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  • 12.3 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor with 4,288 x 2,848 pixel images
  • Self-cleaning Sensor Unit for dust removal
  • 6 fps continuous-mode speed, 8 fps with new battery grip
  • 100 large/normal JPEG, 17 RAW buffer size
  • ISO from 200 to 3,200 with extensions to 100 and 6,400
  • 51-point AF with 3D Focus Tracking, utilizing 15 cross-type and 36 line-type sensors
  • 3-inch, 920K pixel LCD with 170 degree viewing angle and 2 Live View modes
  • 100% coverage viewfinder
  • Selectable 14- or 12-bit digitization
  • UDMA CompactFlash card support

(From Nikon literature) Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of the new DX-format digital SLR, Nikon D300.


Combining innovative Nikon technologies with advanced new features and precision engineering, the D300 delivers the ultimate blend of DX-format performance. The sheer imaging power of a new 12.3 effective-megapixel DX Format CMOS image sensor with integrated A/D converter; the precision processing and astounding speed of Nikon's original EXPEED digital image processing concept; the unprecedented focusing speed and precision of a new 51-point AF system; Nikon's innovative new Scene Recognition System for optimal autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance performance; the composition and focusing ease of a large new pentaprism viewfinder that provides full 100% frame coverage; an expansive 920,000-dot, high-resolution 3-inch LCD monitor with wide viewing angle; near-instant power-up and immediate response; all with the advantages of Nikon DX-format agility and system expandability. Meet the new generation digital SLR camera that blends all these advanced features into one fine package — the Nikon D300.


Major Features


New DX-format CMOS image sensor with 12.3 effective megapixels
The D300 features a new 12.3 effective megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor. It not only produces fine details with sharp resolution, but also provides a broad light sensitivity range of ISO 200 to ISO 3200, (plus LO 1 for IS0 100 equivalent and HI 1 for IS0 6400 equivalent settings; Auto ISO control is also available). The CMOS sensor's integrated A/D converter features the ability to select between 12-bit and 14-bit conversion, making it possible to shoot using high-quality 14-bit NEF (RAW) format. All internal processing is handled in full 16-bit color, color, benefiting from a fine balance between performance with outstanding speed that defies this level of precision and natural-looking images that benefit from faithful color and tone reproduction. Lateral chromatic aberration is also reduced.


EXPEED — Nikon’s image processing concept embodied
As Nikon’s new digital image-processing concept — featuring the core ideas of our image creation and processing — EXPEED incorporates the optimized knowhow and technologies we have accumulated throughout our long history while receiving users’ requirements. It realizes diversified functions to ensure high picture quality and high-speed image processing.


High-speed continuous shooting
The D300 is capable of shooting at a rapid 6 fps*1, and as fast as 8 fps*2 when using the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10, in continuous bursts of up to 100 shots*3 at full 12.3 megapixel resolution. The Nikon D300 is also the first digital SLR to support next-generation high-speed card UDMA, which enables high speed recording.
*1 When using one EN-EL3e battery installed in the camera
*2 When using batteries other than Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e
*3 NORMAL – LARGE image setting, using a SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash 1GB card


Immediate response
Near-instant power-up within 0.13 seconds, a shutter release time lag of a mere 0.045 seconds*, and viewfinder blackout time of approximately 0.1 seconds contribute to optimized all-around performance that lets photographers respond to any sudden shutter opportunities.
* When shooting in JPEG, TIFF, or 12-bit NEF (RAW) formats


Scene Recognition System
By improving the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, which was first incorporated in the Nikon F5, information from the sensor can be utilized for auto exposure, auto white balance and autofocus. For example, 3D tracking in AF realized by using the Scene Recognition System tracks subject position, and automatically shifts AF points to be used according to the subject’s movement within the frame. This system also contributes to improved accuracy of auto exposure and auto white balance.


AF system employing high-density 51-point AF
Multi-CAM 3500DX autofocus sensor module featuring 51 AF points is incorporated. 15 cross-type sensors located in the center provide subject detection capability with lens apertures as small as f/5.6. This means they all work with currently available NIKKOR lenses. 51 AF points can be utilized in various focus area modes selected according to subject condition. In many aspects, the functions of AF points are linked with the Scene Recognition System to offer superior subject detection and focus tracking performance. A single AF point can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points. Dynamic AF mode enables appropriate focusing by detecting subjects with a zone containing many AF points located densely. In this mode, the number of AF areas, including user selected AF points and backup points, can be selected from either 9, 21 or 51. In addition, newly employed “3D tracking” mode shifts the focus point automatically to respond to the subject’s movements. Auto-area AF mode gives greater priority to the subject’s position in selecting AF points.


