Talking about how awesome the D300 is is easy. After playing with it for a few days now, I already can think of a few things I wish were better about it (other than stuff like “it’s heavy” or “it’s not a full-frame camera”… duh). None of this should be read as though I’m unhappy with this camera, of course - nothing could be further from the truth. Still, my minor complaints include:
- Auto ISO: why is the maximum shutter speed only 1/250? I’d like to be able to set 1/500 or even higher for sports photography with a long lens. EDIT: Apparently, the D3 just got a firmware update that fixes this problem, allowing the user to select up to 1/4000. Hopefully the D300 will get a similar fix soon!
- Menus: the layout is rather clunky. Thom Hogan has covered this pretty well in his review.
- Remote release: I really miss the days when you could buy a $10 mechanical remote shutter release cable. I really have to pay $55 if I want Nikon’s cable release? Are you kidding?
- Mirror lock-up: Since I refuse to get scammed for the cable release, I’d like to be able to use MLU and the self-timer at the same time for tripod photography. But no, you can only use one or the other. Why?!
- Playback: I’d like to be able to see a single full-screen histogram with separate RGB channels. Currently the only options are a small histogram (with all channels combined) crammed onto a screen with other shooting info, or three entirely separate histograms, one for each channel, all crammed on the same screen. In my view, this is a bizarre step back from the playback info options available on the D70 (though the D70 does not have a channel-separated histogram, it at least displays its histogram close to full-screen).
- GPS: Maybe this is silly, but I wish Nikon had included a built-in GPS receiver. Their support for linking to external GPS units through the PC jack is enormously clunky (and expensive). There are interesting third-party solutions out there that look much more elegant, but they’re also quite expensive. This would be a feature I would really like for hiking, and could make geotagging on Flickr a snap.
- Battery grip: Not a huge deal, but the shutter release on the battery grip is way more sensitive than the battery grip on the camera body. Kind of weird.
I could probably think of more but that’s what comes to mind. Probably sounds like I’m complaining a lot, but I like to think that my having this many little qualms just means I’m paying attention to what I can and can’t do with this camera. A lot of artists don’t like to talk about their tools (though really, this probably applies much less to photographers, so many of whom tend to be gear nerds like me), but it’s always a good idea to be as familiar with them as possible…