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Nikon D7100 vs D610 – Which is the Better DSLR: D7100 or D610?

Nikon d610 or d7100

The Nikon D7100 and the Nikon D610 are cameras that were first introduced in 2013 and fit into Nikon’s enthusiast line up, which is positioned between Nikon’s Professional and entry level DSLR lineups.  The market for these two cameras is the experienced photographer, who are looking for more advanced capabilities and features than the cameras found in the entry lineup, but do not need the more robust build and waterproofing capabilities found in Nikon’s more expensive professional lineup.

While not as robust as the professional line up, the image quality found in both cameras is equal or better than the more expensive cameras found in the professional lineup.  Either camera would be a great addition to any photographer’s kit.

In a big hurry? Check out my quick highlights for an overview of the comparison:

Nikon D610 Advantages Nikon D7100 Advantages
Full frame sensor (vs cropped on D7100) More autofocus points (51 vs 39 for the D610)
Best value for a full frame (FX) DSLR under $1500 (see this listing for the latest pricing) Better in low light conditions
Cropped sensor has “closed the gap” in terms of performance vs full frame
Less expensive by roughly $500 (see this listing)

Nikon D7100 | Amazon
$404.00

Incorporating recent advancements in HD-SLR technology, the D7100 brings a thrilling new level of image quality, speed, connectivity and creative capabilities—a specially designed 24.1-megapixel DX-format image sensor, superior low-light performance, ultra-precise autofocus and metering, advanced video recording features, built-in HDR, mobile connectivity and much, much more.

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/26/2022 12:07 am GMT

Continue reading for the full comparison in detail..

Just the Facts, A Side-By-Side Comparison of the Nikon D610 vs D7100

Nikon D7100 Nikon D610
Year Introduced 2013 2013
Format DX FX
Crop Factor 1.3x None
Megapixels 24.1  24.3
Processor EXPEED 3 EXPEED 3
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Image Format RAW or JPG RAW or JPG
Sensor Size 23.5 mm x 15.6 mm 35.9 mm x 24 mm
Sensor Cleaner Yes Yes
Autofocus Points 51 39
View Finder Coverage 100% 100%
Frames Per Second 6 6
ISO 100-6400 100-6400
Expandable ISO  Up to 25,610 Up to 25,610
Built In Flash Yes Yes
Card Slots 2 2
Card Type SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC
LCD Size 3.2” 3.2”
LCD Fixed or Swivel Fixed Fixed
Video Yes Yes
Video Type HD 1,920 x 1,080 / 60l HD 1920 x 1080 / 30 FPS
Internal Autofocus Motor Yes Yes
GPS Optional Accessory Optional Accessory
Wireless Optional Accessory Optional Accessory
Wi-Fi Optional Accessory Optional Accessory
                                                        Battery Single EN-EL15 Single EN-EL15
Unique Features  U1 and U2 Settings  U1 and U2 Settings
Size Without Lens 5.3” x 4.2” x 3.0” 5.6” x 4.4” x 3.2”
Weight Without Lens 23.8 Ounces 26.8 Ounces
Manufactured In Thailand Thailand
Body Only or with Kit Lens Body or 3 Kit Options Body or Kit
Accessories Manual, Charger, Cables Manual, Charger, Cables
Cost* Around $1,049.95 (Body Only) Around $1,799.95 (Body Only)

*Information from Nikon USA website, including pricing.

Similarities Between the D7100 and D610

Nikon d610 or d7100

  • Size and Weight: The D7100 and the D610 are very similar in many aspects, including size, weight and many of the internal components used in the cameras.  The D7100 is approximately ¼” smaller in height, width and depth and 3 ounces lighter than the D610.
  • Megapixels and ISO: Both cameras also have CMOS sensors, as well as EXPEED 3 processors, which are capable of processing image files of 24 megapixels.  Other similarities include dual SD card slots, a built in flash, a normal ISO range of 100-6,400, with the capability for the ISO to be increased up to 25,610.
  • FPS: Also both cameras have the ability to shoot at 6 frames per second.
  • HD Video: In addition, both cameras have the ability to shoot HD video in a variety of formats including 1,920 x 1,080 as well, making both cameras appealing to film makers.
  • Presets: The D7100 and the D610 both have in common the U1 and U2 settings, which allow the photographer to save preferred settings, which can be instantly recalled by turning a knob.  This eliminates the need to reconfigure the camera using the time-consuming menu system.   This feature was first introduced in the D7000 and is a very useful feature for photographers at any level.
  • Both Upgrades Over Earlier Models: Another similarity of the two cameras is that both are upgrades to previously introduced cameras, with the D7100 being an upgrade to the popular D7000 and the D610 being an upgrade to the D600.  Both the D7100 and D610 have incorporated numerous improvements and upgrades to earlier versions of the camera.  While the D7000 is still in Nikon’s line up, the D600 is not.

