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Nikon D300 weighs in at 12.21MP, shoots at up to 8 fps  
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | by Rob Galbraith

Scene Stealer: The Nikon D300. Click to enlarge (Photo courtesy Nikon)

While the D3 is the star of today's Nikon announcements, the D300 has the potential to steal the show. It incorporates the same 51-area autofocus system, 3-inch (diagonal), 920,000-dot rear LCD, Picture Control options, 14-bit A/D conversion, LiveView, HDMI video out, AF calibration adjustment, UDMA CompactFlash card support, real-time lateral chromatic aberration correction, Active D-Lighting, compatibility with the new WT-4/4A transmitter and more.
 
Plus it can shoot at up to 6 fps (or up to 8 fps with the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 attached), has a 45ms shutter lag, contains a larger, 100% coverage viewfinder than the D200, uses a Sony-made, self-cleaning, DX-size sensor that delivers 12.21 million pixel photos, has an ISO range of 200-3200 (plus 100 and 6400) and has a full-featured Commander Mode for controlling and triggering flashes in a Nikon iTTL wireless setup.
 
All this for an expected street price of US$1799.95 in the U.S. when it ships in November 2007. If the camera's autofocus performance and high ISO image quality are a noticeable step up from the D200, Nikon will have a powerful new camera in the midrange of its digital SLR lineup. The D300 does not replace the D200, which will continue to be manufactured and sold, presumably at a lower price going forward.
 
Photos

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D3 Lite: Views of the Nikon D300 and Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10. Click any photo to enlarge (Photos courtesy Nikon)

Press release

More information is in the press release below.

Press Release

NIKON INTRODUCES THE NEW D300 PROFESSIONAL DIGITAL SLR CAMERA 
 
MELVILLE, N.Y. (AUGUST 23, 2007) – Nikon (www.nikonusa.com) today introduced its
most advanced DX-format digital SLR camera, the D300. Engineered with pro-level
features and performance, the 12.3 effective megapixel D300 combines brand new
technologies with advanced features inherited from Nikon’s newly announced D3
professional digital SLR camera to offer serious photographers remarkable performance,
combined with agility.  
 
Similar to the D3, the D300 features Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED Image
Processing System that is central to driving the speed and processing power needed for
many of the camera’s new features. The D300 features a new 51-point auto focus
system with Nikon’s 3D Focus Tracking feature and two new LiveView shooting modes
that allow users to frame a photograph using the camera’s high-resolution LCD monitor.
The D300 shares a similar Scene Recognition System as found in the D3 that promises
to greatly enhance the accuracy of auto focus, auto exposure and auto white balance by
recognizing the subject or scene being photographed and applying this information to
the calculations for the three functions. 
The D300 reacts with lightning speed, powering-up in a mere 0.13 seconds and
shooting with an imperceptible 45 millisecond shutter release lag time. The D300 is
capable of shooting at a rapid six frames per second and can go as fast as eight frames
per second when using the optional MB-D10 Multi-Power Battery Pack.  In continuous
bursts, the D300 can shoot up to 100 shots* at full 12.3 megapixel resolution.
 
“Nikon’s D200 digital SLR camera has been a runaway success for us because it
embodies everything that performance-conscious photographers demand. With the
D300, we’ve raised the bar with remarkable new features, greater resolution and speed,
and even higher image quality,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing,
SLR Systems Products, at Nikon Inc. “The D300 delivers an unmatched combination of
quality, performance and value that’s hard for discerning photographers to resist.”
The D300 incorporates a range of innovative technologies and features that will
significantly improve the accuracy, control and performance photographers can get from
their equipment. Its new Scene Recognition System advances the use of Nikon’s
acclaimed 1,005-segment sensor to recognize colors and light patterns that help the
camera determine the subject and the type of scene being photographed, before a
picture is taken.  This information is used to improve the accuracy of auto focus, auto
exposure and auto white balance functions in the D300.  For example, the camera can
track moving subjects better and by identifying them, it can also automatically select
focus points faster and with greater accuracy. It can also analyze highlights and more
accurately determine exposure, as well as infer light sources to deliver more accurate
white balance detection.
 
The D300 incorporates Nikon’s new Multi-CAM 3500DX auto focus module that
features an intelligent array of 15 cross-type sensors and 36 horizontal sensors.  These
sensors can either be used individually or in groups, with the option for Single area AF
mode and Dynamic AF modes using groups of either nine, 21 or all 51 focus points. The
system also features 3D tracking with automatic focus point switching that takes
advantage of all 51 AF points as it uses color and light information to accurately track the
subject. Nikon's new Scene Recognition System and improved focus algorithms also
contribute to the impressive performance of the new 51-point AF system. 
 
Nikon's new Picture Control System makes it easy for users of all experience
levels to select and apply adjustments to how their pictures are rendered and create
optimized settings to suit their individual preferences. The same settings produce
consistent picture tone, even when using different camera bodies. The Picture Control
System offers four basic setting options – Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome.
These can be directly modified for easy adjustment and customization of image
parameters, such as sharpening, tone compensation, brightness, and saturation. 
Photographers can customize and store up to nine customized options in the D300 and
export up to 99 to a CF memory card, enabling photographers to share settings among
multiple cameras that feature Picture Control System.
 
