DPS 5-09: Special Bulletin on the Nikon D3 and Nikon D300 D-SLR Cameras

The hot news all around the photo world this week is the release of the Nikon D3 and Nikon D300 revolutionary D-SLR cameras. I've been shooting with both for several days now so we wanted to share both what we've found as well as the best resources around the net for anyone who either owns or is considering purchasing one of the new cameras.

High ISO Noise Comparison

For starters, if you're curious about the vaunted High ISO low noise of the D3 and how it compares to the D300 and the current D2X and D200, we've posted a High ISO Comparison with full resolution sample NEFs & JPEGs.

Field Test of Nikon D3 and Nikon D300

For wildlife photographers we've compared the two new cameras in the field: Exclusive: Comparing the Nikon D3 and Nikon D300 for Bird Photography, a Field Test with Sample Images

Must Read Nikon D3 Resource Site

There is also A brand new MUST-READ site for current and prospective Nikon D3 owners from Moose Peterson. You can also read about Moose's D3 workflow. Moose's new site includes a great section on overlooked features, Moose's own settings for the D3, his sample images, videos, and lots of other great information on the camera and how to use it.

Tech Specs

As usual, dpreview does a good job of relating the tech specs for the Nikon D3 and Nikon D300.

User Manuals

Still confused? Nikon has made online versions of the manuals for both cameras available. You can get the Nikon D3 User Manual and the Nikon D300 user manual online in PDF (non-printable) format.

Getting your hands on one

Nikon has done a great job of having a large supply of both cameras on day one, but of course there is also high demand. B&H Photo did have D300's in stock for the asking early this week, but are now sold out. I got mine from Jodie at Roberts who did a great job as usual.

If you're willing to pay a few dollars more, Amazon (via Cameta Camera) shows the D300 as being in stock for $1949.

The optional Vertical Grip, the MB-D10 seems to be in good supply for as low as $257 (from Amazon via Cameta). One interesting deal is a kit for $299 that includes 2 spare batteries and a charger. Remember that if you want to use an EN-EL4a battery in the grip to get 8fps, you'll need the BL-3 adapter for the grip also.

The D3 is just shipping in the next couple days and as far as we can tell all the initial units are spoken for with priority pre-orders. [Special thanks to Nikon for getting me a unit so I could help get the word out on a great new product!]

Sometimes putting cash down in advance at B&H can get you a quick unit though, as they don't typically deal with the priority process so their units go to whomever has an order in. You can't do that over the web though, you normally need to call and they'll take your payment and queue you up for a unit (no complaints that they charge at time of order--this is a service they provide at user request and I suspect they'd be just as happy not to deal with pre-orders and just wait until they have product).

More to come...

I'm about to head off to Southeast Asia leading a trip where I'll have both the D3 and the D300 to shoot with and let participants try out. I'll have plenty more to say and lots more images to show when I return.

--David Cardinal
November 27, 2007

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