Nikon D610 vs Canon 6D: best full frame DSLR on a budget

07 Screens

Neither camera offers an articulated or touch-sensitive screen. The Canon's is slightly smaller, measuring 3 inches versus the 3.2-inch screen on the Nikon D610, but it crams more resolution in (1,040,000 dots as opposed to 921,600) for a very slightly sharper view.

08 Video

Full frame cameras can produce beautiful videos when paired with an appropriate lens, and our two full frame contenders are both capable of shooting at 1080p resolution.

It's a very close run race, with both cameras managing 1080p at up to 30fps (including 24fps) and 720p at up to 60fps, so the differences are found in additional video-specific features.

While both accept external microphones, the D610 also has an audio out socket for monitoring the sound you're recording. This is an important feature for professional videographers, and something the 6D lacks. Nikon's camera also scores points here for supplying clean video output over its HDMI socket for use with an external recorder – you'd need to step up to a 5D Mark III to get the same in Canon's range.

09 Weight

The Nikon is a heavier camera, weighing 760g body only compared to the 6D's 680g. The D610 has an extra memory card slot, offering one SD and one CompactFlash, whereas the 6D has only a sole SD card slot.

10 Flash

With semi-pro cameras like these, you're just as likely to use an external flash – but it's still worth pointing out that the Nikon does include a built-in pop-up flash and the Canon doesn't.

11 Build

Both bodies are similar-sized blends of plastic and metal that, while not being exactly rugged, can put up with a lot more use than cheaper cameras. The D610 scores with slightly better weather-sealing, however.

The D610 has a rated shutter life of 150,000 actuations, compared to the Canon's 100,000. That sounds like a 50% increase in durability, but given that neither of these cameras is designed for long periods of high-speed continuous shooting, it would take quite a long time to reach that level. Unless you're a working professional, you probably would have moved on to another camera by then anyway.

12 Connectivity

The 6D wins in terms of connectivity, boasting both Wi-Fi and GPS built-in. The D610 accepts a low-cost Wi-Fi widget, but Nikon's GPS unit is rather more expensive.

What we think

If you already own Canon or Nikon full frame lenses, the decision is almost made for you. The differences in specs and performance between the Nikon D610 and Canon 6D are not really enough to justify switching systems.

Both cameras can deliver top-quality full frame photography at a price that's more affordable now than ever.

But if you're not yet committed to a Canon or Nikon system, it's still a tough call. The Canon 6D is a year older, but it does have Wi-Fi, GPS and a great ISO range. But the Nikon beats it for outright resolution, autofocus, video and in-built flash.