D300s vs D200

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by cicchetti, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I've had a chance to shoot with a borrowed D300s for a week or so and without getting into too much detail, in comparing the initial shots to those from my D200, many of the D300s shots seem overexposed. I know the base ISO is 200 vs 100 on the D200, so I thought I was compensating sufficiently, but I find that when using either Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority, most images from the D300s are blown out to varying degrees (particularly the sky, but again, I haven't spent a great deal of time with it). As such, I've found myself retaking the same shot over and over in manual until I get the right shot.
    Is this a common complaint?
    Subject matter has been mountain landscapes, some wildlife. Lens used was the older 18-70mm,
    f/3.5-4.5 circa D70 era, which has always been great on the D200 for general use.
    I've also had some focus issues, where the camera didn't seem to want or was able to focus.
    Any thoughts?
  2. I've owned them both and have never had the same problem with the D300 as you described.
    D300 is an excellent camera and a stop at least better in low light than the D200.
    Both a good cameras.
  3. I've noticed that the D300 exposes (or meters) differently than the D200. I've not had mine long enough to pin it down, but I'm going to see how it exposes a gray card and make an adjustment if need be.
  4. I shoot with both a D200 and D300 (not a D300s) and love them both with no exposure problems. I, too, use the 18-70 and find it an excellent all-around lens though after a couple of years, the zoom mechanism gave out and I had to have it repaired with parts from Japan.
  5. Is the metering setup the same in both camera's - spot, center or matrix?
  6. and no exposure compensation dialed in?
  7. It would not hurt to check if auto-bracketing was on....
    And are you checking images on your computer or the back-of-the-camera display to see if all is well with your images?
  8. I just bought two D300s bodies that I use with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC and Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8. At times I find the Tamron to overexpose a bit, usually with my SB600 flash, and also last last week shooting a concert that had tungsten lights with mixed up and no gels. The wide angle exposures were very unbalanced with the Tamron, but not with the closer Sigma shots.
  9. I know the base ISO is 200 vs 100 on the D200, so I thought I was compensating sufficiently, but I find that when using either Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority​
    Sorry, but compensating for what?
  10. As you say ..."so I thought I was compensating sufficiently" - why are you doing this ?
    If you compensate one camera, and not the other, then you have the difference.
    Do not compensate any camera, and they will be fine, similarly exposed.
  11. I also wonder what kind of compensation you are talking about. If you are using a TTL meter there is nothing you have to compensate for.
  12. I've used both the D200 and D300 extensively and on spot metering there is no difference, however on matrix the D300 seems to get it right more than the D200 did.
    I believe that there were some minor (or perhaps major) changes in the matrix metering between the two bodies.
  13. I had the same experience with a D80. I mostly shoot on aperture priority and my D80 was
    constantly over exposing. When I changed to D300 this problem was gone. I would assume that
    the D300s is even better.
  14. Those cameras essentially meter identically when operated similarly. Either the D300 is defective or you were not familiar with its operation.
  15. Even the best Matrix metering can't improve on the light. But my D300 has a vastly better dynamic range and therefore is less prone to blowing out highlights in scenes with high subject brightness ratios than is my D200, particularly at higher ISOs.

    Good news is that Capture NX 2 can bring back a lot of what appears blown (like more than a whole stop overexposure)-- provided you shoot RAW.
  16. My D200s (I had 3 of them) all metered identically and underexposed - I never had blown out highlights. I found the metering on my D300 to be much different.
  17. I own a D300 and 18-70 and have owned a D200 and Tammy 17-50. I find the D300 offers improved performance overall but the D200 was nothing to sneeze at. In fact I may buy one as backup.
    The D80 OTOH had dodgy metering but it was an acceptable camera if you knew how to work around that.
  18. I never shot with a D300, but my D200 is an incredible camera. I had a D70 and always felt that it UNDER exposed by at least half a stop. Do you have any image post processing like "VIVID" or "PORTRAIT" set on the D300? There DOES seems to be a different exposure and post processing bias in various Nikon Digital bodies. How about some picture examples with the D200 and D300 side by side?
  19. Thanks everyone.
    What I meant when I said "compensating" was this:
    After seeing that shooting out of the box was not producing desired results all the time, especially with contrasting landscapes (i.e. brighter skies and darker mountains-which interestingly it states in the manual it does not handle well), I started experimenting by either dialing down exposure comp or increasing shutter speed, increasing f stop values for aperture, etc. None really gave me the desired result I expected.
    As in my other bodies I've used (The D70, D200 and D2x), all shot great out of the box with little or no changes and I thought this would do the same.
    The D300s seems to overexpose and blow out skies on many shots and doesn't seem to be able to be "smart enough" to get the settings right, so after checking the image on the LCD, I usually have to shoot a few times, experimenting with settings.
    I think it captures colors and details very well and is faster than the D200, however.
    Is there any tweaking that any of you landscape folks have done with the D300s? (I am assuming the "guts" are substantially similar to the D300 in this regard).
  20. You aren't clear in the original question. I first read it to mean the D300 wasn't exposing accurately when shooting the same scene with each camera set to the same ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.
    Metering can take the focus point into account. If the focus point is on the dark mountain, the camera will increase the exposure because you are indicating that the shadow area is more important.
    If you are using matrix metering to shoot high dynamic range landscapes, you are leaving it up to the camera to decide which areas are more important.
    The D300 has Active D-Lighting. You should use it. Levels in shadow areas will be increased. Levels in highlights will be reduced.
    If you are shooting manually, you shouldn't use the image on the LCD to check exposure. You should check the histogram.
    If you are shooting landscapes, you should use manual. Why let the meter guess when you can do it yourself?
    P.S. Sample photos of what you are talking about would help the discussion. Please keep EXIF information intact.
  21. I found the D300 to be nothing but an improvement over the D200. My nephew has shot with both models extensively for commercial projects, including much exposure challenging arial photography. I've never heard of the problems that you are describing. Might of been something wrong with the particular camera that you borrowed. I assume you tried a reset on it.

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