As we’ve come to expect from a Nikon, the D610 delivers an impressive set of ISO results. The standard range runs from ISO 100 to 6400 but can be expanded down to 50 and up to 25,600 – all but the bottom extended option are presented here. What’s immediately evident is that you can confidently shoot at up to ISO 1600 without any worry about digital noise. Beyond this envelope, noise does start to increase, but it never becomes blotchy or detrimental to the overall image – even at the fully expanded 25,600 setting. Equally impressive is the colour accuracy throughout the ISO range. Naturally, colours are muted at the higher ISOs compared to lower sensitivities, but not that noticeably.
There’s further good news when you glance at the spec of the D610, which confirms this is a camera with some serious picture-taking potential. Take a look at the specs panel on the far left and you’ll see its credentials, although some will baulk at the fact that the top shutter speed is ‘just’ 1/4000sec. This has never been a problem for my picture taking, which tends to be about as sedentary as my lifestyle. Sports and action photographers may have a different opinion, though. Rather than dwell on shutter speed provision, I preferred instead to concentrate on making the most of the D610’s improved all-weather construction which, somewhat surprisingly, was called into service in the UK in November. Who would have thought? On two occasions, the D610 and I were caught in weather that ducks enjoy but it shook off the elements with aplomb, enabling both of us to keep shooting. There was no need for silica gel when we got back in the car, either. The only other significant spec change compared to the D600 is the frame rate, which has had a modest increase to six frames-per-second for continuous shooting. This is joined by a new Quiet Release burst mode that enables you to capture shots at three frames-per-second. Oddly, however, this quiet option doesn’t seem to offer a significantly quieter shutter release. Our tests using a decibel meter recorded 65 decibels using the Quiet Continuous (QC) mode, whereas the standard Continuous Low (CL) mode recorded a hardly rowdy 67 decibels. To my distinctly average hearing, the difference between the two is barely evident; a timid deer may beg to differ, of course. In use, the D610 is a thoroughly pleasant experience. Granted it isn’t without its shortfalls (see the verdict over the page for more), but it’s a beautifully put together piece of kit that exudes both quality and longevity. Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the layout and menu structure, you’ll appreciate that most features are just a few button presses or the twist of a dial away so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever miss a shot due to an equipment fail.
right King’s Cross station in London when I was en route to the Nikon DF launch event. The D610 has handled a tricky exposure situation very well here. below right Plenty of punch in the colours from the D610, but this shot shows the very inky shadow areas I experienced. There’s a tad too much contrast here for my liking.
Issue 2 | Photography News
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