Nikon Df vs D610

It has been a while since Nikon last caused so much controversy. Even before Df was announced, and, naturally, as soon as all of its specifications were leaked, crowds gathered and the battle was on. Not even D600 or D800 issues caused so much racket. This sort of comparison – Nikon Df versus D610 – is likely to be the most popular among the fans and those who just can’t justify the new camera. We, too, will take a closer look at how these two full-frame DSLRs stack-up against each other. Before you jump to conclusions though, make sure to read the summary – you will find that there is nothing to be so perplexed by. And be sure to pay attention to ISO comparisons between the Nikon Df and the D610 that are posted below.

Nikon Df vs D610

First, let’s go over the key specifications:

Nikon Df vs D610 Specification Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon DfNikon D610
Sensor Resolution16.2 Million24.3 Million
Sensor TypeCMOSCMOS
Sensor Size36×23.9mm35.9×24.0mm
Sensor Pixel Size7.30µ5.96µ
Low Pass FilterYesYes
Sensor Dust ReductionYesYes
Image Size4,928 × 3,2806,016 x 4,016
Image ProcessorEXPEED 3EXPEED 3
Viewfinder TypePentaprismPentaprism
Viewfinder Coverage and Size100%, 0.70x100%, 0.70x
Built-in FlashNoYes, with flash commander mode
Flash Sync Speed1/2501/200
Storage Media1x SD2x SD
Continuous Shooting Speed5.5 FPS6 FPS
Max Shutter Speed1/4000 to 30 sec1/4000 to 30 sec
Shutter Durability150,000 cycles150,000 cycles
Exposure Metering Sensor2,016-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II2,016-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Base ISOISO 100ISO 100
Native ISO SensitivityISO 100-12,800ISO 100-6,400
Boosted ISO SensitivityISO 50, 25,600-204,800ISO 50, 12,800-25,600
Autofocus SystemMulti-CAM 4800FXMulti-CAM 4800FX
Focus Points39, 9 cross-type39, 9 cross-type
AF DetectionUp to f/8Up to f/8
Pre-AI Lens CompatibilityYesNo
Video CapabilityNoYes
Video OutputN/AMOV, Uncompressed
Video Maximum ResolutionN/A1920×1080 (1080p) @ 24p, 25p, 30p
Audio RecordingN/ABuilt-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
LCD Size3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD
LCD Resolution921,000 dots921,000 dots
HDR SupportYesYes
Exposure Bracketing2 to 5 frames2 to 3 frames
Built-in GPSNoNo
Wi-Fi FunctionalityEye-Fi Compatible, WU-1bEye-Fi Compatible, WU-1b
BatteryEN-EL14a Lithium-ion BatteryEN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery
Battery Life1400 shots (CIPA)900 shots (CIPA)
Battery ChargerMH-24 Quick ChargerMH-25 Quick Charger
Weather Sealed BodyYesYes
BuildTop and Rear Magnesium AlloyTop and Rear Magnesium Alloy
USB Version2.02.0
Weight (Body Only)710g760g
Dimensions143.5 × 110 × 66.5mm141 × 113 × 82mm
MSRP Price$2,749 (as introduced)$1,999 (as introduced)

It is immediately clear that the new Nikon Df is heavily based on the current Nikon D600/D610 DSLR. There is very little difference on the inside with most changes apparent at first glance. However, the internal changes that did take place are quite significant, if not numerous. First and foremost, Nikon Df features the same sensor found in Nikon’s flagship DSLR model, the D4. It has a lower resolution by today’s standards, but actually more or less perfect for most users that do not want or need 24/36 megapixels for their daily photography. As you would expect from such a sensor, it has remarkable high ISO performance and will perform well under pretty much any lighting condition. Suffice to say both cameras are more or less state-of-the-art in terms of technical image quality and you will not be disappointed by either one. For a detailed ISO comparison, see further down below.

The other big difference is the omission of video recording in the Nikon Df, which aims to be more traditional in its approach to photography. On paper that is, of course, a drawback. But don’t forget, a lot of long-time Nikon users have been hoping for a functional photographic tool, not a video camera. Most people, including myself, do not ever utilize video functions of DSLR cameras.

Other changes are quite minor. The Df has no built-in pop-up flash, which, again, can be a plus or drawback depending on particular user’s needs (for most people it is a drawback). Nikon D610 also has a slightly faster frame rate at 6 fps against 5.5 fps of the Df. The latter, however, is slightly lighter, smaller and thinner (mostly thanks to the tiny grip), and uses a smaller battery shared with Nikon’s entry level APS-C cameras, such as the D5300. However, despite the smaller battery, official CIPA tests claim massively improved battery life, promising around 1400 shots per charge. As our eagle-eyed readers pointed out, however, the improved performance comes down to the fact Df lacks a built-in flash, which is normally used during CIPA standard testing. Also, D610 has two SD card slots for more storage or backup. That more or less concludes internal changes.

