Nikon's fullframe D610 DSLR is a minor step up from the D600, we go handson video

It's been just over a year since Nikon announced the D600. The company's compact full-frame camera delivered a ton of power for $2,100, and it's still a top option for photographers looking for a new DSLR. Still, for one reason or another, Nikon's figured it's time to refresh its high-end body, with the nearly identical D610. There's still a 24.3-megapixel FX sensor, an EXPEED 3 processor, a 25,600 top ISO, dual SD card slot, 39-point autofocus and a 921k-dot 3.2-inch LCD. The improvements, while relatively minor for most users, may be fairly significant for certain professionals. The most appealing addition is a quiet continuous mode. After activating it by selecting Qc on the mode sub dial, you'll be able to shoot at up to 3 fps with limited mechanical noise. Additionally, the traditional continuous mode has been boosted from 5.5 fps to 6. There are minor white balance improvements with the D610, too, enabling improved skin tone reproduction when shooting in artificial light.

We spent a few minutes with the D610 body, but Nikon reps didn't permit us to power on the unit. Unfortunately that means we were unable to evaluate the new quiet continuous mode -- pros that plan to shoot with this setting regularly, be it at a wedding or on a movie set, should definitely test Qc out in a store before ordering this slightly tweaked model. The housing and control placement is identical here, with the exception of the Qc offering on the sub mode dial. You also have an identical set of ports available -- there's still no built-in WiFi, so if you have a $60 WU-1b wireless adapter hanging around, you'll be able to use it to get connected here, too. The Nikon D610 will be available later this month for $2,000 (body only), $2,600 with a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 lens, $3,050 with a 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens or $3,250 with the 24-85, a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, WU-1b, a bag and a 32GB SD card.

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Nikon D610 hands-on

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CONCENTRATE ON THE CLARITY: THE NEW NIKON D610 FX-FORMAT D-SLR PLACES EMPHASIS ON THE IMAGE MAKING EXPERIENCE

The Nikon D610 HD-SLR Delivers FX-Format Quality and Pro-Level Features for Enthusiasts Ready to Take Their Passion to the Next Level

MELVILLE, NY (October 8, 2013) – Nikon Inc. today announced the Nikon D610, the latest FX-format HD-SLR to incorporate cutting-edge features and superior operability to help photographers create amazing images and Full HD video. Engineered for those enthusiasts who focus on the color, sharpness and clarity of their images, the D610 provides enhanced performance and image quality improvements, coupled with Nikon core technologies, all in a lightweight form factor. With image quality rivaled only by the 36.3 megapixel Nikon D800, the D610 is an attractive option for those willing to step up to FX-format.

"For many of us, photography is an unexplainable passion; a relentless pursuit of sharpness and fidelity in every image captured, as we endlessly seek a way to express ourselves," said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. "The Nikon D610 is a tool to help us capture and share our creative vision with all the benefits of a full frame sensor, including expanded depth-of-field control, wide dynamic range, high image quality, low noise, fine color, and low-light capability."Superior Image Quality

Inside and out, the Nikon D610 is dynamically engineered to deliver the outstanding balance of image quality, performance and operability that only a full-frame camera can offer. The large 24.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor is capable of creating low-noise images with amazing dynamic range, clarity and precise color, even in challenging light. No matter the type of photography, from landscapes to wildlife, portraits to sports, the Nikon D610 excels, delivering stellar sharpness, superior handling, and the ability to enjoy the full resolution benefits of a wide variety of NIKKOR glass. Image quality and performance are further bolstered with the aid of Nikon's EXPEED 3 image processing engine, which helps to provide vivid colors and an exceptionally broad tonal range while quickly processing image data transfer from capture to card. Additionally, EXPEED 3 contributes to surprising energy efficiency for all-day shooting.

Serious Performance for the Advanced Photographer

Whether capturing an awe-inspiring vista at the golden hour, or portraits that absolutely have to flatter, the swift response and advanced feature set will appeal to a wide range of users. From Nikon core technologies to thoughtfully laid-out controls, the robust and innovative feature set of this D-SLR will satisfy even the most demanding enthusiast.

Low-Light Performance: A wide ISO range helps the user master any lighting challenge. From a clean ISO 100 to a versatile 6,400 (25,600, Hi-2), the D610 provides minimal noise and maximum confidence.

39-Point AF System and Scene Recognition System: Users can select single point, continuous, dynamic or 3D autofocus modes to adapt to any shooting situation from static subjects to dynamic athletics. The Nikon D610's 39-point AF system quickly acquires focus throughout the frame, even on fast moving subjects. For further accuracy, the system uses Nikon's exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II 2016 pixel RGB Sensor in conjunction with the Scene Recognition System to analyze the scene and adjust exposure, white balance and focus. The resulting images display a more balanced exposure, precise sharpness and accurate color. Furthermore, the D610 utilizes nine cross-type sensors, seven of which retain AF ability up to f/8, a true boon to wildlife and sports photographers who rely on teleconverters for maximum distance.

