- 12MP CMOS sensor
- EXPEED processor
- ISO range of 200-3200
- 3” 920k-dot LCD screen with 100% frame coverage
- 4 exposure modes, including manual, aperture-priority auto, shutter-priority auto, and programmed auto
- 1000-shot battery life
- 1.82 lbs
I believe the Nikon D300 is the oldest camera I’ve ever reviewed on PhotographyTalk before. The Nikon D300, which came out 14 years ago in 2007, replaced the Nikon D200 as Nikon’s leading amateur camera. When the Nikon D300 first came out, it was a massive success. Nikon made immense changes between these two models and that was definitely reflected in the number of Nikon D300 bodies Nikon sold in the following years.
While most of the cameras I review on PhotographyTalk are aimed at amateurs or professionals, I have made it a personal goal of mine to start reviewing more cameras that beginners can use and I think the Nikon D300 fits this bill to a tee.
Since the Nikon D300 was so revolutionary, a lot of the specs still hold up in 2021, and since the camera is so old, you can literally find Nikon D300 bodies online for under $200.
I think this makes it perfect for beginners because you can give your photography hobby a serious try without investing hundreds and hundreds of dollars in a camera you may realize doesn’t really work for your shooting style anyways.
I also think that the Nikon D300 is perfect for beginners because it still feels like you're shooting with a modern camera. It definitely won’t be difficult for you to transition from a Nikon D300 to a newer model. This is especially nice for older photographers who may be getting back into photography in the digital age, since learning how to work their cameras is one of the hardest parts of that transition.
If you’re interested, I’ve put together this Nikon D300 review. In it, I’ll discuss all of the Nikon D300 specs, the Nikon D300 design, and finally, where you can find a killer Nikon D300 price.
Nikon D300 Specs
The Nikon D300 features a 12MP CMOS sensor and an EXPEED processor. While a 12MP sensor is by no way modern, if you’re a brand new photographer it will get the job done for you.
Surprisingly, this camera also features a really nice 3” screen with 921k-dots. Cameras that came out far later than the Nikon D300 featured worse resolution than this.
The Nikon D300 features an ISO range of 200-3,200, which definitely shows its age, so don’t expect to do any low-light shooting with it.
The camera features a 51-point AF system, a burst mode of 6fps, and a magnesium-alloy body.
Other Nikon D300 Specs Include:
Nikon D300 Body & Design
The Nikon D300 measures 5.8” x 4.5” x 2.9” and weighs 1.82 pounds without a battery, memory card, or body cap, and since this is exactly how Nikon’s website describes the weight of this camera, you should know not to expect a particularly small or light camera if you do end up purchasing this one.
However, what the Nikon D300 doesn’t have going for it in terms of its size and weight, it does have going for it in terms of ruggedness. They definitely don’t make modern cameras like older DSLRs anymore.
This camera is rated for 150,000 actuations, which means it is designed to last forever, and is also built out of a seriously sturdy magnesium alloy body. I would feel comfortable dropping this camera and that’s something I’ve never said before. The Nikon D300 is the Nokia smartphone of cameras.
The grip is covered in rubber, though, so you don’t have to test my hypothesis about dropping it.
You can expect to find a control panel on the top of the camera that gives you a ton of information about your digital settings. You can turn the backlight on this screen on and off to save the camera’s battery, though with a battery life of 1,000 shots, why bother? It’s important to note here that you can buy an additional battery pack for this camera if you need a camera that will last you an entire two week vacation without power.
The viewfinder features 100% coverage. All of the connections are on the front and left of your camera. It features an HDMI port and a USB 2.0 port.
Nikon D300 Build & Handling
The Nikon D300 build is serious, as I discussed above. The camera is very heavy and large, which may be more comfortable for a senior who has trouble working tiny buttons on newer models.
As for the Nikon D300 handling, you can expect much of the same. The grip on this camera is really large, making it perfect for one-handed shooting. Every button is very clearly labelled and all of the controls are easy to understand quickly. It’s the perfect right out of the box shooting experience.
If you’ve ever shot with an older Nikon DSLR model then you’re going to feel right at home. Just make sure you buy a camera strap alongside this model so your arms don’t get tired from carrying its weight around all day.
Nikon D300 Price
As I already mentioned, the Nikon D300 price is obviously one of the biggest reasons why someone should be looking at this camera.
This camera has been on the market for 14 years, which means that it is going to be difficult for you to find it in “like new” condition. However, you can still find plenty of them that are in good condition and all of these bodies are going to be super cheap.
I looked at MPB and they currently have over a dozen Nikon D300 bodies available for sale, starting at just $134. If you’re looking for a Nikon D300 that is in good shape, you should expect to pay $174.
Since the Nikon D300 is rated for 150,000 actuations, any of the Nikon D300 bodies listed on MPB with under 50,000 actuations is a steal. You’re definitely going to outgrow this camera before it quits on you.