The exterior differences are extremely noticeable between these two cameras. Nikon D610 is thoroughly modern and incorporates the now-traditional button and dial controls. There is one mode dial with the usual Aperture, Shutter, Program and Manual exposure modes as well as some automated scene modes. Nikon Df does without the latter and, instead, only allows the user to select between the four main exposure modes on a small dial next to the shutter release button. It has separate dials for shutter-speed, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity, and is obviously keen on emphasizing analogue controls. To those that are concerned about manually setting the shutter speed – it is still possible, as long as the shutter dial is set to “1/3 STEP”. Once set, you can change the shutter speed in 1/3 increments using the rear dial, while the front dial is used for changing the lens aperture (on modern “G” type lenses).

Overall, ergonomic differences between the two cameras are very apparent. But there is an elephant in the room. Nikon Df is, arguably, no better or worse than the popular D610 model – it is different. However, the enormous price difference is an issue for many users. Nikon charges an extra $750 for the retro-looking Nikon Df camera. Why? The same reason why Leica does it. Because Nikon Df is a premium product. It is not mainstream. It is different in its approach to how a digital SLR camera should look, feel and operate, despite being thoroughly modern inside, just like its close sibling. There is nothing wrong with that, nor anything to be annoyed with. Nikon’s move – the price, the looks, the controls – make Nikon Df a camera that targets a very specific niche of photographers. That is what makes the choice between D610 and Df so very easy. You either want one or the other and it is unlikely there to be something in between. Plus, you are getting the D4 sensor in a package that costs half as much.

Attention pixel peepers: you will surely want to see the below ISO comparisons!

Nikon Df vs D610 Low ISO Comparison

Please note that the images below are comparisons between the Nikon D4 and the D600. Since the Nikon Df has the same (or similar) sensor as the D4 and the D610 has exactly the same sensor as the D600, these comparisons between the two cameras are valid. Also, the below are 100% crops, without any down-sampling applied. If the Nikon D610 images are down-sampled to 16 MP resolution, the files will look cleaner. When comparing sensor performance, I will be providing pixel-level comparisons to illustrate differences between the Nikon Df and other cameras, without changing the angle of view or perspective. If you would like to compare these images at equal print size level, you can easily down-sample images to the same size in Photoshop / Lightroom and look at the differences (I have already done that for the most part in my reviews of Nikon DSLR cameras).

Warning: Simply clicking the images below does not show 100% crop performance (crops are large, so your browser will automatically show them in smaller size). If you would like to compare images head to head, please download the below crops to your computer and then view them!

Nikon Df ISO 100 Nikon D610 ISO 100

As expected, at base ISO 100, both cameras look very clean.

Nikon Df ISO 200 Nikon D610 ISO 200

The same at ISO 200.

Nikon Df ISO 400 Nikon D610 ISO 400

At ISO 400, the D610 has a hint more noise in some areas than the Df, but it is still very clean, even in the shadows.

Nikon Df ISO 800 Nikon D610 ISO 800

We see a similar situation at ISO 800 – both cameras are very clean, only with very slight, almost unnoticeable differences in noise performance.

Nikon Df vs D610 High ISO Comparison

Let’s see if there are any differences at high ISOs:

Nikon Df ISO 1600 Nikon D610 ISO 1600

At ISO 1600 both cameras start to show traces of noise. At pixel level, the D600/D610 seems to produce a little more noise.

Nikon Df ISO 3200 Nikon D610 ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, it is pretty clear that the D4/Df has a pixel size advantage. Images appear cleaner in comparison, although the noise pattern is quite similar. Down-sampling the two to equal sizes will obviously reduce these differences.

Nikon Df ISO 6400 Nikon D610 ISO 6400

And the performance gap grows even more at ISO 6400. Now the pixel-level grain on the D600/D610 appears larger, although there is obviously a clear difference in size between the two.

Nikon Df ISO 12800 Nikon D610 ISO 12800

The same thing happens at ISO 12800 – the D4/Df retains shadow details pretty well, while the D600/D610 loses quite a bit.

Nikon Df ISO 25600 Nikon D610 ISO 25600

Lastly, if we look at both cameras at ISO 25600, it is pretty clear that the Nikon D4/Df does a better overall job, even if the D600/D610 image is down-sampled. Take a look at the shadow noise and discoloration on the D610 image. The Nikon D4/Df retains a lot more details and colors both in the shadows and highlights.