New Improved Automatic White Balance (AWB): With an updated AWB algorithm, users can capture more vivid skies, and more natural-appearing reproduction of artificial light than ever before. Additionally, more natural skin tones can be captured, rendering faces with a more three-dimensional appearance.

New Increased Speed and Performance: A new shutter mechanism in the D610 affords a faster frame rate. Users can now capture the action at a continuous 6 frames-per-second (fps), which is ideal for photographing action sports or elusive wildlife.

New Quiet Continuous Shutter Mode: Ideal for weddings and other sensitive events, the D610 features a new Quiet Continuous Shutter Mode. When selected via the main command dial, users can shoot discreetly at up to 3 fps.

100% Frame Coverage and 3.2-inch High Resolution LCD: Shoot all day comfortably and compose easily through the wide and bright optical viewfinder, which offers 100% frame coverage. Additionally, the high-resolution 921K dot, 3.2-inch LCD screen is viewable from a wide variety of angles making it easy to compose, review and share.

Unleash Creativity with Advanced Modes: With a wide variety of creative modes designed for enthusiasts, users can continue to express themselves in new, creative ways. A series of images with multiple exposures can be combined with built-in HDR, while users can explore their inner artist with an automatic Time Lapse Mode, or the intervalometer found in all advanced Nikon D-SLR's. To adjust color, saturation and other image parameters on the fly, Picture Controls can be applied to both stills and HD video.

Dual SD Memory Card Slots: The Nikon D610 accepts two SD memory cards, which users can set to copy and overflow, or mark as one dedicated video when shooting multimedia. Additionally, the D610 accepts blazing-fast and high capacity SDXC and UHS cards.

Full High Definition Capabilities: Capture stunning Full 1080P HD video in a variety of frame rates, including a cinematic 24p and 30p. A useful feature inherited from professional Nikon cameras, the Nikon D610 can feed 100% full screen, uncompressed video via HDMI to an external device such as a monitor or digital recorder. Additionally, a stereo microphone and headphones can be connected through thoughtfully placed auxiliary input jacks for capturing and monitoring audio.

Share a Stellar Shot Instantly: When using the optional WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter1, unbelievable images can be shared directly to a compatible smart mobile device such as a phone or tablet. Users can then share these images with friends and family through their own social networks or photo sharing applications.

Robust Construction: The Nikon D610 is sealed and gasketed, with dust and moisture resistance of the same caliber as the Nikon D800. The top and rear covers of the camera are made of magnesium alloy for maximum durability, while the shutter unit is tested to 150,000 cycles.

NIKKOR, Speedlight and System Compatibility

The Nikon D610 is compatible with a wide variety of NIKKOR Lenses, allowing users to truly realize a lens' potential with an FX-format camera. For eighty years, photographers have come to rely on Nikon's heritage of optical excellence for lenses that deliver the pinnacle of optical quality. Additionally, the Nikon D610 is fully compatible with Nikon's Creative Lighting (CLS) System, and can act as a Commander to control up to two groups of Speedlights, in-camera.

Price and Availability

The Nikon D610 D-SLR will be available in late October 2013 in a variety of configurations.

Body Only – $1999.95* Suggested Retail Price (SRP)

With AF-S NIKKOR 24-85MM F/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens - $2599.95* SRP

With AF-S NIKKOR 28-300MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens + 32GB Class 10 memory card + Large Laptop Bag - $3049.95* SRP

With AF-S NIKKOR 24-85MM F/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens + AF-S VR ZOOM-NIKKOR 70-300MM F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED Lens + WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter + D-SLR Tablet Bag + 32GB Class 10 memory card - $3249.95* SRP

About Nikon

Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the Nikon 1 advanced camera with interchangeable lens system. Nikon Corporation, the parent company of the Nikon Inc., recently celebrated its 80th anniversary of NIKKOR optics, and announced the production of over 80 million NIKKOR lenses in 2013, creating a new milestone in Nikon's heritage of superior optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit HYPERLINK "http://www.nikonusa.com" http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook at HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.com/nikon" http://www.facebook.com/nikon and get the latest news and information from Twitter by following HYPERLINK "http://www.twitter.com/Nikon_USA" @NikonUSA.

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1The Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility Application must be installed on the smart device before it can be used with the WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter connected to the Nikon D610. The application can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play™ or the Apple App Store. For use with Android or iOS mobile devices, please refer to mobile device compatibility and available features at HYPERLINK "https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nikon.wu.wmau&hl=en"https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nikon.wu.wmau&hl=en (Android) or HYPERLINK "https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/wireless-mobile-adapter-utility/id554157010"https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/wireless-mobile-adapter-utility/id554157010 (iOS).

2Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google, Inc. 3iPhone, iPad and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Specifications, equipment and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.