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Thread: D300 vs D3?

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    D300 vs D3?

    Have read all the usual, etc etc., that said, what I like about this forum is you tend to have folks you mix and match a lot of various brands, so tend to get a more unbiased opinion of actual performance and a wider frame of reference.

    So, anyone with both care to comment on how they're compare the longer-term use and the performance of both?

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    All depends on why you need the camera and how much you are willing to spend. I came from a D200 to a D3. I strongly considered the D300 due to it's price and portability but then decided for my work I needed at least one full frame digital camera (my other digital camera being the 1.3x crop M8). I haven't regretted it for a second. It's a heavy beast (though ergonomically wonderful), esp with a zoom on it, but because it's full frame I can forego the heavy zooms if I want and shoot with primes (the Nikons are inexpensive and not that bad). I really didn't have that option with the D200/300 when I wanted to go wide (I shoot a lot of wide but not super wide) except use a 17-35 or a 12-24 which only got me to f4 - which is not so much an issue now because I guess the high iso on the 300 is very good though not quite as amazing as the 3.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Currently use the 1Ds2 and Leica, CZ and Hassy/Zeiss glass. Am, toying with idea of picking up one of the two (D3 would replace 1Ds2, D300 would be interim until D3 used prices comes down in Canada).

    Love the alt glass, but stop down is a PITA in some cases and the way Nikon is now covering the 14-70 FLs with the 14-24 and 24-70 are appealing.
    The 14mm at 21mm effective on D300 would be about as wide as I'd normally go anyway.
    Played with a 14-24 the other day and was impressed. The D300 is also a nice compact and sturdy body vs the 40D, etc. Improved in handling over the D200 as well.
    The smaller VF and drop in 'cropability' and DR vs the 1Ds2 would be a loss, but it would also be a more compact body and be AF.

    That said, one hesitation is Nikon Canada's @#$%^ updated warranty policy where they will not even conduct paid service work on any item not purchased in Canada.

    Again, nothing firm, just a thought creeping around in my head.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    I use a D300 and have resisted the D3 but I may get one in the near future.

    Size and weight: D300.

    Image quality: D3, hands down. This is one superb camera though it is sized like a dump truck.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    This may come across as odd, but I love the sound and feel of the D3 so much more than the D300. I felt the same way about the D2x vs. the D200. The shutter sound is probably the best I've heard from any camera. The viewfinder image is nice and bright. All the controls are where they should be. It just feels right.

    I do like the consistency that Nikon has maintained in the functionality or both the D3 and D300. You can really utilize the D300 as a true backup or for cases where you want just a touch more reach from your long lenses that aren't as long as they used to be.

    Both cameras are really excellent and share so much in common, but I still go for the D3. I don't think it is that heavy or even that big. Throw an MB-D10 grip on the D300 and there's not a huge difference. Compared to the Canon 1D series or even my old Nikon F4, the D3 is a feather that balances perfectly in the hand.

    And, the ZF lenses sing on the D3. So, my vote is cast....

    David
    David Farkas
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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    HI Rob
    I don't own both (so perhaps I shouldn't comment).

    I did have a D200 though, obviously the quality is different, but I found getting useful lenses a really tricky business.

    if you're saying that the 14-24 would be as wide as you need on the D300 . . . well, maybe that's okay, but it means you have a 21-36, and then if you want to straddle that you need a 36-105 (24-70). With the equivalents on the D200 that meant a great deal of irritating lens changing. On the D3, the 24-70 is going to cover most of your bases.

    If you're worried about weight and handling - David has it, the D3 is lovely to use, my only grip is that it tends to scare off the punters . . . but I think that's a dSLR and lens issue rather than particularly the size.

    I can't comment on the image quality as I haven't compared (I'm sure we can both make a good guess though!)

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Great input guys. Appreciated. Bondo - thanks again for the email and links.

    The ability to have a more tuckable camera on occasion would be nice, but I tend to favor a more integrated-grip body for balance with a longer lens.