The Nikon Df offers three more “boosted” ISO levels: ISO 51,200, ISO 102,400 and ISO 204,800. While ISO 204,800 is extremely noisy and unacceptable for most people, ISO 51,200 and 102,400 could be somewhat usable when down-sampled:

Nikon Df ISO 51200 Nikon Df ISO 102400

If you compare ISO 51200 to ISO 25600, the noise patterns are pretty close. The D600/D610 still looks a tad better, but not by a whole lot, so there is a little less than a stop of difference here.

Now keep in mind once again that we are purely looking at pixel level performance here. Once 24 MP images from the D610 are resized to 16 MP, the performance differences shrink more. Only at ISO 12800 and above the Nikon D4/Df seems to offer an advantage when down-sampled. And obviously it can go even beyond that all the way to ISO 204,800, while the D610 stops at ISO 25600.

In essence, if the ISO capabilities of both cameras are pretty similar below ISO 12800, what IS the advantage of the Df sensor, you might ask? Well, there are several of them. First, the files are obviously smaller, which translates to more images per card and faster post-processing workflow. Second, as we already know from using very high-resolution DSLRs like Nikon D800, handling and technique can become an issue. Lower resolution sensors are much more forgiving in terms of camera shake / minimum acceptable shutter speed to get the sharpest images at pixel level. Lastly, many of the older Nikkor lenses might have issues with resolving enough details on high resolution cameras. So a smaller resolution sensor would once again be much more forgiving for those that are planning to utilize old Nikkor classics.

Summary

For a lot of users, D610 is a much, much better choice for less money. For some, Nikon Df will be worth every penny. I have no doubt in my mind it will be very popular and with good reason. I also have no doubt in my mind that skeptics will once again fail to understand why. Here’s a tip – there’s no logical reason behind it. A D610 is a camera that you can easily buy with your mind. It is completely justifiable when compared to the Nikon D800, Df or rivaling cameras from other manufacturers. One buys Nikon Df with his heart. That is reason enough, and if it isn’t for you, don’t sweat over it. No one is forcing the camera on you, and if you ever encounter a snobbish look from someone owning a brand new Nikon Df, while you have a “regular” D610 in your hands, just smile and walk away. Nikon Df buyers should, likewise, do the same.

Next up: Nikon Df vs D800.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Marco
    November 5, 2013 at 5:44 am

    I believe that Nikon released the teasers for the Df just in time to distract us from the fact that they screwed over people who purchased a D600.

    • November 5, 2013 at 5:54 am

      As a D600 user, I’m afraid you’re onto something.

      • November 5, 2013 at 6:08 am

        Stefan,

        are you unhappy with your D600?

        • 12
          ) Beyti
          November 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

          I started with D3000, upgraded to D7000 and started professional photography with D600. So far, I took my best photographs with my D600. I`ve been in love with it from the first moment I started taking photos with it. I don`t give a damn about how Nikon screwed us D600 owners. I`m happy that I have a very good full frame camera and stick with it. People who are angry about this D600 – D610 issue are whiny consumers. Photographers look ahead :)

          • November 5, 2013 at 8:34 am

            Beyti, I agree, but only up to a point. Nikon should have acknowledged the problem, that’s all. But forget and move on, right?

          • 16
            ) Marco
            November 5, 2013 at 10:53 am

            Thank you for your inspiring words Mr Beyti, Sir. I guess i’m just a whiny consumer. How dare I feel jilted after spending 3 months income on a camera with an inherent problem which Nikon won’t fix. So sorry that I wasted your time Mr Forward Thinking Photographer.

            Oh, and according to you I’m not a real photographer. Poor old me. I’m just a wannabe photographer with an oily sensor. :(

          • 35
            ) Harry
            November 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

            I’m a D600 owner and had the oil problem. Almost a year to the day since I bought it, and over 3000 shots, Nikon replaced my shutter mechanism for free. Even shipping to and from was free, so I am not clear on why there is so much hatred. I called them up, they asked for 3 unaltered sample pictures, within two days I had the shipping label in my email. In less about 2 weeks I had my camera back. No hassles. Yet I keep reading about Nikon unwilling to fix peoples cameras. Am I one of the lucky ones?

            • November 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm

              Harry, it is not so much the fixing, but the admitting that there is a problem in the first place that winds people up. Almost as if Nikon is taking its clients for fools. I am glad your D600 is fine now, that is a good camera. :)

    • 5
      ) Rami
      November 5, 2013 at 6:19 am

      In this case, they failed miserably! Everyone who wanted to moan about about the D600 did so when the D610 was announced long before the Df teaser campaign started!
      The Df is simply a different concept altogether! Like the 58mm lens, those who will buy it know immediately that this is the right product for them and, as was mentioned on the 58mm page I believe, if you are wondering why you should buy it then it simply is not for you…

    • 54
      ) kayla bryson
      November 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      Hey Marco,

      I have to say that I agree with you on that one. I wrote up an entire review on the D610, and talked in depth about the issues Nikon D600 owners have had to face all alone without Nikon’s help or seeming care about it.

