The Nikon D610 full frame camera impresses us on the microscope
In the autumn of 2012, Nikon very successfully introduced the Nikon D600 full frame camera at a price that was also affordable for hobby photographers. Barely a year later, with the Nikon D610, the company has now launched its updated model.
The Nikon D610 is, as can be seen at first glance, a robust, large camera. It weighs 772 grams without lens and, like all of the cameras in this price category, is very well built. The body is made from a magnesium-aluminium alloy, and the ergonomics are well thought-out. It is comfortable to hold and the layout of the operating controls is practical. In contrast to lower priced Nikon models (e.g. the D5300), the push buttons hardly make a sound.
The screen is large (3.2“), but unfortunately neither touch-sensitive nor rotatable. For our specific purposes in microscopy and macroscopy, a touchscreen is not really necessary, but a vari-angle display would be an advantage. The argument for a fixed display is that it is more durable in mobile use.
The full frame sensor is identical to that of the Nikon D600 at 24 megapixels. While that is sufficient for photomicrography, we would not complain if the sensor had a higher number of pixels.
An update to the Nikon D600 is the “quiet continuous shooting” option, which can be set using the release mode dial. A newly developed shutter reduces the vibration caused by mirror slap.
The light sensitivity can be adjusted automatically from ISO 100 to 25,600, and manually from ISO 50. The colour depth is 42 bits.
As one would expect from cameras in this price range, all the functions that are important for microscopy are available:
- HDMI output with full HD (1800p) on an external monitor in Live View
- Magnifying function in Live View mode
- Control via PC (Nikon Camera Control Pro 2)
- Videos in Full-HD resolution
The Nikon D610 is also highly suitable for lectures and presentations, as there is no time limit in Live View. This may also be a significant advantage in medical practices, as the patient can watch along on an HD monitor. If you often work in Live View mode, an external power supply should be used, as the battery runs down very quickly.
With our LM digital adapters, it is very easy to attach the camera to all conventional microscopes (C-mount, Nikon V-T tube, 37 mm/38 mm/23.2 mm phototubes, etc.). We offer adapter solutions that connect to the phototubes or eyepiece tubes of microscopes.
The colour reproduction is excellent. In addition, however, the images should also be white-balanced.
To get the very best out of the camera when using it for microscopy, we recommend the Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 software. The Nikon D610 supports the software for controlling it from the PC perfectly.
The Nikon D610 is certainly an excellent camera for professional use in microscopy. As with all Nikon cameras, it is highly advisable to use the Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 software for high-quality photographic documentation. The sensor size of 24 megapixels is sufficient if the camera is primarily used with large magnifications (> 50x) on the microscope. If working mostly with low magnifications, the Nikon D800 with 36 megapixels is more suitable. This camera is capable of resolving even more details, provided that the microscope used itself has good lenses. The advantage over the Nikon D7100 is the higher colour depth (42 bits versus 36 bits).
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