Nikon D300 Review Round-Up

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Get information and user reviews for this camera from Amazon: Nikon D300 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens

Imaging Resource Review

There are a lot of great cameras on the market, but the D300 more than any of them is designed for the serious photographer. The bottom line is this: If you need a great digital SLR camera and the price is no issue, the Nikon D300 will exceed your needs. Those requiring a faster frame rate and greater autofocus speed should consider a D3, provided they can handle the extra size and weight . I won’t call it a compelling upgrade for happy D200 owners, but it sure wouldn’t hurt if you’re in the market for something even better than the D200. Nikon’s D300 is an amazing machine, well worth the $1,799 price tag, and a rare five-star. READ FULL REVIEW

Other Nikon D300 Reviews

Camera Labs

Nikon’s D300 looks almost identical to the D200, and shares the same superb build quality, but under the hood are a raft of improvements. These include 12.3 Megapixels, 6fps shooting, a 51-point AF system, 3in screen with VGA resolution, Live View, a viewfinder with 100% coverage, and an HDMI port. There’s additionally AF micro-adjust and in-camera correction of chromatic aberrations. The D300 may be a year older than the Canon EOS 50D, but remains a very tough rival and one of the most feature-packed DSLRs in this category. If you’re after a step-up in handling and features – albeit with similar image quality – over the D90, this is an ideal choice. Do compare closely with the Canon EOS 50D though. READ FULL REVIEW

Digital Photography Review

Almost everything else about this camera has been improved. Starting on the outside there’s that stunning high resolution three inch LCD monitor. … the best implementation of Live View to date with both contrast detect … and passive auto-focus options, and there’s HDMI output. … On the inside Nikon has worked hard to deliver both better image quality and better performance; you get usable images up to ISO 3200, extended image parameter control, improved dynamic range, automatic CA removal…, six frames per second continuous shooting … a new AF sensor, AF tracking by color and scene recognition. My biggest problem writing this conclusion has been picking out the D300’s weak points. … But really, these few niggles are really the only things we could pick out as criticism. There’s simply no better semi-professional digital SLR on the market. READ FULL REVIEW

Steve’s Digicams

The Nikon’s new D300 further raises the bar in the enthusiasts dSLR category. Offering a wealth of features, plenty of customization options, 12.3 megapixels of resolution, upgraded 51-point Autofocus System, a fast frame rate (when using a recommend 266x CF card) and excellent image quality, this model represents Nikon’s best effort so far in this market niche. It’s not inexpensive, but the D300’s features and image quality justify the lofty price. We have no issues giving this camera our highest recommendation; Well done, Nikon. READ FULL REVIEW

CNET

For the most part, Nikon sticks with the tried-and-true body design and interface of the D200, with its intelligently laid out controls. The dust- and weatherproof body weighs a hair over 2 pounds, and feels as solid as a little tank. … As for photo quality, the D300 delivers great results, with a visibly superior noise profile to the D200. Although the lack of in-body stabilization can be a big liability for certain users, and its interface not quite as streamlined as I’d like, these negatives are more than offset by the great performance and class-leading photo quality delivered by the Nikon D300–earning it an Editors’ Choice. READ FULL REVIEW

Photo.net

Nikon introduced the D300, along with the Nikon D3. The two cameras share a lot of features and some components. The D300 is a strong successor to the D200. The D300 maintains all of the D200’s advantages as an excellent general-purpose, prosumer DSLR and improves on several key areas. The D300 offers Nikon’s current best AF module, which is also featured in their top professional model, the D3. With the Multi-CAM 3500 and the ability to capture 8 fps, the D300 also replaces the D2H and D2X as Nikon’s top DX-sensor DSLR suitable for action and sports photography. … On the other end of the spectrum, for those photographers who demand the absolute highest build quality, reliability, and low-light performance, the Nikon D3 is the best choice in the Nikon line. READ FULL REVIEW

Ken Rockwell

The Nikon D300 is far more revolutionary than its specifications suggest. It completely obsoletes everything that came before it, and especially sends the D200 and D2Xs to the dumpsters of digital history. The D300 has better color, better highlights, better shadows, it’s sharper because it fixes lens flaws, and its superior AF system and viewfinder free us to compose more freely than any previous camera. The D300 shares these innovations with its nearly identical $5,000 big brother, the D3. Compare their menus or read their users manuals and you’ll see that they are the same on the inside! Owning both, I can confirm that they both operate in the same way and give the same look to their images. I’ve never said this before of any other camera, but the D300 actually makes it easier to create significantly better images than with earlier cameras. READ FULL REVIEW

PopPhoto

Nikon could have played it safe. By just tweaking its highly rated D200, the company could have come out with a camera priced closer to Canon’s new 10.1MP EOS 40D ($1,300, street, body only). Instead, the engineers went wild, revamping everything from the viewfinder to the sensor, adding live view, and taking such pro-level features as the 51-zone AF system from the new Nikon D3 ($5,000, body only). Now, after our Lab and field tests, it’s clear that Nikon made the right decision. We’re so convinced of it that the editors of Pop Photo named the D300 The Camera of the Year 2007 — and in the face of heated competition in the middleweight DSLR class from the just-as-new 10.1MP Olympus E-3 ($1,700, body only) and 12.2MP Sony Alpha 700 ($1,400, body only). READ FULL REVIEW

Thom Hogan

Is it really better than a D2x at one-third the cost? Consider for a moment: take the already well-regarded D200 and put in a better sensor than the D2x, faster frame advance than the D2x, (mostly) better autofocus than the D2x, faster card write speed than a D2x, and a much better color display than a D2x, and what do you get? Well, a D2x killer, as evidenced by the huge number of D2x bodies that hit the used market. .. .Bottom line: the D2x is an excellent value at the current used prices (US$1500-1800), making this a very tough choice. For me, the smaller form factor, lighter carry weight, and high ISO capabilities give the nod to the D300, but I’m still very happy with my D2x for landscape work. READ FULL REVIEW

