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Some of the people reading this weren't even interested in photography when the D300 was introduced. Yes, it's old and yes we're still talking about it. The D300 comes from a time when full frame cameras were very expensive and the next best thing you could buy was a pro APS-C body like this. A lot of people like to call the D300 a semi-pro camera, but the truth is it was nothing short of a professional camera. It didn't have to be a full frame camera to live up to high expectations.
Nevertheless, it's part of Nikon history and the saddest part about it is that it all ended with the D300s. But that's another story.
You can pick up a used D300 today for less than $300. At this the price, I personally think it's a steal, but let's be practical about it and do an in-depth analysis.
The best way to see if buying a D300 in 2015 is a good idea is to see what else you can get in that price range. At best, you're looking at a used D3200. That's right, an entry level camera versus a pro body. Let's look closer.
The D300 was built to be good enough and work flawlessly in very nasty conditions. We're talking war zones, extreme weather and places that are uncomfortable even for trained professionals. The D3200 was designed to be a family camera.
The D300 has 51 AF points, the D3200 has 11. The D300 can do sports, the D3200 can't.
You can't help noticing the huge differences that come from the fact that these two cameras originate from different worlds.
So would I buy one today? If I were a young aspiring photographer with very little money to spare for gear, then yes, no questions asked. I would get this and a 35mm f/1.8G and I would start rocking. I'd also get it as a dad for my kid's soccer practice (or other sports activities) because it's a fast camera that can do sports very well for less than a used iPhone 5s costs.
I would buy it if I were a mountain hiker looking for an expandable camera that can take a lot of abuse and I would definitely go for it as a cheap backup because it can still perform very well at weddings if you put a good lens and a flash on it. Oh, it's also a great tool for beginner bird watchers. If you put a 70-300mm lens on it, it instantly becomes a 105-450mm lens and that's pretty awesome.
The D300 is a photographer's camera. It has nothing to do with video or any other fancy stuff. It was made to last and despite being old technology it can still take amazing photos if it falls into the right hands.