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Nikon D300

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53 84273 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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plateaulight
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Registered: Jul 7, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 224
Review Date: Jul 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Outstanding AF accuracy, Ergononics, High ISO JPG quality, very silent shutter
Cons:
Camera blurrs images for high ISO, Strong AA filter looses detail vs D2Xs

After shooting for years with the D2Xs and the Canon FF cameras. I had decided to modernize my equipment last year. I sold the D2X and the 1ds and bought a 5Dmk2 and a D300s. The D300s has a much stronger AA filter that kills the finest details and does some level of NR to the raw files wether you like it of not. The shots all now lack the subtle tonal variation in shadow areas and detail and no level of sharpening will bring it back.
if you shoot JPG's the D300 has a much much better image vs the D2X as the D2X does not have the refined JPG firmware of a D300. However in RAW the D2X has much better images.
If you shoot people or sports the D300 just might do the trick but for landscape the D2X in RAW is king.
I can get better results from RAW high ISO up to 800 in LR3 with the D2x than I can with the pre-blurred D300. Above 1600 the D300 is better.

So my conclusion is mixed
- D300s = JPG high ISO wonder
- D2Xs = RAW detail <ISO 800 king


Jul 18, 2010
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LMT1972
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Registered: Oct 26, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 737
Review Date: Nov 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great IQ, LCD, AF system, lots of useful features and setting options, build quality, sensor cleaning
Cons:
None really (it's not perfect but at this price point it's hard to complain)

Upgraded from the D70s about 18 months ago and have been very pleased with this camera. I shoot a variety of subjects (sports, macro, candids, birds) and this is really a great all round performer.

IQ is very nice though I would like better low ISO performance in the shadows, though the D70s was much worse. I find ISO3200 quite useable even without NR as long as you expose properly. DR is excellent and big step up from the D70s.

AF is very solid though I only tend to use single point or 9 pt dynamic. Not a huge fan of the 3D tracking, though I haven't really used it that much. Outer AF points work fine in low light situations as long you have some decent glass attached :D

After using the D70s, the new LCD on the D300 was a real revelation and worth upgrade alone to me. Having an rgb histogram is great as well. Liveview is a nice feature but I don't use it very often.

The quality and fit of the grip is excellent and of course gives you 8fps which is super for sports and BIF's.

Build quality is great and overall balance with the grip attached and longer lenses like the 300VR 2.8 is nice.

Initially I thought the sensor cleaner was a bit of a gimmick but I haven't had to clean the sensor in over 12 months and I change lenses fairly often. I wouldn't buy a camera without one now.

If you are on a budget and can't afford a 'pro' body and need a 1 body solution, the D300 is hard to beat.

Cheers
Leigh


Nov 25, 2009
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erick_C
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Registered: Sep 10, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 100
Review Date: Oct 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: state of the art DX sensor, ergonomics, great ISO range, build,
Cons:
none

As a long time Canon film SLR shooter, I was leaning towards the Rebel series for my first DSLR. After reading great reviews about the D40, I decided to purchase it and was highly satisfied but my creative juices weren't excited. So, I purchased the (at the time) very best DX camera in Nikon's lineup, the D300.

I couldn't have been happier. This is, by no stretch of the imagination, a PRO body. Yes, the D3 did/does exist and unless you continuously face the situations where the D3 clearly excels, the D300 is the camera for you (even more so if you can appreciate the DX crop factor). To truly find faults in this camera I would have to nitpick. I feel that every bit of this camera is designed to be innovative, useful, and, most importantly, effective at letting you concetrate on what matters most: capturing the moment.

As this camera slowly moves to the 'discontinued' lineup, the prices for used bodies are dropping and is a great time to pick up a great camera.


Oct 14, 2009
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KrazyYak
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Registered: Apr 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 28
Review Date: Jul 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, AF, Image quality
Cons:
Weight, learning curve

I don't think you can quite appreciate the quality of the build of the D300 until you're forced to use something worse. I had purchased and used mine for just a few months when it got damaged in a flood. While I was awaiting a replacement I went back to using my old D50.

Don't get me wrong, I have a special place in my heart for the D50 (my first SLR), but it is certainly not a "pro" grade body. In regard to the D300, it felt cheaper and more ungainly to use. The shutter release in particular made me realize how much I missed the D300.

Thus, as many others have said, the D300 get's high marks for its durability and robustness. And I might be gushing here, but operation just feels "smooth" and the mirror/shutter produces such a satisfying "clack" when it fires.

The only catch I can think of is that the complexities of it can be a little daunting for the newcomer. It took me a while to really understand how the AF system works (and I still wonder if I have it down now). There are also tons of menu settings to dig through. Steep learning curves aren't necessarily bad though; once you make it to the top, you've conquered it.