Differences Worth Considering

There are two significant differences between the D7100 and the D610 with the first being the type of sensor being used and the second being the capabilities of the autofocus system.

The D7100 uses Nikon’s DX format, which uses a smaller or cropped sensor, while the D610 uses Nikon’s FX or full-framed sensor.

Historically, full-framed sensors have been considered to be better than the less expensive and smaller cropped sensors.  This was especially true in low light conditions, where high ISOs were used.  While the cropped sensors were capable of excellent images, they tended to have “noise” in the image at the high ISO settings used in low light.  Processing software in the camera was capable of cleaning up the image during processing, however the images often lost sharpness as a result.  Due to advances in sensor technology, the newest cropped sensor and EXPEED 3 processor found in the D7100 are capable of capturing clean images at high ISO settings, without losing sharpness in the images during processing.  As one would expect, the full-framed sensor found in the D610 is capable of capturing sharp, clean images in low light where high ISO settings are used.

The other difference between the two cameras is in the autofocus system.  The D7100 has a 51-point system compared to the 39-point system of the D610. 

While all autofocus systems typically work well in normal light conditions, the autofocus system found on the D7100 works extremely well in all conditions, including very low light conditions.  On the other hand the autofocus system used in the D610 has a tendency to search or hunt for focus in low light conditions.  Although 39 autofocus points are plenty, the points of the D610 tend to be clustered in the center of the viewfinder, making many of them functionally useless in real life shooting conditions.

Pros and Cons 0f Both Cameras

As with any camera, there are a number of pros and cons to each camera. As far as “pros” go, the D7100 and the D610 are both capable of taking excellent photographs, which is more important than anything else.  Their size and lightweight make both cameras easy to carry around and eliminates any excuse not to carry the camera around all of the time.  The ability of both cameras to back up images to a second SD card is also a huge plus for both cameras, as well as the built in autofocus motors found in both cameras, which allows older lenses, without autofocus motors, to be used.

When you look at the cameras separately, the D7100 has really reduced the gap between crop sensor and full frame cameras, especially in low light situations.  The D610 has opened the enthusiast segment of the market to a full framed camera for under $2,000, which was previously unheard of.

The main “con” of both cameras could be the small size, as photographers with larger hands may find both cameras uncomfortable to grip for long periods of time due to their small size.  A related downside to both cameras is that they do not feel balanced when a large zoom lens is used, making the camera hard to stabilize when hand held, without a monopod or tripod.

While it is difficult to find any weakness in the D7100, the biggest downside of the D610 is the autofocus system, which tends to struggle for focus in low light situations.  However this was a compromise that Nikon purposely made to have a full frame enthusiast camera at this price point.

Nikon D610 | Amazon
$579.95

The Nikon D610 Digital SLR Camera has the power of a 24.3 MP Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor in a compact, streamlined HD-SLR body. The Nikon D610 Digital SLR Camera has the power of a 24.3 MP Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor in a compact, streamlined HD-SLR body.

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We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/26/2022 07:27 am GMT

Overall Recommendation: Which to Choose?

In many ways, Nikon confuses the consumer by having so many cameras on the market with overlapping capabilities both within the line up as well as the between the line ups.  Previously Nikon’s entry level and enthusiast cameras were in the DX format, while the professional grade cameras were FX.  Now Nikon has less capable FX format cameras in the enthusiast line up completing against superior DX cameras, which are cheaper.  This is true of the Nikon D7100 and the D610, with the D7100 representing Nikon’s most advanced DX camera, with the D610 being a less capable entry-level full frame camera, both of which are competing for the same consumers.

While both are excellent cameras, I prefer the Nikon D7100 to the D610, due to the superior performance of the D7100, as well as the lower price.  The D7100 is simply a better overall value when compared to the D610.  In my view, there is no justification for the $750 premium for the less capable full-framed D610, since the D7100 has virtually eliminated the performance gap between full frame and crop sensors.   If I were in the market for a full-framed camera, I would look at other options in Nikon’s FX line up, which provide better performance at a slightly higher cost, otherwise, I would buy a D7100, as it is provides the best bang for the buck!

Nikon D7100 | Amazon
$404.00

Incorporating recent advancements in HD-SLR technology, the D7100 brings a thrilling new level of image quality, speed, connectivity and creative capabilities—a specially designed 24.1-megapixel DX-format image sensor, superior low-light performance, ultra-precise autofocus and metering, advanced video recording features, built-in HDR, mobile connectivity and much, much more.

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/26/2022 12:07 am GMT

The Camera Guide Team
 

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