      You can take a look at the review and my thoughts about Nikon here: http://www.squidoo.com/nikon-d610-specs-and-price.

      I think overall, most people are upset, and I totally understand that. Hopefully Nikon will take this mishap and use it to make certain that they don’t experience this kind of flack in the future. I’m still a diehard Nikon fan even after the D600 flop, but I know a lot of people who will probably never buy Nikon products ever again because of their rough experience with the D600.

  2. November 5, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Never mind the comparison, for many this will simply be a lovely thing that they enjoy using. We should never over estimate the importance of the joy from using a tool that is aesthetically pleasing. I doubt I will buy one but if they could apply the same logic to a gorgeous rangefinder paying similar homage but to the S series, then I’d be taking out whatever loan I needed….

  3. 6
    ) FrancoisR
    November 5, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Thank you for nice work, (u r d best)!
    For me who owned a reflex for 42 years, it’s a marvelous return to the old days. I love the look and dials. The D4 sensor is very attractive. But I have a hard time justifying the purchase. Plus I’m so pleased with my D800. I dont feel any rush to get to the store. My Buddy is buying a D610 for Xmas so I will have a chance to play with the counterpart. When well into a few years of mirrorless use (still waiting for a decent Nikon or Canon), I will probably buy a used one just for the feel. Or maybe sooner? Ah ah ah.

    I hope Nikon has finally fixed their qualy control for both. Mine is in for sensor cleaning. I tried as much as I could to do it myself. Spots seem to have “cooked” into it. Canon is light (lol) years ahead on that respect. Never had any issue with my 5D’s.

  4. 7
    ) Ján Halaša
    November 5, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Hi Romanas, thank you for the comparison.
    Just a correction about the battery life – I think CIPA standard measurement uses 50% shots with a built-in flash and since Df doesn’t have it, it’s life is rated to a higher number of shots. I guess D610 would get to around the same number without using its flash.

    • November 5, 2013 at 6:43 am

      Ján,

      I am not really sure about the procedures, you might be right :)

    • 32
      ) Naveen
      November 6, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Ján is correct. See item 2.5 of page 2 of the CIPA guide, available here: http://www.cipa.jp/english/hyoujunka/kikaku/pdf/DC-002_e.pdf. The article should be corrected, because the statement “despite the smaller battery, it has a massively improved battery life” is probably false or, at best, unwarranted.

      • November 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

        Ján, Naveen – thank you! I’ve edited the article.

  5. 9
    ) Renato
    November 5, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Any news about Nikon Df environment sealing? As D610 has the same sealing as the D800, I’d like to hear something good about the new Df.

  6. 10
    ) Keith
    November 5, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I am probably alone with this gripe but will air it anyway.
    I believe 9though not certain) that the Nikon Df is fitted with the consumer grade MC-DC2 port used for remote control use, not the far better quality 10 pin port.
    I find that quite unacceptable in a body of the reported price point of £2750.
    It is one of the deal breakers for me re a D610 or a D7100 too.
    Having quite easily broken a MC-DC2 port a D90 a few years ago and paying a considerable repair cost of £350, I became quite reluctant to use a wired remote on the D90 after that, I also read that quite a few other D90 users also suffered the same problem.
    On my D300s I have the 10 pin port which is a very solid connection and I don’t get any trepidation attaching a wired remote to it.
    Hence i keep patiently waiting for the D300s replacement, it it ever does become a reality i hope it will be built as well as the D300s.

    • November 5, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Keith, I hear you – I also find the 10-pin connector that much better. The good thing is, you can use a regular, old-fashioned, mechanical cord that screws right into the shutter release button, just like with cameras of old and, say, Fujifilm X mirrorless/X100s. You can get those used for pennies, too. Perhaps a good trade-off?

      • 15
        ) Keith
        November 5, 2013 at 9:33 am

        Romanas, that is fair comment, you have enlightened me regards the Df having that facility!

  7. 14
    ) Val
    November 5, 2013 at 9:03 am

    It is very interesting to find that the IQ-wise Nikon’s FF entry level DSLR is not any different than its top of the line model.

    I guess that is why DPreview still does not have a full review on D4.

    With regard of Df, I shoot mostly in the Aperture priority mode, so even though it is cool to have the shutter speed dial on the top of the camera, it will almost never be used. And I will still need to use that wheel to change the aperture setting.

