D300 SLR Nikon camera

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by juan_a._gayoso, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. I am considering buying a Nikon D300, but I would like to know, besides the flash and lens, what minimun accessories should be bought to start using the camera without too many limitations. Your help will be highly appreciated.
    [e-mail address removed. Note: posting e-mail address publicly is not advisable.]
  2. The first question would be "What are you going to be using it for, what are you shooting"? Sports, Weddings, Around the house candids, Portraits. This will give us a starting point to answer your question.

    Gary P.
  3. Juan, it is a wonderful camera. Gary is correct, and if you are buying the D300 as your first DSLR, are you sure you need all of the functionality of the D300? You may want to start with a D80 or D90 to get used to the DSLR format, post processing etc. Your lens choices wil also depend on what you like to photograph so more information would be helpful.
  4. A CF-card is very usefull too.
  5. Thanks, Gary, for your attention to my question. I would be taking shots around the house, portraits, etc., to get familiar with the camera. After that, I intend to use it a lot. I love photography, but I still don't know which "branch" will be my favorite. Thanks again for your help.
  6. As Richard I also think a D300 is a lot of camera to start with. If you are thinking just to see what photography is all
    about I would also recommend a D80/90. If you feel committed to it and you'll do it as a regular hobby and try to advance
    a D300 might serve you well.

    I will recommend an all around lens. Depending on your budget, my choices would be a AF-S 18-70 f/3.5-4.5. The most useful range, not too slow, well built and great price. BUT I think it is not enough lens for a D300 so my prefer piece of
    glass would be the AF-S 17-55 f/2.8G. It is a pro glass and goes well with a pro camera like a D300 but the price is
    almost as much as the camera.

    Then flash, SB-600 or 800 and VERY important a good tripod and ball head. All together is a lot of bread!

    Good luck in your decision and I hope you enjoy photography as much as many of us do. Cheers! Rene'
  7. I would get a couple of large CF cards and an extra battery. Then I would get a very good to great lens that would be the most used focal length you require. Either a fast prime or f2.8 zoom. Add lenses as required. If you want a tripod I suggest reading about them on www.bythom.com. I am on my forth and final tripod. I spent twice the money getting there.
  8. Agree with all..I have (1) D200 and (2) D300's On all my cameras I use the Duel Battery Pack because my hands are large and without the attachment the camera just fills funny in my hand. I have all f2.8 or better glass and both Tri & Mono-Pod. I freelance alot of different kinds of jobs, shoot alot of H.S. sports. If you're going to work photography, spend the extra and get at least a D300, if you step your way up to a D300 or even D700 you will spend a lot of money and may not be able to re-coop much of what you spent. I use 4G Professional CF Cards in all my cameras.

    Good Luck

  9. Compact flash card Sandisk Extreme III 16gig is $75+$90=$165 (but with a $90 rebate) at B&H. But D80 uses SD
    (Secure digital) not CF (Compact flash) cards. D300 and D200 use CF. D300 is $1500 and it leaves little desiring
    other than full-frame like the $3000 D700 would give you. D300 will leave you desiring very little (except of
    full frame), but it is heavier than the plastic bodies of D80 and below. It feels very nice in hand........ your
    other option would be a $1000 D200 which also has the feel of D300 but with some better features like low light
    The lenses is where you want to spend your money, a nice macro shot like this one with D200 comes from the lens,
    not the body... Get D200 + 105mm f/2.8 macro rather than D300 (or get D300 + 105 if the $500 difference doesn't
    matter) because it's the lenses that matter....... get the 50mm f/1.8D for $120 too
    <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/ontario/images/2007-09-30-oak-bee-4820.jpg">
    D200, 1/250 f/9.5 - 105mm f/2.8 macro VR
    and for night shots I prefer ISO-200, i don't like the grainy look of ISO-800 (like with the D300 which has
    better look at ISO-800 than D200 would) for night shots, for
    <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/people08/images/2008-09-20-squaw-night-people-29191.jpg">
    D300, 17mm, 8s f/2.8 - 17-35mm f/2.8
  10. I'll follow your advice and practice some more before getting back to you. Thank you very much for your help, which I appreciate very much.

