D300 meets The Temple of Doom!

Started Sep 30, 2007 | Discussions thread
Flat view
ThomasMiller Senior Member • Posts: 2,735
D300 meets The Temple of Doom!


Before I say anything about the D300...a bit about myself. I work freelance, mostly shooting still life. I also do some light portrait work. 20 years ago I shot large format still life catalogue work and occasional live models, mostly B&W. At that time I did all my own processing and printing. Now, using anywhere from 2-5 different camera bodies and lens systems from Nikon and Canon, I'm shooting all digital. I rarely shoot super low light, but I do at times. I'm a working pro, but hardly the master of any one style. Once you claim that, you stop learning. With all that said, I make good money. Good enough to own my house and 35 foot boat, good enough to be buying a much larger yacht in two years. Believe me, some of it was skill and plenty was luck. Now...on to my comments that are truly relevant! Some will be offended, but I hope others have an open mind about it.....

While this is a forum about gear, it's thrown well off balance by a LARGE amount of folks who really don't understand photography at all...beyond the basics. They truly believe that a slew of specifications and samples from any given camera will vastly effect the quality of their work. This is NOT the case. ANY DSLR from a D2X down to a older 20D or D50 can return beautiful work in the right hands; work that can be sold. Since the advent of digital there has been too much focus on the electronics and far too little on the talent and imagination that truly makes a good photograph.

Now, some of you truly have fun here and understand that the REAL WORLD difference in IQ between all of these DSLRs is quite small. Much as some might believe otherwise, prints from a D40 and a 5D do not look all that different, unless they are pushed into tough shooting situations. Even then the lowly D40 can return SUPERB results in the right hands. Better cameras don't really return huge leaps in image quality. I'm sorry to all the resident techies here, but the D300, D2X, D3, 20D, 30D, D2H, D70s and D50 all take professional grade photos that can be printed for professional sale. I'm not supposing or guessing on this.

What truly separates one camera from the next is the handling, speed and focus system. Any real pro knows this and unless they're doing nothing else but closeted night club shoots or working exclusively in the Bat Cave, high ISO's aren't too important. In fact when someone focuses on ISO range on a new camera likes the D300, and brushes off the high end AF system, I know I'm not dealing with a photographer in most cases.

If the D300, with it's 8 FPS and improved AF system, had NO ISO advantage over the D200, it would still be a great camera. The reason for this is simple. The D200, when handled properly, can shoot ISO 1600 shots that look very good. Someone actually said that they can't get good images at ISO 400 on their D200. When I hear such remarks I know what's going on: Someone has little idea about how to handle exposures properly. I have a 30D sitting next to me. Shots at ISO 800 once printed are interchangeable with the ones I print from a D200 or D80. Do they look exactly the same? Nope. The shots from the D200 look a bit more natural to me for color. The shots from the 30D are a bit smoother. If I mess with them much in post I can get them even closer. I have to stare at these prints pretty hard to see a difference and clients can't tell the difference at all. I sell prints, not 100% crops of prints with poor exposures.

So with all of the rather silly comments fluttering about, here are the basics on the D300 thus far:

1) For MOST serious shooters, the D300's AF and speed will be the most important upgrade. This is simply 10 times more important than ISO range.

2) The D3 does not suddenly render cameras below it semi-pro or consumer grade. The D300 is a fully pro camera in performance, features and speed.

3) The D200, when handled correctly, worked great at ISO's to 800 and with care even 1600. The D300 will improve on this and whether it's 1/2 stop or 2 stops really won't matter to most shooters.

4) The D300 has instantly devalued the D200, D2h and D2X in one fell swoop. There is no doubt that SOME owners of those cameras, especially ones who bought recently, will look to make negative comments about the D300. I have zero doubt that we've witnessed quite a bit of that backlash in this forum and others.

5) Considering that the poor samples of the D300 we've seen had Active D lighting set to on, I'll risk predicting at least a 1 stop improvement. Maybe a bit less...maybe a bit more, but I feel that prediction will bear out shortly.

6) At 1799.00, the D300 is the most camera for the money to be offered by Canon or Nikon. Period.

7) If you need the cleanest possible pics in HIGHLY challenging low light settings on a regular basis, then you should invest in a D3 or 1D.

8) If you shoot in a wide variety of lighting conditions and practice with your D300 (or most cameras), you WILL get incredible results that will stand on their own merits and need not be compared to other shots down to the last pixel. That's not what photography is about and it's certainly not the measure of a good camera.

And until we see a LOT more samples and some comprehensive tests, there's not much more to say. Those of you who want to make the D300 all about noise...are really missing the boat. There's nothing to worry about. The D300 will improve on ISO range. Big deal. Getting those shots in focus at 8 FPS will be what really wins in the end. If you want the D300 to have ISO range vastly beyond a 40D or twice that of a D200, you're not just dreaming, you're being silly. That would be beyond a D3 and Nikon's not dumb. As it stands, the D300 may be too good for it's own good vs. a camera like a D3.
Well...thanks for reading!

Cheers to all....


Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
(unknown member)
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow