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Nikon D300

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Reviews Views Date of last review
53 84902 Jul 18, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,674.34
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.70
8.96
9.5
d300

Specifications:
A new 12.3-megapixel DX-Format CMOS Sensor combined with Nikon's exclusive digital image processing system advances DX-format image quality to all new levels

The 3.0-inch super density 920,000-dot VGA color monitor with 170-degree wide-angle viewing and tempered-glass protection makes critical image review possible

Continuous shooting up to 6 frames per second, and up to 8 frames per second* with the new optional MB-D10 Multi-power Battery Pack, makes the D300 a powerful performer for a wide variety of shooting disciplines
* When using the EH-5a AC Adaptor or the MB-10 Multi-Power Battery Pack with batteries other than Rechargeable Li-on En El3e

Fast, accurate 51-point autofocus with 3D Focus Tracking and three Dynamic AF modes deliver exacting autofocus precision at blazing speeds

Nikon's exclusive Scene Recognition System (SRS), with an improved 1,005-Pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II, provides even more intelligent auto exposure capabilities, along with smarter auto white balance detection and faster, more accurate AF performance

Dynamic Integrated Dust Reduction System with self-cleaning ultrasonic sensor unit minimizes degradation of image quality due to dust particles

Two LiveView shooting modes, Hand-held or Tripod is perfect when shooting in a studio, remote situations or from challenging angles

New Picture Control settings give photographers dramatically advanced color control with 4 preset options: Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome, as well as 9 customizable settings

Rugged magnesium-alloy construction, advanced dust and moisture protection and a durable shutter mechanism tested to 150,000 cycles make the D300 a perfect choice for photographers who demand high performance and handling agility


 


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Anthony Schwai
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Registered: Sep 17, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 65
Review Date: Feb 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,799.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: excellent IQ, very robust build, fast 51 pt autofocus, great low light performance up to 1600 ISO...though 3200 is usable with good noise reduction PP. Menu and settings are very customizable...
Cons:
Price is higher than direct competitors...but you do get what you pay for



Feb 3, 2008
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Mark Kenfield
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Registered: Aug 24, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 920
Review Date: Jan 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Terrific IQ (clearly exceeds 35mm film), excellent AF, high fps, great ergonomics, high ISO performance, power of the built-in flash, 3" display.
Cons:
Exposure is all over the place, spot-metering doesn't appear to work at all, a bit heavy (though this is coming from an Olympus OM shooter).

This is the camera that I made the switch to digital for. To be fair, it was actually the D200 that convinced me to make the switch, but fortunately the announcement of the D300 came two days before I was going to buy myself a shiny new D200 - and I'm very pleased that it did. Because everything I've heard would seem to suggest that this is a better camera than the D2Xs (and for the money that makes it a very interesting proposition).

The camera performs terrifically, the quality of its images exceeds that of 35mm film, and it can take perfectly usable photos all the way up to ISO 6400 (above ISO 4000 you just have to turn off/down NR and convert the images to monochrome) - which is incredible. The auto-focus is fast and accurate, the 6/8 fps very helpful for action photography, and the 3" LCD of high enough quality to really assess your images in camera.

I personally find the camera a bit heavy (but I'm coming from Olympus OM film cameras so most things seem heavy by comparison). So my only serious complaint about the camera is exposure - mine are all over the place. I generally use spot-metering for most of my photographs (in order to nail my exposures on my subjects) on the D300 this doesn't seem to work at all. Backlit subjects remain backlit, and the exposures just seem wrong. I can take several shots of the exact same scene, one after another, and the exposures will be notably different between the images (all taken just seconds apart).

Exposure being rather important to photography, I'm finding this to be a serious frustration on what is an otherwise excellent camera.



Jan 29, 2008
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patotts
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Registered: Jul 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 369
Review Date: Jan 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: build quality and reliability, AF system, custom functions, user interface, viewfinder, high ISO performance (finally!), speed, battery life, AWB perf, metering perf, color, weather sealing
Cons:
there should be some type of lock on the S-C-M flip on the front

there isn't much else to say than this is the best value/performer in the APS-sensor segment on the market today/ever. phenomenal accomplishment by nikon!

Jan 25, 2008
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Mats Oun
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Registered: Sep 24, 2007
Location: Estonia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb image quality and focusing speed, good menus, great dynamic range.
Cons:
None so far.

It seems to be exactly what one expects from a good digicamera. To understand that you have to start from 2,1 MP 220 and 3,1 MP 725 Olympus compacts and move upwards through D70, D80. Otherwise you just won't realize how amazing D300 is. D300 + 70-200 2,8 VR make probably one of the best systems at the present moment semipro scene.

