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Nikon D300, Previewed

In addition to the FX format (Full-frame) D3 Nikon has also announced the new DX format D300 which also features a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, EXPEED image processor, sensitivity up to ISO 6400 (with boost), the new CAM3500DX AF sensor (51 point), HDMI video output, UDMA CF support and last but not least the super-impressive 3.0″ 922,000 pixel LCD monitor with Live View. No ordinary Live View either as this one supports Auto Focus in two ways; using the current ‘normal’ mirror-drop / mirror-raise but also contrast detect in the same way as a compact camera (although slower). The D300 will be available in November, at around US$1800.

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Guide price: D300 body only £1299.99 / €1980*
*full list pricing, including lens, accessories and bundles will be available in September

Nikon UK is pleased to announce the D300 digital single lens reflex (D-SLR), a camera that sets new standards of compact professional performance. The easy-to-use DX-format D300 offers outstanding image quality, multi-functional technologies and fast response. With class-leading 12.3 megapixel resolution, speedy 6 fps frame advance, self-cleaning sensor unit and high definition 3” VGA LCD display, combined with Nikon’s legendary durability, the D300 is a breakthrough solution for photographers searching for an advanced compact SLR.

“Packed with the latest technologies and Nikon’s renowned ergonomics, the D300 sets a new standard for professionals on a budget,” said Robert Cristina, Brand Manager, Nikon Professional Products, Europe. “The D300 is a true ‘go-anywhere’ camera, delivering fast response, high performance and ease of use that will appeal to anyone serious about their photography.”

Speed and Performance

The D300 is loaded with the latest professional technologies designed to produce images of the highest quality. The high-resolution 12.3 MP DX format CMOS sensor generates image files suitable for almost every type of output, combined with a fast standard frame advance rate of 6fps (up to 8 fps with optional Multi Power Battery Pack). The D300 offers fast power-up, quick response and outstanding flexibility to meet the needs of a wide variety of photographic assignments. The D300 powers-up in just 0.13 seconds, with an almost imperceptible 45 millisecond shutter lag. 

Accuracy

The D300 boasts a self-cleaning sensor unit, which vibrates at high frequencies to remove any loose dust on the surface of the sensor’s optical low pass filter. The camera has a broad ISO range from 200-3200 plus Lo 1 (the equivalent of an ISO 100) and Hi (ISO 6400 equivalent). Image accuracy is also enhanced by the new Nikon Scene Recognition System, which uses the acclaimed Nikon 1005-pixel RGB colour sensor modified to recognise subjects’ shape and position before the image is captured. This also aids the new 51-Point Autofocus system in tracking subjects by their colour, while enhancing the accuracy of exposure and white balance metering. The D300 also offers Live View, which presents photographers with a live image on the LCD screen, with two modes suited to either hand held or tripod shooting. Autofocus is possible in both Live View modes. 

Enhanced Images with EXPEED

The EXPEED image processing system is at the heart of the D300’s ability to capture and process high definition image data so quickly. The EXPEED system includes both hardware and years of Nikon image processing expertise. The D300 EXPEED system features 14-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion with 16-bit image processing, both of which contribute to delivering results with Nikon’s signature ‘look and feel’ of rich accurate colours, smooth skin gradations and exceptional detail.

Ready for tomorrow

The D300 is completely high definition. From the 3-inch VGA LCD screen with 170-degree viewing angle, to the HDMI interface for HD ready displays, the D300 is ready for tomorrow’s imaging environment. The controls of the D300 were designed for ease of use, with an easy-to-view top LCD panel and an information display on the rear LCD screen that can change colour according to the ambient lighting conditions.

The totally intuitive 8-directional multi-area selector makes selecting any of the 51-Point autofocus settings simplicity itself.

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Durable and Dependable

The D300 continues Nikon’s long tradition of sturdiness and durability. The camera body is built from a magnesium alloy, while the camera’s shutter has been tested for 150,000-release cycles. The D300 is also designed for a high level of dust and water resistance.

Total Imaging System

Like the D3, the D300 isn’t just a camera, but part of a complete Nikon system to help photographers create great images. The D300 is compatible with the Nikon Total Imaging System of NIKKOR lenses, Speedlights, accessories and software that provides a complete solution for any photographic challenge.

One accessory that can extend shooting life, add ergonomic vertical shooting practicality and increase frame rate to up to 8 fps* is the MB-D10 optional Multi-Power Battery Pack. The compact MB-D10 simply attaches to the base of the camera. Unlike other grips, the MB-D10 does not occupy the camera’s battery space, so one can shoot with two EN-EL3e batteries, or add a powerful EN-EL4a battery into the mix.  The D300 and MB-D10 can also be powered by AA size batteries as well. *Requires EN-EL4a.

