412 – Blow Wind Blow

Oh well! Yesterday I bleated something about being curious how long I would be able to resist the lure of the D300, and six hours later I had it 🙂

And I didn’t even lie! Honestly. In the morning I’d had no idea that I would buy it so early. I had the idea to first read all the reviews, go to a shop and try to shoot some images on my own card, analyze them at home and figure out if there is really so much improvement from the D200, that it would rectify the purchase, and blah, blah, blah …

Is it so much better?

I have not done very much with it so far, but some things are already clear:

The new LCD is a dramatic improvement, and so is the new 100% viewfinder. These two alone would have been reason enough.

Automatic white balance has been greatly improved. Even at night on the street I get very natural colors. On the D200 it was almost always off, mostly much too yellow, but the opposite could be true as well. On the D300 it’s nothing short of amazing.

ISO 1600 was usable before, but needed a lot of post-processing. In night shots, applying Noise Ninja alone was normally not enough. Now I’d still apply noise reduction to some parts of the image (the out-of-focus background in this image for example), but for the sizes displayed on the web, I could as well use the image as out of the camera. It’s more that I already was in Photoshop, so I took care of the noise as well. Is it dramatic? Well, yes, because it’s unbelievable how much detail you can get out of the shadows of an ISO 200 (the base sensitivity) shot. ISO 3200 is better than ISO 1600 was, and of course it’s absolutely usable. ISO 6400 is worse, but may yield usable results, that depends upon the actual light. For documentary purposes I’d take it all the time, for artistic, we’ll see.

There’ll be more.

Nikon D300 with Nikon 18-200 VR at 200mm, f6.3, 1/400s and ISO 1600.

The Song of the Day is “Blow Wind Blow”, not from Tom Wait’s “Frank’s Wild Years”, no, from “Dr. John’s Gumbo“.

4 thoughts on “412 – Blow Wind Blow”

  1. Spineless photo geek! You are the tool of the merchandising titans of industry.

    Okay…. gottit outta my system. Now… isn’t it fun to open the box of a new camera? is there any drug that matches that rush?

    Question, did you trade in your old camera? In this day of gordo digital cards, there’s really not much reason to lug around a second body. What you going to keep two lenses mounted? I’ve been sniffing at the Canon D400 but I know nothing about trading up or in. My D20 does everything that I want, and two megapixels seems a small reason to do the leap. But if a new D 500 were to arrive with say 12 Mpx… or more… hmmmmm….

  2. I’ll be selling it to a friend, very much under value, but with the option to borrow it back, should mine have to be repaired. Seems prudent to me 🙂

    Actually, the 12 megapixels were no reason at all. It’s nice to have them, but you don’t even recognize it. It’s all the other useful changes and additions, for instance the 100% viewfinder, the fantastic display, “Active D-Lighting“, the higher sensitivity, etc. Actually, the difference between the two cameras turned out to be much more substantial than I had expected.


  3. I guess, congratulations are in order, huh? So: have fun! Well, I’m sure you will…;)

    I was a bit tempted myself with the new Canon 40D – but I refused to give in. Hah! I resisted!

    …and ended up buying new glass instead. Okokok…, aren’t we all addicted in one way or another?

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