    So, can I justify extra $800.00 just for a new wrapping for the same old stuff?

  8. 17
    ) Jorge Balarin
    November 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    The DF has the same sensor of the D4 but no the same autofocus points frame coverage, and at its price that is unforgivable.

    • November 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      I often wonder what the manufacturing costs are between sensors? People (clearly not you Jorge) understand that it’s not just the sensor that makes the camera. More specifically, it’s not just the sensor that causes such differences in price between cameras.

      The D4 is a tank, a semi-hollowed brink of magnesium alloy goodness, has an integrated grip, has a better AF module, has better continuous fps and what appears to be a more robust shutter setup.

      As there isn’t much a difference between the D4 and the D800 save the sensor and the integrated grip, it looks like the the heftier armour and controls and shutter mechanism give the price a huge boost. Thoughts?

      • 50
        ) Jorge Balarin
        November 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

        Sorry Alistair, but the one that has reading understanding problems is not me. I know perfectly that there is a big difference between the D4 and the DF. I said : “The DF has the same sensor of the D4, but not the same autofocus points coverage..”. I never said that only the sensors determine the price of a camera. I didn’t talk about that at all, and not even mentioned prices.

        As an owner of a D700, I would like that the DF (the closest thing to a D700 update launched recently by Nikon) had at least the same autofocus points frame coverage of my camera. Nikon used a full frame autofocus system in the D7100, and I can not justify that they are not doing the same in the DF. Entendiste ?

  9. 18
    ) ARGA
    November 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    The Df makes sense for style, but it’s by no means a game changer. IMO, Nikon created another camera in a weird category to prevent cannibalizing their other DSLRs. Kind of like their Nikon 1 with its puny sensor. Smart move? meh… it’s a cool kid who decided not to play with others. It’s its own new category.

    All that aside, I still think this camera is beautifully designed. For photography, it’s good enough for me.
    The price tag is obviously where it is to protect the newly released D610 and not intrude in the pro D800 and above. I will not be hunting eBay for old lenses either. I think this is more for people who already own those vintage lenses, it’s a way to reignite old memories and that “good old day” feeling.

    For those of us who aren’t love stuck by the “new toy” bug. We can tell the D610 is a better tool in many ways, but one can’t help to feel attracted to the idea that some times less is more with the Df. Less fiddling, more about the image. To me, it’s a matter of personality and just the fact it looks different. It won’t make me a better photographer.

    If money is no issue, I’d get the Df. If money is an issue, the D610. D600 users shouldn’t feel cheated. Outside of the dust issue, the technology in the Nikon world has not changed much since the D4 and the D7000 came out. After the D7000, all cameras are kicking butt. All these little changes are distractions from getting out there and taking great pictures.

    • November 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      ” After the D7000, all cameras are kicking butt.”

      Absolutely. Except if Nikon didn’t go all Leica with the Df, A lot more photographers would actually BUY this camera. I have the D800 and D4. I don’t think I need to tell you why I’d love to have the Df as a walkaround/2nd body/travel camera…..OK, I will:
      - IT’S TINY in comparison: A street photographer’s dream.
      - A shutter that “has been designed to replicate the shutter sound of classic Nikon cameras.” If that means it lacks the thunderbolt-like shutter noise of the D4….AWESOME.
      - the retro is cool for me
      - 16MP sensor: small files, awesome ISO performance (no flash? no worries!)

      Need I say more?

      • 52
        ) ARGA
        November 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm

        lol @ going Leica.

        You’re right. Well, hmmm, I think Nikon is going Leica + Apple on all of us. Giving us less, charging more. It’s a tough decision when we want the looks and size of the Df. But in practical terms, I’d rather spend the extra cash on better glass.

        Sigh, decisions decisions. I think the Df is for those who have their glass collection already. Coming back to my senses, it’s a waste of cash for someone like me. I’ll stick with the D610.

  10. 19
    ) Val
    November 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    According to some data (http://snapsort.com/compare/Nikon-D4-vs-Nikon-D610),

    Nikon D610 has a better than D4 dynamic range (14.2 vs 13.1). I think value of D4 sensor is simply overstated.

    Well… looks like my next cam will be D610 – good camera but not the Dream Camera yet.

    • 28
      ) Jon
      November 6, 2013 at 5:16 am

      That’s just using DxO measurements at base ISO though. Not that I disagree with them but DR isn’t only about landscape users shooting ISO 100 and pushing shadows incredibly hard in post.

      When you get to ISO 800 the D4 sensor have the advantage in DR and your talking levels where you’ll notice the difference without heavy editing.

      Rather than the DVD’s or the ship I’d suggest people look at the piece of wood in the shadows behind, even with no attempt to lift the shadows at all the D4 sensor clearly looks a lot better by ISO 1600.

