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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Nikon D300 digital SLR

Nikon Digital Cameras


Nikon D300 DSLR Review

Review Date: May 5, 2008

Nikon D300
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Photoxels Editor's Choice 2008 - Advanced DSLR
Photoxels Editor's Choice 2008 - Advanced DSLR

Category: Prosumer - Advanced Amateur

The Nikon D300 digital SLR features a new 12.3-megapixel DX-Format CMOS Sensor that allows Live View mode. Available for the first time is Nikon's Dynamic Integrated Dust Reduction System with a self-cleaning ultrasonic sensor unit that vibrates the optical low pass filter in front of the image sensor for efficient dust reduction.

The D300 is housed in a new rugged magnesium-alloy construction with advanced dust and moisture protection. A durable shutter mechanism is tested to 150,000 cycles.

It boasts near-instant power-up in 0.13 seconds, a shutter release time lag of a mere 0.045 seconds (when shooting in JPEG, TIFF, or 12-bit NEF (RAW) formats ) and viewfinder blackout time of approximately 100 milliseconds. Optimized quick response lets photographers respond to any sudden shutter opportunities.

Other key features:

  • 3.0-inch super density 920,000-dot VGA color monitor with 170-degree wide-angle viewing and tempered-glass protection
  • Continuous shooting up to 6fps, and up to 8fps with the new optional MB-D10 Multi-power Battery Pack
  • Fast, accurate 51-point autofocus with 3D Focus Tracking and three Dynamic AF modes for exacting autofocus precision at blazing speeds
  • EXPEED image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation
  • Scene Recognition System (SRS) with an improved 1,005-Pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II
  • New Picture Control settings allow advanced color control with 4 preset options: Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome, as well as 9 customizable settings
  • Active D-Lighting enables superior high-contrast images by automatically applying tone compensation at the moment of capture
  • Compliant with next-generation high-speed UDMA cards, enabling high speed recording

The optional Wireless Transmitter WT-4 provides wireless functionality by enabling cable-free image transfer to a compatible computer, with wide-ranging network and security protocols.

The Nikon D300 digital SLR sets new standards for the advanced amateur photographer category with one of the best design and featured digital SLR to date. Those who are tired of hauling large and heavy bodies will appreciate the compact design, professional handling and feel, incredibly fast performance, as well as excellent image quality.

If you are undecided between the D3 and the D300, read Dave Black's article.

TIPA Award: The Nikon D300 landed a 2008 TIPA Award as "Best D-SLR Expert."

Read our Nikon D300 review...