Taking a cue from the popularity of Nikon’s D-Lighting technology, the D300
features a new Active D-Lighting mode that, when enabled, provides remarkable real-
time highlight and shadow correction with optimized image contrast. Active D-Lighting
produces broader tone reproduction in both shadows and highlights by controlling
highlights and exposure compensation while applying localized tone control technology
to achieve a more pleasing level of contrast across the entire image. And because the
advantages of Active D-Lighting are applied as images are captured, image editing time
can be shortened.
 
The D300’s LiveView feature offers two modes for confirming subjects and
composition on the new 920,000-dot, high-resolution 3-inch LCD monitor while shooting.
The Tripod mode is designed for precise focus and accuracy when the camera is on a
stable platform and the subject is not moving. In this mode, the camera focuses on the
subject using focal-plane contrast and any point on the LCD screen can be selected as
the focus point for the picture. The second mode, called Handheld mode, allows
photographers to use the camera’s conventional TTL focusing system, with all 51-points
and 15 cross-type points available. When using this mode, the camera activates
focusing immediately when the shutter button is pressed, to ensure accurate focus.
 
The D300 also employs a new self-cleaning sensor unit. Four different resonance
frequencies vibrate the optical low pass filter in front of the image sensor to shake
particles free and reduce the appearance of dust.
Refined Ergonomics and Usability
 
The D300 inherits one of Nikon’s most streamlined, functional and aesthetically
pleasing layouts in a digital SLR camera, designed to enable photographers to take
pictures with less fatigue, greater accuracy and comfort. 
 
The camera’s viewfinder provides virtually 100 percent coverage so pictures can
be framed accurately, while an ultra-high definition, 920,000 dot VGA LCD screen on the
rear of the camera displays images with vivid color and clarity. Its 170-degree wide
viewing angle makes it easy to compose shots using the LCD screen in LiveView mode. 
 
The D300 features rugged magnesium alloy construction and the camera’s
shutter mechanism is tested up to 150,000-cycle.  The 3.0-inch LCD is strengthened
with tempered glass and the D300’s rubber gaskets and seals protect vulnerable entry
points from dust and moisture.
 
Price and Availability
 
The D300 will be available from Nikon Authorized Dealers beginning in
November 2007 for an estimated selling price of $1,799.95**. With the introduction of the
D300, Nikon’s current lineup of digital SLR cameras now includes the new D3, D2XS,
D300, D200, D80, D40x and D40.
 
About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the ImageTM. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging,
precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new
standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and
professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes the Nikon Total Imaging
System of consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, Nikkor optics, Speedlights
and System Accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN®
digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon
sports and recreational optics. At the heart of every Nikon camera is Nikon’s Exclusive
Feature System, making it easy for anyone to take amazing digital pictures. Through the
Nikon Spirit InitiativeTM, the company, plays an active role in supporting aspiring and
advanced photographers through a variety of philanthropic organizations, educational
programs, events and workshops. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit
www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the web's most
comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. 
 
*NORMAL – LARGE image setting, using a SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash 1GB card
** Estimated selling prices listed are only an estimate.  Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to
change at any time.  
 
NIKON D300 DIGITAL SLR CAMERA: MAJOR FEATURES
 
New DX-format CMOS image sensor with 12.3 effective megapixels 
 
The D300 features a new 12.3 effective megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor that
produces high quality images with fine detail and sharp resolution throughout its
sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 3200. The camera’s ISO range can be extended using its
built-in options of Lo-1 and Hi-1 for the equivalent of ISO 100 and ISO 6400 respectively.
The CMOS sensor’s integrated A/D converter features the ability to select between 12-
bit and 14-bit conversion, making it possible to shoot 14-bit NEF (RAW) format images. 
 
High-speed performance
 
The D300 offers professional level high-speed performance with a shutter release time
lag of only 45 milliseconds, camera start-up time of 0.13 second, and continuous
shooting speed of approximately six frames per second.  This speed can also be
boosted to eight frames per second when using Nikon’s optional Multi-Power Battery
Pack MB-D10*. The D300 can sustain continuous high-speed shooting for bursts of up
to 100 shots** at full 12.3 megapixel resolution, and it supports next generation UDMA
high speed memory cards. 
 
New EXPEED Image Processing System
 
Similar to the Nikon D3, the D300 features the new EXPEED Image Processing System
that is central to the speed and processing power of the camera.  EXPEED delivers
optimized performance for the camera and its features and ensures high-image quality
and high-speed image processing.  
 
Versatile new Picture Control System
 
The D300 features Nikon’s versatile Picture Control System that allows photographers to
fine-tune and adjust fundamental rendering options for their pictures so they can define
the exact tone, sharpening, brightness and saturation they prefer. They can then port
these settings to any other Nikon camera featuring the Picture Control System, such as
the recently introduced D3, so that even when shooting with different cameras, they can
get consistent tones for all their pictures.  New DX-format CMOS image sensor with 12.3 effective megapixels 
 
New 51-point auto focus system
 
The D300 features Nikon’s Multi-CAM 3500DX auto focus sensor module, with 51 AF
points, including 15 cross-type sensors that are located in the center of the frame. These
cross-type sensors work with all NIKKOR lenses, including those with apertures as small
as f/5.6.  The D300’s auto focus system is closely linked with the camera’s innovative
Scene Recognition System to deliver greater accuracy in subject detection and focus
tracking performance. 
 