  11. 20
    ) jtra
    November 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    D610 does not have same sensor as D600. Compare them at dxomark and you will see that D610 has slight improvement at ISO 25600, elsewhere it is same. D4 and Df sensors might have small differences too.

    • November 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      It is the same sensor. The variation between values is, basically, margin of error the system of testing has. Even judging by what you said – there is a slight improvement at ISO 25600, but it is the same elsewhere. Would you even notice that difference if it weren’t expressed in numbers? I am not sure.

    • 22
      ) Val
      November 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you, jtra,

      Will wait till full reviews and tests are available. So, it’ll be either D610 or Df. I would love Df to turn to be a worthy camera.

      Val

  12. 23
    ) Ardis
    November 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Dear Romanas Naryškin,

    I currently owned Nikon D600, if I knew D610 and this camera would release a year later, I would not have purchased the D600. Do you think I should sell my D600 and get this one?

    Thanks

    • November 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Ardis,

      imagine there is no D610. Are you happy with your camera? If yes, there is no reason for you to sell it. If no, what does D610 posses that would make you happy with it?

      • 25
        ) Ardis
        November 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        I am happy with my D600, and I would not sell my D600 and get D610, they are almost identical. What I prefer is the D4 sensor Df. If I know Nikon is going to produce a Df, then I would not have purchased the D600. I owned a D700, Df is more closer to what I need.
        Thanks for your kindly reply !

  13. 26
    ) Arash
    November 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Hi, Thank you for the comparison. From my understanding, the DF is a d610 with an older Sensor in a smaller old fashion box. I beleive my heart is going to listen to my pocket for a while and to chose between these two, i’ll go for the D610… for the show, i’ll get out the real FM2 (that I paid for 400$, 20 years ago and still works like a charm). And if I wanted to be pushed really hard by the a tool, I’ll buy or rent a D800E.

  14. 27
    ) Bart
    November 6, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Romanas, do you think this is something for the pro wedding photographer? high iso and low weight. or more aimed at the amateur?

    • November 6, 2013 at 5:42 am

      Bart, I think it would work well for a wedding photographer, but mostly one who prefers lightweight primes over huge zoom lenses. Wedding photographers are also different and take a very different approach, so it all depends. :) For me – yes. Another bonus IS the looks of the camera when shooting people. They will just react to it better than they would if shot with something like a D800, because it is less imposing.

      • 30
        ) Bart
        November 6, 2013 at 7:17 am

        My choice is currently between the Df and D800 for wedding photography. The Df has only 1 card slot which I find a very large downside. The large files from the d800 also I use big zoom lenses so then is the advantage of a small body not really for me. difficult choice :)

  15. 31
    ) Federico
    November 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec, no 1/200! gracias por la review! saludos

  16. November 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I like the looks of the Df, but I believe for my needs my next camera will be a D800E, which right now are under $3000. Although I’m quite happy with my D700.

  17. 38
    ) Val
    November 7, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Hi, guys,
    Does anyone has a reference for a good portable case to house something like D610/Df and a spare prime lens?

    • 42
      ) AM
      November 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Think Tank Retrospective 5.
      I personally use the Retrospective 20 as I carry a D600 with battery grip, 70-200mm f/2.8, 28mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, SB-700 with case and accessories, extra batteries, extra cards, black rapid strap, and even snacks :-).

      • 43
        ) Val
        November 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        Thank you, AM,
        I have looked at Think Tank Retrospective 5 – that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.
        Thanks again.

  18. November 7, 2013 at 7:37 am

    The part I’m intrigued about is the WiFy of the DF. It said its Eye-Fi Compatible. However, it shoot RAW(as well as .jpeg) The biggest reason Eye-Fi suck is send RAW images take about 2 1/2 weeks to send one image – lol. I wonder if any improvement here.

    • November 7, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Jim,

      I would not count on it, it is really Eye-Fi card that is responsible for the image transfer speed, mostly.

  19. 41
    ) max
    November 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I don’t look at my camera, I look through the viewfinder. Idon’t show my camera I show pictures!

    For nostagic feelings take a real analog camera and no imitation!

    • 45
      ) Val
      November 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Hi, Max,
      I see what you are trying to say! In addition to viewing, I used to feel the camera – if it will shake when I press the button, what DOF it will give me, what will be the lag, I knew that it will focus on the eyes rather than on ears.
      I had these feelings only with 2 cameras – Contax III and Sony 717.

      • 46
        ) max
        November 7, 2013 at 11:51 pm

        and i presume only smaller lenses will balance. So you are limited to primes.And where is your retro look using a 24-70mm lens for example?