    As an FYI, my bodies of choice over the years have been D1, D1H, S3 briefly, 1D2, 1DsMk1, 5D w/grip, 30D w/grip, 1Ds2. Been a C shooter of late for the sensors, but tend to prefer Nikon switchology vs Canon's soft-button approach.

    Any switch idea is primarily being driven by the fact that Nikon (unlike C) now seems to get the message that the glass must live up to the sensors.

    The ability to use (hopefully) a growing stable of AF glass that is (FINALLY) starting to produce IQ of that of some of the best alternate (for a Canon user) lenses out there is hellishly appealing. ZF and some of the sweeter AiS units would also give manual focus alternates w/o stop down and I can always use my Hassy 110/2 and some other choice MF glass on the D3 (Freudian slip?).

    My suspicion is that when I weigh the prudent logical factors like $$'s saved, weight, etc,., etc., against the oh-so-powerful 'yeah baby...' factor (not to mention my ability to justify anything to myself) the D3 will be the likely outcome.;>

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    I agree with David on the ergonomics and size of the D3. For me, it feels about right ... and the files have a little extra mojo compared to those of the D300. Switching between the D3 and M8, I really haven't had anybody point out the larger camera. I find that I can do most everything I want to do with the M8 with the D3. It is now my primary camera as I can't get the M8 to do many of the important things I depend on the D3 to do for me.

    I've found it to be a great all-around camera. With alternative ZF lenses and older Nikon lenses you can use it how it best suits you ... even if you are not shooting 8fps at every opportunity.

    Kurt

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Thanks Kurt. The more I here about the D3 the more it comes across as I think Jono said - like an Mac, just does the job - over and over again (this is part of the self-justification I was referring to).

    Any body have a nice detail-rich D3 and/or D300 NEF file they feel like sharing?

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    I showed a number of D300 files in this "D3/D300 illustrated" thread.
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=577

    And also I have shown a couple of D300 files in the "Fun Pictures with Nikon" thread.
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1471

    Just let me know whichever NEF file you would like to play with and I can send it to you.
    /Steen

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post

    Any body have a nice detail-rich D3 and/or D300 NEF file they feel like sharing?
    HI Rob
    Anything I've posted over the last week or so - take your pick

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Have both the D3 and D300. The D300 would NEVER have lured me from Canon. It's strictly earmarked as a back-up for event work.

    I still have the Canon 1DsMKIII and 1DMKIII and a slew of fast glass, and will keep it all until the Nikon D3 proves itself under fire at a wedding.

    The Canons are excellent and proven performers, and I'll most likely keep the 1DsMKIII because it accepts so many different lenses.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Well I dumped my Canon gear (1DMk2 + L glass) in favor of a D300. The brick was getting too heavy for me and required too much massaging to get the same images I get straight from the D300. What sold me was the Live View. When I am doing product shots, Live View + digital zoom turns my D300 into a hyper-accurate focusing machine. I can precisely control the point of focus and see exactly what I am doing. Auto ISO is a godsend.

    My M8 still trumps it in IQ but for sheer flexibility the D300 is the cat's pajamas.

    Here is a sample from yesterday showing how rich the colors are. These are unretouched NEFs via Aperture 2.1:

    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Steen - thanks am downloading files you linked me to as I type.

    Jono - I'll go back over your shots and will kindly take you on your offer for some.

    Carlos - LV is a real plus. My first taste of it was when I tested a 40D. the camera didn't do much for me, but the LV was freaking addictive. I was using a 100 macro and was shooting every dead leaf, piece of litter in the area and must have made 30 oblong shots of various concrete walls. For works where you can take your time with mf glass, it is far from the gimmick I first considered it.

    Given that there is no ONE ideal camera from any mfg, looking at the various options that might help me overcome some of the shortcoming of my 1Ds2 and alternate glass (stop down, Canon Lens Lottery for AF glass and general suckiness of their sub-300/2.8 offerings, and lack of LV).

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Live View is indeed a fantastic tool. I learned that first with the Canon 1DMKIII. I use it extensively with both the Nikon and Canon cameras.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Is it me or does the D300 IQ look more plasticy than D3's and previous Nikon's like D2h or D70?