Wireless Networking

Nikon pioneered wireless image transmission. Now, with the new Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-43, the era of the multi camera network has arrived. Not only can one transmit (‘push’) images to servers and remotely control the camera from afar, the WT-4 also enables remote browsing of the camera’s image thumbnails as well. In a wireless environment, networks of up to 5 D300 cameras can be established and image thumbnails from all connected cameras browsed simultaneously and relevant image files ‘pulled’, while the photographers continue shooting.

The D300 body measures 147.2 (W) ×112.8 (H) × 74(D) mm and weighs just 795 grams.

Available in November 2007.

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Nikon D300 specifications

Price (body only)

• US: $ 1799
• UK: £ 1299
• EU: € 1980

Body material

Magnesium alloy

Sensor *

• 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS sensor
• DX format
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter (with self-cleaning unit)
• 13.1 million total pixels
• 12.3 million effective pixels
• 3:2 aspect ratio

Image processor *

Nikon EXPEED

A/D conversion *

14 bit

Image sizes *

• 4288 x 2848 [L; 12.2 MP]
• 3216 x 2136 [M; 6.9 MP]
• 2144 x 1424 [S; 3.1 MP]

File formats

• NEF (12-bit or 14-bit *, compressed or lossless compressed RAW)
• NEF + JPEG
• TIFF *
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21)

NEF compression

• Compressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW, Lossless compressed): approx. 60-80% *
• Compressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW, Compressed): approx. 45-60%

Lens mount

• Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contacts
• 1.5x field of view crop

Usable lenses

• DX AF NIKKOR: All functions possible
• D-/G-type AF NIKKOR (excluding IX NIKKOR lenses): All functions possible (excluding PC Micro- NIKKOR)
• AF NIKKOR other than D-/G-type (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions except 3D-Color Matrix Metering II possible
• AI-P NIKKOR: All functions except Autofocus, 3D-Color Matrix Metering II possible
• Non-CPU AI NIKKOR: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value display supported if user provides lens data

Dust reduction *

• Self-cleaning sensor unit (‘Clean image sensor’) *
• Image dust-off data acquisition (Capture NX required)

Auto Focus

• 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors) *
• Multi-CAM 3500DX *
• AF working range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, normal temperature)
• Contrast Detect in Live View (Tripod) mode

Lens Servo

• Single Servo AF [S]
• Continuous Servo AF [C]
• Manual focus [M]
• Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject’s status in [S] or [C] AF

Focus Point *

• Single point from 51 or 11 focus points
• Liveview (Tripod mode): Contrast AF on a desired point anywhere within frame

AF Area Mode *

• Single point AF
• Dynamic Area AF [9 points, 21 points, 51 points, 51 points (3D-tracking)]
• Automatic-area AF

Focus Lock

Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

AF assist

Yes, lamp

Exposure modes

• Program Auto [P] with flexible program
• Shutter-Priority Auto [S]
• Aperture-Priority Auto [A]
• Manual [M]

Metering

TTL full-aperture exposure metering using 1005-pixel RGB sensor
• 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering (non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed)
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, 10, or 13 mm dia. circle in center of frame or weighting based on average of entire frame (8 mm circle when non-CPU lens is used)
• Spot: Meters approx. 3 mm dia. circle (about 2.0% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)

Metering range

• 3D Color Matrix Metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Center-Weighted Metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Spot Metering: 2 to 20 EV
• At normal temperature (20°C/68°F), ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens

Meter coupling

CPU and AI

Exposure lock

Locked using AE-L/AF-L button

Exposure bracketing

• 2 to 9 frames
• 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV steps *

Exposure compen.

• +/-5.0 EV
• 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps

Sensitivity *

• Default: ISO 200 – 3200 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps
• Boost: 100 – 6400 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps

Shutter

• Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter
• 30 to 1/8000 sec (1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec (up to 1/320 sec with reduced GN *)
• Bulb

DOF Preview

• Stop-down lens aperture by pressing button
• Activates modelling flash

White balance

• Auto (1005-pixel CCD, image sensor)
• Presets (seven) with fine tuning *
• Manual presets (four)
• Color temperature in Kelvin (2500 – 10000 K, 31 steps)
• White balance bracketing (2 to 9 frames, 10,20,30 MIRED steps)

Picture Control *

• Standard
• Neutral
• Vivid
• Monochrome

Image parameters *

• Sharpening: Auto, 7 levels
• Contrast: Auto, 5 levels, Custom tone curve
• Brightness: 3 levels
• Saturation: Auto, 5 levels
• Hue: 5 levels

