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Sweeping Clean

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The Nikon Corporation has today, 8th October 2013, announced its latest FX-format D-SLR camera model, the D610.

So what exactly are the differences between the D610 and its predecessor (this is the word used in the Nikon UK press release), the D600?

  • The maximum frame rate has been enhanced slightly to 6 fps, up from 5.5 fps; however, as a consequence the maximum buffer capacity for JPEG files saved at the Large/Fine settings is slightly reduced compared with the D600.
  • There is a new Quiet Continuous (Qc) option on the Release mode dial; in its Qc mode the D610 will record images at up to 3 fps, while generating less noise compared with shooting in either of its normal continuous shooting modes (note this option does not offer silent operation, it is just quieter).
  • The Auto white balance is said to benefit from a new algorithm that improves accuracy and consistency.
  • The D610 has a lower price, with a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of £1,799.00, compared with the D600, which had a RRP of £1,955.00 when it was released on 18th September 2012.

That's it!

In all other respects, bar one, the specification of the D610 is identical to the D600. So what is that exception and why has the D610 been introduced?

The exception and principle change in the D610 is the new design of its shutter unit, which has been introduced to resolve a problem encountered by many users of the D600, namely excessively high levels of particulate material and shutter mechanism lubricant that accumulates on the surface of the optical low-pass filter (OLPF), typically, although not exclusively, the shadows cast by this material are often concentrated in the top right corner of an image. Since this is a physical issue it could only be addressed by modifying the engineering of the shutter unit and manufacture of the camera.

The problem with the D600 became apparent almost as soon as it was available; I commented on this topic in my review of the camera published in Issue XLI of Nikon Owner magazine. Subsequently, during February 2013, the Nikon Corporation issued an advisory notice informing users of the D600 that if the camera's built-in sensor cleaning mechanism was incapable of resolving the matter, they should submit their camera to a Nikon authorized service centre for cleaning and repair.

Full details of the advisory notice can be found here:

https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/55647

Based on anecdotal evidence some D600 owners have apparently had to return their cameras on several occasions for the OLPF to be cleaned; latterly, it appears that as part of this service/repair program some Nikon service centres have taken the opportunity to fit the new design of shutter unit to D600 cameras, although it is very unlikely the owner of a camera repaired in this way will be aware of this. Of course such action will not deliver any other change/benefit other than preventing the build up of unwanted material on the OLPF.

The full press release for the D610 can be viewed here:

http://www.nikon.com/news/2013/1008_dslr_01.htm

Full details of the D610 are available here:

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d610/index.htm

The D610 is fully compatible with all accessories available for the D600, including the Nikon Creative Lighting System Speedlights and Nikkor lenses; it is scheduled to go on sale in the U.K. on 18th October 2013.

Copyright © (2013) Simon Stafford

Posted on: Wednesday 9 October 2013

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