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 Post subject: D300
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:51 pm 
Ordered the D300 today, should have tomorrow delivered at work...I will be selling my D80, which I only had briefly. At the onset, I should add that, for the first time since my DSLR journey started (Canon 400D --> Canon 40D --> Olympus E510 --> Nikon D80 --> Nikon D300 :? ) I didn't upgrade from the D80 because I wasn't happy with it. No, the D80 is great, and it was meeting my expectations. It's simply that I fell in love with the D300, and I was in a position to get one. There are some features that the D300 has over the D80, and which are great, but none that I could not have lived without, whilst still enjoying the D80. That's new to me! Kudos to Nikon, I guess. I will be posting regular updates of my feelings about the D300 as time permits, given that I'm in the middle of study assignments. However, these are the features that attracted me to the D300 (bold = the ones I cared most about):

- Fine-tuning of the auto-focus. I'm a sucker for sharpness and judging by some reviews that have dealt with this function, it seems to "improve" the lens, so to speak.
- 3' hi-def screen. Nice. Not necessary, but nice nevertheless.
- Live view. I liked that feature since I had the Canon 40D, as much as i disliked it on the Olympus E510. I find it useful when using a tripod and taking your time to compose a shot.
- 6fps. Obviously useful.
- ISO indicated all the time in the viewfinder. Useful.
- High ISO performance. Now, that's a biggie for me. Clean ISO 3200 - let alone 1600 - is a big plus for me. I don't plan to have external flashes, just the camera itself, so the ability to get this level of ISO performance is important to me. Could live without it, but I'll take it.
- 14-bit. I'm interested in HDR, so that might be a useful feature, allowing a greater dynamic range in processing. Shall see..
- More control over multiple shots (up to 10) and over color, sharpness, etc... In other words, more creative control.
- Seems like its matrix metering, or metering capabilities in general, are improved. Good. Including it's auto-WB capabilities. Also good.
- Info displayed on lcd, not only on top screen. I missed that one, I have to admit. i particularly like the fact that you don't have to have it on all the time.
- Interestingly, initial comments from around the net that pictures just come out "better" by using same technique and lenses as with previous cameras. In other words, the camera actually seems to contribute to picture quality, not just with features and ease of use. For example, the D300 actually reduces CA internally. Same lens, same shots, but the ones taken with the D300 are CA-free (see Ken Rockwell's site for that one). "Improves" the lenses you have.
- Magnesium body. Don't need it (yet) but sturdiness is always a good thing.
- Active D-Lighting. Again, from various first impressions around the net, it seems to actually make a useful contribution to picture-taking.

We'll see how it turns out in reality. To finish up:

What is it like to go from the D80 -->D300? It's not intimidating. Yes, it's bigger, but it feels good. I think it might be even larger than the Canon 40D, but I didn't feel that I was holding a huge camera with the D300, in the way that the 40D felt quite big to me. Also, it's still got the Program mode if needed, and it feels quite natural after the D80. One thing I really will appreciate - and it's a highly personal thing, I realise - is the ability to reverse what is "+" and what is "-". In other words, you can choose whether, for example, increasing the eV compensation results from turning the command wheel left, or right. I don't know about you, but I always felt turning the wheel rightways should increase a value, as opposed to Nikon's traditional leftways to increase. Small thing, but it's nice to have, shows a lot of thought on the part of Nikon.

But these are only first and very early impressions...More to follow.

A.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:01 pm 
We will be waiting anxiously for your reviews of it..Ant1... the Big news of D300 here on the forum.. :wink: 8)
Myself - I'll wait for PMA 2008 before diving or jumping...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:47 pm 
It looks like a really nice camera. One thing I'm a bit miffed about though is the mounts for the strap have changed. My nice OpTech wouldn't fit unless I buy new loop fittings.

Why Nikon?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:57 pm 
Enjoy the new camera!!! :D

I would be my first choice if I could afford it. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:24 pm 
TelexStar wrote:
It looks like a really nice camera. One thing I'm a bit miffed about though is the mounts for the strap have changed. My nice OpTech wouldn't fit unless I buy new loop fittings.

Why Nikon?


I can measure exactly the loops once I have the D300, if you need it.

Why Nikon? You mean why I bought the D300 as opposed to?... To be honest, I don't see a competitor for it in its price range. I think the D300 is superior to the Canon 40D - for example, as far as high ISO performance is concerned. Additionally, in favour of the D300: Active D-Lighting, better screen, HDMI output, I already tried the 40D and it wasn't my thing, I already have a great Nikon lens and - most importantly - I really like Nikon. After trying quite a few brands/models, the Nikon "way" felt the best. It resonates with me.
The Canon 5D?...Takes nice pictures, full-frame sensor, but it's not me. I like the tech of the Nikon, its looks and the way it feels in my hands. and, according to some tests I have seen on the net, the D300 has the 5D beat in high ISO performance too.
What else?...Olympus E3? Don't like it. Contrary to most people, I really dislike flip-out screens, and I'm not attached to the 4/3 system. Maybe if I had invested in Olympus lenses, that would have been a reason to go for the E3. But, when I still had the E510, the moment I saw the E3 being previewed, I knew straight away that I didn't like where Olympus were heading with their SLR's, thus no point investing in Olympus lenses and thus, no point keeping the E510. With Nikon and the D300, it was the exact opposite feeling.
Pentax? The K10D is a great camera, but no better than the Canon 40D or the E510, etc...
Leica? Too weird, too expensive. Great lenses, but not that impressed with their pseudo-Panasonic tech in SLRs.
Sony A700? Nice camera, I like it, probably would have been my second choice after the D300, had I been dissatisfied with Nikon, which I am certainly not. In my opinion, were it not for its limited choice in lenses, the A700 would be the closest competitor to the D300, although, if I recall correctly, Gordon reckons that it will be the D3 once the dust settles.

Have I missed anything?...Don't think so, but it doesn't matter, because is I was going to change from the D80, it's the D300 that I wanted anyway; it's Nikon that I wanted. As I said, to me the D300 is like a D80 fortified. I liked the D80, and I still do, no complaints with it. Same metering "philosophy", same layout that I like, same ergonomics, same results, but somewhat better because of its superior high ISO performance and Active D-Lighting, lateral CA control and fine auto-focus tuning. And high-tech, which tickles my nerdy bone!... :lol:

A.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:51 pm 
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Now I'm sweating over the difference of writing "Why, Nikon?" and "Why Nikon?"
I assumed that TelexStar just had dropped the "," and originally wnated to ask nikon, why they changed the mounts :wink:
But that can only be answered by TelexStar him-/herself...

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:49 am 
Yes, I picked up on that one too, Thomas ("Why, Nikon" and "Why Nikon"). I wasn't sure, though. It was late when I read and answered it, but now that I'm looking at it fresh, I think you might be right. It was probably a cry of lament" Oh, why, Nikon, whyyyyy?.." and not "why did you pick up a Nikon?" Oh well...

BTW, Great review of the D300, Gordon. I'm curious, though, what did you think of the lens fine auto-focus function?

A.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:12 am 
Thats a lot of cameras to have owned over a short period of time! :D Do tell us what it's like when you take delivery of it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:51 am 
Ant1 wrote:
Why Nikon? You mean why I bought the D300 as opposed to?...


Sorry, I meant "Nikon, why do you need to change the strap mounts?" :D


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