Color space

• sRGB (Standard and Vivid modes)
• Adobe RGB (Neutral mode)

Viewfinder

• Optical-type fixed eye-level pentaprism
• Built-in diopter adjustment (-2 to +1m-1)
• Eyepoint: 19.5 mm (at -1.0m-1)
• Frame coverage 100% *
• Viewfinder magnification approx 0.94x with 50 mm f/1.4 lens

Focusing screen

• B-type BrightView Clear Matte Screen II
• Superimposed focus brackets
• On-demand grid lines

LCD monitor *

• 3.0 ” TFT LCD
• 922,000 pixels (VGA; 640 x 480 x 3 colors)
• 170° viewing angle
• Brightness adjustment

LCD Liveview *

• Handheld mode: TLL phase-difference AF with 51 focus areas (15 cross-type sensors)
• Tripod mode: focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area

Shooting modes

• Single frame
• Continuous Low [CL]
• Continuous High [CH]
• Liveview [LV]
• Self-Timer (programmable)
• Mirror-up mode

Continuous shooting *

• With built-in battery: up to 6 fps
• With AC adapter or MB-D10 pack and batteries other than EN-EL3e: up to 8 fps

Continuous buffer

• JPEG Large/Normal: 100 shots (at 6 fps)
• RAW: no data yet

Self-timer

• 2 to 20 sec custom

Flash control

• TTL: TTL flash control by 1,005-pixel RGB sensor.
• Built-in Speedlight, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-400: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash
• AA (Auto Aperture-type) flash: Available with SB-800 used with CPU lens
• Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 28, 27, and 22S
• Range-priority manual flash; available with SB-800

Flash Sync Mode

• Front-curtain Sync (normal)
• Red-Eye Reduction
• Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync
• Slow Sync
• Rear-curtain Sync

Built-in Speedlight

• Manual pop-up with button release
• Guide number (ISO 200, m) approx 17 (manual 18)
• Guide number (ISO 100, m) approx 12 (manual 13)

Flash Accessory Shoe

ISO 518 standard-type hot shoe contact; Safety lock mechanism provided

Flash Sync Terminal

ISO 519 standard terminal, lock screw provided

Flash compensation

• -3 to +1 EV
• 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps *

Creative Lighting System

With Speedlights such as SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-R200, supports Advanced Wireless Lighting, Auto FP High-Speed Sync, Flash Color Information Communication, modeling flash and FV lock

Orientation sensor

Tags images with camera orientation

Playback mode

• Full frame
• Thumbnail (4 or 9 images)
• One-touch zoom
• Slideshow
• RGB histogram
• Shooting data
• Highlight point
• Auto image rotation

Languages *

• Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
• Dutch
• English
• Finnish
• French
• German
• Italian
• Japanese
• Korean
• Polish
• Portuguese
• Russian
• Spanish
• Swedish

Custom functions

48 custom functions

Connectivity

• USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) Mini-B connector
• HDMI video out (version 1.3a, Type A connector) *
• Remote control 10-pin terminal
• PC Sync flash terminal

10-pin terminal

• GPS: NMEA 0183 (Ver. 2.01 and 3.01) interface standard supported with 9-pin D-sub cable and GPS Cable MC-35 (optional)
• Remote control: via 10-pin terminal

Communications

FTP and PTP/IP file transfer with optional Wireless Transmitter WT-3 (IEEE 802.11 b/g)

Storage

• Compact Flash Type I or II
• UDMA *, Microdrive and FAT32 supported
• 36 characters of text can be input and stored in EXIF header

Power

• Lithium-Ion EN-EL3e (7.4 V, 1500 mAh)
• Included battery charger MH-18a
• Optional AC adapter EH-5a
• Optional MB-D10 battery pack / vertical grip *

Vertical grip *

• Optional MB-D10 battery pack / vertical grip
• One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a, EN-EL4 or EN-EL3e or eight R6/AA-size alkaline (LR6), Ni-MH (HR6), lithium (FR6) batteries, or nickel-manganese ZR6 batteries

Battery monitoring

The LCD monitor on the camera back displays the following information
about the EN-EL3e battery:
• Remaining charge (%)
• No. of shots taken since last charge
• Battery life (5 stages)

Dimensions

147 x 114 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in)

Weight (no batt)

825 g (1.82 lb)

Box contents

Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, USB Cable UC-E4, Video Cable EG-D100, Strap AN-D300, LCD monitor cover BM-8, Body cap, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-23, Software Suite CD-ROM

Optional accessories

Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10, Wireless Transmitter WT-4, Magnifying Eyepiece DK-21M, AC Adapter EH-5a, Capture NX Software, Camera Control Pro 2


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