Jan 23, 2008
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Crispsting
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Registered: Jan 20, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: magnesium body, excellent ISO range, great colour rendering, superb menus, great price.
Cons:
None

I am a football (soccer) photographer and have to shoot under poor floodlights. But at ISO 3200 the pictures look like I have used ISO 400. I can't believe the camera you get for 1049 ($2100). Ok its pricier here in Uk then USa but compared to a D3 and what I paid for my 2DXs and the 1750 I paid for my original D100 its a bargain.

Jan 20, 2008
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Gary Gray
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Registered: Jan 6, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 403
Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,799.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent build quality, excellent image quality.
Cons:
14 bit mode performance is disappointing.

I've been using Canon DSLR's for the past 5 years and recently picked up a D300 so I wouldn't have all my photographic eggs in one basket so to speak. I also picked up the Nikon 18-200 VR and several Nikon prime lenses to go with this kit.

My main camera body has been and continues to be the Canon 1DsMKII, with a 5D for backup. I sold my 30D and some lenses to pay for this camera.

Simply stated, this camera is a better camera than the 5D in just about every aspect. Color, saturation, white-balance, detail, frame-rate, just about everything is a serious improvement over the 5D. I love my 5D and it is no slouch of a camera either. I'm not a brand specific kind of guy, which ever cameras and lenses do the best job is all I am concerned with.

I run a small photographic business in Colorado and I think this body will give me a good alternative for sports, action and wildlife photography that I couldn't get with a 30D.

I had considered buying the new Canon 1DMKIII before making this purchase, but with all the problems associated with that new body, It was time to find an alternative. I do not regret my choice. This body is less expensive and does everything the Canon 1DMKIII will do.


Jan 20, 2008
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coolpix43
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Registered: Feb 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 689
Review Date: Jan 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast write speed. Smooth and quick AF, tracks well. Fast motor drive. Solid feel. http://www.pbase.com/imager1/cal_arizona&page=all
Cons:
They should have just made one of the battery inserts compatible with the D2H battery instead of making it optional. Other than that, it's such an improvement over the D200 that I can't say anything bad about it.

I shoot a lot of NCAA sports and some high school. The AF is so quick that it's nearly unrecognizable when it moves. The grip is more expensive, however it offers additional benefits, such as 8 fps and it's ergonomically friendly. The write speed to CF cards is amazingly fast. Here is a gallery of sports images I shot Saturday.
http://www.pbase.com/imager1/cal_arizona&page=all


Jan 19, 2008
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sflxn
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Registered: Mar 13, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 839
Review Date: Jan 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: handling, autofocus, features
Cons:
The IQ is pretty good but could be better.

I moved to the D300 from a 5D. I didn't move over to Nikon for their image quality. I moved over because I was sick of the 5D body. The autofocus was not up to par for a $3k body. There were other annoyances with the 5D body. What I got in the D300 so far has been incredible focusing, geotagging, weather seals, and speed. I'm ok with the image quality of the D300. Truthfully, any DSLR on the market today will capture great photos. The quality of an image capture has more to do with the lighting and photographer than the camera. The 5D was a great imager but a terrible body. The D300 is a good imager with a great body. Since any camera today can take great images, the better handling was more important to me. It also allowed me to build a Nikon lens collection in case I ever decide to get a D3.

Jan 19, 2008
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red_lander
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Registered: Jun 21, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 139
Review Date: Jan 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: -Body build -AF &AF fine tune -ISO perf, I can 'abuse' it to ISO 1600 without concern on IQ -Battery Life improved significant over D200
Cons:
Yet to be found

Got my D300 in early December 2007, after lost my D200 in an outdoor shooting accident. So far I have taken my D300 to a stage show, one-week round trip to South California before year-end 2007. I have to say D300 is the best DSLR made by Nikon, consideration its features,build quality and price range.From my one-year experience on D200,I can say D300 is not a minor upgrade but an almost all-new design under the similar skin. Its AF, high-ISO performance and IQ have been raised to a new level. It never fails me in the field.

Jan 19, 2008
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dj dunzie
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Registered: Aug 14, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 7020
Review Date: Jan 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Huge improvements in the areas the D200 needed improvement - true top-notch pro AF and phenominal high ISO results. A host of features and specs that make you have to question the very reasonable price tag.
Cons:
I would have been happy with an 8MP or 10MP machine, but that's a nitpick at this point. Also would have been happy with an integrated grip, but I understand the benefit from a removable one.

