Quick Review: The D300 is the latest incarnation of Nikon's popular semi-pro series of digtal SLRs, which began with the D100 first introduced all the way back in 2002. With the D300, Nikon has made the switch to a CMOS based sensor (manufactured to Nikon specs by Sony), which not only adds 2 megapixels to the D200's 10mp, but even manages to achieve less image noise in low-light situations. For many photographers, this may be one of the best reason to upgrade, but that's only part of the story; the D300 is a major upgrade from the D200, and the list of improvements is extensive. These include a much better 51 point auto-focus system, 6 frame-per-second continuous shooting, self-cleaning sensor, EXPEED image processor, 14-bit A/D conversion, 3" 922,000 pixel LCD with live preview, HDMI video output, "Active D-Lighting", better battery life, and more.
The D200 was a popular and well-spec'd camera that exceeded the requirements of most non-professional photographers. The D300 is even better and has enough real improvements (particularly the new auto-focus system) that it competes almost too well against some of Nikon's high end cameras like the D2X and D2H series, yet costs significantly less. This may be the most expensive camera in its niche (chief competitors are the Canon 40D and new Sony A700) but it offers a level of professional features previously unavailable at this price point.
Pros: image quality, rugged build, weather resistant, improved ISO noise performance compared to D200, flash system, built-in sensor dust removal, live LCD preview, improved battery life compared to D200.
Nikon D300 User Reviews
- I upgraded from the D200 to the D300 and find that the D300 has a lot of improvements to justify the higher price. First of all, the levels of noise at high ISO are probably about 1 stop better, despite the additional megapixels. I've also found that the CMOS sensor in the D300 seems to have a little better dynamic range, and and better lattitude - ie. you can manipulate images a lot more in Photoshop without degrading quality. For example when you boost shadow regions you don't see a lot of noise and image artifacts. The bigger LCD is nice and there are loads of smaller improvements which I am only beginning to find out about. One small example is the plastic cover for the remote cable - on the D200 I kept losing the cover, but on the D300 it's attached and you can't lose it :) Unfortunately the number of features and menu options have made the camera more complex than ever, but I guess you just have to spend more time reading the manual and experimenting. - C. Ableton, Austin, TX
- I like the Nikon D300 camera very much but when I use the
auto WB setting with flash on, in mixed lighting conditions, it
changes the color of skin tones. Color is little over saturated, so
reduce the color for people photos. I love the 6 frames/second, lots
of detail, overall a great upgrade from my D70.- Javed Rassi
- Oh my.....I love this piece of gear! The camera is very intuitive and allows complete creativity without completely bogging the user down in menu driven items. Much of the controls are located outside the camera, allowing for quick and precise changes. The metering and autofocus are superb, allowing a myriad of user driven choices. The price is high, but the value is outstanding. - Rick