Picture Control System
Picture Control System is a new function to enable selection and adjustment to create pictures easily according to skills of users from novices to professionals. When settings are the same, even with different cameras, you can get the same picture tone. Picture Control System offers four fundamental setting options — Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome — enabling image parameters (sharpening, tone compensation, brightness, tone and saturation) to be easily adjusted and customized.


Two Liveview modes available
Liveview function enables shooting while confirming subjects in the LCD monitor. In Handheld mode, which allows recomposing of the frame prior to actual shooting, ordinary TTL phase-difference AF using all 51 AF points including 15 cross-type points is activated. Tripod mode is designed for precise focus accuracy with still subjects and tripod stabilization. In this mode, focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area is possible. Remote view, focusing and shooting are also made possible on a PC (wired or wirelessly).


Large, bright viewfinder that achieves 100% frame coverage
The D300's new eye-level pentaprism viewfinder aids composition and adds assurance to focus operations by providing full 100% frame coverage and large 0.94x magnification, as well as an eyepoint of 19.5mm (at -1.0m-1) and built-in diopter adjustment range of -2 to +1m-1.


Durability that will go the distance
Testing to 150,000 cycles stands as firm testament to the durability of the new shutter unit for the D300. Its magnesium alloy chassis combines light weight with solid durability, while the body features an enhanced sealing system that helps protect against moisture and dust.


Active D-Lighting
D-Lighting incorporated in the conventional digital SLRs enables editing after the image is taken. In addition to the D-Lighting, newly developed Active D-Lighting is employed in the Nikon D300. Active D-Lighting lets users choose the intensity from among “High”, “Normal”, “Low” or “Unchanged” prior to shooting. The conventional method of simply expanding dynamic range is not employed in compensation. Instead, localized tone control technology is utilized to prevent images from looking flat with low contrast. As a result, “lost highlights” and “lost shadows” are well compensated while maintaining proper contrast.


Self-cleaning Sensor Unit for efficient dust reduction
The D300 is the first Nikon D-SLR camera to employ a Self-cleaning Sensor Unit. Four different resonance frequencies vibrate the optical low pass filter in front of the image sensor to shake particles free and reduce the presence of dust.


Exclusive Wireless Transmitter WT-4 (optional)
The WT-4 supports wired LAN (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX) and wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b/g, 11a), and incorporates thumbnail mode as a new function. It realizes wireless connection of cameras with a PC, enabling thumbnail display of images taken with up to five of them and downloading of images selected. Also, by using Camera Control Pro 2 (optional), wireless remote view/control shooting is made possible with the D300’s Liveview function.


Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 (optional)
The optional new Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 supports 3 types of batteries and features sequential power supply with auto-switching to the battery installed inside the camera body. When attached, it also enables high-speed continuous shooting at a rate of 8 fps*1 for up to 100 consecutive shots*2.
*1 When using batteries other than the Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e
*2 NORMAL – LARGE image setting, using a SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash 1GB card


Other Features

  • The high-energy Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery EN-EL3e delivers enough power to shoot up to 756 consecutive images*1
  • The large top control panel (46 x 20.8mm) features an improved interface with lettering that can be switched to best match shooting conditions
  • HDMI Output supports HDTV display
  • Supports GPS devices via optional GPS Adapter Cord MC-35
  • Retouch Menu provides handy access to Filter Effects, Trimming, Red-eye correction, Image overlay and other in-camera editing functions
  • Software Suite CD-ROM included
*1 Achieved under following test conditions: AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens; continuous shooting mode; continuous-servo autofocus; image quality set to JPEG BASIC; image size set to Medium; shutter speed 1/250 second; shutter release pressed halfway for three seconds and focus cycled from infinity to minimum range three times with each shot; monitor turned on for five seconds after six shots and then turned off; cycle repeated once exposure meters have turned off


The D300 will be available from Nikon Authorized Dealers beginning in November 2007 for an estimated selling price of $1,799.95**. With the introduction of the D300, Nikon’s current lineup of digital SLR cameras now includes the new D3, D2XS, D300, D200, D80, D40x and D40.


