No more oil spots [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WITH a few improvements to D600, the new Nikon D610 is a good full-frame camera, writes Izwan Ismail.
Nikon launched its affordable, full-frame D600 dSLR camera less than a year ago. While it was a good performer, it was plagued with the oil spots issue on its sensor, often with a small aperture setting like f/10 and above. As a result, tiny spots appear in the pictures, which affect the overall image quality.
Nikon has now come out with an update, D610, which has a new shutter mechanism that is said to put an end to the oil spots issue, among others. The D610 can shoot continuously at 6 fps, up from the D600's 5.5 fps. A new "quiet continuous" mode shoots at 3 fps, making a lot less noise while doing so.
Other than that, everything is the same.
Like the D600, the D610 comes with a 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, Expeed 3-image processor, 100 per cent pentaprism viewfinder, a 3.2-inch LCD monitor, 39 focus points and dual SD card slots.
The partly magnesium alloy body is designed to be weather-proof and suitable for rugged use. The deep rubber curve and thumb rest allow for a strong grip, similar to the D600.
Weighing 760g without battery, the camera is light compared to many full-frame dSLRs in this category. It comes with a 24-85mm kit lens, but if you already have Nikon lenses, you can just opt for the body only.
Buttons layout is the same as the D600, D7000 and D7100. Those familiar with the D7000/D7100, will feel at home with the D610.
The D610 mode dial on the left shoulder of the body has similar shooting functions like the D600 such as P, A, S, M, U1, U2, Scene, Auto and Auto with Flash Off.
Being a full-frame camera with 24.3 megapixels, the D610 image quality is superb - clean and detailed. The new shutter mechanism also produces clean images without the notorious oil spots.
Its new sensor technology allows me to shoot in low light confidently, without worrying about grainy pictures. It has a native ISO range between ISO 100 and 6400, and I can crank up the ISO from 4000 up to 6400, and still get fairly clean images.
If you want to unlock the true potential of the full-frame sensor of the D610, try pairing it with prime and Nikon FX lenses. I used it mostly with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D prime lens and the kit lens.
In line with today's popular picture shooting techniques like high dynamic range and Time Lapse, the D610 comes with built-in HDR and Time Lapse functions.
In HDR mode, the camera combines three images of different exposures into one automatically when you press the shutter button, while the Time Lapse format will give you time lapse video based on the settings you select in the camera.
I love these two functions as they take away the need to use computer and image-processing software like Photoshop, which can be tricky at times.
Video-wise, the D610 shoots full HD 1080p videos and at various sizes and frame rates.
Nikon did not include built-in WiFi but we hope to see this feature in the next update.
The D610 is a great camera if you're upgrading from the crop- sensor dSLR. But if you're coming from the D600, the difference is too small to justify an upgrade.
Price: RM6,888 (body); RM8,288 with AF-S 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR kit lens
Pros: Light in weight for a fullframe dSLR, clean images, built- in HDR and Time Lapse
Cons: No built-in WiFi, very minor update to the D600
Our verdict: *****
Image quality: *****
Value for money: ****
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