When I realized I was going to have to replace my D300, I briefly considered springing for an FX set, but ended up getting another D300; the quality is still outstanding, and the price is still significantly lower (especially factoring in glass).


Jul 29, 2009
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dieseldavey
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 72
Review Date: Apr 5, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Build Performance quality if Image
Cons:
none

I recently got a D700 and sold my D300 which was a mistake. Unless you shoot at very high iSO then stick with this one. Don,t get carried away with the hype of full frame like I did.

Apr 5, 2009
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nick53097
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Registered: Apr 19, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1678
Review Date: Mar 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing camera, excellent images in almost every situation
Cons:
None

Long time Canon user, had EOS5, 20D, 30D and finally very bad copy of 40D. I did try Canon 5D with 24-105 L lens but wasn't that
happy about old AF and no sensor cleaning.
Ordered Nikon D300 wit 18-200 lens from Ritz Camera and was simply shocked by the difference in almost every aspect
I love that camera, have use it for travel and family pictures
Later I started to do weddings (Nikon primes just fantastic)and this camera with Nikon Creative Flash System can deliver an exceptional results
Highly recommend.


Mar 21, 2009
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Selby Jr
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Registered: Oct 10, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Built like a tank, Ergonomics, Quick Auto Focus, 3.0" Display.
Cons:
Nothing that really bothers me.

I started with a D70, then upgraded to the D200 and came to the D300.
This is a very nice camera body, the build just says quality. I also have the MB-D10 battery grip and really like it in comparison to the D200 battery grip. I appreciate a camera with a little heft to it. I carry a 50 lbs tool bag around so this is a dream even with my 70-200mm lens. I've picked up the competitors camera bodies in this price range and quite honestly they feel like toys. I'll agree with some of the not so favorable reviews in the image aspect of point and shoot .jpeg shooters. This camera is not a point and shoot, it does require some tweaking and forethought but nothing that can't be easily accomplished and customized to your taste. Basically the majority of negative comments are coming from C...n shooters. It's amazing to me when Nikon stepped up to the plate after being dogged by high ISO C...n shooters they became very critical after a direct hit.
Competition is good and Nikon has answered back.
I like the ability to customize my menus and set up nearly any combination I like and quickly dial it in. Setting a PRE white balance is so simple, push a button, roll the dial, push a button, release the shutter, all on the body, not deep in the menus. If you want bracketing, set it up in a custom menu dial it in, your done. This camera will make you think about what your doing but once your set it's a done deal. Image quality rivals cameras in the 2,000-3,000 range unless your pixel peeping, I can find fault with just about any camera in that price range if I'm pixel peeping. I shoot exclusively in manual and all my images are shot in RAW. It's so easy to get it right in camera with the D300, if I take a bad shot it's my fault, post processing time has gone down and behind the lens time has gone up. Auto focus (51 point) and focus accuracy is wonderful, 3D tracking is just too cool. The pluses definitely out way the minuses, the best advice is to pick one up and compare it with the competition and you'll more than likely want to take it home.

Regards,

Richard


Mar 19, 2009
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mjo421
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Registered: Aug 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 670
Review Date: Mar 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ease of use. Confidence factor, exposure, metering. Ergonomics.
Cons:
Still looking, but don't expect to find anything.

This camera has such a wonderful feel to it. I am a recent Canon convert, 40D then 50D. While Canon does a wonderful job of marketing and you really can't beat their lens selection (not with Nikon, anyway), the image quality this D300 produces is just amazing. Things just jump off the monitor-and I haven't printed anything yet!
Last night I shot a social function. I did not set the camera to review any shots as I took them, but occasionally I took a peek while running from shot to shot. They looked OK to me, but you can only tell so much in a 3" LCD. When I got home and viewed the images I was amazed-really amazed. My wife saw the images and was blown away. With Canon images, I always had to do some fiddling-adjust skin tone, balance color, lighten here, sharpen this, too much flash, not enough flash. The Nikon images were just right. Exposure was spot on. A D300, a 16-85 VR (that never left my camera the entire night) and a SB900. All set on Program mode, all jpegs and I didn't touch a setting all night. That's it-and it was great.
I can't recommend this camera enough.


Mar 11, 2009
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bluepolo
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Registered: Jun 15, 2005
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Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Auto settings are rarely wrong, super image quality, excellent autofocus, very useful dust off
Cons:
NX software is dire

Bought the D300 as an upgrade from the D70. Its night and day. In 3 years of owning the D70 I took about 3000 images. In 7 months with the D300 taken 2000.

You can see a good selection at www.fire-horse.co.uk.

I usually shoot raw+basic to conserve card space and normally the jpegs are good enough for proofing.

