D300s - the old friend returns.

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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Andrew Ellis
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D300s - the old friend returns.
2 months ago

HI all, I have flirted with many Nikon DSLR's over the years starting with the D100, then going through D200, D2XS, D300, D3, D3s, D700, D7100 and currently I have a D800.

Now whilst I don't need to tell any of you how good the D800 is, I've never really enjoyed using it in DX mode (don't know why), especially as the D800 still has a whopping 15mp. But there's just something about shooting in crop modes that didn't satisfy me. I know most people will say shoot full frame and crop to suit and yes that does work, but you still end up with big file sizes.

Anyway, as I put above I tried the D7100 (2 actually), and whilst a very nice camera, it never had the critical sharpness I was looking for (might just have been my examples), and also seemed quite noisy. I fondly remembered back to my D300 days, and looked at many images taken with that camera, and whilst noise at high ISO or DR might have been an issue on a few of the images, AF accuracy never was, and it just seemed to nail the focus every time.

Well as D300 prices are dropping like a stone as everyone seems to be abandoning the Nikon Pro DX arena, swapping systems or doing full frame or D7100, I thought now was the time to reinvest into this super camera. Imagine my surprise then, when I stumbled on what I can only describe as a factory fresh D300s in immaculate condition, with box and all accessories and only 4,500 shutter releases for only £280 ($470). As I still had my MB-D10 and a stack of EN-EL3e batteries, it was a no brainer.

Now I know it's old tech, and many people will think I need my head examining for buying such an obsolete camera, but it's like an old fried coming home. It actually seems to be a little better than I remember on the ISO front with ISO1600 looking great and even 2500-3200 cleaning up nicely with a little NR software.

Most of all though, it's an absolute joy to use. It just nails focus all the time, and the first 100 or so images I've shot with it are all tack sharp, and it's so nice looking though a full viewfinder with AF points covering all the screen.

I think basically what I'm trying to say, is the D300(S), was universally received as a water shed camera back in 2006, and was noted for it's superb image quality. Sure our expectations have moved on in those years and we now expect clean images at ISO25,600 and upwards, and the ability to shoot at 10+ frames per second, but just because the last generation cameras are no longer cutting edge, doesn't suddenly mean they are obsolete. I for one plan to use my D300s for telephoto work (where possible) for many years to come.

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Lets make pictures, not war........

 Andrew Ellis's gear list:Andrew Ellis's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Nikon Coolpix P7100 Nikon D3 Nikon D200 Nikon D300 +12 more
Nikon D100 Nikon D200 Nikon D2Xs Nikon D3 Nikon D300 Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon D700 Nikon D7100 Nikon D800
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