Nikon D300 Summary
Nikon D300 Assessment
The Nikon D300 is a tough high-end DSLR from Nikon which features a 12 megapixels sensor and a fast drive mode which runs at 6 FPS alone or at 8 FPS when paired with an optional battery grip. The D300 is clearly aimed at advanced photographers with a highly customizable interface and a viewfinder with 100% coverage.
The closest competition to the D300 is the Sony Alpha A700
Sony Alpha A700 which also has a 12 megapixels sensor, a 920K pixels 3" LCD and an almost-as-fast continuous drive (5 FPS). Although the D300 is noticeably more expensive, it gives access to Nikon's lens lineup which is currently more extensive than Sony's. On the other hand, the Alpha A700 features built-in stabilization which greatly reduces the total cost of ownership and provides opportunities not available to the D300.
The Canon EOS 40D and Pentax K20D
Pentax K20D can also be considered competition. Compared to the D300, the 40D is a much simpler and less customizable camera. The K20D has a very rich feature set, including built-in image stabilization, full weather-seals, excellent ergonomics and a 14.6 megapixels sensor. The only two areas where the K20D is lacking are the viewfinder (covers 95%) and shooting speed (2.8 FPS).
The bottom line is that, while no camera is perfect, the Nikon D300 is a solid performer with nothing that lets it down. Its main weakness is that it is close to the street price of the full-frame Canon EOS 5D which belongs to another category entirely.
|Excellent image details until ISO 800||Defaults to somewhat oversaturated colors|
|Lower image noise than most competing DSLRs||Noticeable softness starting at ISO 1600|
|100% Coverage Viewfinder||Useless ISO 6400 mode, limited use ISO 3200|
|Comprehensive info shown in viewfinder||Poor white-balance under artificial light|
|Fast and responsive except for live-view focusing||Continuous drive slows to 2.5 FPS on highest quality RAW|
|51-Point Auto focus with Flexible controls||Auto ISO deep in menu, remains active in M mode|
|Highly customizable interface||Some control oddities, see full review|
|Fantastic LCD display|
|Solid build quality|
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Nikon D300 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|12 Megapixels DSLR||ISO 100-6400|
|Nikon F Mount|
|Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|Weatherproof||Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Spot-Metering|
|6 FPS Drive, 100 Images||Hot-Shoe & Sync-Port|
|3" LCD 920K Pixels||Lithium-Ion Battery|
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