Would buy again.


Dec 15, 2008
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DavidWEGS
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Registered: Apr 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3795
Review Date: Nov 30, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,300.00

 
Pros: Everything needed in a pro body with some to spare. Rugged, reliable, fast, high IQ, great UI, excellent noise performance to 1600iso, quick and reasonably accurate AF in low light, etc.
Cons:
Not really about this body, but things it lacks... Dual CF, clean iso 3200.

I have been using these bodies for over a year now and love them. They do everything needed well, have great resolution, excellent ergonomics and UI. I have shot 30k on one of these and it just keeps on going strong, as in like the day I got it.

Recently added another after playing with the idea of using a D90 as next years backup/4th body. They are a ways apart in everything but the IQ.

My only niggle is that iso3200 should be in the H category as its not clean enough to be considered in the normal range.

My wish is that Nikon would give me some more glass with AF-S. Specifically, a 24/1.4 and updated 50/1.4 (lets see what the upcoming one is like) and 85 /1.4's.


Nov 30, 2008
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FatBoyAl
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Registered: Sep 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 669
Review Date: Nov 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid build, button access to features, incredible LCD, AF system
Cons:
SEEMS slower to AF than 40D, Nikon says to turn off camera for lens changes, no auto-off

While I did just get the D300, I wanted to give my initial impressions.
First, I went from using Canon (AE1, A1, XT, 30D, 40D) to Nikon with the D300. I've also owned a Coolpix 8700.
First thing out of the box, I could feel the solid-ness of the build. Very much "like a tank". I like the positioning of most of the buttons and switches. I love, love, love the LCD. No, the LCD does not make me a better photographer - but I didn't expect it to! What it does do is give me a much clearer view of the shot I just made and help me to determine sharpness and focus. It also makes the menus a lot clearer!
I didn't unpack the software or anything else - I use C1 and Bibble, so NX isn't important to me.
The 51-point AF is really nice. I never had any real complaints about the Canon AF system at all - that wasn't the reason for my move. In fact, for an hobbyist like myself, it might be overkill. I like the fact that the points only show when lit.
I like the menu system, though it's not much different than the Canon system on my 40D. I do think there are a whole lot more choices, however. :o) More choices!
All in all, the D300 is a very nice base for a system. I'm looking forward to learning the system.
At the new prices, it's a heck of a bargain.


Nov 22, 2008
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EOS20
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Registered: Mar 6, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 13632
Review Date: Nov 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 100% Viewfinder, Built in viewfinder grid, Fast AF, Good LCD Screen, Good build quality.
Cons:
Colours could be better, Noisy at ISO 800+, Top LCD always on when battery is inserted.

I had the D300 for a short time and I've written a review here:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/eos20/journal/2046055-my-d300-hands-on-review

The camera was well built, Auto focus was fast and accurate, And the viewfinder was nice for a APS-C camera.

High ISO Performance was usable up to about ISO 2000, But after that, It started to get really noisy and required strong noise reduction.

The only real complaint would have to be the top LCD stays on showing the battery status as well as how much space you have left on the memory card thats in the camera. And also not being able to see the AF points in the viewfinder until the camera has locked focus, Which coming from shooting with Canon cameras does take some time to get used to.

Overall it was a nice camera, But not enough to make me switch over to Nikon completely.








Nov 20, 2008
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Carl Feather
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Registered: Oct 26, 2007
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Posts: 578
Review Date: Oct 14, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good build quality, acceptable image quality
Cons:
DX, noisy above 800, overexposes

The D300 was a big step forward over the D200, bringing D2X quality down to a reasonable price while improving high ISO. The downside was poor implementation of picture controls. The ones that ship with the camera don't give very pleasing results. You really need to go back to the Nikon site and download the DX and portrait controls, perhaps tweak them, to get good results.Skin tones are especially challenging with this camera unles you use DX Mode 1.

The D300 blows the red channel and also has a tendency to overexpose. I much preferred the D200's metering, except on flash, which was pretty bad.

I dial back my D300 minus 1/3 to 2/3 stops.

Noise is unacceptable at 200. I preferred the D200's base ISO noise to the D300. That's the price you pay for better ISO performance above 400. The D300 adds about 1.5 stops of performance.

This was not, in my opinion, worth the premium of $1,000 between a new D300 and used D200.

The D300 has been replaced by the D90, which gives you most of the features plus video at about 1/2 the price.

If you can find a D300 for around $1200, go for it. But at $1550, it's a little past its time. I'd suggest a D200/D700 combo for the long run.


