Purchasing a D300..

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by corysmith, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. A bit more than one stop better at any ISO as far as noise is concerned. About the same difference for dynamic range - except at base ISO where the D300 and D700 are about equal.
  2. If I have time this weekend, I'll try to take some high ISO photos with the D300(along with some other cameras) to give some idea of how it it performs.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon announced the D300 on August 23, 2007 along with the D3 and a bunch of lenses. I picked up mine around Thanksgiving (late November) that same year and tested it a lot. I recall shooting some Christmas lights @ ISO 3200 and I thought it was decent, but you need to keep in mind that in 2007, I was comparing against the D2X (max ISO 800, yes, 800, don't laugh) and D200, which I thought was terrible @ ISO 1600.

    Now we are in early 2019, the standards have changed/improved a lot. If one is used to results from recent FX bodies such as the D750, D850, D5, and Z6, etc., ISO 3200 from the D300 is going to look poor.

    The issue here is that the OP is coming from a D3400, which was actually announced after the D5 and D500. AF on the D3400 is on the basic side, but its electronics are quite modern. AF is probably better on the D300 and the frame rate can be higher, but in many other ways the D300 is a big step backward from the D3400.
    steve_g|2 and DavidTriplett like this.
  4. The EN-EL3e and CF cards will be convenient when going to a D700, though.

    CF cards aren't so hard to find, or a micro-SD to CF adapter.

    The D200 will take a type III CF card, which is thicker, and some SD to CF adapters are type III.

    I now have enough EN-EL3e batteries to keep moving them between cameras where I need them.

    But if you don't already have CF cards and EN-EL3e, I suppose that isn't so convenient.
  5. Add my vote for a D7100 or D7200, depending on budget, price, and intended application.
  6. The D300 is one of the most successful camera's Nikon ever made. For bird photography it was awesome.
  7. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Possibly a bit harsh - I do dearly love all of my digital cameras across three brands, but they are a bit like home appliances. Would you buy a ten or twelve year old refrigerator? Microwave? Once parts, batteries, memory is no longer available what do you have? Though many will disagree,IMO there are no legendary digitals that can compete with current / more modern best. Newer is better in most cases in this venue. That said, you get what you can afford and move up when you can.
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  8. Lets not forget, the D300 is also one of the best looking Nikons of all time.
    Mike Dale likes this.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    So was the F100 in a slightly earlier era.

    At the beginning of this century, around 2001 or 2002, a Nikon rep told me that the F100 was the best selling Nikon SLR ever. I had purchased mine at the end of 1999 and it complemented my F5 really well as a second body, usually holding a different type of film.

    And then Nikon introduced the affordable D70 in 2004 and everything changed rapidly. Nikon discontinued the F100 in January 2006, along with the FM3a, and many AI-S lenses.

    When Nikon introduced the D300 in late 2007, they had a program to provide a free copy of Nikon Capture software to like the first one million D300 bodies sold. That program ended within a year. I don't have hard numbers, but apparently Nikon managed to sell a million D300 in less than a year. (The initial figured Nikon provided in 2007 was that they were manufacturing 80K D300 bodies per month, but they increased that due to demand.)

    I still have my F100 and my D300 today, but I haven't used them for years.
  10. Sandy, I still shoot with a 36 year old Hasselblad and I love the look it produces.

    I can show you D300 images that are as good for reproduction on the web or 8x10 equal to anything current.

    As for Spares, there is that, batteries will not be an issue or memory.
  11. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Yup, and I shoot a Leica M 3 from mid '50's - that camera will work as long as there is film, processing chemicals, and someone to do a rare CLA. Results up there with the best of film, even today. Film cameras not in issue on this thread.
    I'm sure the D300 was great, and decent still if you handicap it to web or 8x10 - full ahead, even up, no rules, no chance vs. recent / current best. Sorry!
  12. At the time. After holding out way too long for a never-to-be D400, I grudgingly had to admit to myself that in terms of resolution, ISO performance, and the ability to crop a D7100 or D7200 was a better choice for bird photography - even though I didn't like the size and handling of the D7x00 bodies.
  13. When I was a student, and once after starting a new following a year of study away from home, I was happy to buy old refrigerators and microwaves. But these were items on which the technology had hardly advanced. It was certainly not the incredible way that digital cameras have changed. If you already own a D300, it can still be a viable camera, solid, with great controls. But to take on twelve-year-old technology given how much better sensors have become since would be a mistake. Another way to think about it is that you're likely to keep anything you buy for a while. Do you really want fifteen-year-old sensors? Or older?
  14. In the right hands even ancient cameras can produce results equaling current super duper cameras.

    Give me solid construction, weatherproofing and proper controls over plastic toy cameras any day. To the OP get a D300S or better still a D700, if you are only posting to the web or printing small you do not need heaps of mega pixels.

    So what's this taken with? D300? Z7? D850? Answer below.


    It was taken with an 8MP D70s.
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  15. Nobody saying D300 is bad, it is just doesn't make sense to buy it now, there is better options.
  16. I don't think we need to over-analyse this. Given your biggest concern, the answer is no. For the D300, ISO 3200 is very much in the high ISO range, and noise (etc.) will be significantly worse than what you see now with the D3400. You also won't be able to crop as hard starting from 12MP. The D300 still does lots of other things very well (nice controls, handling, build, framerate, AF, works with screwdriver AF), but high ISO is not its strongpoint. Where the cutoff is depends on your tolerance for noise, lower contrast and the artefacts of noise reduction. If you see a D300 cheap enough, you might use it normally up to about ISO 800-1000. You can still get decent results up to about ISO 1600 if you're careful, though I expect you'll already be visibly better off with the D3400. Beyond that, you probably need to take particular care with your choice of subject and exposure, and probably do noise reduction in post. It sounds like you'd be better off saving for the D7xxx for most purposes.
  17. If you could find a used D300 in excellent condition for $200-$300, the going rate apparently, you would enjoy the experience of using a true classic. Yes, the D3400 is a superior picture maker in most respects. ISO 400 film used to be the fastest film anyone could possible need for most situations. Do you really see a need for more speed?
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I wouldn't say ISO 400 film was the fastest anyone could possibly need. 20, 30 years ago, it was the fastest color film available without sacrificing quality big time. Back in 2004, I was the main photographer at the wedding of a friend's son, where no flash was allowed. My only DSLR at that time was a D100, and I also used ISO 800 color film, which generated poor results, but we had to operate under those restrictions. Today I use ISO 3200, 6400 very regularly indoors and at night, sometimes ISO 12800 too.

    It was the OP who specified the need up to ISO 3200, which is very modest today in 2019.

    Incidentally, the OP CorySmith has not posted again since the opening post.
  19. We veered too far off topic.
  20. Been a busy end of the week. But I have been monitoring this thread. I never expected quite the response, and I want to thank everyone for their input!

    I understand that the D7200 is probably the best way to go when it comes to IQ. However I am still very tempted by the low prices that the D300 carries these days. I did state in my post that I do like to shoot in a max of ISO 3200, that's true. But the majority of the photos that I take are in daytime situations, which the D300 excels in, right? I have no plans on doing any large prints, so more MP's aren't that much of a benefit, and I don't do much cropping. Since I live near adorama, ill probably pick up a used d300, and see how I like it. If it's not giving me the ideal results, I'll return it.
    Hector Javkin and Mary Doo like this.

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