    Juan A. Gayoso
  11. It it hard to buy the right things and all right things from the start..... like tripod.
    If you are not used to using a tripod, you should first get the D300, get used to it.. then start reading about tripods, for days, weeks, maybe months, and buy one with an educated background. I had a tripod for $50 first, then $100legs+$100head, and finally when I had $800 Gitzo legs + $400 Arca Swiss head I loved it....... then actually i went back to $200 Manfrotto legs + $80 Manfrotto head, not by choice... and it wasn't tall enough, not with the center column. Now I have used Gitzo legs for $400 + $330 Arca Swiss head and I love it... but from experience I know why I love it, and why those $200 Manfrotto legs are not enough, and it's the height.. and my Gitzo doesn't even have center column and goes higher than the Manfrotto with center column.
    Then for Compact Flash cards, you can monkey around with no-names until you lose important photos, and then you will read how Sandisk Extreme users never had an issue, and how you should format the card in camera once in a while... and when you get it for 30-40% more than no-names, you will know why this is the better way to go.
    Filters ------- another topic. I like B+W KR 1.5 sky filter for $40 for 62mm and $60 for 77mm (approximately). Shooting against the sun you want to take the filter off..... above 5,000 ft elevation you should use a haze/sky filter to cut on the haze..... or maybe circular polarizer but on a wideangle you might get sky variation from light on the left to dark blue on the right, and it doesn't look good. Also circular polarizer makes most difference at right angle to the sun, and close to noon....... but you don't want to be shooting close to noon for best photos anyway
    <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/panoramic08/images/2008-09-15-squaw-sunset-26656sp.jpg">
  12. Consider a used D200 which can now be had in good condition for about $750 at KEH. A bit more limited than the
    D300, but a lot less cash, and you can either pocket the difference or use it to buy good glass.

    A new D300 will lose a lot more value than the D200. But good glass will keep its resale value.

    What kind of camera are you using now?
  13. I've gone up the chain with the D70s, D80, D200, now the D300. I would seriously suggest that you get the camera you
    want. If you love photography and you know that once you become more familiar with the DSLR world you're going to only
    advance, then go for the D300. If you're on the fence as to whether or not you're really going to love it and stick with it,
    then I agree with those above who suggested starting with a D80/90. Great cameras.

    As an all-around lens. The 2.8s are great, but can be expensive. The others, although great lenses too, I think are too short for your first
    lens - especially for what you want to do with it. I would suggest the Nikon 18-300mm for your first and
    all-purpose lens. Especially around the house shooting candid photos, etc. I have two little girls and I'm constantly
    shooting around the house and outside capturing everything they do. This is the lens I use as it gives you the versatility
    of the 18-24 shot and the sudden jump to 300 should you want to catch something across the yard or a close up on a
    face. I think if you end up with something smaller, you'll find yourself at the lens's max range and be frustrated (again,
    for an all-around lens). Add more lenses once you become familiar with the type of photography you're going to follow.
    Primes lenses are great, but expensive to start with without a reason. I would buy 1-2 more batteries, a sky/UV filter for
    whatever lens you buy, a decent bag (I like the versatility of the lowepro), and a tripod. As for a tripod - this is a difficult
    issue as there are so many things to consider (lens types, usage, etc.). My suggestion would be to buy a good ballhead
    (I use the RRS BH-40 Quick Release and LOVE it. About $350) and determine the best all around tripod for you to start

    Other than that... buy it, use it and love it. We're all here to help with suggestions along the way.

