We've already described the technical side of D300's new VGA resolution monitor, its super-fine pixel pitch means extremely detailed images in playback and live view, it delivers fine gradations and a smooth display with no visible gaps between pixels. This may sound like a marketing tag line but viewing images on the D300's high resolution screen is far more photo-realistic and easier on the eye, a notable advantage is that in playback you don't need to zoom into images as much to be sure of sharpness / focus accuracy as the extra resolution reveals this at lower magnification.

Shooting information

Press the info button in shooting mode (except live view) to show a full screen 'shooting information' display, we first saw a screen like this implemented in the D40 and there are certainly circumstances where having this level of information on one single screen can be very useful. The D300's shooting information screen automatically (or optionally manually) switches from light background to dark background in low light situations. My only gripe with this feature was that the information display disappears as soon as you half-press the shutter release button and does not return, you have to press info again, it would have been nice to have a 'persistent shooting information' custom function.

Light screen background Dark screen background (low light)

Record Review

You can choose for the D300 to display a review of the image taken immediately after shutter release. The type of display used will be the same as the last mode used in playback (histogram, thumbnail index, details etc.). Note that record review has all of the functionality of playback mode, this means its easy to delete, magnify, protect etc. The image will remain on the screen for the 'Monitor off delay' CSM c4 or until you half-press the shutter release.


Press the Playback button to enter playback mode, press the multi selector up or down to change display mode, up to six different pages of display detail are available. You can change the amount of information available in the basic and detailed photo display modes including optional blinking highlights and focus point display as well as the three pages of shooting information in detail mode. Note that you can switch the up/down and left/right functions of the multi selector via CSM f3 and that you can choose to also use the command dials to browse / change page via CSM f7.

Basic photo display: file number, folder, filename, date & time, quality, size Basic photo display with optional Highlights and Focus point enabled
Detailed photo display: image thumbnail, histogram, exposure information and other data as per default display Detailed photo display optional RGB histogram page
Detailed photo display data 1: metering mode, shutter speed, aperture, exposure mode, ISO, exposure compensation, focal length, lens used, AF mode, VR mode, flash mode and flash compensation Detailed photo display data 2: white balance & fine tuning, color space, picture control and image parameter adjustments
Detailed photo display data 3: noise reduction, active d-lighting, retouching, comment  

Playback Zoom

Unlike the D200 the D300 now has dedicated zoom-in and zoom-out buttons, with an image displayed simply press zoom-in to begin magnifying. While magnified use the multi selector to move around the image, the navigation box and loupe at the bottom right of the image (as can be seen below) disappears after a couple of seconds. There are eight magnification levels, on the D300's high resolution screen the last two go beyond 1:1 and provide an enlarged pixelated view.

Playback thumbnail views

The D300 has two levels of thumbnail view, now easier thanks to the dedicated zoom-out button, just press to switch to the initial 2x2 (4 image) view and press again for the 3x3 (9 image view). Use the multi selector to move around the index. Note that if you have the 'Rotate Tall' option enabled images taken in the portrait orientation are displayed vertically (we had this option turned off in the captures below).

One click right for a 2 x 2 thumbnail view Two clicks right for a 3 x 3 thumbnail view

Other Playback displays

After pressing the delete button just press once more to confirm the deletion An example of a protected image