Upgrading to a D300s after 58,000 exposures on a D-80

Started Nov 20, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Upgrading to a D300s after 58,000 exposures on a D-80
Nov 20, 2010

Hi:

I posted this list of my impressions to Flickr but thought it might also be of interest to you fine folk.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikon_d300s_users/discuss/72157625426576198/

For those of you who aren't interested in clicking the link, here it is:
Interface

• The Info button gives access to the bulk of the menu system using only your thumb. Wonderful!
• Zoom to focus point -- Spectacularly useful!

• Odd to have a pop up flash and an Flash EV button. Why not combine them like on the D-80 and give us back our dedicated bracketing button. (Not that I ever used the bracketing button.)

• Focus fine tuning for specific lenses or lenses globally (Not sure if the latter over-rides the former but if it does, this could be useful as the camera ages and goes out of tolerance.)
• Super customizable -- even the directions of indicators can be reversed

• To get 8 frames per second: Set E5 and E6 to flash only, don't pop up the flash, set the exposure to "M" and the release mode to "S" (single shot), activate bracketing and set it to 9F. Then, hold the bracketing button and at the same time the release button. The 9 shots (all with the same exposure you have manually selected) are fired at 8 frames per second instead of the normal 6 fps. After the 9 shots you have to release and press again the shutter button to get your next 9 shots.

• The focus assist lamp only turns on in C or M AF mode, AND even then, only when the centre focus point is selected. I never used it much on the D-80 but the few times one does need it, getting to go may be a bit fiddly if I'm busy and the action is changing.

• The rear dial can be set to scroll quickly through your shots, and the front can be set to scroll through the selected shot's data screens.

Performance

• ISO performance is better. The D-80/200 tops out at 400 or 500 and the times I had to shoot at 800 made me wince at the result. It may be the 'new car smell' but even with the base performance boosted to 200, or one stop, I think the improved dynamic range and ISO may give me a practically higher shooting speed beyond the basic ISO boost.

• The difference in performance between the different servo modes is enough to really make a difference now, unlike the (to my mind) largely theoretical differences between C and S on the D-80.
• Holy crap, I'll spend months on the AF system.

• The built in chromatic aberration correction seems to get along really, really well with the 20mm lens.

• Same flash module as the D-80/200 but I somehow suspect that the software is improved. Not sure yet. Either that or the improved dynamic range of the sensor makes it seem different somehow.
• Basic in camera movie editing is supported.

rel="nofollow"> www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/nikon-d300-d3-14-bit-ve... Given how much street and documentary photography I do, and the inherent irregular lighting, 14-bit is the way to go, bitches.

Bits

• The 14-bit images seem (so far) to give more performance to the bottom end of the spectrum. What'll this mean in practical terms? Many people will probably say bugger all but I remember the Superbit DVDs had more juice.

• The higher speed of the D-300s goes right out the window at 14-bit shooting. Continuous Low Speed and Continuous High speed appear to function at the same rate when 14-bit files are enabled. I'll see if the settings can't be tweaked to improve the speed. Ah well, I wasn't used to fast shooting when I had my D-80 or FM-2 before, and I can live without it now.

• A 16-gig card gets me 1,292 photos on the D-80 but 'only' 590 on my D-300s, or 702 fewer. Of course, I'm shooting at 14-bit now, giving me more juicy detail in the darker half of the spectrum.
Sauces and pickles

• I found in a manual that the vivid setting boosts the red and green. Not that I'll ever use it, but now I know exactly what the Ken Rockwell setting does.

• Capture NX 2 settings can be imported and imported. Not much use for me as I'm a Lightroom user, but it's still cool.
• It has a mic, so why no voice memo? Is there a hack for this?

• The D300S automatically detects up to 10 human faces in a frame, allowing you to rapidly zoom in on each, in sequence, to confirm the focus.

• The Expeed processor performs its operations at 16 bits to give its calculations a bit more headroom when dithering, what ever your 12 or 14-bit output.

• The sensor cleaning tech goes through four frequencies to shake off dust, and I don't know if that's better or worse than anything else but even if you don't use it, the D300s sensor has a filter far enough removed from the imaging surface to keep dust out of focus.

• The stock battery is supposed to be good for 950 exposures, which means the 300s is thirstier for electricity than the D-80 when shooting NEF.
--
Never mention bokeh to me.

 The Andy G's gear list:The Andy G's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G
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