would be an easy learn, but I did have to re-learn the in's and out's of this camera, but all in all it only took a few days. Also I was frustrated to find out that my photographs would not load in Lightroom as the camera is so new Lightroom has not come out with version 5.3 to support it. However that is not Nikon's problem. After much research I did find out you can download the 5.3 beta version and that pretty much saved me. I LOVE this camera. I'm so excited I got it. No regrets!
on February 4, 2014
First off, the fact that anyone would rate this camera 1 star is a complete joke. Moving on.
I've had the D80, D700, and Sony A7 (briefly) before this camera. I thought I wanted to move away from dSLR's and moved to the A7 for a more compact system with what I thought would be equal performance. I was entirely wrong. The A7 focus system is nowhere near as sophisticated as the D610/D700 or even D80 for that matter. So, I returned the A7 and went back to my good old faithful nikon lenses and the D610 and I'm so happy I did. Coming from a D700, the image results are just as amazing. I needed a camera with video, and this thing certainly fills that role nicely. There are two things I would change about this camera if I was forced to nitpick. First is the mode selector dial, it's a pain to use compared to my D700, second is a slightly larger AF focus area (for those rare shots where you need to focus/compose on something towards the edge of the frame. That's it. Everything else is perfect. Battery life, customization, menus, FPS, everything. Yes it isn't forged out of a rhino skin, but it is still tough/weather sealed. Unless you are a (clumsy) full time pro who needs a tank of a camera, this should suit you. I did tons of research and reading on all cameras available at the time I bought my D610. Let me save you from doing that as well, just buy it. You'll love it. If you need to print billboards, consider the D800, but if not stick with the D610.
I feel like I need to say it again, if you voted this camera 1 star you are either completely in over your head with a camera you cant control or you are lying.