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Nikon D300 DSLR
QuickFact™ Sheet
Nikon D300US | CAN | UK | Nikon Imaging
Type of Camera Single-lens reflex digital camera
Effective Pixels 12.3 million
Image Sensor CMOS sensor, 23.6 x 15.8 mm; total pixels: 13.1 million; Nikon DX-format
Image Size (pixels) 4,288 x 2,848 [L], 3,216 x 2,136 [M], 2,144 x 1,424 [S]
Dust-reduction System Self-cleaning Sensor Unit, image dust-off data acquisition (Capture NX required)
Sensitivity ISO 200 to 3200 in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV with additional settings of approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 and 1 EV (ISO 100 equivalent) under ISO 200 and approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 and 1 EV (ISO 6400 equivalent) over ISO 3200
File System Compliant with DCF 2.0, DPOF and Exif 2.21
Storage System NEF 12-bit or 14-bit (uncompressed, lossless compressed or compressed RAW), TIFF (RGB), JPEG: JPEG baseline-compliant
Storage Media CompactFlash (CF) Card (Type I and II, UDMA compliant), MicroDrive
Release Modes 1) Single frame [S] mode
2) Continuous low speed [CL] mode: 1 to 7 frames per second (note 1)
3) Continuous high-speed [CH] mode: 8 frames per second (note 1) , 6 frames per second (note 2)
4) LiveView [LV] mode
5) Self-timer mode
6) Mirror-up [Mup] mode Note 1. When using EH-5a/EH-5 AC Adapter or MB-D10 Multi-Power Battery Pack with batteries other than EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery Note 2. When using EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (When shooting in Continuous-servo AF (C), Shutter-Priority Auto [S] or Manual [M] exposure modes, at a shutter speed of 1/250 s or faster with other settings at default)
White Balance Auto (TTL white balance with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor), seven manual modes with fine-tuning, color temperature setting, white balance bracketing possible (2 to 9 frames in increments 1~3)
LiveView Hand-held shooting mode: TTL Phase-difference AF with 51 focus areas (15 cross-type sensors), Tripod shooting mode: focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area
LCD Monitor 3-in., approx. 920,000-dot (VGA), 170-degree wide viewing angle, 100% frame coverage, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Playback Function 1) Full frame
2) Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments)
3) Zoom
4) Slideshow
5) RGB histogram indication
6) Shooting data
7) Highlight point display
8) Auto image rotation
Delete Function Card format, All photographs delete, Selected photographs delete
Video Output NTSC or PAL; simultaneous playback from both the video output and on the LCD monitor available
HDMI Output Supports HDMI version 1.3a; Type A connector is provided as HDMI output terminal; simultaneous playback from both the HDMI output terminal and on the LCD monitor not available
Interface Hi-Speed USB
Text Input Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input available with LCD monitor and multi-selector; stored in Exif header
Lens Mount Nikon F Mount with AF coupling and AF contacts
Compatible Lenses 1) DX AF NIKKOR: All functions possible
2) D-/G-type AF NIKKOR (excluding IX NIKKORlenses): All functions possible (excluding PC Micro- NIKKOR)
3) AF NIKKOR other than D-/G-type (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions except 3D-Color Matrix Metering II possible
4) AI-P NIKKOR: All functions except Autofocus, 3D-Color Matrix Metering II possible
5) Non-CPU AI NIKKOR: can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is 5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value display supported if user provides
Picture Angle Equivalent in FX-format [135mm] is approx. 1.5 times lens focal length (DX format)
Viewfinder SLR-type with fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-2.0 to +1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint 19.5 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Focusing Screen Type-B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with superimposed focus brackets and On-Demand grid lines
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 100% (vertical and horizontal)
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.94x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
Autofocus TTL phase detection, 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors) by Nikon Multi-CAM 3500DX autofocus module; Detection -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 at 20 degree C/68 degree F); AF fine adjustment possible. Focal-plane contrast [in LiveView (Tripod) mode]
Lens Servo Single-servo AF (S); continuous-servo AF (C); manual (M); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in continuous-servo AF
Focus Point Single AF point can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points LiveView (Tripod mode): Contrast AF on a desired point within entire frame
AF Area Mode 1) Single point AF
2) Dynamic Area AF [9 points, 21 points, 51 points, 51 points (3D-tracking)]
3) Automatic-area AF
Focus Lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Exposure Metering System TTL full-aperture exposure metering using 1005-pixel RGB sensor
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering II (other CPU lenses); Color Matrix Metering (non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed)
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, 10, or 13 mm dia. circle in center of frame or weighting based on average of entire frame (8 mm circle when non-CPU lens is used)
3) Spot: Meters approx. 3 mm dia. circle (about 2.0% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
Exposure Metering Range 1) 0 to 20 EV (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) 2 to 20 EV (spot metering) (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20ºC)
Exposure Meter Coupling Combined CPU and AI
Exposure Mode 1) Programmed Auto [P] with flexible program
2) Shutter-Priority Auto [S]
3) Aperture Priority Auto [A] 4) Manual [M]
Exposure Compensation Plus or minus 5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Auto Exposure Lock Detected exposure value locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Auto Exposure Bracketing Exposure and/or flash bracketing (2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV)
Picture Control System Four setting options: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome; each option can be adjusted
Shutter Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter, 1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, Bulb
Sync Contact X=1/250 s; flash synchronization at up to 1/320 s (FP) adjustable with Built-in Speedlight or optional Speedlight (will reduce GN)
Flash Control 1) i-TTL: TTL flash control by 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, built-in flash, SB-800 or SB-600: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash
2) AA (Auto Aperture-type) flash: Available with SB-800 used with CPU lens
3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 28, 27, and 22S
4) Range-priority manual flash; available with SB-800
Flash Sync Mode 1) Front-curtain Sync (normal)
2) Red-eye Reduction
3) Red-eye Reduction with Slow Sync
4) Slow Sync
5) Rear-curtain Sync
Built-in Speedlight Manual pop-up with button release
Guide number (ISO 200, m): approx. 17 (manual 18)(ISO 100 equivalent, m): approx. 12 (manual 13)
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Accessory Shoe ISO 518 Standard hot-shoe contact with safety lock provided
Sync Terminal ISO 519 standard terminal
Creative Lighting System With Speedlights such as SB-800, SB-600, SB-R200, supports Advanced Wireless Lighting, Auto FP High-Speed Sync, Flash Color Information Communication, modeling flash and FV lock
Self-timer 2 to 20 seconds duration
Depth of Field Preview When CPU lens is attached, lens aperture can be stopped down to value selected by user (A and M mode) or value selected by camera (P and S mode)
Remote Control Via 10-pin terminal or WT-4A Wireless Transmitter (optional)
GPS NMEA 0183 (Ver. 2.01 and 3.01) interface standard supported with 9-pin D-sub cable (optional) and MC-35 GPS Cable (optional)
Supported Languages Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Power Source One EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MB-D10 Multi-Power Battery Pack (optional) with one EN-EL4a, EN-EL4 or EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery or eight R6/AA-size alkaline (LR6), Ni-MH (HR6), lithium (FR6) batteries, or nickel-manganese ZR6 batteries, EH-5a AC Adapter (optional)
Tripod Socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Custom Settings 48 settings available
Operating Environment Termperature 0-40 degrees C/32-104 degrees F: under 85 percent (no condensation)

Supplied Accessories*

*Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area

EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-18a Quick Charger, UC-E4 USB Cable, EG-D100 Video Cable, AN-D300 Strap, BM-8 LCD monitor cover, Body cap, DK-5 Eyepiece Cap, DK-23 Rubber Eyecup, Software Suite CD-ROM
Optional Accessories MB-D10 Multi-Power Battery Pack, WT-4a Wireless Transmitter, DK-21M Magnifying Eyepiece, EH-5a AC Adapter, Capture NX Software, Camera Control Pro 2
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 147 x 113 x 74mm /
5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in.
Weight Approx. 825g /
1.82 lbs.without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover
MSRP Available November / December 2007
Body only: CDN $1,869.95

Camera Body

Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

B&H Photo VideoYou can buy the Nikon D300 from our Trusted Sponsor B&H Photo-Video, the Professional’s Source, satisfying millions of customers for over 35 years:

- Nikon D300 SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body)

- Nikon D300 SLR Digital Camera Kit with 18-135mm Lens

- Nikon D300 SLR Digital Camera Kit with 18-200mm AF-S DX VR Lens


Nikon D300
available as Body only, with 18-135mm lens or with 18-200mm lens






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