Revolutionary new Scene Recognition System
 
Nikon’s D300 features a revolutionary new Scene Recognition System that greatly
enhances the accuracy of, auto exposure, auto white balance detection and auto focus
in the camera. The Scene Recognition System uses the camera’s built in 1,005-pixel
RGB metering sensor to recognize the subject or scene being photographed and detect
any movement. This information helps optimize exposure and white balance settings for
the recognized subject and also enables the camera to assign appropriate AF points
based on any movement of the subject, ensuring highly precise auto focus tracking
performance. 
 
Super-density, 3-inch VGA, TFT LCD monitor with 920,000 dot resolution
 
The D300 features a gorgeous, ultra high-definition 3-inch LCD monitor with 920,000 dot
resolution. The monitor provides a 170-degree viewing angle and is very effective in
confirming focus on pictures as well as framing a shot using the camera’s new LiveView
modes. 
 
LiveView shooting with two optimized modes
 
Two new LiveView modes in the D300 enable photographers to compose their shot
using the camera’s ultra-high resolution LCD monitor. The Tripod mode is designed for
precise focus and accuracy when the camera is on a stable platform and the subject is
not moving. In this mode, the camera focuses on the subject using focal-plane contrast
and any point on the LCD screen can be selected as the focus point for the picture. The
second mode, called Handheld mode, allows photographers to use the camera’s
conventional TTL focusing system, with all 51-points and 15 cross-type points available.
When using this mode, the camera activates focusing immediately when the shutter
button is pressed, to ensure accurate focus. 
 
Active D-Lighting
 
Nikon’s D-Lighting feature in its digital SLR cameras has proved to be a popular way for
photographers to quickly compensate for dark areas of a picture after it is taken, without
adversely affecting its highlights. The D300 features a new Active D-Lighting mode that,
when enabled, provides remarkable real-time highlight and shadow correction with
optimized image contrast. Active D-Lighting produces broader tone reproduction in both
shadows and highlights by controlling highlights and exposure compensation while
applying localized tone control technology to achieve a more pleasing level of contrast
across the entire image. And because the advantages of Active D-Lighting are applied
as images are captured, image editing time can be shortened. New 51-point auto focus system
The D300 features Nikon’s Multi-CAM 3500DX auto focus sensor module, with 51 AF
points, including 15 cross-type sensors that are located in the center of the frame. These
cross-type sensors work with all NIKKOR lenses, including those with apertures as small
as f/5.6.  The D300’s auto focus system is closely linked with the camera’s innovative
Scene Recognition System to deliver greater accuracy in subject detection and focus
tracking performance. 
 
Self-cleaning Sensor Unit for efficient dust reduction
 
The D300 is the first Nikon digital SLR camera to employ a Self-cleaning Sensor Unit.
Four different resonance frequencies vibrate the optical low pass filter in front of the
image sensor to shake particles free and reduce the presence of dust in the camera.
Large, bright viewfinder that achieves 100% frame coverage 
The D300’s new eye-level pentaprism viewfinder offers virtually 100 percent frame
coverage and 0.94x magnification for comfortable and precise composition. 
 
Fine-tune adjustment for auto focus
 
Photographers who need to make small adjustments to correct differences in focusing
can do so using the D300’s built-in capability to adjust focus specific to a lens. The
camera offers the option of either setting compensation for a specific lens so adjustment
in focus is only enabled when that particular lens is used, or the camera can apply a
uniform level of compensation for any lens used with the camera. Users can store
settings for up to 20 different lenses if they prefer to fine-tune the camera’s focusing
based on specific lenses. 
 
Reliable and durable
 
The D300 incorporates several features designed to ensure the camera performs
reliably and consistently under demanding conditions. The camera’s chassis is
constructed of highly durable magnesium alloy and the body features numerous seals to
protect the camera against dust and moisture. The camera’s shutter mechanism is
tested to 150,000 cycles, assuring a long life of consistent performance. 
 
Exclusive Wireless Transmitter WT-4A (optional)
 
The D300 is compatible with Nikon’s new WT-4A wireless transmitter that provides
support for wired LAN (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX) and wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11a/b/g,).
When using the D300 in LiveView mode, the WT-4A can transmit a remote view from the
camera and also support continuous shooting through a wireless or wired connection
using Nikon’s Camera Control Pro 2 software (optional).  
 
Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 (optional)
 
The D300 is also compatible with the optional new Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10. 
This battery pack supports three types of batteries and features sequential power supply
with auto-switching to the battery installed inside the camera body. When used, the
battery pack can boost the D300’s high-speed continuous shooting to eight frames per
second* for up to 100 consecutive shots**.
 
* When using batteries other than Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e
** NORMAL – LARGE image setting, using a SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash 1GB card
 
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