** Estimated selling prices listed are only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.


See the Nikon D300 review on imaging-resource.com. Or post your own below!


Keywords: Nikon SLR CF APS-C 12MP


mrlandscape

Registered: July 2010
Posts: 5
Nikon D300 review by mrlandscape
Review Date: 6/14/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: the best APS-C camera in 2007-2010/lightning-fast and accurate auto-focus/excellent s/n ratio/superb rock-solid build/awesome ergonomics
Cons: none

Only positive emotions no problems detected!
moose

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 21
Nikon D300 review by moose
Review Date: 11/28/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,740.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellent camera for both outdoor and studio work
Cons: none

Nikon professional user. The D300 is a camera for the perfectionist.


No need to upgrade to full-frame when a camera like this is around - as you will simply be limiting the number of lenses available to you.


Outdoor and studio work is a breeze.
jonnyapple

Registered: December 2007
Posts: 6
Nikon D300 review by jonnyapple
Review Date: 10/8/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,800.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ(!), accurate metering and focus, UI, build and ergonomics, LCD, battery life
Cons: A bit heavy

I upgraded from a D100 last November when this came out and haven't regretted the decision for a minute since. I had also used my family's D200, D70s, D80, and D40.


Image quality is spectacular. Images are great to ISO 800 and good to ISO 1600 or so. I think they're usable for most things up to ISO 3200 with careful post processing, but I wouldn't do that very often and only when absolutely necessary.


Autofocus is faster than with the other models I mentioned, especially in low light. The review that lists AF speed as a con might have been using a lens with slow focus. I can't see any other explanation. The 51-point sensor is a lot of fun and helps even in, say, portraiture. 3D focus tracking isn't perfect, but is still very smart and a big improvement over what I've seen elsewhere. None of my lenses have this problem, but if they front/back focus, the camera can keep a database of them and automatically compensate for it when you put on one of the troublesome lenses.


Metering is accurate. Only in very tricky situations do I change from multi-segment metering, but I have center-weighted and spot assigned to the DOF preview and Fn buttons, respectively, so I can easily switch while looking through the lens. I shoot 14-bit RAW, and I can usually get detail back in highlights overexposed by about .66-1 eV when I pull the exposure down in lightroom. The D100 was more of a 'blown highlights, gone for good' situation.


A D200 upgrader can learn the changed interface in 5 minutes or less: a couple of button changes and an improved menu system (I say learn, but maybe not get used to--the play button is one that's moved). The My Menu feature saves me searching through all the submenus for frequently used settings. There are a few assignable buttons, which is nice. Having the help button in the menus is a great idea (goodbye, field guide), as is being able to bring up the shooting info on the back LCD screen (I use it for some tripod shots). One feature you might miss is that the active focus spot is no longer highlighted in the top LCD, though it is in the info display and (of course) the viewfinder. I never really used it.


Though heavy, this camera has a very solid build and good weather sealing. I've shot in light rain with no problems. The controls are all in the place I'd want them, but my nose sometimes hits the directional scroll button accidentally because I'm left-eye dominant. Incidentally, that happens to me on other Nikons, too. If I were buying a camera today, I would consider the D90 with its movie mode and lower price over this, but if you're going to give the camera a beating (mine is almost constantly with me), the D300's build might sway you. The MB-D10 grip has a more sensitive shutter release than the one on the body itself, which is a little annoying but not the end of the world. One difference is that the MB-D200 actually slides into the battery compartment of the D200, while the MB-D10 just mates to the bottom of the D300, letting you use two EN-EL3e batteries if you want in whatever order you want (or put in 8 AAs or an EN-EL4a for 8 frames per second instead of 6).


I didn't buy this because of the high-resolution LCD screen it has, but it turns out that it's one of my favorite features. Image sharpness is easy to verify, and pictures look gorgeous on it. Even reviewing nearly every picture, I get about 700 shots per battery charge, about 2 times what I got with a D200 or D100!


