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Nikon D610 vs D800

The Nikon D610 and the Nikon D800 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and February 2012. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The D610 has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels, whereas the D800 provides 36.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D610 versus Nikon D800
Nikon D610 Nikon D800
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor 36.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (50 - 25,600) ISO 100-6,400 (50 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2 LCD, 921k dots 3.2 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
900 shots per battery charge900 shots per battery charge
141 x 113 x 82 mm, 850 g 146 x 123 x 82 mm, 1000 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D610 and the Nikon D800? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D610 and the Nikon D800 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D610 vs Nikon D800
Compare D610 versus D800 top
Comparison D610 or D800 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D800 is notably larger (13 percent) than the Nikon D610. Moreover, the D800 is markedly heavier (18 percent) than the D610. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D610 141 mm 113 mm 82 mm 850 g 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D800 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 1000 g 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999i
 
Canon 6D 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D780 144 mm 116 mm 76 mm 840 g 2260 Y Jan 2020 2,299 i
 
Nikon D850 146 mm 124 mm 79 mm 1005 g 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i
 
Nikon D500 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D750 141 mm 113 mm 78 mm 750 g 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D810 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 980 g 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Nikon D7100 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon Df 144 mm 110 mm 67 mm 760 g 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Nikon D600 141 mm 113 mm 82 mm 850 g 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D800E 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 1000 g 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299i
 
Nikon D700 147 mm 123 mm 77 mm 1074 g 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The D610 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the D800, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D610 and Nikon D800 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the D800 offers a higher resolution of 36.2 megapixels, compared with 24.2 MP of the D610. This megapixels advantage translates into a 22 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the D800 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 5.97μm for the D610). Moreover, it should be noted, that the D610 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 months) than the D800, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D800 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D800 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 36.8 x 24.6 inches or 93.5 x 62.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 29.4 x 19.6 inches or 74.8 x 49.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 24.5 x 16.4 inches or 62.3 x 41.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D610 are 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm for good quality, 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm for very good quality, and 20.1 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D610 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 50-25600. The Nikon D800 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

D610 versus D800 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon D610 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594
 
Nikon D800 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
 
Nikon D780 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p........
 
Nikon D850 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
 
Nikon D810 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
 
Nikon D600 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094
 
Nikon D800E Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D610 and the D800 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), as well as the same magnification (0.70x). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D610 and Nikon D800 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon D610optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D800optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n
 
Canon 6Doptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n
 
Nikon D780optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n n
 
Nikon D850optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Nikon D750optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D810optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n
 
Nikon D600optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n
 
Nikon D800Eoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n
 
Nikon D700optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n

The Nikon D610 and the Nikon D800 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D610 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D800 uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D610 and Nikon D800 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon D610YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D800YmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D780YstereomonoYYmini3.1Y-Y
 
Nikon D850YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D810YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D600YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D800EYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D700Y----mini2.0---

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

The D610 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the D800 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D800 was succeeded by the Nikon D810. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D610 or the Nikon D800 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Nikon D610:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (141x113mm vs 146x123mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 150g or 15 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 8 months after the D800).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D800:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (36.2 vs 24.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D610 comes out slightly ahead of the D800 (5 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D610 05:04 D800

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D610 and the Nikon D800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D610 or the D800 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D610+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D800+ +82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999i
 
Canon 6D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D780..87/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2020 2,299 i
 
Nikon D850+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D750+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D810..86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon Df..81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Nikon D600+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D800E..84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299i
 
Nikon D70089/100+ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D610:
Check Amazon price
Nikon D800:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Nikon D610 vs Nikon D800

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D610 Nikon D800
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date October 2013 February 2012
    Launch Price USD 1,999 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D610 Nikon D800
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24.2 Megapixels 36.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6016 x 4016 pixels 7360 x 4912 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.97 μm 4.88 μm
    Pixel Density 2.80 MP/cm2 4.20 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 25,600 ISO 50 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 3 EXPEED 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 94 95
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1 25.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.4 14.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2925 2853
    Screen Specs Nikon D610 Nikon D800
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.70x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D610 Nikon D800
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D610 Nikon D800
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D610 Nikon D800
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15 EN-EL15
    Battery Life (CIPA)900 shots per charge900 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 141 x 113 x 82 mm
    (5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 in)
    146 x 123 x 82 mm
    (5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 850 g (30.0 oz) 1000 g (35.3 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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