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FORUMS Gear Reviews Camera Reviews
Thread started 03 Dec 2014 (Wednesday) 18:00
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Nikon D300, reviewed by slickaj115

TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND slickaj115 (showing now: slickaj115)
Overall Rating9
Overall Image Quality8
Value for Money10
Must Have10
Suitability to Intended Use9
Got What I Expected10
AF Performance9.5
Handling and Ergonomics9.5
Ownership Status: "own"

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142 posts
Joined Aug 2013
Post has been last edited over 3 years ago by slickaj115. 2 edits done in total.
Dec 03, 2014 18:00 |  #1

The Nikon D300 is the camera I switched from Canon to Nikon and acquired. This review will be pretty straight forward, as a list of specs can be found nearly anywhere on the web. I will cut it down to real world usage.

Nikon D300 is Nikon's "pro DX" camera (also including the D300s which added another memory card slot and video capabilities as well as control function changes). It's autofocus system, weatherproofing, viewfinder and buffer size / FPS make it so. I switched from a Canon 5d classic and 40d to this camera and a D90 (another review for that to follow) and could not be happier. The first things I noticed in regards to the D300 is its AF system - 51 point with intelligent "3d" tracking in continuous focus mode. This system is very fast, and accurate even in low light. The 3d tracking locks on to a single point of your choosing, and then keeps focus automatically as you recompose your shot, or the subject moves in the frame. This is a very neat feature and is the only AF mode I use, even for portraiture or still more missing focus due to focus / recompose and shallow DOF.

12mp is more than enough for me, and my D90 shares this "almost" same sensor. I can still crop enough to get the outcomes I desire in portrait work. The colors and AWB seem to be right on the money in most circumstances, other than in the worst of indoor lighting.

Speed is very quick. Turns on instantly, ready to go, writes files even 14 bit raw rapidly and I have never had to wait for any files to save, or filled the buffer up at all. Although I do not shoot sports or autocross, so write speed is not too incredibly important to me.

Battery life is stellar. I have shot multiple portrait sessions in one day with one battery - probably 1200 shots if I had to guess. Actually, the battery information is very detailed. The menu shows life, condition of battery, shots and percentage remaining. Good stuff.

The viewfinder is 100%, and nice and bright and clear once I dialed the diopter to adjuster for my poor eyesight.

Micro focus adjustment - D300 has it. It is nice. I used it on every single lens I own. Most required minor adjusting.

ISO...the single drawback in my eyes that shows this cameras age. ISO 3200 is practically unusable. 1600 is usable with some post process noise reduction. ACR is what I use, and detail remains "ok" at best with ISO 1600. Idealy I use 800 or less for most everything. In fact, the auto ISO guidelines you can set is much better than Canon's system. You can set minimum shutter speed, and max ISO, which is really nice.

Overall, this camera is the cats meow for me. It may be older tech, but the build quality and functions make it so nice. Image quality is actually very good. The dynamic range and color range is more than enough for me, and seems to retain much nicer detail in shadows than my 40d. My old 5d being FF has an upper edge in that realm, but the other features of the D300 blow it away.

9/10 - Highly recommended. I purchased mine for $430 from Adorama with less than 10k clicks in perfect condition. Stellar performance for the money.

Nikon D300 / Nikon D70 / Nikon 18-70 3.5-4.5 / Nikon 35mm f1.8G / Nikon 50mm f1.8G / Nikon 70-210 f4 AF / Yongnuo 468ii
Previously had Canon 5dc / Canon 40d / Canon 60d / Canon 7d

Senior Member
NewphotoMan's Avatar
Joined Apr 2009
Westchester, NY
Dec 15, 2014 19:04 |  #2

i loved my d300, which i sold for my d700, but with prices right now i may pic up another just for wildlife and sports, since they are selling used for around 300-350.00 US

Nikon D4, Tamron 24-70 SP 2.8, Nikon 85mm 1.8G, Tamron 70-200 f2.8 G2, Nikon SB700
Alexcarraquillophotogr​​/photos/37823589@N05/ (external link)

142 posts
Joined Aug 2013
Dec 16, 2014 15:30 as a reply to NewphotoMan's post |  #3

I am currently wanting (very badly) to replace my D90 with the D700. Seems to be a stellar camera, and a great pair with the D300!

Nikon D300 / Nikon D70 / Nikon 18-70 3.5-4.5 / Nikon 35mm f1.8G / Nikon 50mm f1.8G / Nikon 70-210 f4 AF / Yongnuo 468ii
Previously had Canon 5dc / Canon 40d / Canon 60d / Canon 7d

Senior Member
williamfriggle's Avatar
Joined Nov 2007
Sep 22, 2017 01:24 |  #4

I have been using a D300 for the past 5 years or so. My main complaint was the one you mentioned. Lack of ISO. It has given me some incredible photos. My first one died on me and a amazing guy gave me one. Then that one started giving me trouble. And another amazing guy offered to sell me a D600 for at least 1/2 of what it is worth and let me pay on it as I can. I am trying to live on social security disability. I am blown away with the D600. I am keeping the D300 in hopes that I can fix it one of these days.

Great review. :-)


Nikon D600, D300, Nikon 35 1.8G ED, Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, 18-70 3.5-4.5G ED, Nikon 200-500E ED VR F5.6, Yongnuo YN-568EX Speedlite.
My Flickr page:​/gp/26345736@N04/QJhy5​A (external link)


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Nikon D300, reviewed by slickaj115
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