November 26th, 2007
Today I had the opportunity to put my hands on the new Nikon D300. Our local photo store here in Leipzig, Germany had some Nikon reps along with two D300 and a AF-S 14-24 f/2.8. Sadly they had no D3.
I had about 15 minutes with the D300. I did not take many shots. All was inside the small store with bad light. As the 14-24 is nice — I don’t think it makes much sense on a D300. I wounder why they had this with them. As for the D300, the finder is really great. It is a clear step upwards from my D70s as is the LCD. It is huge. You have to take a step backwards to see it fully :-)
This is a uncropped version of the whole scene. The ISO samples are 100% crop from the center. They are all shoot in RAW mode with the new AF-S 14-24 f/2.8 @ f/2.8 aperture priority on a tripod. I converted the RAW files in Lightroom 1.3 with standard settings, manual white balance and 35 sharpening. All where converted with the same settings. Here they are:
Unfortunately this one is a big shacky, because of my hand firing. There was no cable release available.
Some last words: I think the test is in a pretty worst case scenario. The samples are taken in bad light and the crop is from a shadow area. I don’t know how good Lightroom/ACR handles noise at the D300 in comparison to Nikon Capture NX and if this will improve. Nor do I know for sure, if this was a final D300. But I don’t think they handed me a preproduction one.
Personally I find there is to much color noise. And to much noise at all. I hoped for a bit fewer noise. But lets wait for some good comparison noise test between the 40D, A700 and D300.
You can find some good noise comparison between a D300, D2X, D3, 40D and 5D in a article of Hugo Rodríguez.