    Congrats on whatever purchase you decide!
  14. robert, is this what you meant to write: "a $1000 D200 which also has the feel of D300 but with some better features like low light performance."?

    that should be w/out better features like low-light performance, right? or are you claiming D200 has better high ISO ability than D300? my d300 is easily a stop better than my d80 (same sensor as d200), which makes a big difference in the critical ISO 800-1600 area. at ISO 100 or 200, not much difference.

    juan, if this is your first DSLR, i'd strongly consider getting a d90+lenses rather than a D300 right away. D90 has many D300 features but a much gentler learning curve. by the time you master it, nikon will have released a newer body and d300 will be price of D200. that extra $600 would get you nice glass like the new 50/1.4 AF-S or the 85/1.8, plus a sb-600 speedlite.
  15. addendum... D200 was great camera in its time, but for the same price as d90 (body only), you get better high ISO,
    expeed processor, better LCD, a bunch of other stuff not invented when D200 was new, and almost same fps (4.5 vs.
    5). only thing D200 has is sturdier build, which may or may not be important to you.
  16. Yes, thanks Eric --- I meant to say that D300 with its better high ISO (for $1500)
    D200 (for $1000 new, around $700 used [but i am not a fan of used cameras])
    --- that the D300 might not make as much of a difference as a good lens would, so that would be spending the
    money wiser. Yes there are low-light uses where D300 will do better... but as someone suggested above, that $1500
    value will drop faster than the $1000 for D200, and at present time the money could be better spent on a lens
    (like a $770 Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro VR) and later on as DSLR #2 the money could be spent on a newer model or
    that D300 which will be around for less $.
    <img src="http://www.robertbody.com/panoramic08/images/2008-09-01-supers-canyon-lk-23059sp.jpg">
    And personally I switched from D200 to D300 but there were other factors (like 90,000 shutter clicks) but I kept
    the D200 for 1.5 years and I did want better ISO performance, but now I want full-frame D700, but after only 4
    months with D300 and just 30,000 clicks it's too soon)
  17. Ok I am sold.... not for me but for Juan..... D90 might do for the time being... it also has video recording
    ability which you never know when it could be useful.
    I can't recall what I saw about it that I didn't like... you will have to wait a month or two for the D90. Some
    cameras like D40 have an annoying "feature" like you cannot take max JPG+RAW together, or it lacks bracketing
    function. A PRO body like D200 or D300 would have no such catches.
    I went to buy a D80 in Sept 2006, and I went to store and picked it up into my hands... nice.. then i said let me
    hold the D200, and that was the end of my interest in D80. I was used to F100 and feel wise D200 was close as can
    be, that rubber padded grip... nice. Also I find SD cards awkward to use, too small, easier to drop... sometimes
    even a 16gig card is not enough so you have to switch.
    Even if you don't buy from the store you see it at, it's a good idea to do a hands-on examination, especially if
    you are not easy to please :).
  18. Another advantage or disadvantage of the D70/D80/D90 "non-pro" series is the mode knob on the top left side of
    the camera. When I used a D70, I managed to occasionally knock it off where I set it. No such problem with the
    X00 series cameras.

    It's really a matter of what your priorities are. Money, features, or handling. Different cameras. Different
    price points.

    If the $1000 D90 makes sense over a D200, then an argument could be made that a new D80 at $600 makes sense,
    especially if the sensor and video aren't necessary. The D80 and D90 look like they'll handle very similarly.
    Do you really need to spend almost twice the money?
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Hi Juan, are you looking for advice about which camera to get or you have pretty much decided on the D300 and are merely looking for suggestions on accessories?
  20. Shun, I should say that I was looking for suggestions on accessories. The reason I would like to try the D300 is because my kids love photography like me and they have the F100 and also the D80 and the D200. I have been using their cameras quite a bit and they have become rather familiar. To complicate matters, I got a copy of the manual for the D300 and I have a crush on that camera. I will admit that I aiming too high, but will have a great time "learning the ropes".
    I want to thank all of you for your advice, which will help quite a bit if I take the plunge.

