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Nikon D300 vs. D200
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Nikon D300

Nikon D300. enlarge. I got mine from Ritz; Adorama, Amazon and B&H Photo Video are also great places. It helps me keep adding to this site when you use these links to get yours, thanks! Ken.

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January 2008

The D300 has better color, better highlights, better shadows, better AF, a far better finder, a better LCD, much sharper images due to automatic color fringe correction and triple the battery life than the D200. Game over in one sentence! I don't need to detail the details like the faster frame rate, since these huge issues of image look and cleaner finder completely swamp the idly things like rated resolution. The D300 is two years ahead of the D200, which is forever in digital camera years.

High ISO performance is the same as the D200.

The D300 is very different from the D200, so far ahead of the D200 that the D300 is almost the same as the D3. If you want to compare the D300 to another camera, the Nikon D3 is the closest. The D3 costs two or three times as much, but lacks the built-in flash, optional finder gridlines and smaller size of the D300. Get the D3 if you're loaded and need 9 FPS, 14mm-equivalent ultra ultra-wide angles and clean ISO 6,400 shots with no need for excuses, and otherwise, the D300 is the same thing.

The menu system of the D300 is as retarded as the D200. Some new things are added, like the ability to have another menu consisting only of your favorite menu items, and other things go away, like the superior "recent Items" menu.

Just as stupid as the D200, there are still some menu items that cannot be put into the D300's "my menu" menu.

The D200 didn't save IMAGE REVIEW in its recent items menu, but the D300 can put it in "my menu." I think you see my point: neither D200 or D300 is better than the other here. They each do different things stupidly. Nikon needs to pay a real human factors or usability engineer to make this all work properly. Usability is one of the key reasons people like me usually prefer Nikon cameras; if Nikon doesn't clean this stuff up, people go to Canon and don't come back.

The Fn button can only be programmed to do half of what it does on the D200. On my D200 I set it to flash exposure lock and hold, and to allow me to enter the focal length and speed of manual focus lenses to get matrix metering. On the D300, I only can get one of those functions at a time!

Oddly, the D300 takes away some things. I no longer can create new folders by holding the "?" button during power-on; I now have to piddle around in the menus. This is made easier because I can assign the "make new folder" menu to "my menu" for faster reference.


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