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Nikon D300 Review

Digital camera review overview
Nikon D300 Introduction
Nikon D300 Camera
Nikon D300 Control
Nikon D300 Adjustments
Nikon D300 Storage and Energy
Nikon D300 Test-images
Nikon D300 Test-images
Nikon D300 Camera
Nikon D300 Conclusion

Nikon D300 Review conclusion

Nikon D300 Digital reflex camera
Nikon produced a fabulous digital SLR camera with the new D300. A camera you can't get around as an advanced photographer and I can imagine the competition being very impressed with the impact the D300 has made. The shortcomings of the D200 are wiped away and Nikon have added some beautiful things. The Nikon D300 has become a smaller version of the D3 and that is a real compliment.

Nikon D300 Weatherproof housing
Nikon did not change much to the housing and there was no need to either. The solid weatherproof housing is a joy for the photographer. The hand-fit and operation are perfect and the viewfinder is a real jewel. Besides a large and sharp view it offers 100% frame coverage which is highly important. The D300 is quite similar to its professional brother, the D3, and the size of the camera is extremely important for the professional photographer. The size of the camera can be a crucial thing under certain circumstances as to whether or not the picture could be taken (unnoticed).

Nikon D300 High resolution LCD
A welcoming addition is the LCD monitor on the back of the Nikon D300. Not only because of its huge size of 3-inches but also because of its high resolution. It gives you a real VGA image with a large viewing angle. It's ideal for replaying the pictures and scrolling through the menu. This monitor puts Nikon ahead of nearly every competitor that might have the same large LCD monitor but not with the same high resolution.

Nikon D300 Live View
You also need the monitor when you use Live View and it is not surprising the D300 is equipped with the Live View feature and it works perfectly on the Nikon D300. It has two modes that differ in the way of focussing. In tripod mode focus happens on the image sensor, which is slower but offers more freedom and no shutter release lag is encountered because the mirror doesn't have to fold down. The other mode uses the new AF system Nikon applied, with 51 focus points. Live View is an ideal function in studio environments for product photography even more so in combination with the new WT-4 wireless transmitter.

AF system & 3D matrix metering
The new AF system is one of the most significant innovations, mainly because it works together with the color data of the 3D matrix metering. You will be highly surprised when you look through the viewfinder and watch the focus areas change with your object. Very impressing and it works very well in practice providing there is enough difference between the colours. The 51 focus points offer a wide choice in where to place your object inside the frame. My opinion is that the D300's AF, also found in the D3 by the way, is the best auto focus system at present.

Nikon D300 Image sensor & Processor
Also impressive is the new image sensor in combination with the EXPEED processor. This couple delivers a superb performance. The D300 places Nikon at least on the same level with Canon as far as image quality is concerned. And on some points Nikon exceed the competition. Noise plays hardly any role, only when using the two highest sensitivities. But that is taking it to extremes because when do you have to work with ISO 6400? Not only signal/noise ratio is impressive, also colour reproduction and white balance are perfect. If I'd have to say anything negative at all it would be the dynamic range. In itself it is fine but it is somewhat limited at high ISO.

Nikon D300 Dust reduction filter
The Nikon D300 features a dust reduction filter, a one-of-a-kind correction for chromatic aberration, active D-Lighting and many more useful functions. It clearly shows Nikon have really listened to their users. Maybe you will find some issues unnecessary but someone else may find them important. The fact that Nikon take the photographer seriously shows from the included (temporarily) free full version of Capture NX.

Nikon D300 Exceptional SLR camera!
If you were to ask me what I found the most important camera of 2007 I would definitely place the Nikon D300 at the top, without a single doubt. A spot that the camera could possibly only share with the Nikon D3. The new Nikon D300 is a beautiful work-horse and meets the requirements of the professional photographer. It is an ideal camera for those who find the D3 too big or just too expensive, but don't want to make concessions regarding the quality. It is a superb DSLR camera and it won't surprise me if people will start swapping brands and find their way to Nikon. I fully understand them and agree with them! The Nikon D300 is recommended without restrictions for it is an exceptional camera!

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Nikon D300 preview

"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!
Nikon D300 review

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Nikon D300 CompactFlash memory
12 Megapixels will deliver large files. Certainly when shooting in NEF (RAW) the file size will increase quickly. A 12 bit NEF, non-compressed, takes up some 19.4MB and when compressed still 11.3MB. It means that you have to invest in memory cards. A 2GB card seems the minimum capacity to me, but a 4GB card will do better. In the table below you will find how many pictures fit on a 2GB card. For 4GB cards just multiply the figures by two.

Considering 2GB storage capacity
NEF - 12 bits - lossless compression - 4288x2848 - 13.6MB - 98 pictures
NEF - 14 bits - lossless compression - 4288x2848 - 16.7MB - 75 pictures
NEF - 12 bits - comprimized - 4288x2848 - 11.3MB - 135 pictures
NEF - 14 bits - comprimized - 4288x2848 - 14.2MB - 112 pictures
NEF - 12 bits - lossless compression - 4288x2848 - 19.4MB - 98 pictures
NEF - 14 bits - lossless compression - 4288x2848 - 13.6MB - 75 pictures
TIFF - Large - 4288x2848 pixels - 36.5MB - 52 pictures
TIFF - Medium - 3216x2136 pixels - 21.2MB - 93 pictures
TIFF - Small - 2144x1424 pixels - 10.2MB - 208 pictures
JPEG - Fine - Large - 4288x2848 pixels - 5.8MB - 276 pictures
JPEG - Fine - Medium - 3216x2136 pixels - 3.3MB - 488 pictures
JPEG - Fine - Small - 2144x1424 pixels - 1.5MB - 1000 pictures
JPEG - Normal - Large - 4288x2848 pixels - 2.9MB - 548 pictures
JPEG - Normal - Medium - 3216x2136 pixels - 1.6MB - 946 pictures
JPEG - Normal - Small - 2144x1424 pixels - 0.7MB - 2000 pictures
JPEG - Basic - Large - 4288x2848 pixels - 1,5 MB - 1000 pictures
JPEG - Basic - Medium - 3216x2136 pixels - 0,8 MB - 1800 pictures
JPEG - Basic - Small - 2144x1424 pixels - 0.4MB - 3900 pictures

SanDisk Extreme IV memory card
The new EXPEED processor is perfectly capable of processing the pictures very fast and the buffer of 21 lossless compressed NEF formats lets you carry on with ease. The pictures are written on the memory card speedily, especially when you use a fast memory card such as the SanDisk Extreme IV card. Pictures can be transferred directly from the camera to a computer or notebook through the fast USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface. This fast connection in combination with a fast memory card such as the SanDisk Extreme IV will ensure a workflow in the digital working environment without any delays.

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