Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Free Shipping on ALL Products
Nikon D300 Gordon Laing, December 2007

Nikon D300 features : Lenses and viewfinder / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing / Anti dust

Nikon D300 lenses, focusing and viewfinder

The Nikon D300 features an F-mount which can accommodate most Nikkor lenses, with the DX-format sensor resulting in their field of view being reduced by 1.5 times. As with all Nikon DSLRs, you’ll need recent lenses to support the full focusing and metering modes. There’s a compatibility chart in the D300 manual or specification sheets, but just briefly you’ll need a Type G or D AF (including AF-S and AF-I) Nikkor to support all functions including the most sophisticated 3D Colour Matrix Metering II system.

Nikon D300 - body only

The less sophisticated (but still capable) Colour Matrix Metering system is supported on non-CPU lenses if you enter their focal length and maximum aperture into the D300; there’s room to store details of nine different non-CPU lenses with focal lengths from 6 to 4000mm and apertures from f1.2 to f22.

Nikon D300 - Non-CPU data

The D300 is available body alone, or in different lens bundles depending on your region. Two of the more common bundles are with the Nikkor DX 18-135mm or DX 18-200mm VR; we’ve compared both lenses, along with the DX 18-55mm and DX 18-70mm in our Nikkor Kit Lens Group test.

Support this site by shopping below

Nikkor 18-200mm lens
Sigma 18-200mm OS for Nikon

Nikon D300 focusing

The Nikon D300 features a brand new Multi-CAM 3500DX auto-focusing system with not nine or 11, but a whopping 51 focus points, of which 15 are cross-type sensors. A three-way switch on the back of the camera allows you to select between Single Point AF (where you choose the focus point manually using the rocker), Dynamic Area AF (which can track a moving subject) and Auto-area AF (which detects subjects like people against backgrounds, albeit not using face detection). Another switch by the lens mount lets you choose between Manual, Single or Continuous auto focus.

Nikon D300 - custom AF options


The thought of 51 focus points packed into the viewfinder sounds like potential clutter, but like other Nikon DSLRs, each point is indicated by an LCD rectangle which completely disappears from view when not active. So the reality of the system is that only a handful of active focus points are seen, which thankfully makes for a cleaner viewfinder experience. All 51 dots are also shown on the upper LCD info screen, although perhaps sensibly this can’t be used to manually select a focus point – you’ll need to do that through the viewfinder.

Nikon D300 - dynamic AF


To further cement how seriously Nikon is taking AF with the D300, there’s no fewer than ten custom functions devoted to it. One allows you to set the Dynamic AF area so that it uses nine, 21, or all 51 focus points, the latter with a 3D tracking option. You’d think you’d go for the full 51-point system for all moving subjects, but there are benefits to the others.

The nine-point system reacts quickly to predictably-moving subjects which tend to stay in the middle of the frame, such as runners or cars. The 21-point system considers a slightly larger area, allowing you to better track unpredictable motion like football players. If the subject is moving very quickly and can’t be easily framed in the centre, like a bird in flight, then go for the full 51-points. And finally, the 51-point 3D-tracking option remembers the colours of the area in the initially selected focus point and tracks the subject based on them – ideal for erratic motion like a tennis player.

In practice it all comes together very well. With the D300 set to Continuous shooting and the nine-point dynamic area, it effectively tracked and photographed vehicles approaching face-on at 40kph, over a 100m stretch with 100% accuracy, using the DX 17-55mm f2.8 zoomed-into 55mm. Set to 51-point 3D-tracking, it coped with tennis players quickly moving around the frame, with the focus point visibly following them through the viewfinder with pretty decent accuracy. As always you’ll need a quick lens for the best success, but with the D300, Nikon’s really got fast-action covered.

In Live View mode, the D300 can use either the traditional 51-point phase-change AF system, or a compact-style contrast-based AF system – we’ll fully describe both on the next Features page.

Support this site by shopping at Amazon
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Nikon D300 viewfinder

Nikon’s viewfinders have always been very good, but there’s no sign of complacency here. The D300 may have the same 0.94x magnification as its predecessor but Nikon’s upgraded the coverage from 95% to a full 100%. It’s a joy to frame your shot knowing what you see is exactly what you’re going to get, and it’s a feature normally reserved for top-of-the-range pro models. It’s also a nice step-up from the 95% coverage of the Canon EOS 40D and Sony Alpha A700.

Nikon D300 - viewfinder

In terms of the apparent size of the viewfinder, the D300 appears slightly bigger than the Sony A700, but still not up to the size of the full-frame Canon EOS 5D. But again remember the D300 has the advantage of 100% coverage over both these models.

In terms of information in the viewfinder, the D300 offers the usual shutter, aperture, shots remaining, exposure compensation scale and icons for various modes, along with the ISO sensitivity shown at all times. Like its predecessor (and all but the cheapest Nikon DSLRs), there’s an LCD grid which can be switched on and off in a menu, making the interchangeable focusing screens of Canon’s DSLRs look prehistoric. There’s also a small square for each of the 51 focus points, although as LCD markings, they’re invisible through the viewfinder unless indicating an active focus point – so they don’t get in the way.

Nikon D300 features continued...

Lenses and viewfinder / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing / Anti dust

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs