|Nikon D300 digital SLR camera review : Canon undoubtedly must have been taken aback when Nikon announced the Nikon D300 as successor to the D200. And rightfully, because the D200 was already an impressive camera and the Nikon D300 digital SLR camera exceeds its predecessor to a great extend. It is more than ever an SLR camera that is perfectly suitable for the professional photographer.
Nikon D300 CMOS image sensor
The image sensor the Nikon D300 features is a new CMOS based on the sensor that Sony are using in the Alpha 700. With 12.3 million effective pixels the resolution of the Nikon D300 is even a tad higher than that of its professional big brother, the D3. The latter has to settle for 0.2 Megapixels less. But the main difference is found in the format. Where the sensor of the Nikon D3 equals a 35mm camera, the D300 sticks to the DX-format with its 1.5 x crop factor. A filter is positioned right before the sensor and is able to shake in four different frequencies thus removing annoying dust particles.
Nikon D300 EXPEED image processor
Information coming from the image sensor is processed by a new processor, named EXPEED. In combination with the new CMOS it is expected to offer high image quality. The EXPEED can process 14 bit data which is supposed to improve the quality. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 200 up and including 3200 and can be enhanced from ISO 100 to very high ISO 6400. Don’t be surprised to detect some noise when using the highest ISO sensitivities. Big question is how well the Nikon D300 will perform with a sensitivity higher than ISO 400, because the D200 let us down a bit there in comparison with its bigger competitor.
Multi-CAM 3500 DX auto focus sensor
A revolutionary change is found in the auto focus. Canon are reducing the amount of focus points; Nikon does the opposite and increase them and place them more in the centre. No less than 51 selectable focus points does the Multi-CAM 3500 DX auto focus sensor offer in the D300, 15 of which are so-called cross-type sensors sensitive to both horizontal and vertical lines. The EXPEED processor can also use color data of the 3D matrix sensor for focussing. Even if a subject is out of the AF sensor's range, it can still be tracked perfectly.
Nikon D300 Live View LCD screen
The Nikon D300 has naturally been equipped with Live View. This feature is a must on a new DSLR. The LCD of the D300 measures 3-inches and features high resolution. It surely makes Live View more useful, moreover because you can zoom in well. And for focussing with Live View, the mirror does not have to be folded down first. Focussing by means of contrast detect AF on the sensor just like compact cameras do, is also possible. We already saw this on the Panasonic L10. Contrast metering might not be as fast as phase detection but it surely is a welcoming addition.
Nikon D300 Chromatic aberration
When the pictures are stored, some calculating is still carried out. The D300 DSLR is capable of getting rid of the chromatic aberration by calculating. Wide angle lenses can suffer from chromatic aberration as we all know. Of course you can correct it afterwards using Photoshop but it does save so much time when the camera does it for you. D-lighting, known from cameras such as the D40x and the D60, has been even more refined in the Nikon D300, thus solving the high contrast problem.
Nikon D300 Weatherproof housing
The high quality housing is almost identical to that of the D200. Of course it is made weatherproof to enable the photographer do his job in deserts or during some rain showers. The viewfinder is further improved and offers 100% view at a 0.94x enlargement. Naturally the D300 works entirely with the extremely advanced Nikon i-TTL flash system. The shutter has been guaranteed up to 150,000 pictures.
Nikon D300 SLR camera review
The Nikon D300 is a very interesting digital SLR camera on paper and as far as I am concerned it is one of the most important introductions these days. We have tested the Nikon D300 to see how well everything works in practice in combination with the new AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8 G ED and the AF-S Nikkor 24-70 1:2.8 G ED lenses. Our findings can be read in the following Nikon D300 review.
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"Jan Vermeer, a passionate Dutch Wildlife photographer, has made a special journey with the aim of capturing the emperor penguin in its natural habitat using the Nikon D300. The pictures in the Nikon D300 Antarctica Expedition Special have been captured with Nikon equipment and mainly with the latest Nikon D300. The images speak for themselves and of course the unique and beautiful surroundings are an important factor and addition to the final outcome.
The equipment used for this test in practice contained of two camera bodies; one of which was mounted on the Nikon AF-S VR 70-200mm 1:2.8G. An AF-S Nikkor 500 mm 1:4D II, AF-S Nikkor 12-24mm 1:4 G ED, AF-S Nikkor 17-55mm 1:2.8 G ED, AF-S Nikon Tele converter TC-14E II and for extreme landscapes an AF Fisheye Nikkor 10.5mm 1:2.8 G ED. The new AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G ED also got added to the equipment at the last minute. "
Continue to read our Nikon D300 Antarctica Expedition and take a look at our unique test photos!