Choosing Between a Nikon CoolPix P600 and P610

Nikon Coolpix P610

Nikon Coolpix P610

I’ve written quite a bit about my Nikon P600 and even included some birding photography tips… but like all technology, now there is a new version of my camera (the Nikon CoolPix P610). I was interested to see what improvements that they’ve made, but I have to admit that there really aren’t all that many, which might be why it’s labeled a 610 and not a 700.

Basically, the upgrades of the P610 are:

  1. Built-in GPS

  2. NFC capability

  3. 1080/60p video (vs 1080/60i on the P600)

Nikon Coolpix P600

Nikon Coolpix P600

I’ve read on a couple of sites that the P610 now has 921k-dot-resolution display (vs 201k-dot EVF on the P600) but when you look on the Nikon website it lists the P600 having the same resolution display, it’s even one of the highlighted features… so I’m not sure where they are getting that from. I also read on several sites that the P610 has a Time Lapse mode, but I don’t see that listed anywhere officially from Nikon. I think that might be a misprint.

So let’s go through each of the new features and talk about them in regards to bird photography:

GPS

google mapsI have reservations about the GPS feature because you constantly have to turn it off and on. Imagine if you forgot to turn it off, took a picture of a bird in your backyard, and then posted it to the internet. Now the whole world knows where you live. On the other hand, it could be helpful when you are hiking and get a shot because then you would know exact where the bird was. You can read more about it on Nikon’s website but it’s something you would need to be careful about because apparently there are also countries and locations within the US in which it’s illegal to use recorded GPS devices.

NFC

nfc logoThe NFC doesn’t seem all that helpful personally. The photos are so large that it would take a while to transfer them no matter what, so I’m not sure what situation you would need that feature for. If you are interested in transferring pictures easily, you could always purchase a Eyefi Wifi SD card.

Video Quality

videoThe new feature that does interest me is the higher resolution video quality. It’s a technical difference between 1080/60p and 1080/60i, but basically it’s a higher frame rate which might matter to you if you want to use it for lots of high quality video. It would be helpful for that supposed Time Lapse mode, if it does indeed exist. Personally, I’ve taken video on the camera and I’ve enjoyed it although you need a fast SD card with lots of space to really make it worth it.

So, after going through all the differences now you have to ask yourself are these three features worth the extra cost? Maybe so, maybe not. Whichever you choose, you’ll end up with a great camera.

Check out the Nikon Coolpix P600 and Nikon Coolpix P610 on Amazon.

I’ve gone through and pulled the tech specs from the Nikon site and put them side-by-side so you don’t have to. All differences in RED. Enjoy.

