Nikon came out on top in our 2014 Superzoom Shootout with their 60x Nikon P600, and this year they’re introducing the updated Nikon P610. Remaining largely unchanged, however, Nikon seems firmly in the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” camp. However, while there aren’t major overhauls in its design or feature set, there are a few notable improvements to the P610 over its predecessor.
The hallmark feature of the Nikon P610 still is, of course, the massive 60x optical zoom lens, which remains unchanged from the previous model. The 60x lens provides a 24mm-equivalent field of view at the wide end and a whopping 1440mm-equivalent FOV at full telephoto with a variable f/3.3-6.5 aperture range.
However, if 60x optical zoom is not enough, Nikon offers both a 2x Dynamic Fine Zoom — that’s essentially an enhanced version of digital zoom — as well as a regular 4x digital zoom. The Dynamic Fine Zoom on the P610 offers an incredible 120x total ratio (60x optical plus an additional 2x digital zoom), which is equivalent to about 2880mm in 35mm terms. The 4x digital zoom provides even further magnification; out to an approximately 5760mm-equivalent lens! Of course, as with most implementations of digital zoom, overall image quality and detail are going to suffer. Nevertheless, that massive zooming power is there if and when you need it.
Sitting behind the lens is the same 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch-type CMOS imaging sensor as in the P600, and it’s all powered by a yet-to-be-named imaging processor. Like its predecessor, the P610 is able to fire off a continuous burst of seven still frames at a rate up to seven frames per second at full image resolution.
The P610 also incorporates Nikon’s Vibration Reduction image stabilization system, which Nikon states can provide up to five stops of correction for camera shake, which is undoubtedly handy if not outright necessary in lower light situations or at long telephoto focal lengths given the massive zooming capabilities of the P610. The Nikon P610 uses lens-shift image stabilization for still photos, but uses a hybrid VR system (both optical and electronic VR) for HD video capture.
Speaking of video recording, the P610 can now record up to 1080/60p video (as opposed to 60i in the P600), as well as at 30 frames per second (and 50p/25p for PAL mode). 720p HD video and standard definition VGA is also available, as well as a new Time Lapse Movie mode that was not present on the P600. Details are scarce about the particulars of the new Time Lapse Movie mode, such as recording length or interval control, but timelapse movies using this mode are nevertheless created all in-camera.
Like its predecessor, the P610 features a 3-inch Vari-angle LCD boasting 921k-dot resolution, though this panel is now has an RGBW array. The EVF also gets notable resolution upgrade: now a 921k-dot-resolution display over the 201k-dot EVF of the P600.
The last major upgrades over the P600 are the inclusion of GPS functionality as well as NFC wireless connectivity in addition to the Wi-Fi capabilities that were introduced on the older model. The built-in
GPS features Points of Interest, which allow users to geo-tag images and see a visual representation on a map. Using NFC, users of compatible smart devices now have an even quicker way to connect to the camera for transferring and sharing of photos.
The Nikon P610 uses the same EN-EL23 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack as the P600, but the CIPA-rated yield has been improved slightly — now around 360 shots on a charge as opposed to 330, likely thanks in part to the RGBW display. Wired connectivity includes USB 2.0 High Speed data and Type-D Micro HDMI high-def video. Images (JPEG only) and movies (.MOV/H.264) are stored on SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards.
|Full model name:||Nikon Coolpix P610|
|Sensor size:||1/2.3 inch
(6.2mm x 4.6mm)
|Kit Lens:||60.00x zoom
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 – 6400|
|Extended ISO:||100 – 12,800|
|Shutter:||15 – 1/4000|
|Dimensions:||4.9 x 3.3 x 4.2 in.
(125 x 85 x 107 mm)
|Weight:||19.9 oz (565 g)
|Full specs:||Nikon P610 specifications|
Available from March 2015, the Nikon Coolpix P610 ships in two body colors — black or red — and list pricing is set at around US$500.