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    We need one of those who own both cameras to take an identical shot with identical glass and with approximately identical framing (by feet) and share the NEF files. Anyone ?

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by LCT View Post
    Is it me or does the D300 IQ look more plasticy than D3's and previous Nikon's like D2h or D70?
    I think it is you! I have both the D300 and the D3 and while the D3 files are better the D300 holds its own quite well.

    Here are a couple of D300 shots taken over the weekend on a fishing trip with my son. They look very good to my eyes. YMMV

    By the way the first mate took the group shot and it looks like pretty severe camera shake at work. Sorry

    Best

    Woody

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    We need one of those who own both cameras to take an identical shot with identical glass and with approximately identical framing (by feet) and share the NEF files. Anyone ?
    Here you go. Roughly the same FOV on both. D300 used the Tamron 28-75 and D3 with Nikon 70-200 VR - both extremely sharp lenses at f8:

    D300:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?dkcddcybki2

    D3:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?iodnmgzyjzm

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    A huge thank you, Greg, very much appreciated !
    I'll download them tomorrow and play with them.
    Right now it is very late here in little Denmark and I need to get some sleep.
    /Steen

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Thanks Greg! This will be very interesting to see. Regards, Amin

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Seitz View Post
    Here you go. Roughly the same FOV on both. D300 used the Tamron 28-75 and D3 with Nikon 70-200 VR - both extremely sharp lenses at f8:

    D300:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?dkcddcybki2

    D3:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?iodnmgzyjzm

    Thanks,

    Greg
    Gregg

    Thanks for the posts.......very helpful.

    It may have been a bit more meaningful if you had used the 70-200 on both bodies. I find that different lens brands show different contrast, both micro and macro, and different colors as well. The comparison would be easier if the same glass were used on both bodies. Anyway thanks for the effort to bring the data to the entire forum. Great stuff
    Woody

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Gregg

    Thanks for the posts.......very helpful.

    It may have been a bit more meaningful if you had used the 70-200 on both bodies. I find that different lens brands show different contrast, both micro and macro, and different colors as well. The comparison would be easier if the same glass were used on both bodies. Anyway thanks for the effort to bring the data to the entire forum. Great stuff
    Woody
    Hi Woody,

    I agree, I just happened to have these two examples lying around that I took a few days ago. When processing in ACR if you match the white balance on both they are remarkably close though.

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    For some reason I can't download NEF files with my "Internet Explorer 7".
    And robmac told me that "Safari" has a similar problem with NEF downloads, and that one possible solution is to install and use "Firefox" for the purpose. This browser gives you the choice to save (download) the NEF file to disk instead of just trying to open the file.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Hi Greg, I have now looked at your nice D300 and D3 sample files. As a first step I put White Balance to Daylight in both of them for equalizing them in this regard. What I found was the following.
    I think the D3 file shows better Dynamic Range, which is of course to be expected from the larger photosites.
    And the D3 file has a more narrow Depth Of Field at the identical Aperture which is again to be expected due to the larger focal length for identical framing with the larger sensor (105mm on D3 vs. 75mm on D300 acc. to Exif).
    A bit more surprising is the difference in colors.
    The D3 file has more sparkling, warm and saturated colors but I don't know how much of this is due to the different glass ? Do you use identical in-camera settings ?
    All in all I like the D3 file better, it has a nicer glow, but with equalized White Balance the D300 file holds up rather well. It would be interesting to see a similar comparison with identical glass (and identical in-camera settings as well).
    Thanks a lot Greg, very interesting test

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Like the way this thread is shaping up. Had some issues with our wireless high-speed connection yesterday, so busy catching up on posts.

    Safari does seem to have some issues with sites (or other way around). They come down as txt files. FireFox seems to work very well. Sometimes in Safari a right click and 'download linked file' will work, but... Firefox is free, so what the hell.

    Ok, time to page back and catch up...

