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Nikon’s new entry-level full-frame D610 has improved burst mode and auto white balance

If you’re ready to step up your photography game to a full-frame (35mm) sensor (which is larger than the APS-C crop sensor found in compact DSLRs, produces better image quality, and handles wide angles better), Nikon has just announced the new D610, its latest “entry level” FX-format (full frame) DSLR camera. Priced at $2,000 (body only), the D610 is an evolutionary upgrade from the D600 – a DT Editor’s Choice camera – sharing most of the same specs with slight improvements in some areas. The price is also $100 less than when the D600 first went on sale, and it’s positioned against Canon’s EOS 6D.

Like The D600, the D610 uses the same 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor (35.9 x 24mm), Expeed 3 image processor, 39-point autofocusing system, and Nikon’s Scene Recognition System for automatically adjusting white balance, focus, and exposure. ISO range is still between 100-6,400 (expandable to 25,600; full-frame cameras like this do well with high ISOs), and Full HD 1080p video is shot at 24p and 30p (for the filmmaker there are mic and headphone inputs). Wi-Fi can be enabled via Nikon’s optional WU-1b adapter.

What have been enhanced are burst speed, image quality, and continuous mode. The D610 has a new shutter mechanism that allows it to shoot continuously at 6 frames per second, versus the D600’s 5.5 fps. There’s also a new Quiet Continuous Shutter Mode for occasions when silence is required; in this mode the camera shoots at 3 fps. The improved auto white balance creates more natural-looking skin tones and giving a subject’s face a more 3D appearance when shooting portraitures.

The D610 also has a tougher magnesium alloy construction. Sealed and gasketed, its dust and moisture resistance is on par with its higher-end cousin, the D800 – another DT Editor’s Choice DSLR.

Besides the body-only option, Nikon will also offer a kit bundled with a AF-S Nikkor 24-85MM F/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens for $2,600; AF-S Nikkor 28-300MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $3,050, which also comes with a bag and 32GB Class 10 memory card; and a full package for $3,250 that includes the 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 adapter, 32GB Class 10 memory card, and bag.

We really liked the D600 when we reviewed it, so we expect this camera to do just as well.