Nikon D300 SLR Review
Wireless Image Transmission
The WT-4 wireless transmitter allows WiFi remote operation (with optional Camera Control 2 software) and image transfer (with FTP software) or wired Ethernet connection for the D300 and D3 dSLR models. It supports wireless LAN conforming to IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11a, (WiFi a/b/g) and wired LAN conforming to IEEE 802.3u (100BASE- TX) and IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T). The transmission range when using wireless LAN is approx. 590 feet (IEEE 802.11b/g) or 850 feet (IEEE 802.11a). Note: ranges will vary according to transmission conditions.
Power Requirements: EN-EL3e battery (sold separately) and MH-18a charger for EN-EL3e battery or AC Adapter EH-6 (sold separately).
Nominal Data Transfer Rates:
- IEEE 802.11a 54M/48M/36M/24M/18M/12M/9M/6M (bps)
- IEEE 802.11g 54M/48M/36M/24M/18M/12M/9M/6M (bps)
- IEEE 802.11b 11M/5.5M/2M/1M (bps)
GPS support for the recording of location information with shooting data: Location
information such as latitude, longitude and altitude can be transferred from a GPS device
and recorded with the shooting data for an image. Nikon has developed the new MC-35
cable (optional) for connection to NMEA 0183-compatible GPS devices.
i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash
and Wireless Flash Control
The built-in manual pop-up flash is operated with a button release. The Guide number is approx. 17/56
(m/ft, ISO 200 at 20°C/68°F; 12/39 at ISO 100) or 18/59 in manual mode (m/ft, ISO 200 at 20°C/68°F; 13/43
at ISO 100). Modes available are: Front curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-
eye reduction with slow sync. Flash compensation is adjustable from -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2,
or 1 EV.
The Speedlight SB-800 features i-TTL flash control for automatic balanced fill-flash and advanced wireless lighting capabilities when used with the D300. The i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash control utilizes Nikon's Advanced Data Communication system to introduce improved monitor-pre-flash and wireless operation.
The SB-800 offers features such as advanced wireless control for multiple SB-800 speedlights controlled from a master speedlight, new Auto FP high-speed sync, new Flash Value (FV) lock, flash color information communication for improved color accuracy and a new Wide-Area AF Assist Illuminator.
The SB-800 speedlight system features new wireless technology to control up to four groups of SB-800 speedlights wirelessly. This set of four includes one Master Controller and three remote groups - each of which can contain any number of SB-800 speedlights for total lighting control. Features for speedlights within each group can be individually controlled from the Master Controller. These settings are made and confirmed on the Master Controller's large dot-matrix LCD screen. All speedlights within this wireless arrangement can operate in i-TTL mode for completely automatic flash exposures - which are calculated via a new monitor pre-flash function that measures light from each source and combines them with overall camera exposure readings - producing an accurate, well exposed photograph with balanced lighting. Each group within the wireless arrangement can also be programmed to different flash modes such as i-TTL AA, or Manual mode, or any combination of these modes.
One of the most appealing features of Nikon's i-TTL wireless system is the ability to adjust flash compensation settings on the fly for each group of speedlights, from the Master Controller. This makes controlling light output from speedlights placed in hard to reach locations simple and effortless. The SB-800 makes multiple flash photography as easy as using a single speedlight mounted on a camera, without the hassles of cables or stands.
In addition to wireless flash capabilities, the SB-800 offers significant new features designed for high-speed photography and exceptional overall accuracy. Highlights of these new features include:
- Auto White Balance Adjustment using Flash Color Temperature Information: The SB-800 achieves a high level of color accuracy when used with the D300 digital SLR camera. With changes in the duration of light emitted by a speedlight, there are slight variations of color temperature. Using the D300 in Auto White Balance mode, the SB-800 communicates these slight variations in color data back to D300 and the camera's auto white balance system implements the fine adjustment needed for overall excellent white balance.
- FV-Lock: FV-Lock (Flash Value Lock) is comparable to the way an AE-Lock functions in a camera. Once the camera measures a correct flash value, the SB-800 locks this value until the photographer resets it - helping to maintain the flash value for correct exposure of the subject.
- Auto FP High-Speed Sync Flash: The SB-800's Auto FP function can automatically fire the speedlight in i-TTL mode at shutter speeds up to 1/8,000 second, offering excellent opportunities to use flash in bright light with fast aperture lenses.
- Modeling Flash: A modeling flash feature in the SB-800 fires a stroboscopic burst of light for approximately one second, allowing photographers to visually confirm lighting and shadow effects before shooting.
- Quick Battery Recycle Pack: Included with the SB-800 Speedlight is the SD-800 Quick Battery Recycle pack that cuts recycling time in the SB-800 to as short as 2.7 seconds for full power manual flash.
- Additional features: Additional features in the SB-800 include zoom coverage, bounce and rotating flash head, large LCD read-out panel, accessory filters for special color effects and emulation of fluorescent and incandescent lighting, robust locking flash shoe, and autofocus assist light.
Nikon's i-TTL speedlight technology is arguably the most robust and advanced
speedlight system in the world, and holds limitless possibilities for all kinds of
photographers using creative lighting. i-TTL technology built-in to the D300 allows
photographers to wirelessly control in full TTL, up to 2 groups of Speedlights, with
any number of individual speedlights in each group. Photographers can shed all cords
and cables or the need to ever calculate flash and distance ratios, because the i-TTL
systems is capable of making all exposure calculations in real time, wirelessly,
during the exposure to deliver a perfect flash exposure in any situation.
Photographers can even maintain full output control of each group of speedlights from
the D300's built-in speedlight. This technology can potentially distill an entire
portrait lighting system into a small set of multiple SB800, SB600 or SB-R200
Speedlights. (D200 pictured above)
The D300 is powered by the same EN-EL3e battery pack used on the D200, adding to the appeal of D200 users
to upgrade. Nikon claims this pack will deliver enough power to capture 1000 shots using CIPA Standard
testing methods, or up to 3000 using Nikons standards. The D300 also features an intelligent power
management "Fuel Gauge" feature that constantly monitors the battery's precise remaining power in 1%
increments. It also displays the total number of shots taken on each charge as well as overall life of the
battery, so photographers can easily tell when to replace the pack with a freshly charged one.
The optional MB-D10 Battery Pack can extend the amount of images you can capture, along with increasing the
camera's continuous capture rate to 8fps; thanks to the extra power. It's compatible with the use of one
rechargeable Nikon EN-EL3e, EN-EL4a or EN-EL4 Li-ion battery. When using EN-EL4a or EN-EL4 batteries, the
BL-3 battery chamber cover is required.
This unit is can also be used with eight AA alkaline, NiMH, lithium, or nickel-manganese type batteries for those times when all your EN-EL3e packs are discharged.
The MB-D10 gives your D300 a secure vertical grip with a shutter release, main-and
sub-command dials for use when the camera is held in portrait orientation. It can also
help to lower the center of gravity when using large or heavy lenses.
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.