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Nikon D300 SLR Digital Camera Review

Editors Review

The Nikon D300 is the new mid-range SLR model from Nikon aimed at the professional (or talented amateur) photographers. The D300 is a 12.3 megapixel digital SLR (single-lens reflex) with effective ISO range of 100-6400, continuous shooting mode of 6fps (frames per second), next-generation 51-point AutoFocus system and a 3 inch, 920k pixel LCD screen. The Nikon D300 is a well made unit benefiting from magnesium alloy construction which is both water and dust resistant. Brand new on the D300 we have the debut of Nikon’s EXPEED image processing engine and “Advanced Scene Recognition System”, both of these next generation technologies promise to deliver higher image quality than ever before.

The 12 megapixel CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor - pronounced seamoss) DX sensor boasts tank like protection, rugged construction and is sealed against dust and droplets and features built-in sensor cleaning too (using ultrasonic technology). This sensor provides better colours, composition, highlights and shadows when compared to previous models. The Nikon D300 actually has two LCD screens, in addition to the large high resolution 3 inch colour screen, there is a smaller additional screen on top of the unit which displays shooting options and selections. The Nikon D300 is fast in terms of power up (0.13 seconds) and shutter speed (45 milliseconds) with a frame advance of 6 frames per second (or up to 8fps with an optional multi power battery pack). A huge 51 point auto focus system compares well with cameras twice this price (in fact this system is shared with Nikon’s much more expensive D3 model).

The Nikon D300 is larger than the Canon EOS 350D and provides a chunky grip enabling a good grasp, there is also plenty of room for your thumb without worrying about inadvertently selecting controls with it on the rear of the camera. Despite the endless list of features the D300 can be used as soon as powered up, you don’t have to use all the professional features, in a hurry just point and click using live view on rear screen and let autofocus do the rest!

The Nikon D300 does require some familiarisation to full use of all its features – not because the D300 is unnecessarily complex, rather it simply has such a huge range of built-in features and it takes time to work through them all to the point where it becomes second nature. However, it is worth spending the time mastering the Nikon D300 as although it may seem expensive, this digital SLR has everything a photographer will need (with the exception perhaps of top level professional photographers) . This is a direct competitor to the Canon EOS 350D and although Canon may currently sell more cameras, the Nikon D300 has to be near the top of the list for any discerning photographer.

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