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Nikon P610 review

Ben Pitt
29 Dec 2015
Nikon P610 main
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
265
inc VAT

Solid rather than exceptional, but the Nikon P610’s big zoom and competitive price meet a need

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Specifications

Sensor resolution: 16 megapixels, Sensor size: 1/2.3in, Viewfinder: Electronic (921,000 dots), LCD screen: 3in (921,000 dots), Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths): 60x (24-1440mm), 35mm-equivalent aperture: f/18-36, Weight: 565g, Dimensions (HxWxD): 85x125x107mm

Photo tests

My photo tests revealed a similar mix of strengths and weaknesses. Focus was sharp right into the corners of the frames throughout most of the zoom range – a superb achievement. The only notable weakness was at the maximum telephoto zoom setting, where fine details became a little vague and there was a hazy glow around highlights, but it wasn’t particularly noticeable at normal viewing sizes.

Some noise was visible even in brightly lit shots and fine details were a bit fuzzy, but again, you’d have to magnify or crop the image to see these issues. I had expected image quality to plummet when shooting at the long end of the zoom in overcast weather, but it held up surprisingly well. These aren’t photos you’d print out and frame, but they’re fine for sharing online. The camera used surprisingly slow shutter speeds in order to keep the ISO speed – and noise levels – down, but the optical stabilisation managed to avoid blur due to camera shake in most instances. It couldn’t do anything to avoid blur due to subject motion, though. This is a camera that’s much better at shooting static subjects than moving ones. I also found that the metering over-exposed some of my test shots.

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ Flattering colours and sharp focus in this wide-angle shot. (1/1,000s, f/3.3, ISO 100, 24mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ The other end of the zoom from the same vantage point. Direct sunlight keeps the ISO speed low and image quality up. (1/250s, f/6.5, ISO 110, 1440mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ Returning to the same spot in overcast weather means the ISO speed has been pushed up to 720. Noise reduction has smudged fine details but it's still a decent result. (1/250s, f/6.5, ISO 720, 1440mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ Another decent telephoto shot, but the dark background has led to an over-exposed subject and there's some blooming around clipped highlights. (1/250s, f/6.5, ISO 400, 1440mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ Great skin tones and plenty of detail in the skin, hair and clothing textures. (1/100s, f/4, ISO 100, 55mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ The automatic exposure mode found this scene surprisingly difficult. (1/320s, f/4, ISO 100, 45mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ Dense foliage looks vague but lens sharpness is hard to fault – all the more remarkable considering the huge zoom range. (1/60s, f/5, ISO 110, 135mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ The camera has picked a surprisingly slow 1/15s shutter in this scene to keep noise down, but the optical stabilisation kept shots consistently sharp. (1/15s, f/5, ISO 450, 135mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^ Optical stabilisation can't compensate for moving subjects. 1/4s is far too slow for portrait shots. (1/4s, f/4, ISO 800, 45mm equivalent)

Nikon P610 sample shot

^  Raising the ISO speed manually inevitably pushes up noise levels but it's a passable snapshot. (1/20s, f/4, ISO 3200, 45mm equivalent)

Conclusion

There’s not much to criticise about the P610, but its lens and sensor combination simply don’t capture enough light to give the levels of rich, clean detail offered by the Panasonic FZ1000. Then again, it doesn’t cost £600. £265 is an extremely reasonable price for a camera that makes a decent stab at wildlife photography - as long as it’s relatively sedentary. I still prefer the Panasonic FZ330 or its predecessor, the FZ200, which use a 24x zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture. This means they capture five times as much light as the P610 at the long end of the zoom, giving a significant boost to image quality. However, for some people, the Nikon P610’s 60x zoom, Wi-Fi and GPS may tip the balance back the other way.

Hardware
Sensor resolution16 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3in
Focal length multiplier5.58x
ViewfinderElectronic (921,000 dots)
Viewfinder magnification (35mm-equivalent), coverage100%
LCD screen3in (921,000 dots)
ArticulatedYes
TouchscreenNo
Orientation sensorNo
Photo file formatsJPEG
Maximum photo resolution4,608x3,456
Photo aspect ratios4:3, 3:2, 16:9 1:1
Video compression formatQuickTime (AVC) at up to 30Mbit/s
Video resolutions1080p at 25/30/50/60fps, 720p at 25/30/50/60fps, VGA at 25/30fps
Slow motion video modesVGA at 100fps (1/4x), 720p at 50fps (1/2x), 1080p at 12.5fps (2x)
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality)15m 0s
Controls
Exposure modesProgram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed range15 to 1/2,500s
ISO speed range100 to 6400
Exposure compensationEV +/-2
White balanceAuto, Auto (warm), 5 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Auto-focus modesMulti, flexible spot, face detect, tracking, target finding
Metering modesMulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modesSingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, interval, panorama
Lens
Optical stabilisationYes
Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths)60x (24-1440mm)
Maximum aperture (wide-tele)f/3.3-6.5
35mm-equivalent aperturef/18-36
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus (wide)1cm
Closest macro focus (tele)2m
Physical
Card slotSDXC
Memory suppliedNone
Battery typeLi-ion
ConnectivityUSB, micro HDMI
WirelessWi-Fi, NFC
GPSYes
HotshoeNo
Body materialPlastic
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap
Weight565g
Dimensions (HxWxD)85x125x107mm
Buying information
WarrantyTwo years RTB
Price including VAT£265
Supplierwww.jessops.com
Detailswww.europe-nikon.com
Part codeVNA760E1

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