Nikon has announced the D300 digital SLR, which includes a 12.3 megapixel sensor, a 6fps frame advance, a self-cleaning sensor unit and high definition 3-inch VGA LCD display. It costs around £1,100 plus VAT for the body only, and will ship in September.

The high-resolution 12.3mp DX format CMOS sensor generates image files suitable for almost every type of output, says Nikon, and is combined with a fast standard frame advance rate of 6fps (up to 8 fps with optional Multi Power Battery Pack). The D300 offers fast power-up, quick response and outstanding flexibility to meet the needs of a wide variety of photographic assignments. The D300 powers-up in just 0.13 seconds, with an almost imperceptible 45 millisecond shutter lag.


The D300 boasts a self-cleaning sensor unit, which vibrates at high frequencies to remove any loose dust on the surface of the sensor’s optical low pass filter. The camera has a broad ISO range from 200-3200 plus Lo 1 (the equivalent of an ISO 100) and Hi (ISO 6400 equivalent).


Image accuracy is also enhanced by the new Nikon Scene Recognition System, which uses a 1005-pixel RGB colour sensor modified to recognise subjects’ shape and position before the image is captured. This also aids the new 51-Point Autofocus system in tracking subjects by their colour, while enhancing the accuracy of exposure and white balance metering. The D300 also offers Live View, which presents photographers with a live image on the LCD screen, with two modes suited to either hand held or tripod shooting. Autofocus is possible in both Live View modes.


The EXPEED image processing system is at the heart of the D300’s ability to capture and process high definition image data quickly. The EXPEED system includes both hardware and years of Nikon image processing expertise. The D300 EXPEED system features 14-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion with 16-bit image processing, both of which contribute to delivering results with Nikon’s signature ‘look and feel’ of rich accurate colours, smooth skin gradations and exceptional detail.


The D300 is designed to be high definition. From the three-inch VGA LCD screen with 170-degree viewing angle, to the HDMI interface for HD ready displays, the D300 is ready for tomorrow’s imaging environment. The controls of the D300 were designed for ease of use, with an easy-to-view top LCD panel and an information display on the rear LCD screen that can change colour according to the ambient lighting conditions.


The camera body is built from a magnesium alloy, while the camera’s shutter has been tested for 150,000-release cycles. The D300 is also designed for a high level of dust and water resistance.