Nikon D300 Digital SLR Camera Review

The Nikon D300 Digital SLR is a 12.3 megapixel, CMOS APS-C size (DX) sensor, 14-bit color camera. It features a high resolution (922,000 pixel) 3" LCD rear monitor suitable for spot proofing, switchable Live View through the rear LCD, weatherproofing, a 150,000 actuation synthetic shutter, UDMA high speed CompactFlash card support, a new CPU (the EXPEED processor), a switchable 51(!) point auto focus system, automatic face recognition and focus tracking by color, customizable focus calibration to accommodate focus variations in up to twenty different lenses, scene recognition, HDMI high definition video output to high definition televisions and display devices, Active D-Lighting for automated in-camera shadow & highlight control of high dynamic range (HDR) scenes, and extremely fast operation. There's lots more, but you get the idea. The Nikon D300 is an awful lot of camera. Read the full review at Kickstartnews

I've been shooting with the Nikon D300 Digital SLR camera for several weeks, so it's time to stop having so much fun for a short while and start writing. The problem is, I just don't want to put away the camera. It has its quirks and could use a bit of minor improvement in a couple of areas, but to date is the most complete digital SLR I've ever seen. My perspective is based on analysis of image quality, feature sets, hardware quality, ergonomics and general usability compared with the top-of-the-line digital SLRs from Canon (EOS 40D), Fuji (Finepix S5), Leica (Digilux 3), Olympus (E3), Pentax (K10D, K20D) and Sony (a700). If the goal of photography is to make photographs, then the Nikon D300 does the best job of any camera, except for the much more expensive Nikon D3, Canon 1D Mk III and Canon 5D, at just getting out of your way and letting you do that. Even in a direct comparison with the wonderful Canon 5D full frame sensor powerhouse, the D300 is its equal in low noise, low-medium ISO shooting, and is obviously better at image proofing and review using the glorious, bright, high resolution 3" LCD which remains almost reason enough by itself to purchase a D300. The days of using the camera LCD to review a shot you just took and never being sure if it's color balanced or properly focused are gone. The D300 LCD screen is a true monitor with the resolution, clarity and color depth that photographers have been demanding for many years.

The Nikon D300 Digital SLR, coupled with a selection of Nikon lenses, is everything you'll ever need as a snapshooter, amateur photographer, serious photography hobbyist or general photography professional. The D300 is weatherproofed which means the camera can function just as easily and at just as high quality as you'll get from it indoors. Ergonomically, the camera fits most hands well. Unusually, we found that even people with small-to-medium size hands found the camera comfortable to use, while a couple of testers with very large hands also reported the same great comfort levels over hours of continuous use. Only younger kids and people with very small hands will experience any problems with the D300 control layout, grip or body weight. We shot a huge and varied selection of subjects: wildlife at a local conservation area, sports at a local arena - hockey and volleyball, portraits of family members, urban locations, night shots, street scenes, textures, products being prepared for eBay listings, and in miserable weather, great weather, indoors, mixed lighting and you name it. We did the vast majority of our shooting with four lenses: Nikkor 12-24mm f4 DX wide angle zoom, Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 DX VR zoom, Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 DX professional zoom, and the Nikkor 105mm f2.8 VR professional prime lens.

The Nikon D300 digital SLR is ready to shoot instantly. No matter what mode you select or leave the camera in, turn it on and it's ready to go. Controls are responsive and provide positive feedback. Novice or pro, you can feel exactly how the camera is reacting to your handling and input. Novices may leave the notification beeps on for the first few days or weeks of use, but then the D300's smart design and easy handling will likely allow even still slightly nervous beginners to shut off the beeps and rely instead on the camera's mechanical sounds and natural feedback. In a lighter weight body, Nikon has actually enhanced the tradition of superb tactile feedback pioneered and revered in the FE, F4, F5 and F100 and continued through the D100/200 and the D1/2/3 bodies. I look forward to picking up the D300 and using it in any environment because it feels great and secure in-hand and because it offers controls which are smartly placed, easy to activate and well configured. All in all it's a pleasure to use.

Cons: Auto ISO is not automatically turned off when camera is set to manual (M) mode. Low noise at all normal ISO settings, but performance should be better still above ISO800.

Pros: Superb handling, ergonomics and image quality. The gorgeous high resolution LCD is a wonder to behold. Live view works well. Sensor cleaning function is very useful. Color accuracy is remarkable. A professional camera which can easily be used by amateurs and photography hobbyists. Read the full review at Kickstartnews