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Nikon D300 Gordon Laing, December 2007
 
Nikon D300 gallery

The following images were taken with the Nikon D300 using the Nikkor DX 17-55mm f2.8 lens. The D300 was set to Large Fine JPEG (optimised for quality) for these samples, with Auto White Balance and the default Standard Picture Control, Normal High ISO NR and Active D-Lighting switched off.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.



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Landscape: 4.98MB, Program, 1/320, f9, ISO 100, 17-55mm at 17mm (equivalent to 26mm)

 

This first shot was taken with the D300 and the DX 17-55mm fully zoomed-out. We used Live View to shoot at a higher angle, although the screen became hard to see in direct sunlight.

The image is very natural-looking and in-camera processing has removed any evidence of chromatic aberrations. It's lacking the ultimate crispness of some cameras, but that can be fixed with a slight boost in sharpness.

     


Landscape: 5.48MB, Program, 1/400, f10, ISO 200, 17-55mm at 55mm (equivalent to 83mm)


    For this second shot we increased the D300 to 200 ISO and set it to Continuous AF with the 9-point Dynamic AF option for predictable motion.

The camera easily kept the approaching boat in sharp focus, and the crops again show a pleasing, natural-looking result with no electronic artefacts. As you'd hope, there's also no noise issues with the increase to 200 ISO.
     
   
     
   


Landscape: 5.66MB, Program, 1/3, f5, ISO 100, 17-55mm at 17mm (equivalent to 26mm)


    Back to 100 ISO here for a shot taken in very dim conditions. Since neither the D300 body nor the DX 17-55mm lens featured stabilisation we had to be careful to avoid camera shake, so used a ledge for balance.

There's some softening in the corners due to the lens, but areas closer to the middle are detailed and well-defined.
     
   
     
   


Portrait: 4.66MB, Aperture Priority, 1/250, f8, ISO 200, 17-55mm at 55mm (equivalent to 83mm)


  For this portrait shot we increased the sensitivity to 200 ISO and zoomed the 17-55mm all the way in. To counteract stark shadows we popped-up the built-in flash as a fill.

The result is again very natural-looking with the D300's flash providing a useful fill without becoming obvious or over-powering.

The crops reveal plenty of detail, and as you'd hope at 200 ISO under bright conditions, there's no noise artefacts.
     


Landscape: 8.06MB, Program, 1/320, f10, ISO 200, 17-55mm at 17mm (equivalent to 26mm)

 

Another shot taken at 200 ISO, although with the zoom working at an equivalent of 17mm to capture a wide view.

By now you'll recognise the D300's trademark natural-looking processing using its default JPEG settings. Some may prefer a slight boost in sharpness and contrast, but others will appreciate its non-electronic style.

     


Macro: 6.89MB, Program, 1/15, f14, ISO 400, 17-55mm at 55mm (equivalent to 83mm)

  For this macro shot we increased the sensitivity to 400 ISO and positioned the camera as close at the DX 17-55mm would focus.

The increase to 400 ISO hasn't had an adverse effect on noise levels under these well-lit conditions, and the crops show lots of detail, although again some may prefer a boost in sharpening.

     


Indoor: 6.51MB, Program, 1/13, f8, ISO 400, 17-55mm at 17mm (equivalent to 26mm)


  Our first indoor shot was taken with the D300 at 400 ISO. Like many cameras, the D300 metered a little dark for our liking, but it has preserved highlight detail. We noticed the D300 does this on many images.

The darker areas of this image reveal a fine smattering of noise when viewed at 100%, but it's nothing to be concerned about.
     


Indoor: 5.28MB, Aperture Priority, 1/2, f11, ISO 800, 17-55mm at 17mm (equivalent to 26mm)

 

Our second indoor shot, this time at 800 ISO, suffered from the same underexposure issues as above, so we applied +0.3EV compensation. To deliver a sufficient depth of field, we closed the aperture to f11 and mounted the camera on a tripod for its half second exposure.

Despite the increase in sensitivity, the crops are still smooth and detailed with little evidence of noise. Other samples at 800 ISO though show a drop in quality due to NR smearing, as seen in our Nikon D300 Noise results.

     


Indoor: 5.67MB, Program, 1/10, f11, ISO 1600, 17-55mm at 23mm (equivalent to 35mm)

 

Our final indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity increased to 1600 ISO. The D300 again metered to protect highlights at the cost of shadow detail, so we applied +0.7EV here.

The crops reveal a noticeable increase in noise, but there's still lots of detail in this particular example. We would advise also looking at our D300 Noise results for more examples at higher ISOs.

You can see how its rivals handled similar subject matter in our Canon 40D samples and Sony A700 samples.

     


All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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