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Reviewing the D610

Well it had to happen eventually, my D610 on loan from BnH has gone back. I had some fun shooting with that camera and wanted to post a few last thoughts about the camera. I can honestly say that I wasn’t sure about the camera before I got my hands on it, but now that I have I know that it really is a great little camera. I imagine the biggest focusing point is the fact that it costs half of what the D4 does while still maintaining a high shooting performance. It has 24.3 million pixels which needless to say that makes the files big. Those babies hold a lot of info which can be great depending on the subject. I will say that not everything does require that much information. Plus side to all the info is you can make really big prints, down side it takes up a lot of hardrive space. Having that comp speed and space is a must with this camera body, or the D4 or really any high end camera these days. Then again that is the way of the times so just get used to it.

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One thing that I really did like was how light the camera was. For walking around with a 50 f/1.4 it would be a great combo. I used the 24-70 f/2.8 as well as the 70-200 VRII as my walking around lenses and they did a marvelous job together. The camera weighs in at 26.8oz which is only 1.675lbs. That’s pretty darn comfortable. It also is useful for traveling because it takes up a lot less space in the thinktank bag. If you need to travel light and therefore require a small bag it works great for just that.

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Another interesting feature which I didn’t get to play around with too much is the fact that it can go from ISO 100-6400. That is a really big range! Now I tend to shoot at ISO 200 and don’t really change it unless it’s needed. Since this camera is known for having amazing noise reduction at high ISO I had to give it a try. What better way to do that then to go out light painting in Hyalite Canyon. Unfortunately my light painting skills aren’t that great so i didn’t get anything that I was super pleased with sharing but I can say that in the images I did capture you couldn’t see that noise.

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Something that may not get talked a lot about but can be very important is how quiet the shutter is. Even at 6 frames per second that shutter is quiet! Depending on your particular field that could be very useful. Now I love ripping that shutter and hearing the machine gun like sound of my D3 but when it comes to working with critters, especially shy ones, being a little bit more stealthy can be a very good thing.

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Due to the timing I didn’t get the chance to play with the camera with any planes which is a bummer because I would have really liked to. I did manage a little critter time. I tracked this pack of mule deer across the ridge and setup in anticipation that the the two small bucks would walk along the ridge and over to me. They didn’t, big surprise critters not doing what I want. The doe and faun did however walk the ridge and slowly made their way down to me. One thing I noticed about this camera is due to it being so light, when the D610 is mounted on the back of my 600 f/4, the lens tends to angle down. The camera is so light that the lens tends to be unbalanced. Working with a Wimberley Gimbal Tripod Head, I had to really push the lens back in the foot mount in order for the lens to stay level while looking up the ridge. This isn’t a flaw but if it is something that might make your photography uncomfortable then I suggest purchasing the Vello BG-N10 MB-D14 Battery Grip for Nikon D600 & D610, along with the Nikon MS-D14EN Li-ion Rechargeable Battery Holder which uses Li-ion batteries instead of AA’s. It adds not only a second battery but also a vertical firing button which is great when you need to quickly change vertically to get that portrait shot. Personally I really like having a vertical firing button, it feels more comfortable and more natural when shooting. Keep in mind for walking around purposes probably not as useful and definitely more tiresome as it adds weight.

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All in all, this is a great little camera. Am I going to go out and replace my D3’s with them? No. I rely on the old rule of thumb, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Keep in mind this is a business and every cost has to be justified and paid for through selling photographs. Right now it doesn’t serve a need for me but if YOU have the need and desire to upgrade and don’t want to spend 5k on a D4 then this might be a good way to go. My honest recommendation is to try out the camera before buying it. It’s so easy these days to rent a piece of gear and test it for a while before shelling out the money for a new piece of equipment. The worst thing is buying something only to find out that you really don’t like it. Just my two cents worth, thanks for stopping by!

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