    Juan A. Gayoso
  21. Get a "Blue Dragon Digital In Brief" cheat card, available at Adorama for under $10. The D300 is nothing more than a computer with a lens sticking out of it. There is a steep learning curve, and the cheat card will greatly simplify it.
  22. Juan, besides a flash and lens, the only other things I find necessary to enjoy using my D300 are:
    - flash cards
    - spare battery
    - lens pen
    - a very comfortable and easy-to-access camera bag

  23. Juan:

    I have owned both the d70 and the d80 and have liked both of them a great deal. The d300 is a big step up but one well
    worth taking. I think the d300 is as easy to learn your way around as the d80. I know nothing about the d90 first hand but
    the reports are good up to this point. That said, I would really look hard at the d300 is the money issue is not that big a
    deal. Another factor that would lead me in that direction is the build of the camera. This is a well built weather resistant

    Nikon makes a very reasonably priced 18-55 lens that is stable and produces good results but once you know your way
    around the camera I would go for some professional grade glass. You will be using lenses much longer than the camera
    body and good glass is an investment in the future. I bought a prime Nikkor 50 mm. f/1.4 prime and I love it. This is one
    I might consider along with a low priced zoom as a starting point. It is razor sharp and makes a great portrait lens.

    Good luck whatever you decide. I have been shooting Nikon's for 40 years and have never looked back.

  24. Depends what you want to do with it. I'd say get at 16-85 lens, a good bag, a couple of big CF cards, and get out and use the camera.
    Spend your time taking photographs and only buy kit as you learn that you need it.
  25. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Juan, the one accessory I would highly recommend is a tripod. I would use that as muh as practical.
  26. I would recommend the following accessories for your D300:

    1. A carbon-fiber tripod with a quality ball-head that has an Arca-Swiss style clamp *PLUS* an Arca-Swiss compatible L-
    Plate for your D300. The carbon-fiber tripod legs don't have to be a Gitzo, but can also be a high-quality Slik, Velbon, or
    Manfrotto carbon-fiber legs. For the ball-head and L-bracket, both Really Right Stuff and Kirk Enterprises manufacture
    excellent ones.

    2. An MC-30 or MC-36 Remote Trigger Release Cord

    3. Extra batteries and flash cards

    4. A SC-29 Off-Camera AF TTL Cord for your Nikon Speedlight flash.

    5. A bubble level if you're going to shoot landscapes.

    6. A macro lens if your going to shoot close-up of flowers or insects.

    7. A circular polarizing filter
  27. If you buy a VR lens you may not need a tripod - I've used one once since I've had the D300 (for shooting a time-lapse sequence). I've
    been amazed at how versatile the camera and the one lens (16-85) is. (I use a 50mm as well when straight lines are important).
  28. And last but not least (I inadvertently left this off my original post):

    8. A translucent *AND* a white/soft gold Photoflex Litedisc 32" collapsible reflectors
  29. Regardless if you use a VR (vibration reduction) lens, you still should own and use a tripod whenever it's possible. A
    camera mounted on a sturdy tripod will always take sharper photos than a camera that's handheld, even one that has a
    VR lens attached.

    Also a tripod is useful for other things than keeping your camera steady. It's helpful for composing a shot and then fine-
    tuning your camera settings while keeping the composition of your shot exactly the same. It's also helpful (along with a
    bubble level) for keeping your horizons level when shooting landscapes.

    A tripod is a necessary accessory for many types of photography.
  30. 'Many' types of photography being the operative word. It entirely depends what kind of photography you are going to do. I'm
    not doing huge prints of landscapes or studio portraits so I don't need razor sharpness: for me it's more important to have
    the camera with me as often as possible and to frame and shoot quickly. The point I'm making is that you don't need a lot
    of kit to use the camera effectively, and you should buy accessories as and when you find you need them.

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