Nikon D300 Review

Overall 40
Imaging 13
Features 46
Size 70
Price 0

Main Features

  • 12.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 3200 (Expands to 100 - 6400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 6.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 147 x 114 x 74 mm
  • Weight: 925 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D200. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D300S. Compare

Nikon D300 Summary

This review is devoted to D300 that Nikon has first introduced to the public in Mar 12, 2008. This model is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera with a resolution of 12.0 MP and a APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

Initially, Nikon developed this model to replace their older product D200 and, after some time, Nikon has replaced this upgraded model with their most recent one D200. To learn more about the specs and difference between these models, check our complete comparison by following these links:
Nikon D300 vs. D300S
Nikon D300 vs. D200

In Semi-Pro DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #130 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 40/100 and it takes a rank of #938 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Nikon D300 Compared to other DSLR Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Nikon D300 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000
  • Built-In Flash: Yes
  • Number Of Focus Points: 51
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Timelapse Recording: Yes

CONs

  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 12.0
  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 679
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: No
  • Wireless Connectivity: No
  • Storage Slots: 1

Complete Comparison of Nikon D300 With Other Cameras in Semi-Pro DSLR Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Nikon D300. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Semi-Pro DSLR cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Nikon D300

Nikon D300 has the following external dimensions 147 x 147 x 74 mm (57.87 x 44.88 x 29.13″) with the weight of 925 g.

The typical weight for average Semi-Pro DSLR type cameras is 783g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Nikon D300, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Nikon D300 is thinner than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 74mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Nikon D300 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

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If you want to have a better idea of how big the Nikon D300 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

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Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Nikon D300 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Nikon D300 — 1000 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots

Thickness

Nikon D300 — 74 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm

Weight

Nikon D300 — 925 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Unfortunately, Nikon D300 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Nikon D300 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Nikon D300 Photo and Sensor Features

Nikon D300 comes with Expeed processor. This model also boasts of a resolution of 12.0 MP and is equipped with a APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Nikon D300 has the following ISO range 200 - 3200 and it also comes with a possibility of extending this indicator to 100 - 6400.

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Nikon D300 features a 12.0 MP APS-C sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Nikon D300, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 67 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Nikon D300’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Nikon D300 is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of APS-C sensor featured in Nikon D300 with other standard sensor sizes.

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Other Characteristics And Features of Nikon D300

LCD and ViewFinder

Nikon D300 is equipped with a Fixed Type 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 922k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentaprism) ViewFinder.

The ViewFinder in D300 has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.63x and it also provides a coverage of 100%.

Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Nikon D300 are its 6.0 fps max speed and 1/8000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

D300 features both an embedded flash and a flash shoe, which means that you can use both built-in and external flashes depending on your needs.

Focusing

One more highlight that makes Nikon D300 stand out is the fact that it features two smart AutoFocusing systems. One of these systems is called Phase Detection and the other one is Contrast Detection. Both features stand for higher accuracy and focus speed in different situations. With the smart AutoFocus system presented in this model, photographers can choose from 51 points.

Nikon D300 is not equipped with any ports that would allow you to connect external headphones and microphones to it.

Connectivity and Storage

You can connect D300 to compatible devices via its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Nikon D300 provides a shooting life of 1000, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 871 shots.

Compared to all models in the Semi-Pro DSLR category, Nikon D300 offers the highest battery life that reaches 1000 shots.

How Good is Nikon D300 for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Nikon D300’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Nikon D300’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the D300 to the average DSLR camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Nikon D300 for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 68. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D300 for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 89. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (1000 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D300 for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 92. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300 can be called a 92 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (51)
  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (6.0 fps)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (679)

Nikon D300 for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 78. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (925 g)
  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)
  • Video is not available

Nikon D300 for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 89. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300 can be called a 89 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.0)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (679)

Nikon D300 Detailed Specs

General
Brand Nikon
Model D300
Announced Mar 12, 2008
Body Type Mid-size SLR
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F
Number of Lenses 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 922k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.63
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 6.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization No
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Range 12
Flash Modes Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average Yes
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area Yes
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 67
DxO Color Depth 22.1
DxO Dynamic Range 12.0
DxO Low Light ISO 679
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.6 x 15.8 mm
Sensor Area 372.88 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4288 x 2848
Max Native ISO 3,200
Max Boosted ISO 6,400
Min Native ISO 200
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking No
AF Selective Yes
AF Center No
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection No
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 51
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a
Max Video Resolution
Video Formats n/a
Microphone Port No
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 925 g
Physical Dimensions 147 x 114 x 74 mm
Battery Life 1000 shots
Battery Type 1000 shots
Battery Model EN-EL3e
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II)
Storage Slots 1

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