Capturing the images for the P610 is a 16-Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch Low-Light CMOS imaging sensor. This combines with the massive 60x optical zoom lens in order to provide you with one of the most versatile focal ranges found on a "compact" digicam. The 60x optical zoom has a 35mm equivalent of 24-1440mm, giving you a fantastic wide end with an almost unbelievable telephoto magnification. Two zoom controls, one on around the shutter release and another on the side of the lens barrel, allow you to zoom while shooting with either one hand or two with the feel of a dSLR. Lens shift image stabilization assists you in shooting handheld, because even in bright sunlight you may have some trouble holding it steady at full zoom.
- [W]: Approx. 1 ft. 8 in. (50 cm.) to infinity
- [T]: Approx. 6 ft. 7 in. (2 m.) to infinity
- Macro mode: Approx. 0.4 in. (1 cm.) to infinity (wide-angle position) (All distances measured from center of front surface of lens)
To assist you in shooting with your low-light and indoor images, the P610 features a compact, pop-up flash unit to help light your scene. At ISO auto, the flash has a decent range, but this means the ISO settings will be pretty high. It is best to keep the camera as close to the subject as possible.
- [W]: 0.5 to 7.5m (1 ft .8 in. to 24 ft.)
- [T]: 2.0 to 4.0m (6 ft. 7 in. to 13 ft.)
Giving the camera a dSLR-like feel while shooting is the camera's 921k dot Electronic Viewfinder. Allowing you to shoot eye-level, the EVF shows all of the shooting information that you will find on the LCD, surpassing the information from normal OVF's (optical viewfinders). To the right of the EVF is an eye-level sensor, that switches from the LCD to the EVF automatically when the camera is lifted to your face. On the left is the dioptic adjustment dial.
Your other option for composing your images is the 3.0-inch, 921k dot, Vari-Angle LCD screen. This screen is great for composing and viewing your images in all lighting conditions thanks to the ability to move it away from any glare and to change the brightness for any situation. For added protection, the screen can be turned around and protected against the camera.
Another part of the camera that gives you a dSLR-like feel is the lens-side zoom controls. With the camera up to your face, this lever works just like a zoom ring would. The button then allows you to lock the focus if the camera is already focused. If not, the camera will zoom out a little to let you see what is around the borders of your image. A black square will appear that shows your current image area.
On top of the camera you will find several controls, all on the right side. Starting at the top you will find the shutter release button coupled by the zoom control lever, Fn button, mode dial and the camera's power button.
Controls on Back: Starting at the top above the LCD screen you will find the DISP and LCD/EVF button, which allows you to manually switch between the LCD and EVF. The DISP button changes the amount of information that is shown on the screens. Next are the dedicated video recording button and command dial. To the right of the LCD are the WiFi, Playback, Menu and Delete buttons. In the middle is the 4-way controller, which is also a second command dial. This allows for quick changes of shooting settings as well as fast and easy menu navigation. Inside the command dial is the OK button for making your selections.
The right side of the P610 also houses the camera's I/O ports. On top is a high-speed USB port for charging the camera and connecting to a computer or printer. On the bottom is the HDMI output, allowing you to connect to any HDTV with an optional HDMI cable.
Your captured images are stored on any SD/SDHC/SDXC style memory cards. Since the camera has burst shooting and Full 1080p HD video capture capabilities, we recommend using a card with a UHS-1 or higher speed rating. The camera is shown here with the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 8GB SDHC memory card that was used to test the camera.
Powering the P610 is a 3.8V, 1850mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery provides enough power for the camera to capture up to 360 images on a single charge, which is a great battery life for a compact point-n-shoot camera. The camera comes with a USB cord and adapter to charge the camera, allowing you to leave the battery in the camera at all times. It does make it a little more challenging to keep a spare battery ready though.