Features

Nikon CoolPix P600

Nikon CoolPix P610

Effective pixels
Effective pixels 16.1 million 16.0 million
Image sensor
Image sensor 1/2.3-in. CMOS 1/2.3-in. type CMOS
total pixels: approx. 16.76 million Total pixels: approx. 16.76 million
Lens
Lens NIKKOR lens with 60x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with 60x optical zoom
Maximum aperture f/3.3 – f/6.5 f/3.3-6.5
Lens construction
Lens construction 16 elements in 11 groups (4 ED lens elements and 1 super ED lens element) 16 elements in 11 groups (4 ED lens elements and 1 super ED lens element)
Focal length range
Focal length range 4.3-258 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 24-1440 mm lens in 35mm [135] format) 4.3-258 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 24-1440 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
Digital zoom magnification
Digital zoom magnification Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 5760 mm lens in 35mm [135] format) Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 5760 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
Vibration reduction
Vibration reduction (see Motion Reduction row later) Lens-shift VR (still images), Combination of lens shift and electronic VR (movies)
Image size
Image size (pixels) 16 M [4608 x 3456] 16 M 4608 x 3456
8 M [3264 x 2448] 8 M 3264 x 2448
4 M [2272 x 1704] 4 M 2272 x 1704
2 M [1600 x 1200] 2 M 1600 x 1200
VGA [640 x 480] VGA 640 x 480
16:9 12M [4608 x 2592] 16:9 12 M 4608 x 2592
16:9 2M [1920 x 1080] 16:9 2 M 1920 x 1080
3:2 [4608 x 3072] 3:2 14 M 4608 x 3072
1:1 [3456 x 3456] 1:1 12 M 3456 x 3456
Storage
File Format Still Images JPEG Still images: JPEG
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC SD , SDHC , SDXC
Internal memory (approx. 56 MB)
File system   DCF and Exif 2.3 compliant
Shutter
Shutter type Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter
Shutter Speed 1/4000* – 1 s 1/4000 – 1 s
1/4000* – 15 s (when ISO sensitivity is 100 in M mode) 1/4000 *-15 s (when ISO sensitivity is 100 in M mode)
* When the aperture value is set to f/7.6 (wide-angle end) * When the aperture value is set to f/7.6 (wide-angle end)
Exposure
Metering Method Matrix, center-weighted, or spot Matrix, center-weighted, spot
Exposure Modes Programmed auto exposure with flexible program, shutter-priority auto, aperture-priority auto, manual Programmed auto exposure with flexible program, shutter-priority auto, aperture-priority auto, manual, exposure bracketing, exposure compensation (-2.0 EV – +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
ISO sensitivity
ISO sensitivity (Standard output sensitivity) ISO 100 – 1600, ISO 100-1600
ISO 3200, 6400 (available when using P, S, A or M mode), ISO 3200, 6400 (available when using P, S, A or M mode)
Hi 1 (equivalent to ISO 12800) (available when using High ISO monochrome in special effects mode) Hi 1 (equivalent to ISO 12800) (available when using High ISO monochrome in special effects mode)
Monitor
Monitor 7.5 cm (3-in.), approx. 921k-dot (RGBW), wide viewing angle TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating and 6-level brightness adjustment, vari-angle TFT LCD 7.5 cm (3-in.), approx. 921k-dot (RGBW), wide viewing angle TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating and 6-level brightness adjustment, vari-angle TFT LCD
Vibration Reduction (VR)
Vibration Reduction (VR) Lens-shift VR Lens-shift VR (still images), Combination of lens shift and electronic VR (movies)
Motion blur reduction
Motion blur reduction Motion detection (still pictures)  (See Vibration Reduction row earlier)
Autofocus (AF)
Focus Range [W]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity [W]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity
[T]: Approx. 200 cm (6 ft 7 in.) to infinity [T]: Approx. 2.0 m (6 ft 7 in.) to infinity
Macro close-up mode: Approx. 1 cm (0.4 in.) (at a wide-angle zoom position) to infinity Macro close-up mode: Approx. 1 cm (0.4 in.) to infinity (wide-angle position)
(All distances measured from center of front surface of lens) (All distances measured from center of front surface of lens)
Focus-area selection   Target finding AF, face priority, manual (spot), manual (normal), manual (wide), subject tracking
Built-in flash
Range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto) [W]: 0.5 – 7.5 m (1 ft 8 in. – 24 ft) [W]: 0.5-7.5 m (1 ft 8 in.-24 ft)
[T]: 1.5 – 4.0 m (5 – 13 ft) [T]: 2.0-4.0 m (6 ft 7 in.-13 ft)
Control TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
Interface
USB Hi-Speed USB Micro-USB connector , Hi-Speed USB
HDMI output HDMI micro connector (Type D) HDMI micro connector (Type D)
Wi-Fi Standards:
IEEE 802.11b/g (standard wireless LAN protocol) IEEE 802.11b/g (standard wireless LAN protocol)
ARIB STD-T66 (standard for low power data communication systems)  
Communications protocols:  
IEEE 802.11b: DBPSK/DQPSK/CCK
IEEE 802.11g: OFDM
Range (line of sight): Approx. 10 m (11 yd) Approx. 10 m (10 yd)
Operating frequency: 2412-2462 MHz (1-11 channels) 2412-2462 MHz (1-11 channels)
Security: OPEN/WPA2 Open system, WPA2-PSK
Access protocols: CSMA/CA Infrastructure
Supported languages
Supported languages Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power source
Power source One EN-EL23 rechargeable Li-ion Battery (included) One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL23 (included)
EH-67A AC Adapter (available separately) AC Adapter EH-67A (available separately)
Battery life of still shooting Approx. 330 shots when using EN-EL23 Approx. 360 shots when using EN-EL23
Tripod socket
Tripod socket  (Personal Note: My Nikon P600 has a tripod socket, so I’m not sure why it’s not listed on their website) 1/4 (ISO 1222)
Dimensions / weight
Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 125.0 mm (5.0 in.) x 85.0 mm (3.4 in.) x 106.5 mm (4.2 in.) Approx. 125.0 x 85.0 x 106.5 mm ( 5.0 x 3.4 x 4.2 in.)
(excluding projections) (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 565 g (1 lb 4 oz) with battery and SD memory card Approx. 565 g ( 1 lb 4.0 oz ) (including battery and memory card)
Supplied Accessories 
Supplied Accessories Camera strap, LC-CP29 LC-CP29 lens cap (with cord), EN-EL23 rechargeable Li-ion battery, EH-71P charging AC adapter, UC-E21 USB cable Lens Cap LC-CP29 (with cord), Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL23, Charging AC Adapter EH-71P*, USB Cable UC-E21, Camera Strap

