After using the Nikon D300 for a few days, I must say that I’m impressed. Mostly, because they’ve taken all of the features of the D2X, added a few new ones, including an improved sensor, and automatic sensor cleaning and at a price point that makes it affordable for serious amateurs or professionals just starting out.
The camera is so good, in fact, that it made me decide to not sell my D2X. How’s that? As I said, all of the features of the D2X are there and then some. The build of the D300 does not seem as rugged as the D2X, perhaps this has to do with the weight of the camera. However, if you add the optional MB-D10 battery grip, they weigh nearly the same and have the same ability to shoot vertically without having to wrap your hand around the camera.
With the release of Nikon’s new cameras, the D300 and the D3, the D2X has depreciated to about $1200 – $1500, from a going price of $4,999 less than 2 years ago. A brand new D300, with the grip, can be had for about $2,000. The camera costing $1,799, the grip about $260. It’s newer technology, higher/cleaner ISO capability, and has better auto focus technology than the D2X. It has now become my go-to sports camera. The D2x will remain in my bag for landscapes as I don’t intend on buying the RRS L-Bracket for the D300, which would add an additional $180 to the equation. The main reason that I won’t sell the D2X is that it never hurts to have an excellent backup AND, it is a hell of a good camera. Now, which camera is the backup? Neither and both. They will serve their roles and become backups for each other.
On tomorrow’s post, I plan to talk a bit about my impressions of the D300’s auto focus capabilities. If you’ve ever shot a high school basketball game from the baseline, you know what a challenging environment that can be! The action is fast, furious, and difficult to follow. You are allowed to get as close as about 6 feet from the action. With distances that short and the inherent high speed nature of the game, it can tax any auto focus system. We’ll see how the D300 did!