Is the Nikon d610 DSLR worth buying in the age of cell phone photography? That can be asked about any camera. Buying any camera with interchangeable lenses is an investment, and can be an expensive decision, high-quality lenses can cost a lot of money. There is an algebraic formula that can be applied to camera lenses, Y= X+1, Y is the number of lenses you “need” and X is the number of lenses you currently own. I’ve been a fan of Nikon SLRs because the lens mount will accept any f mount lens.
I could buy any AI or beyond f mount lens and it will fit the d610, it won’t have computer control and autofocus, but it can be used. So who would want a Nikon d610 the most basic answer is a person who has owned a Nikon digital or film SLR camera in the past and wants to upgrade from the cropped (dx) sensor to full-frame (fx sensor) on a bit of a budget. Those people would likely already have some of the lenses for a Nikon camera so they will save a bit of money bringing their lenses to the d610 unless they bought the dx specific lenses. The people who take photographs with DSLRs may use their smartphones to take pictures as well (since the best camera you have is the one you bring with you) but they don’t like to be limited by the capabilities of their phone’s camera. With an SLR, or even an advanced point and shoot camera, the photographer has a lot more control of the image than they would with a cell phone. Additionally, the sensor on a DSLR is much larger than on a cell phone. A 24-megapixel cell phone camera isn’t equal to a 24-megapixel DSLR sensor.
The d610 is considered Nikon’s “entry-level” full-frame (FX sensor) DSLR so you won’t have the speed and power of their flagship DSLR bodies. So if you need to shoot 14 frames per second bursts and use 105 autofocus points to capture the Super Bowl-winning catch in low light, or need to film Junior’s soccer game in 4k, this is not the camera for you. Additionally, if the megapixel count is the most important specification in your decision to buy a camera, the d850, d810 or Z7 (if you want to go mirrorless) would be your choice, but you’re going to be paying for that decision with your hard drive getting gobbled up quickly.
However, this is an extremely capable camera. I have been taking photographs with this camera for the past weeks and have enjoyed it. I have been using the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 or the Yongnuo 50mm f1.8 lenses and the Nikon MB-D14 battery grip. The combination of the Tamron zoom lens and the battery grip adds a little bit of weight but doesn’t make it too uncomfortable on a padded neck strap over a two hour period. Focusing is pretty quick and the images have been sharp when I’ve brought them into Lightroom. I’ve had to do minimal adjustments in lightroom with the exception of images I didn’t expose correctly. Since I’ve owned a Nikon d7100 prior to owning the d610 the learning curve wasn’t very steep, the button setup and menu setup are pretty much the same.
I have turned to a few youtube tutorials because I’ve wanted to do stuff that I hadn’t learned about when I was using the d7100. I have been very happy with the upgrade to Nikon d610 and if you’re looking for a budget full-frame sensor DSLR I think you would enjoy it as well.