last year I decided to upgrade my ageing bridge camera which was a Panasonic FZ38. I looked at all different cameras from fuji, Panasonic, Sony etc but decided on the Nikon P610 Superzoom Bridge Camera as this was in my budget of £300. The main features I was looking for was WiFi connectivity, good long zoom lens, manual controls, 1080p video and time-lapse function. Though the camera has loads more functions including gps, flip out screen loads of scene modes and user settings.
Compared to my older Panasonic the Nikon is a bit heavier at about 570grams, though this feels a bit weighty when holding isn’t that heavy to make it uncomfortable. You can get this camera in either black or red, I choose the red colour as I think looks bit smarter than the standard black on cameras of this size. You get the neck strap and lens cover included. The battery is Nikon’s own design though with the camera itself you don’t get a standalone charger only a usb cable to charge the battery in the camera from usb. Though you can easily get a standalone charger and additional batteries which I would recommend especially a spare battery just in case you run out of battery power while you are out.
The lens on this camera has a great range of 60x ( 24 – 1,440mm 35mm equivalent) when I first got the camera I tested the zoom lens taking photos of the moon and at full zoom, you nearly get full frame image of the moon, even doing this handheld you get great clarity. Then while we was out last year I tested a normal wide shoot then zoomed in, the photos below show how close you can get to the subject using the zoom lens.
For most people using this camera you have a auto scene mode that will detect the best setting for the shoot you are taking. You can also get direct into the manual settings for aperture, shutter speed etc. you also have one user setting to set your favorite setting, Though on my older Panasonic you could have upto three, which I do miss a bit only having just one. There are three modes for landscape both for day and night and night portrait. you then have a multi scene mode that has easy panorama, moon, bird watching, time lapse movie, portrait, sports, party/indoor, beach, snow, sunset, dusk / dawn, closeup, food, museum, fireworks, B&W, back lighting. So even if you are unfamiliar with manual setting you can select the perfect scene for the photo you are taking to get the best possible results. you also do have a effects setting that can give you different colour settings as well as selective colour mode.
One great function on the camera is the low light mode which you can go upto iso 6400, so you can take photos in very little light though they do come out grainy, but if the light is really low and really need to get a photo it will suffice. On the subject of iso I have found the results upto iso 800 to be good enough, though anything over this the picture quality does suffer. Another great function is the easy panoramic mode, this allows you to sweep the camera from left to right to get a nice looking panoramic shoot though the resolution is lower at bit at only 9600×920 for full 360-degree pan.
The screen is a 3″ 200 x 400 pixel display though this isn’t touch screen like other cameras in the same price range, but the screen does rotate and swivel so you can have it to the left side and at any angle which is great for taking photos of say flowers that are low down as you don’t need to be in line with what you are taking, and also you can do selfies if you really want to. You also have the eye piece screen aswell and this does have a auto setting so when putting to your eye close to evf it automatically flicks from the main screen to the eye piece, though I found this not to be perfect as some times flicks to the eye piece when you don’t want, though this can be turned off within the settings.
On the lens barrel you have zoom controls aswell as on the top of the camera. I found that this can be changed to manual focus controls instead which is really convenient there is also a button that when zoomed in just a quick press and temporary zooms out for easy composure of your shot.
The main function for me on the camera that is really useful is the WiFi connectivity. With this function you can connect the camera to your Android or iOS device to either download photos from the camera or control the camera. The app is nikon wmu and can download from the play or app store. To connect to the camera all you do is press the WiFi button on the camera if you have a nfc function on your device this can auto load the function. Then you select from your WiFi setting on your mobile device to the Nikon hotspot and then launch the app. For taking photos you only have control over taking the photo or video and zoom controls, no other functions are available. Though this is great for when your camera is on a tripod for use as a remote shutter release. This can only be used on mobile devices so far haven’t found a way to use with WiFi on normal windows pc which really for me would be a great advantage as when taking photos for product that list on eBay or my shop could directly transfer without having to connect the usb cable. For me this is great advantage and then to have the photos direct on my tablet. Also on the communication side you also have GPS for geotagging your photos.
Onto the main part of the camera is the image quality, using the auto scene mode does normally do a good job of getting the colours right though sometime when taking photos outdoor with trees or grass they can sometimes come out with the greens or browns over exaggerated though you do have under picture control different setting which are standard, neutral, vivid on monochrome. Though all in all the picture come out pretty good, they are a lot better than my old Panasonic. You have two settings for burst mode taking upto 7 shoots per second in quick succession. The macro mode does get as close to 1cm, so great for shots of flowers etc.
You can add filters to the camera, Nikon recommend buying an adapter ring, though you can get filters that are 52mm thread in size and they do fit the camera fine, I brought a entry level filter pack in this size that cost around £20 and came with nd filters as well as close up rings that can be stacked to get really close to the subject though you do get a little chromatic aberration (purple fringing) with the close up lens. But for the price of the filters can’t complain.
I have been happy with this camera so far in the 8 months or so that I have owned it and for the price great value for money for all the features you get, though not as good as a full DSLR, but great if you don’t want to lug around different lenses as the lens can capture what ever you want, though is a pity the camera doesn’t support RAW format only jpeg. Even with the sensor size of 1/2.3 inch which is really the same as most compact cameras, but then you do have full control over every aspect of taking your photos.
Below are just a few of the photos that I have took with the camera which I have resized down to 1600×1200 this is just to make it easier for load times.
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