  20. 44
    ) Camerahound
    November 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I bought the D600 when it first came out. The sensor over time developed annoying spots , so sent it in to Nikon they cleaned it, sent it back. Again came the annoying spots, again back to Nikon -this time they changed the shutter mechanism. No problems since then. This I believe will help resale value. The D600 is an awesome camera – best yet for the money. IMHO the D610 is near perfection for dollar spent at this time.

    Hey Nikon, Silver and Gold does not look that great together. Love the retro look and feel of the camera – about $800 overpriced however.

    Thank you Photography Life – great website!

  21. 51
    ) Val
    November 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Hi, guys,

    Want to ask a question.

    If a picture is taken with D610 (24 mp) with a 50 mm lens and then cropped (not downscaled) to 16 mp, would its quality comparable to a picture taken with Df and 70 mm lens?

    Basically, how much image IQ will I lose if I use digital zoom during post-production? If loss of image quality is negligible, it might mean that I do not have to frequently switch between a normal and portrait primes.

    Just a question. Any comment is very appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

  22. 53
    ) Miro
    November 16, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Hi
    I have got the olympus em 1 recently and I am very disappointed with it. So I think of getting one of this two NIkon cameras. The reason of disappointment is the long exposure noise. All reviews are talking about the high ISO performance but no review is telling anything about long exposures. Olympus em-1 was getting very good scores at very high ISO but on the tripod (used by me all the time) with exposures of 30-60 seconds olympus appeared to be absolute disaster. More than 50% of pixels in the dark areas were bad pixels. I will never get back to olympus but also I am afraid to buy a new equipment without finding first how the camera cope with long exposures.
    Could you be so kind and run some test on this issue. Simply comparison of 30 or 60 seconds on ISO 100 should be bough.
    Miro from http://www.otravistagallery.com

  23. 55
    ) kayla bryson
    November 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    The Df is indeed a pretty camera, and it’s aesthetics probably bring on nostalgia for a lot of old-school photographers. I can’t imagine that I would pay that much though for a camera that is lacking in certain things (like a built-in flash—I think most people use this, even if built-in flashes aren’t the best quality). I think I’d probably just stick with the D610 and use the extra money saved from not buying the Df to get a nice lens or something! ;)

    • November 21, 2013 at 5:11 am

      Kayla, thanks for your thoughts. :)

      I personally don’t use the built-in flash for anything but commander mode which allows me to use the Sb-900. As a fill-flash option, I think the built-in unit works extremely poorly and I never, ever use it for that purpose. But then, to each his own. For me, the lack of built-in flash is more of an advantage than a disadvantage, for someone else it is a must-have feature.

      • 58
        ) ARGA
        November 21, 2013 at 10:50 am

        I’ve to agree with Kayla, and say that built in flash is a huge convenience, and most people who don’t know better yet use it. I’m not a big flash user (mostly because I’m new to it, and I find it very frustrating), but I’ve seen people work magic with off camera flash.
        But the Nikon Df is not for most people. Most users would find it a pain to use, so I’ll agree with Romanas and say confidently that people getting the Df will not be missing the built in flash anyway because they are pros or advanced amateurs.
        In any case, I’ve had a change of heart. I think I’ll end up taking the D610 and spend the rest in better glass. The Df is a camera one buys strictly for the looks, because $ 2,800 is a laughable price for what the camera can do. You’re basically buying a Nikon D4 sensor in nice wrapping. Mind you, I hate 24MP. 16MP is my favorite number. So if I get a Df, it will be for less MP.

    • 64
      ) eraserfish
      December 30, 2013 at 5:32 am

      “The Df is indeed a pretty camera, and it’s aesthetics probably bring on nostalgia for a lot of old-school photographers”

      Exactly! I hate flashes so I buy good glass with big Apertures. I seriously almost never use flash except for artistic indoor shoots where they are on triggers anyway. Customers and people in general hate flashes being fired at them. Get in, get your snaps and get out. The Df little footprint is just like that. Go do some street shooting with a D3 or a D7000 with handgrip and 70-200 2.8 attached and have people offer to break your camera for you (ask me how I know). I think the Df is an expensive act of genius from Nikon and shows respect for the older dorks like me who have old lenses. That price will have to go down soon anyway. We can already get a D600 for $1300-$1400 if you look hard. Cameras come and go anyway, but glass will last a lifetime.

  24. November 20, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Also, I’d just like to say thanks for the comparison. You did a super thorough job, and I am a big fan of pictures when it comes to reviews/comparisons of cameras. And your summary really says it all—live and let live. There are a lot of jaded people out there who believe that whatever pretty thing they have reigns supreme and everything else is just a joke. It’s nice to see someone (i.e., YOU) create a space to allow everybody and their pretty things to commingle together in peace. :) Thank you.