Made up your mind? I would love to hear if you chose the Nikon Coolpix P600 or Nikon Coolpix P610! Please comment below.

5 thoughts on “Choosing Between a Nikon CoolPix P600 and P610

  1. Shelia

    You have both columns list 610. Is the 610 on the right or left? If you didn’t have your 600 which would you choose? I have a P100 Need to upgrade!

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. Sorry about the typo! I’ve fixed it, the left column is the P600.

      Since the P600 is retired, it’s starting to get hard to come by. I’ve actually noticed that the price is increasing most places (I assume because of the short supply) so the price difference isn’t as big as it used to be.

      Because of this, the biggest difference between the two is that the P610 has a better zoom. I’ve noticed that once I get towards the max of the P600 zoom, it’s hard to keep the camera still enough to take pictures while holding the camera in your hands. The natural slight shaking of your hands due to blood flow and strain is big enough that you can’t keep the subject in the middle of the frame (I’m also in my 30s, so if you are older it might be even worse). I normally use the camera while I’m out walking around and I don’t carry a tripod or monopod with me, so I can’t use the max zoom reliability.

      I’ve used the camera on a tripod in my backyard hooked up with the app on my iPad to take photos and it works great at the max zoom. Unfortunately, the P600 doesn’t come with a hole for a hands free shutter release (I guess that’s what the app is for although it doesn’t work on Android and the app itself isn’t all that great) so you will shake it slightly when you touch the camera to take a photo.

      So, if you plan to use it only in your hands, I would stick with the cheaper P600. If you will use it regularly on a tripod, you should go with the P610. I would go with the largest zoom that you think that you might use, because that’s the best feature of this camera. If I lost my current P600 and bought a new camera, I would probably go with the P610 because I use it so frequently that the extra cost would be worth it for me to try to play with the larger zoom (only on a tripod though)… but if cost is a huge factor for you then the P600 is a great camera.

      Hope that helps!

      Like

  2. Benjamin

    Just bought a p610. I live in Finland in an archipelago with about 20.000 islands, so the GPS function is really nice in my opinion. As far as I can see the zoom is exactly the same in p600 and p610. The p900 on the other hand has a even more impressive zoom. But at 200€ extra it was not in my pricerange. Btw.. The NFC is not for transferring pictures btw. When you tap your smartphone (also Android) on the NFC tag it opens the WirelessMobileUtility app, and turns on wifi on both the camera and phone.

    Like

  3. Thank you J.J. for the information onto P600. I have the P610 and it’s mostly like the P600. Now that I’m in Florida, I’m having fun experimenting with my camera. I left winter behind in Michigan, not a cold weather person, so I hadn’t used my camera much (bought it in December)

    Connie

    Like

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