I now have over 2500 shutter clicks in this, most of them at ISO1600+. Bottom line is this... the camera is built for a sports shooter who wants top AF performance and exceptional high ISO color saturation, detail, and noise control.

A D2H shooter prior to owning the D300, and previously a D200 owner, I tried to keep my expectations in check on this camera. The spec list and feature set sure looked impressive, but I was skeptical Nikon would be able to live up to the hype. They've not only done it, they've completely exceeded my expectations.

It's fast. D2H fast. 8FPS with the EN-EL4a's I use in my D2H. Autofocus is shockingly accurate. My keeper rate actually improved on my D2H's, and that's impressive.

Handling is very similar to the D200, with a better LCD (one of the first things you'll notice... phenominal), better depth of control, and a better overall build (including - finally - a top notch grip).

Some nice features... the lens fine-tune adjustment is the real deal. The built-in d-lighting is nice too for high contrast scenes. There's honestly a ton of nice tweaks and bonus features that only add to a very complete, very polished end product.

I never really disliked the D200, except for two things... an AF system that was clearly not Nikon's best and let the camera down, and less than ideal high ISO capabilities. The D300 not only addressed them, it set the bar higher than I expected it could. Kudos Nikon for seemingly getting things really right. Now my D2H is clearly a backup / spot starter, and it was a camera I didn't think I could say that about.


Jan 19, 2008
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kiwkiw
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Registered: Jan 15, 2008
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Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superp handling, big screen, fast at any points, good picture quality, weather sealed. A huge step up in many ways from D200.
Cons:
Nothing. But sad to see a rating in here with only 6....Must be a mistake !



Jan 15, 2008
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Mike Alexander
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Registered: Jan 11, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The major features for me were the 100% viewfinder and the new 51 segment AF. Handling is superb with everything falling to, well, hand. The images are usable at all ISOs and you can get some particularly contrasty, meaty black and white images at ISO 3200 and 6400 with the right set up.
Cons:
As someone who is partially disabled I found the box a little hard to get into at first...

I've been using the D300 since the beginning of December and it's quite simply the best camera I've ever owned. How good is it? I was a Canon user for 19 years until December the 5th when I picked up the D300. I'm now selling all my Canon stuff and gradually buying a Nikon range (hopefully the 70-200 f2.8 next). And I always wanted an FM2n as a second camera anyway ;-)

Jan 11, 2008
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aVOLanche
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Registered: Apr 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 159
Review Date: Jan 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Great feature set Very well built
Cons:
Still sacrifices detail with Nikon's heavy-handed noise reduction.Price is too high for a crop cam with this IQ(It's not bad,but still not to Canon standard at is 800 and up).

I bought this camera with great expectations.I liked it except for the IQ.Nikon has opted to use heavy noise reduction at the cost of resolution(esp.in jpeg-which I shoot a lot of).The AF is not up to pro standards as was suggested.
The lens adjustment is great...all dslrs need this.Frankly,I was disappointed and went back to a used Canon 30D which produces better images.I prefer Canon ergonomics,too.
I'll wait until the next round of crop cameras come out to upgrade.If this cam was $1400,it would be easier to justify.


Jan 11, 2008
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paparazzinick
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7395
Review Date: Jan 6, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,750.00

Pros: Battery life, sharpness better than d200 was and my fuji s5, iso 3200 and sometimes 6400 in BW
Cons:
none

I just had to add to my review from earlier. This camera is more than I expected and thought when I got it from my last review. It is fast, damn fast, iso 3200 is awesome, battery life kills. I just shot a wedding last night and shot 3200 in church and the entire reception at 3200 and sometimes 6400. Amazing camera. I could not have asked for a better camera. With my d200 and fuji s5 I change batteries 2-4 times per wedding. I got 1300 shots out of the battery last night and still had a bit under half power left. I am amazed.