  25. November 23, 2013 at 6:14 am

    “Plus, you are getting the D4 sensor in a package that is twice cheaper.”

    Twice cheaper? You mean half the price.

    You cannot use a multiple to describe a fraction. You have taken poor grammar / syntax to a whole new level.

    • November 23, 2013 at 6:24 am

      Gareth,

      thank you for the note, already fixed. Although I have to say the last remark wasn’t really necessary. I am a Russian born in Lithuania, and considering that I would say my knowledge of (British) English is rather good, if not quite flawless. Sometimes, I make errors and either Nasim or our readers are then kind enough to point them out in an understanding and polite manner, which I wholeheartedly appreciate.

      What is your excuse?

  26. 61
    ) Jorge Balarin
    November 25, 2013 at 7:11 am

    In spanish it is correct to say “mil veces mas barato” ( a thousand times cheaper ). Gareth must use his imagination to understand without complaining. By the way, I think that the most people who speak English are not capable to talk in a second language.

  27. 62
    ) Val
    November 25, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Would love to see a sample picture taken with a D610 at the base ISO with Zeis Otus at f/4 and f/5.6.

    Maybe one day some lucky owner of them both would post it …

  28. 63
    ) eraserfish
    December 30, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Hey great article. So many intelligent comments and some ignorant ones too! The Df is just going to come down to that one question. Do you love it? I think I really would. I have a bunch of old film bodies that I drag around because they feel so awesome and put me in touch with my photos in a way that digital doesn’t. But developing and getting film is starting to be a real bummer. I also have a bunch of old Nikon lenses that would just be a blast to shoot on the Df and would bring new life to their capabilities. Think about the 20-35mm 2.8on the Df, or any of the old 50mm’s. Fun! Or the 28mm! With the lowlight capabilities of the Df and 85mm 1.4d you could get the best night shots and just look like someone passing through. I want one for sure! I will wait for the Dfs to come out and fix some trivial junk and then I will have a Df for around $2000. The tortoise always finishes the race!

  29. 65
    ) Richard Weber
    January 5, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Romanas – thanks for the good info. I was considering the Df, D800 and D610 as an upgrade from my current D60. Shoot wildlife on safaris, equestrian sports and dabble in landscapes and macro plants etc. Finally pulled the trigger and purchased a Nikon D610 as the best compromise between safaris and equestrian sports. Now working on lenses. I plan to purchase the the 80-400 before the trip in May 2014 to Namibia and eventually a Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VRII. Right now focusing on landscape/all around lens-considering the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 G ED vs Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120 F4G ED. Do you have a recomendation of one over the other? Only wanted to mess with 2 lenses in Namibia. Thanks. r

    • January 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Richard,

      as an all-rounder, I’d take the 24-120mm f/4 VR. It will be smaller, lighter, much more suitable for travel, and you would not use f/2.8 for landscape photography anyway, whilst the longer focal length might come in handy.

    • 67
      ) Jorge Balarin
      January 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      Richard, I was in Namibia. For landscapes you are going to be very well served with the 24-70mm; and as Romanas said the 24-120mm could be even better. In the part of Namibia were I was, also a 70-200 mm comes very handy for landscape shooting. To photograph wilde animals, at least in Namibia, nothing is enough. You will need a lot of milimeters of focal lenght.

      But here comes my most important advice: Buy an anti-snake pair of boots. They will not protect you against a black mamba (they stand up more than two meters and they could bite your face), but they are useful against other dangerous species like the puff adder. It is a fact that when you are looking for a nice landscape photo you can miss a well camouflaged snake. Here you have a link of a good pair of boots that you could buy in Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/LaCrosse-Alpha-Mudlite-Snake-Hunting/dp/B007FOCPZ2/ref=pd_sbs_shoe_35

      • 68
        ) Richard Weber
        January 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        Thanks-both of you for your quick comments. I did order the 24-70 because I have never had a fast high quality lens. we will see when it gets here how I like the weight, ergonomics etc. Plan to get the 80-400 in late march or so to allow some time to get used to it before I go. I had recomendations from 3 safaris sites to get that lens as a good compromise for being banged around in a vehicle all day vs photo reach- guess those guys don’t recommend the 600 primes unless you have a personal porter which I will not have.

        Thanks also for the tip on the snake boots. Will contact our tour company on whether we will be out of the vehicle or not. Were really not allowed out during the Tanzania trip with same folks but I know there are some trek items on this trip in the sand dunes etc. Do plan to go the 70-200 route but unless I win the lottery, not happening before I go to Africa. that should be my primary equestrian sports lens for the future. Migrating from tossing hay bales to capturing photos as i progress towards 70. lol

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