Highly recommended.
libertinephotography

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 9
Nikon D300 review by libertinephotography
Review Date: 8/27/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,799.99| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Organization of Features, Versatility (Various Photography Uses), Cost Relative to Performance
Cons: DX Format Sensor, Built-In High ISO Reduction is Diminuitive

The D300 offers professional performance at a consumer price. You get a substantial amount of camera (and a substantial upgrade from the D200) with this model. If you have already purchased DX Lenses for your older Nikon DSLR's, then this is the best camera for you; look no further. Extraordinarily reliable and versatile to many uses.
touristguy87

Registered: July 2007
Posts: 36
Nikon D300 review by touristguy87
Review Date: 8/5/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,700.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: excellent color-balance, good WB all around, nice-handling, sharp focus, great viewfinder
Cons: AF system is sloooow, overall expensive and heavy

Theres not much to say that is bad about the D300 but the one thing that I didn't like about it was the AF system while very accurate is also very slow. I hear that it is much better in continuous drive, I shot it in one-shot all the time and I just learned to give it a second to lock and then shoot, otherwise I was crushing the shutter button and so many times I missed shots with this camera because it is so slow. Also the front control-wheel is just not in a good place, on the front of the handle...Canons are much better here.


Otherwise it's a great camera. A little noisy (definitely luminance noise is a factor here) but ISO100-2000 not bad at all and ISo6400 even is ok with a tight crop.


Just wonderful color balance, though, and the camera will focus on almost no contrast at all. Point, half-press, wait a second and shoot, and with a good lens it will give excellent shots. And if you really want to run off a high FPS burst just dial the frame rate up to 8fps and stand back.


The raw shots out of this camera are incredible at low ISO to ISO3200, the jpegs don't do it justice even in tiff mode. But as a 12MP subframe it simply demands a good, no, great lens to get the most out of it (not a piece of junk like the Nikon 18-200VR2). But $1700 is just a lot to ask for a subframe even one as good as the d300. You'd have to really need all the features that it offers for it to be worth that kind of dosh.
Focus

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 11
Nikon D300 review by Focus
Review Date: 5/11/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $2,700.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Full options, pro quality
Cons: Heavy, AF change troublesome

I had this camera for 4 months. Had to sell it because of a shoulder problem. Quality is excellent. Image IQ near perfect. I do believe the 6400 ISO could have been left of; you don't want to use that. the Af is very extended, but to go from static to full tracking takes three different things to adjust! That's just too much and, arguably, stupid. Also the dial for the drive mode is not easy to set. the My Menu options are strange: if you choose one and change something, it's automatically set in that choice. Very good in light measuring!
aviatorbumm

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 5
Nikon D300 review by aviatorbumm
Review Date: 11/24/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,799.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Improved high ISO noise capability, improved autofocus, live view, LCD size and display quality, improved menu system
Cons: None

I purchased this camera primarily for the touted improvement in high ISO noise handling ability and Live View feature for tripod mounted macro work. My previous cameras included a D70s and D200.


Although the improvement in noise handling is not as dramatic as I had hoped for, it is noticeable and I am pleased with the results I am getting. In the ISO 200 to 800 range, I would say the improvement is ½ to 1 stop though others may see this differently.


The Live View mode is simply outstanding! It makes the process of composing and focusing macro images MUCH easier. You can also see what the key camera settings are off the LCD (F-stop, shutter speed, shooting mode, etc) while in Live View.


The LCD has to be seen to be believed. It wasn’t even a factor for me (in my purchase decision) until I used it a bit, and then went back to my D200 to take a couple of shots. In a word….WOW!!!


I have used this camera with my 17-55, 105VR and 80-400 lenses and have to say that auto-focus speed and accuracy is noticeably improved with these lenses over my D70 and D200. There is much less hunting and a much more positive focus lock in low light situations. I cannot quantify this…but even though I wasn’t looking for any improvement in this area, it became quickly apparent.


Build quality is outstanding. Ergonomics are spectacular. The camera feels just right in your hand and clearly is built to last.


There are a lot of improvements over the D200…small things that just add up such as: elimination of that stupid screw-on 9-pin connector cap of the D200 (now a press on rubber fitting), better feel to the multi-selector switch, larger view area in the viewfinder, addition of ‘My Menu’ to the menu system (allows the owner to place several custom menu items in a easy to reach location), more intuitive controls for the menu/view functions, addition of shooting information screen on the LCD, etc.


Is it worth the upgrade from the D200? I think so. I wouldn’t suggest that anybody break the bank to make it happen, but if you can swing it you may give it serious consideration. Is it a worthy upgrade from D40/70/80 series….you bet.


Will it help me take better pictures? Well, who knows. But I’ll have more fun getting there!


 






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