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Nikon D300 | Digital Camera Review | Control
When you take the Nikon D300 out of the box, you can effortlessly start with it. To be able to start taking pictures you don't really need the manual. I do advice you to read the manual thoroughly though because the camera offers a lot of functions and settings to facilitate photographing for you. How the Nikon D300 DSLR camera is used in the end depends a lot on the person operating it and the object you want to capture. Most functions of the menu offer a help function so you don't need to take the manual with you.
Nikon D300 | Digital Camera Nikon D300 | Digital Camera
Nikon D300 Menu
The menu is available in many languages. I think that is a great plus because no matter how well you know a foreign language, it is always pleasant to read it in your own language. Although sometimes you can find some weird translations. When you scroll through the menu, the large monitor is a huge advantage. Thanks to the high resolution it's like you are reading on a computer screen without your eyes getting tired. The characters are large and no use is made of silly abbreviations. It might not seem that important but without noticing it you will go into the menu a lot more than you think. You can also make your own menu and just render the items you find important.

Nikon D300 Auto focus
The Nikon D300's focus works extremely fast and is also usable in dimly lit situations. You have to make sure to select the right settings for the auto focus. The D300 offers many options and they are better organized than on the Nikon D200, where I got lost many times. The 3D auto focus is astonishing and very impressive. You can see in the viewfinder what's happening. The focus shoots from one point to the other, tracking the object. There has to be a vast color difference between the object and the surroundings otherwise the system is unable to judge whether the object is moving or not. Situations might occur where you don't want this at all. In that case you just switch over to the normal 51-points AF and the D300 will behave as all other Nikon D-SLRs always do; focussing perfectly while tracking the object. Since I first met this system, in my Nikon F5, I was already taken with this system and so far I have never seen a better one.



Nikon D300 test
Nikon D300 Speed
When you press the shutter release button after focussing, the picture will be taken obviously. The release pressure is excellent; you really feel the difference between pressing half-down and actually taking the picture. The sound the Nikon D300 produces is very modest. Even at full speed you won't get noticed taking pictures. The D300 is capable of taking 6 frames per second, if you don't shoot in 14 bit RAW. If you use the optional battery-grip in combination with the right batteries, you can even shoot 8 fps. Seems more than enough to me; after all you are photographing and not recording a movie.

Nikon D300 Live View
The LCD monitor on the back of the D300 also shows photographic information. I don't find it very useful in normal circumstances because the top LCD monitor is already large and offering sufficient information. It could come in handy though when the camera is placed on a tripod and you have difficulties looking at the top of the camera. In those cases you could also use Live View of course. The D300 has two modes for Live View: handheld and using tripod. The first mode uses normal AF and in tripod mode focus changes over to contrast detect AF. This functions a lot slower which you will undoubtedly notice hence it is not suitable for capturing moving objects. But you can focus on any point you like. Even in the far corners of the frame. Normal AF has a larger delay when taking a picture because the mirror has to be folded down before focussing. Make sure you know what you want exactly prior to aiming. When using Live View the perfect LCD monitor is a joy. Also because of the large viewing angle; you don’t have to be right behind the camera to see what you are capturing. Unfortunately there is no live histogram available which would be very handy to check exposure before taking the picture.

Nikon D-300
Nikon D300 Nikon D300
   
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