I'm looking at purchasing my first digital Nikon camera and have singled out the D300 as being the most appropriate.
When buying a second hand one, should I be concerned about the number of shutter actuations? I know they are tested to 150,000+, but 30,000 or more sounds like a lot to me. That's getting on for 1,000 rolls of film!
Sat 29-Dec-12 10:09 AM | edited Sat 29-Dec-12 10:37 AM by SRFast
Tony, The D300 was released in 2008 so most of the available cameras will have a good number of clicks on them. As long as the rest of the camera body is in good condition, a shutter count in the mid 20K range should not be a concern. If you get a killer deal on a high shutter count body, buy it and use it till it needs a new shutter. A new shutter isn't that expensive a repair. I owned a D300 beofre moving to FX and it is a great camera.
________________________________________ 45+ years of Nikon ownership and counting Visit my SmugMug gallery
James is right on. One big benefit of digital is that frames are free — we tend to shoot humongous number of frames as compared to what we used to do on film. On a typical shoot — say, for me, a theatrical performance — I'll capture 500-600 frames in two hours. And when shooting action, sports or birds, I'll clip away at 4 – 10 FPS, depending on the camera body!
Enjoy your soon-to-be camera. If you can find a D300s, all the better!
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
My D300s has approx 30,000 clicks and it still functions as new, still takes great pictures as it did on day 1. I recently bought a D700 from another Nikonian with 30k on the shutter and didn't think twice about the "odometer." It still looks new and had been well taken care of.
Last month i bought one D300 with 25k clicks on, from Grays of Westminster, UK. Rated to 150k it has only a little more than 15% of life used. Not that much, for me. It works like new, looks like new and the pictures are beautiful.
Nikonians!!! My best investment made after my camera!!!
Sat 05-Jan-13 02:32 AM | edited Sat 05-Jan-13 02:37 AM by RRRoger
When I had my two Minolta film cameras, I used to cringe at all the double prints I threw away.
When I got my two D1 bodies, we went into the Event business. Soon we were doing two or more per week. It was not unusual for me to take over 5,000 shots in one day. My D1 had over 1 million activations on it when I sold it after getting a D2, and it still worked perfectly. My D800 has over 30,000 still images on it and dozens of Videos. It is not even broken in.
Nearly all business has slowed down, especially Photography. We will be lucky to do 20 Events this year, so I won't be able to test my cameras like I did.
My biggest competitor now is the cell phone. Because capturing the moment is what is about, and posting instantly to FaceBook is a plus for them.
>>"My biggest competitor now is the cell phone. Because capturing the moment is what is about, and posting instantly to FaceBook is a plus for them."<<
I do not claim to be a pro, but friends trust me to shoot their weddings. At the, hopefully very last wedding that I shot, I insisted on finishing each formal shot, and then I let everyone jump in with everything from cell phones to some fairly expensive prosumer cameras. The were all amazed that my photos "came out better" than theirs. I had been testing shots over a two week period to make sure that I got the lighting correct. It was a tough mixture of tungsten, flourescent, some bright unknown, & varying strength of daylight. Then, for each location, the WB varied greatly.
No matter how much they say they just want some snaps to remember the event, their expectations after the fact are much higher. "Why does she look so much better than I do?", etc., etc. The problem today is those holding up their iPads during the ceremony. Yikes!
I shoot on a D300s. If you have a little extra $$ go for the 'S' model. I find the high ISO noise to be lower.
I shoot sports, which require shooting 500 - 1000 frames per event. At 50,000, I like to send back to Nikon for clean and calibrate. That costs roughly $250. Lately I find that trading in for a refurbish model is only a couple hundred more, and I have a brand new camera.
I agree with the others - If you can swing the D300s, it is worth the difference.
Buying used tips:
Ask for the environment type - eg when I buy used gear I ask if it is a smoke free and/or pet free environment.
I ask if it was used casually or professionally. I ask the type of shooting that its used for on a regular basis - sporting or other fast shooting I stay away from If used professionally, doesn't keep me away from it but I check everything out in great detail. Look at the rubber and other items on the body. Do they look cared for or well worn?
I do not worry about 50k clicks on my D300s(s) but keep in mind that future resale is more difficult the more 'clicks' (miles) on the camera.
FWIW I have 250k miles on my SUV and it looks and runs like new. I do regular PM on it according to the book.
If you are buying a well maintained, cared for camera body, then there is nothing to worry about.
When I decided to upgrade from a D70s I talked to a lot of people on Nikonians that were selling D300's. I managed to purchase a D300 with around 11,000 shots on it. There are a lot of people that in some cases are selling back up bodies or just get out on the weekend to take pictures. Personally I like to try and buy used with as little activations as possible. That also reflects in the overall condition of the body.
PS: I put that D70s up for sale, it only had 351 shots on it. It sold in one day.
good luck hunting, there are some really good deals on this site.
Thanks again for all your comments, much appreciated.
Well, I finally got one! In fact I ended up with a D300s off Ebay for £500. It has over 41,000 shutter actuations (well over my concern for 30,000). I probably wouldn't have bothered if it wasn't for your feedback.
Anyway, it came yesterday and it's in very good condition. Hardly a mark on it. Everything seems to function ok (though I'm still getting used to it). The only thing that doesn't seem right is the wheel in front of the shutter button (forgot what you call it) doesn't spin and click as nicely as the rear one. This might be how it should be, I don't know.
"...the wheel in front of the shutter button (forgot what you call it) doesn't spin and click as nicely as the rear one."
This was a common problem on the D200 (and may be on the D300/s also) - the rubber grip material on the camera can shift slightly over time and rub against the wheel. As suggested by others I did a *small* bit of careful trimming with a single-edge razor blade on the grip on my D200 and the problem went away. Eventually I will probably send the D200 for service and have the grips replaced, but it works fine for now.
The sub-command dial spins with some resistance, so I guess Richard is right in saying the rubber is catching it. In fact, if I press firmly with one finger just underneath the wheel and spin it with another, it feels like the main command dial.
It isn't making the camera difficult to use at the moment, so I guess I'll live with it. Don't fancy doing a bit of D.I.Y with a modelling knife!
My new-to-me D300s has 34K clicks on it but it looks, acts and shoots like a new camera, imho. I asked the same questions of the previous owner, a serious amateur, and was satisfied that it had been well cared for, and well maintained. I'll have to shoot 20K shots a year for the next 5 years to get close to the rated life of this camera, and that's unlikely for me.