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Camera Reviews

Nikon D300 Review

Romulo Lubachesky (Romulo Lubachesky)


Keywords: nikon, d300, camera, bodies

Page 4/5 show all pages

Menu options are excellent. To have several possible selections to control the most specific functions is a Nikon characteristic. I would emphasize the new retouch section and the “my menu” function, where you can set up commonly used functions so you won't lose your time going through the menus and submenus tabs.

Now the two front buttons can be set up to special functions. In the lower button, like in my D200, I programmed it to spot meter; in the upper one -where in my D200 was the DOF preview- now I set it up to the function of changing the information of non-CPU lenses. On the back of the camera the AE-L/ AF-L button can also have extra functions, but I like to leave it just to lock the exposure (AE-L) because I normally use the Aperture Priority Mode.

Click for enlargement

 

It is possible to program a shot and a sequence of shots, with regular timing; an interesting option for monitoring a scene. The auto gain multiple exposure tool is still wonderful. Used when the light conditions are too variable and dificult to meter correctly, it practically becomes a High Dynamic Range (HDR) right from the camera.

These and others improvements, make the camera performance magnificent and the act of photographing especially joyful.


Image Quality at High ISO

A common complaint from Nikon D200 users was the image quality and noise using ISOs higher than 800. That created big expectations at high ISO in the new camera release. I've never had many image problems with my D200. It wasn't perfect, of course, but it wasn't as bad as some people say.

 

 

The D300 has a new sensor, a 12.3 megapixel CMOS and a new EXPEED processor capable of generating files at 14 bits in both RAW and TIFF file formats. This new sensor works from 200 to 3200 ISOs, 100 and 6400 ISOs made possible through camera processing.

The D300 shows significant improvement in the general image quality, especially in the high ISOs, showing much less noise and more sharpness. Comparing the noise reduction options at high ISOs, 800 or higher, you will notice that the noise reduction system has improved a lot. Little sharpness is lost, even using the maximum noise reduction setting; however, I prefer to just leave it off on the camera and use the noise reduction tool on the Nikon NX 1.3 software that comes with the camera.

At right you can see the complete photo from the noise and sharpness test I did at different ISOs and 1 EV variation. Below you will find 100% crops of this image. All images from the ISO test were taken in RAW right from the camera and converted to JPG using the Nikon View NX 1.3 program.

Because of the necessary changing of dimensions of the crops (to fit the format of the article), I kept the quality and increased the dpi proportionally. You may click on any of the images below for a bigger enlarged view.

Clikc for enlargement

NIKON D300; 50mm f/1.8D AF NIKKOR
@ f/2.8 aperture; 1/45 sec. shutter speed

     
Noise reduction off
Noise reduction low
Noise reduction high

Noise test

Noise test

Noise test

Noise reduction off
Noise reduction low
Noise reduction high

The D300 contrast and colors are very smooth, more pleasant and natural. I like to use image options at zero, except saturation, that I use at its maximum, and Adobe RGB.

Using 14bits RAW the colors are even smoother and the color gradation very pleasant; however, the image size is considerably bigger and the shutter speed decreases from 6 to 2.5 photos per second. I also noticed that the mirror makes a different sound when using the 14 bits mode. On 14 bits configuration, the feeling is that the camera is using a slower exposure time.

(6 Votes )
Page 4/5 show all pages

Originally written on July 11, 2008

Last updated on October 28, 2016

5 comments

Dennis Page (DenyP) on August 14, 2018

I enjoyed the D300 review.

Antonio Marreiros (miranikon) on November 5, 2016

This articles they are very important for me. Thank you. Antonio Marreiros

Henry M. Ford (Team) on January 25, 2016

Love my d300s. Both for pictures and video.

Ludvik Gomulski (CrustyCrab) on May 2, 2013

A succint and valuable review of the cameras main features

Jose Santos (espeto68) on February 9, 2013

Excellent preview!!!

G