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    Hi Greg, I have now looked at your nice D300 and D3 sample files. As a first step I put White Balance to Daylight in both of them for equalizing them in this regard. What I found was the following.
    I think the D3 file shows better Dynamic Range, which is of course to be expected from the larger photosites.
    And the D3 file has a more narrow Depth Of Field at the identical Aperture which is again to be expected due to the larger focal length for identical framing with the larger sensor (105mm on D3 vs. 75mm on D300 acc. to Exif).
    A bit more surprising is the difference in colors.
    The D3 file has more sparkling, warm and saturated colors but I don't know how much of this is due to the different glass ? Do you use identical in-camera settings ?
    All in all I like the D3 file better, it has a nicer glow, but with equalized White Balance the D300 file holds up rather well. It would be interesting to see a similar comparison with identical glass (and identical in-camera settings as well).
    Thanks a lot Greg, very interesting test
    Hi Steen,

    Are you developing them with Nikon Capture NX? If so, I believe the saturation was set to Neutral +1 on the D3 vs +0 on the D300 so that would explain the saturation difference - you can change this under Camera adjustments/Picture control so they match between the two. If you are using Adobe Raw, the in camera settings don't matter of course.

    One difference I noted was the noise in the D300 vs the D3. The D3 is very clean but the D300 shows a bit of noise (check out some of the background elements and view the RGB channels separately in Photoshop) even at ISO 200. Of course as we up the ISO the D3 would pull away by a wide margin.

    Regarding dynamic range, I did a test where I shot a set of 9 bracketed frames on each from -4 to +4 and then played around with pulling up the exposure on the under exposed shots and pulling back the exposure on the over exposed shots using Adobe Camera Raw and the D3 showed only a very slight gain overall which surprised me quite a bit as I'd expected to see much more of a difference.

    On both cameras I was able to pull back the +2 shot so it looked pretty much identical to the +0 shot. The extreme highlights couldn't quite be fully recovered so I'm guessing you could pull back a 1.5 overexposed highlight fully. Between the D3 and D300 I'd say the D3 had maybe a 1/3 stop advantage overall on the highlight side.

    On the underexposed side they were even closer in terms of recovering any detail in the shadows with the D300 showing a bit more noise overall. What was astounding was that I was able to recover a -4EV shot to nearly match the +0 shot. Of course the -4EV shot was noisier than the +0 shot but not as bad as I would have guessed and the D300 held on very closely to the D3.

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    For some reason I can't download NEF files with my "Internet Explorer 7".
    And robmac told me that "Safari" has a similar problem with NEF downloads, and that one possible solution is to install and use "Firefox" for the purpose. This browser gives you the choice to save (download) the NEF file to disk instead of just trying to open the file.
    Firefox runs circles around IE and Safari, but for downloads, nothing beats Opera. So I use Firefox for surfing and Opera for downloads.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Greg

    Really appreciate the input. Ignoring the slight difference in color cast which could easily be due to the different lens coatings, the files are close. I tend to prefer nice fat photo cells, but the cameras are close than I expected.

    Hate to impose, but if you ever get the chance to shoot with the same glass - and maybe toss in a gray card ? Remember the old military adage - NEVER volunteer for anything.. ;>

    My NX trial ran out, so sadly can't really pull that extra out of the files that I think NX would give. Think I'll try them thru RD and C4 next.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Greg

    Really appreciate the input. Ignoring the slight difference in color cast which could easily be due to the different lens coatings, the files are close. I tend to prefer nice fat photo cells, but the cameras are close than I expected.

    Hate to impose, but if you ever get the chance to shoot with the same glass - and maybe toss in a gray card ? Remember the old military adage - NEVER volunteer for anything.. ;>

    My NX trial ran out, so sadly can't really pull that extra out of the files that I think NX would give. Think I'll try them thru RD and C4 next.
    No problem, it's interesting to get a handle on the differences. I just took some outdoor shots with the 70-200 on both bracketed over -4 to +4. I have to run at the moment but I'll package them up in a zip file and post them in a few hours. I think I'm going to start a new thread showing the dynamic range differences between the two when I post them. Haven't had a chance to scrutinize the files yet so it should be interesting.

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    VERY much appreciated.

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    Re: D300 vs D3?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    VERY much appreciated.
    Ok, posted the comparison in this thread:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1872

    Greg

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