A question I asked myself when I started looking around for a second hand back-up camera after ending my flirtation with film was “is the Nikon D300 past its use-by date“.
I scoured the ‘net using Google to search out reviews and opinions of the D300, which first saw the light of day back in August 2007. Introduced as a semi-professional unit, the D300 was Nikon’s top-of-the-line DX-format camera, sporting a resolution of 12 megapixels. Build was of exceptional quality, the unit was sealed against moisture and dust, and had a great auto-focus system.
The 2007/2008 reviews were fantastic, but I had to temper reviewers’ comments against the fact that the D300 was being compared with similar cameras of that time. Most comparisons were made with the Nikon D200, the model the D300 replaced , with some comparing it to Canon’s 40D.
Nikon D300 users also rated the camera very highly. In fact it was this article the helped me make up my mind.
Biting the bullet, I purchased a second-hand Nikon D300 with only about 7,500 shutter actuations on-line from the Auckland Camera Centre who were great to deal with. I probably paid a little more for it than I would have liked but it came with a 90-day warranty that offered me some degree of peace of mind.
The camera – body only – arrived in due course and I was delighted to see that it was in absolutely like-new condition.
Is the Nikon D300 past its use-by-date?
So – having had and used the camera for a few months now perhaps I am in a position to answer the question – “is the Nikon D300 past its use-by date“? Based on my personal type of photography my opinion is no – it’s not. But perhaps it is past its best-before date, and that really is based mostly on the fact that for many types of photography perhaps 12 megapixels don’t cut it any more. Sure the Nikon D500 is a 20.9 megapixel camera, but other brands are 24, 36, 40 plus….
What I really like about my Nikon D300 is the way it sits, almost naturally, in my hand. Yep – it weighs a ton compared with my D5100 – but it feels right. And the controls seem to be far more user-friendly – or it just could be that I read the instructions more than I ever did for my D5100.
Initially I used the D300 with my standard kit lenses that were supplied with the D5100 – an 18-55 zoom and a 55-200 zoom – but recently I have upgraded to a Nikkor 18-200 f3.5 – 5.6ED lens and it is now in everyday use.
I love the colour rendition of in-camera jpegs and the 51 point autofocus is so snappy compared with what I have been used to. Being a little sight impaired I also find the viewfinder bright and accurate. Maybe the only downside that I have discovered so far is that it’s his-ISO performance is a little poor. Oh – and it doesn’t do video – that came in the D300S…but I don’t do video so it doesn’t matter.
But all in all – I love it!
I had no idea what the Yung Grave poster high on this building due for demolition in Invercargill’s CBD was all about….until I saw the poster below on another wall further along the street.
All the photographs above were taken with the Nikon D300/18-200 zoom combination, and were post-processed in On1 Photo Raw 2019.