This is a game changer
I have used Nikons since 1984 when I bought my first FG-20. That camera lasted me until 2000 and it had been dragged all over the world. After that I acquired an N90 (Film) right when digital cameras were coming out but they were not what they are now. I used the N90 for a 3-4 years and I loved it but film was becoming harder to find and developing was a pain. I fell out of photography and in 2013 I bought a D5100 and liked it. I didn't do the research and should have gotten the D7000, which I eventually upgraded to a year later. This this upgrade was a pure joy. Controls were familiar and laid out well. Felt like an N90. Now I am often shooting inside at close proximity in lower light conditions and the cropped frame of the D7000 was fair in low light, but noise was visible at higher ISO's, also I wanted to use my older glass prime lenses. Which I could do, but they were cropped and I wasn't getting full focal lengths. So I upgraded again to the D610 and I was amazed. When inside in small areas I love my 50mm f/1.4 and with the D610 it is fun. I did a test over various ISO's on this lens and from 800 - 3200 it is very close and at 6400 the noise is still minimal when compared to the D7000. As much as I loved my D7000 and it is a perfect camera, the D610 is pushing me to go further. From what I have read the new D7100 and 610 are almost identical except the former is DX and the later is FX. Neither is a wrong choice, but image quality out of the D610 is better. If you have loved photography for a while and have used any type of SLR especially film, the D610 is the proper choice. If you are an enthusiast/hobbyist and do not want to spend the extra money get the D7100 and crop factor doesn't bother you. If just starting out, a D5300 is an excellent choice and it won't kill your budget and you can afford to upgrade if you get into photography.
January 3, 2015
Don't mind the negitive reviews
It's time to clear up some questions and concerns brought up by previous reviews. Make no mistake, the Nikon D610 is a professional level camera that can be picked up by hobbyists, working professionals and beginners alike. At the time of writing this review (12/29/2014) the D610 has a 4 star rating which is a disappointment. This camera deserves 5 stars but due to angry D600 users and people misunderstanding what a camera body's limits and capabilities are, the D610 suffers.
Does the camera have focusing issues?
No! Some people have complained about the D610 not focusing correctly which is a sure sign of user error. The camera body's job is to capture light on the sensor and translate that light into an image. If you're having focusing issues it is most likely caused by a few things. First: User error is a common cause of blurry images. This should be no surprise to most of us but even experienced photographers miss focus. If you're using a lens with a wide aperture (f/1.8) You're area of sharp focus will be drastically decreased, sometimes your slice of focus will only be a few Millimeters wide so if you wobble or your subject moves your focus will be off. Second: User error. Let's reiterate this to make it clear. If you're having focusing issues it is imperative that you first look at the mistakes you might be making before you blame the camera. Third: What is your shutter speed? too slow and any slight movement will cause your image to be out of focus. Try to stay above 1/60th for still subjects and significantly faster for moving subjects. Third: Focus calibration. When you've considered and eliminated user error it is possible that you need to calibrate your lens for the camera's focusing system. You can do this by going to the setup menu > AF Fine Tune and using a SpyderLenscal or something like it to fine tune your focus. You have to calibrate each individual lens.
Does the sensor collect dust?
yes! Every camera sensor will collect some dust over time but that is completely normal and it's not a mechanical issue like the D600. The problem is fixed and you shouldn't panic if you have some dust after normal use.
The Nikon D610 is an amazing camera and I urge you to get one if you're looking for a high caliber camera. Use the camera for a while, come back and leave a review so we can bump the rating up to a level this camera deserves.
December 29, 2014
Great camera for Semi-pro photographer
I recently photographed a friend's wedding with this camera and got great results. The ability to make the shutter very quiet and in low light meant being able to get shots without the individuals knowing or without interrupting the ceremony. Also used my D90 during the reception, but the audible click frequently made people look.
My usual photos are landscapes, lighthouses, covered bridges so the full frame over the D90's DX sensor is also wonderful.
July 17, 2014
A Possible Reason for a Few Reviewers Poor Image Quality with D610
First, let me say that I mean no disrespect to the few people who left negative reviews about the D610. My purpose in posting is to suggest a reason as to why you may be getting poor image quality. Is it possible that when you get poor image quality out of the D610 that you're shooting shooting wide open on your primes? I recently bought the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 because I shoot a lot of video interviews and I was tired of my entire scenes being in total, precise focus. Naturally, when I got the 85/1.8 I lighted my interviews in such a way as to be able to crank that beautiful lens all the way open and throw my background out of focus. And, it worked. However, in my excitement, I forgot one of the first things I was taught in my photography classes in college. Yes, opening up to 1.8 will give you a beautiful, fuzzy background but it also leaves you with an incredibly shallow depth of field. I've come to learn that when you shoot a video interview wide open, you better make sure your subject stays perfectly still in his chair--an absolute impossability unless you use restraints. The first 3 interviews I shot with my D610 and the 85mm 1.8 go in and out of focus throughout the session. At 1.8, all a subject has to do is lean forward slightly and some part of his face is going to go soft. I've since learned to stop down a little and back off slightly from my interview subjects (I like to get really close when I do an interview). I'm still getting a lovely, out of focus background and my subjects are sharp as a tack. I'm sure you guys know all of this and I'm certainly not trying to insult you're photographic expertise but I thought I throw out my 2 cents. I've always thought that auto focus on a Nikon (I still have an old D80 that I love) was the hardest thing to master. It latterly took me years of practice to begin to master the AF on the D80 and I had to start all over again with the D610. But, through trial and error and a lot of unusable interview footage, I'm finally getting back in the groove.
On an unrelated note, I also have a D600. No signs of the dreaded spots yet but I thought i read on this forum that Nikon is replacing the shutter or whatever it is causing the spots for free now. Is this true?
July 17, 2014
This is a really good camera for the price
I've been used to shooting on a D800 for a couple of years now for work, and I wanted to upgrade my personal camera body. When looking at the D610, it offered almost all the features of the D800 for a more attractive price, so I decided to buy it.
I have not been disappointed. While the 36MP of the D800 is phenomenal, the 24MP of the D610 is still more than adequate - in fact, it's outstanding. The images I'm getting are sharp, the dynamic range is excellent, and it has pretty much all the features I want. My only (minor) complaints are that I wish the AF points were spread over a wider area of the viewfinder, and that the auto-bracketing settings had options to include more than 3 frames. But there has to be some sacrifice for a lower price. I'm also finding that adjusting the focusing modes takes a little getting used to, but I'm sure with practice that will become more intuitive.
This camera feels good in my hands, and having been a Nikon shooter for a long time, I find the controls and buttons comfortable to work with. The low light performance is excellent even up to ISO 5000. It starts to get a bit noisy at 6400 and above, but that's to be expected.
This is the perfect camera for those who don't want to spend over $2,000 on a camera body and still get a great performer.
June 5, 2014