Oct 14, 2008
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williamkazak
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Registered: Jun 8, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6279
Review Date: Aug 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,740.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price is excellent for the image quality. More features available than I will ever use. Build quality is very nice. Battery life is great. Preview screen on rear is a very nice size. Viewfinder nearly 100%.
Cons:
The rear screen is hard to read on the beach.

I waited for this camera to appear because I did not want the D200. I need battery life and this camera delivers. The feature set is more extensive than I will ever need and I don't need a grip.
I use the Nikon F6 and this camera is in the same league in auto focus, handling and ergonomics. It is responsive and has a very nice feel for a shooter with smaller hands. I have used F3's, F100's, D70 and D70s bodies. None of these bodies are massive nor had a built in grip either.
I am very happy with this D300. Thank you Nikon.


Aug 1, 2008
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Photobox
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Registered: Jul 4, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Truly and unbeatable combination of weight, speed, image quality and price. Durable body (coming over from D2X mind you :), 8 fps with grip and pro battery, gorgeous 3" HD LCD, brilliant Live View, excellent buffer, 51-point AF.
Cons:
Costs an extra $500 to get the 8 fps. (Grip, pro battery, battery charger, and battery end cap/locking door needed). Would love to see it at $1500-1600 instead of $1800, but that's being a consumer.

The D300 is better then even the D2Xs as it has a superior sensor, much faster frame rate, drastically better LCD and in a lighter body. Yes, the D3 replaces the D2X - sort of, it really is designed to replace the D2H series - but if you were happy with the D2X series, it's nice to see an offering that is better then the older body for less than half the price.

Overall, it's a superb camera. It offers a strong build, it's laced with professional features and is not difficult to get right now. Lots of people like to refer to it as an advanced amateur -to- professional D-SLR. That's actually a crock. The people who say that either want you to spend the $5,000 for the D3 or are feeling awkward about having spent that on a "pro" body themselves. Oh, ok, yeah the D3 has a built in vertical grip and virtual horizon indicator, the full frame FX sensor and better noise handling along with an extra fps in standard mode. Well, get the new D700 and a grip and STILL save $1500! It offers ALL of those features except the last fps which I'll give up for the savings. It also has a flash built in with commander mode AND puts the virtual horizon program IN live view!!! I see no real reason to go with the D3 now that the D700 is available. Besides if you DONT need the vertical grip it's a LIGHTER package.

In my professional opinion, by any standard, the D300 and D700 series are completely professional. Save your money and get some pro lenses. I HIGHLY recommend the D300 and will likely recommend the D700 once I get mine. It's an incredible tool and extremely versatile in knowledgeful hands.



Jul 4, 2008
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hallbert
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Registered: Dec 11, 2002
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Posts: 1073
Review Date: Jul 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, menus, color and focusing, white balance, GREAT LCD, IQ, great compatibility with the SB800 flash, Did I miss anything??? All in all an A+ to Nikon.
Cons:
NOTHING, NADA, ZIP,

I have been a long time digital Canon user starting with the D30 up to the 5D and 1D Mark IIn. On a recent trip I took my 40D with a 17-55 f2.8 IS and 70-200 f4L. We were visiting friends who have been long time Nikon users. He had just gotten the D300 with the 18-200VR lens. So the bets were on!!

The kids were in the pool, doing all kinds of “kid’s things” and we shot away. Every one of his photos blew mine out of the water!! The focusing, colors, white balance and the big, sharp LCD – WOW!!! We loaded the photos on to his new Apple and looked at them side by side, Canon vs Nikon. I LOST ALL THE BETS!!! I had to buy him and his family dinner!!! UGH!!!

So after many years of him saying “buy Nikon” the inevitable has happened. I am now the proud owner of TWO D300s. I bought the 18-200 and a 17-55 f2.8VR and have just ordered the 70-200VR.

A couple of weeks ago we went to a Veterans Hospital Fund Raiser, a fantastic car show at Pismo Beach, CA. I was asked to photograph the event so I took my 1D Mark IIn, with a 17-40L, 24-70L and 580EX flash, my 40D with a 17-55 f2.8IS lens and my new Nikon D300 with the 18-200, 17-55 f2.8VR and brand new SB800 flash. I wanted to experiment with this new setup and started taking photos on Thursday evening. Part of the fund raiser was outside and part was inside a huge tent. So I was not all that comfortable with the new setup.

We left Saturday evening and I never took any of my Canon gear out of my car. The D300 setup worked flawlessly with the white balance and flash better than I have ever experienced with all my Canon equipment.

Jammer112, you must have had a bad copy of the D300 and 18-200 lens. This D300 deserves all 10’s and has really put Canon in a “catch up” position. And now Nikon has just released the D700. WOW!!! All we need now is more glass from Nikon.


Jul 2, 2008
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Nikon D300

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
53 84273 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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