D300s initial testings = positive

Started Aug 12, 2009 | Discussions thread
jeminijoseph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,616
That case D300s would be the best birding camera ever

even better than D3 because the AF points cover more area in the frame (due to smaller sensor)

I have no plan to upgrade D300. But if the AF difference is black and white I will think about it next year as second body...

AmatureMike wrote:

Sorry I have not tested the scene recognition on my co-workers using the all auto points selection to test head and shoulder detection accuracy. When testing, it tended to lock the points quickly onto contrasty areas within the scene (as it did before). My primary focus was on the focus aquisition and tracking speeds.

Compared to the 1D and 1D mark 2n, I cannot comment upon as I have not tested the D300s model with fast and long glass. All I can say is it FEELS much faster at initial aquisition and kept my co-worker screaming in awe (he owns a D700).

During my testing out in the field with my D300 and MB-D10 combo (along with a co-workers 70-200mm nikkor and the 1D mark 2n body w the 70-200mm 2.8 -- both stablizers off), I discovered very interesting differences in how both companies behaved when tracking and locking on.

When I was shooting with Canon (the 1D mark 2n: my favorite Canon ever), the AF system felt very fast and reactive when moving the central focus point from subject to subject (like in soccer). The sweet spot for the 1D mark 2n's "servo sensitivity" was on medium (or default). It gave the best of both worlds for responsivness and stability when you needed it to stick onto your subject during tracking. However with the D300, I spend a lot of time tweaking the focus system to give the same feel the 1D mark 2n when tracking. If you left the LOCK-ON even to short, it made the AF system in AF-C mode slightly less responsive when moving from subject to subject (with the AF point set to single central AF point only)

In the end, I found that nine-point dynamic expansion with LOCK-ON off was the best, as single-point with lock-on off was much too responsive. One important thing to comment also is that with low-light, low-contrast subjects, the D300 is faster and continues to track when the 1D mark 2n starts to bog down.

In response to the 18-200mm VR initial aquisition speeds being slow on all bodies: D300, D700, and D3-- yes that is true. However the D300 is the slowest out of the bunch in side by side tests I've done. This delay has been addressed with the D300s (when tested side by side with our D700 body w the latest firmware).

Also, even with 'release" priority in af-c, you should wait til the camera initially aquires focus first and trace along you subject before you press the shutter button. Release priority (I THINK) is suppose to fire continuously at the full 8fps when tracking, regardless if the subject is in focus or not: you could however press the shutter fully and fire even before the camera's AF initially locks and begins to track too tho.

Over, its faster and that's all I have to say about it. I enjoyed the video mode @ f1.4

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Jemini Joseph


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