Photo Review

Nikon’s new D300 DSLR camera slots in above the D200 ‘pro-sumer’ model but does not replace it. Because its control layout is essentially the same as the D200’s, the D300 provides most of the same controls and has a similar level of complexity. Despite its similarity to the D200, some significant features have been improved. The most obvious is the shift from a 10.2-megapixel CCD image sensor to a 12.3-megapixel CMOS imager … However, for most photographers, the D300 is not a huge step up from the already very capable D200 – unless you require live viewing and the other improvements the new model provides. Of the three DSLR cameras in its class (the other two being Canon’s EOS D40 and the Sony DSLR-A700), the Nikon D300 is the largest, heaviest and most expensive. READ FULL REVIEW

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nikon D300 vs. Nikon D200

    There have been many comparisons in the Web of these two cameras, although in all cases in favor of the D300, which is on one side normal seen the fact, that it is a newer camera with more features and possibilities.

    I bought the D300 after reading dozens of favorable reviews, a “no-brainer” as some of them put it – but I must say I am not overwhelmed by this camera compared to the D200.

    Everything comes down to image quality at the end, all the bells and whistles of the D300 are finally not so important to the average shooter. Let’s start with the noise. Most reviews claim one full stop more for the D300. The measured noise (DxO lab) is the same for both cameras until 1600 ISO, towards 3200 ISO the D300 is slightly better, but both cameras have unacceptable noise here anyway. At 1600 ISO both cameras do not expose at 1600 ISO but at 1145 ISO (D300) and 1494 ISO (D200), this means we are comparing approx. 1150 ISO for the D300 to 1500 ISO for the D200 (data from DxO lab), which looks like cheating in favor of the D300.
    If we compare 800 ISO (D200) to 1600 ISO (D300) we are comparing really 759 ISO (D200) to 1145 ISO (D300) that’s a difference of only 386 ISO or roughly half a stop. No wonder the D300 is “apparently” one stop better, being just less than half a stop better.
    My personal findings are same noise from 200 – 800 ISO for both cameras; at 1600 ISO the D300 is slightly better, which only confirms the above lab tests. I nevertheless find already noise at ISO 200 in light shadows with the D300, where the D200 stays clean.
    Even the D70 stays a lot cleaner a t ISO 400, there is no noise in light or medium shadows whatsoever, color is also more accurate, specially in greens (e.g. grass) where the D300 is always oversaturated, too clean (missing magenta and/or black in greens) regardless it’s setting (neutral, standard or else). The D200 has a CCD sensor and so does the D70; the D300 has a CMOS sensor. CCD sensors by its nature have less noise than CMOS sensors, which may explain this, although one could expect after years of research and development CMOS sensors to be as good as CCD sensors. CMOS sensors are much cheaper and need less electricity. But buying a D300 for having less noise is a wrong idea.
    By the way, if you expose the D300 at 3200 ISO you really do it at 2063 ISO only (!!) Compare this setting with 1494 of the D200 at supposed 1600 ISO.
    D300 vs. D90:
    Most reviews claim, that the D300 quality is the same as the D90 quality. But the D90 came out almost a year later and something must have happened in the meantime – and it really has. The biggest difference we find with the low light ISO sensitivity, where the D90 is almost 50% better or in numbers 679 for the D300 vs. 977 for the D90 (DxO labs); the D90 also has a better dynamic range (12.5 vs. 12) and more color depth (22.7 vs. 22.1) compared to the D300; in one word it delivers better image quality. Nobody ever reported this, at least I haven’t found an reviews telling us here the truth.
    All these numbers come from the DxO lab, a extremely serious and well equipped independent French lab of objective digital camera image quality measurements (http://www.dxomark.com/). Check it out yourself.
    D300 Color: The basic setting shows an average of 8.9% over saturation (sRGB) and 14.7% with Adobe RGB (Imatest), whereas the D200 is pretty close to the truth. Any camera should have one basic setting with the colors as close as possible to the correct colors. Over saturation can easily be achieved with additional in cameras settings or with photo editing programs. The D200 has it, the D300 not. I was loading down the DX2MODE settings (I,II,III), which you can find on the D200 too, reducing the contrast and saturation below the Neutral or Standard setting of the D300, in order to get some normal colors; Skin tones on top are pink, too much Magenta and too little Yellow, so the Hue control has to be moved too. I am close now, but the D200 still gives me better skin colors straight out of the camera. Even so I still de-saturate frequently colors from D300 pictures in Photoshop slightly, which I never do with D200 pictures.
    Over saturated colors are for beginners, people with no color knowledge whatsoever, for persons without taste like children who like strong colors. You should NOT find settings like this as a default on a semi professional camera with a high price tag. It may be justified for entry level DSLRs but even here there should one “true color setting” besides the over saturated default setting.

  2. You know, I have to agree with you completely on this review. I’ve owned a D70 for a few years and purchased a D300 3 years ago. I keep playing around with the D300 color controls as well as the D2X modes and I still prefer the more natural colors I get from the D70. Of course the D300 handles noise better at higher ISOs but the colors are over saturated to my taste.
    I plan on starting to do some wedding photography. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ve invested in a 17-55 2.8 Nikon and a few other nice lenses but the are all DX format. I cannot afford to change over to FX any time soon. I guess I’ll keep playing with the D300 settings until I can come up with something more pleasing. Thanks for the article.

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