Jan 6, 2008
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Archimago
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Registered: May 14, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Roughly in descending importance to me: - AF fine tuning (killer feature for me) - LCD screen second to none - 51-point AF very accurate - 100% viewfinder coverage - Beautifully uncluttered viewfinder image - Battery life much better compared to D200 - equivalent to my old D70 - instantaneous image playback and histogram calculations (no pause like on D200) - Image quality excellent, noise well controlled easily to ISO1600 - Picture Control settings impressive - I like the D2X color modes recently released - Build quality excellent - Optional battery grip much better than D200's (one quibble is you need to take off the grip to get at camera battery compartment) - Anti-dust cleaning mechanism - 6 fps to 8 fps with battery grip (not high on my priority list) - LiveView interesting though not really much use for me yet - Selectable 12-bit or 14-bit RAW images (honestly have not even bothered with 14-bit yet)
Cons:
- Wish there was _true_ ISO 100 for studio shots with good light to maintain optimal dynamic range - I still think in-body VR would be nice for legacy glass even if not as good as lens VR - Not cheap compared to competitors

Upgraded from my D200 to this machine. No regrets whatsoever folks. Build quality just as good as the D200 and now the optional battery grip solid when mounted and also made of magnesium alloy. The new LCD is a revelation and better than I imagined. Pixel density high enough that the image looks smooth without hints of pixellation. A fully charged battery now good for 1000 shots like my old D70 even with the usual image review in between (something I grew to resent was the D200's weak battery life).

After about 1 month of moderate use, I've found the AF fine tune is a feature _I will not be without_ from this point on. It has essentially rendered my Sigma 20mm f/1.8 usable wide open by improving AF accuracy within the shallow DOF. I've also noticed improvements in everything from the Nikon 35/2.0, 50/1.4 to 85/1.8. Zooms don't benefit as much however due to fluctuations at different focal lengths though at least you can fine tune so that focus on average is a bit better through the range.

Image quality is clearly a stop better than D200 for noise even with 2Mpix advantage. I can easily shoot ISO1600 with little hesitation whereas previously started getting worried about ISO800+ on D200. I recommend staying with in-camera noise processing set to "low" since I found the "normal" setting a bit too much reduction which loses fine detail. Buy Noise Ninja or Dfine if you need more precise noise reduction in post-processing. No banding or image quality issues which I experienced on the D200 with high contrast shots.

I wasn't happy with the "Standard" color setting - too saturated and I preferred the "Neutral" setting instead or the D2X color modes that can be downloaded from Nikon. The downloadable Picture Control settings which you can customize in Nikon Capture NX (free with camera) is a step above the old Mode I/II (aRGB)/III settings and provides more freedom than just the custom curves of previous models.

There's obviously much more I've left out of the review here but the bottom line is that this is a very impressive camera as suggested by the list of "positive aspects" above... I dare say that this will likely be my camera of choice for the next number of years as I suspect the DX format cameras have reached a nice level of maturity now. Part of me still wished to see in-body VR but given the excellent high-ISO performance versus competitors like the Sony A700 or Olympus E3 (small 4/3rds sensor) with anti-shake, makes this less of an issue. It is a bit more expensive than competitors but I think reasonable given what it offers with its full range of advanced features, speed, build quality and ergonomics...


Jan 2, 2008
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Jammy Straub
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Registered: Jan 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 6869
Review Date: Jan 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,799.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: 51-pt 3D AF is amazing in use. 100% viewfinder. 9/10 for build quality and weather sealing. Body ergonomics are incredible. Frame rate. LCD quality and tempered glass cover are big plusses. ISO to 1600 is good. In camera jpg options are extensive. Extremely customizable. Price.
Cons:
Lack of dual CF slots. Flash shoe contact isn't weather sealed like the competition. Focus mode selector switch is too easily changed with normal handling. Active AF points points in Continuous Focus with Auto AF point selection are not indicated in the viewfinder.

The D300 is a major feat of camera design and for the price it's all that much better. It's operation is extremely customizable and the ergonomics are spot on.

My major complaint is that in continuous focus servo mode with automatic AF point selection the AF points in use are not indicated in the viewfinder. However the active point is indicated in continuous servo with 3D dynamic point selection and single shot servo with automatic AF point selection. It seems like a strange omission. Perhaps the cameras processors aren't up the added processing requirements.

The results in auto AF point selection mode with continuous servo are fine, it would just be nice to know the camera was focusing as you intend.

The AF has been extremely accurate in use and very capable in low light. I can't say enough good things about it.

Having redundant CF card slots would be a nice touch.

High ISO performance is credible and I've no hesitation to shoot up to 1600-ish.

It was time to upgrade the 20D's I use for social event and documentary photography. I'm not a fan of bodies with integrated vertical grips and have been desperate for a smaller body with a a high precision AF system (I loathe AF sensors that extend outside the indicated AF area) and pro build quality. The D300 delivered almost everything I was looking for in body at a price that makes sense from a business perspective when I need multiple bodies.

Simply Stellar.


Jan 1, 2008
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Nikon D300

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
53 84902 Jul 18, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,674.34
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.70
8.96
9.5
d300


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