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Nikon Reveals 12.3 MP D300 with CMOS Sensor with Dust Reduction

With the new camera comes features included on the professional D3 camera also announced today, including a CMOS sensor in lieu of a CCD sensor, 51-point AF system, LiveView, and an EXPEED processor. The D300 also adds a dust reduction system. The 12.3-me

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August 23, 2007 – In an update to its SLR product line, Nikon today launched the consumer D300 digital SLR. With the new camera comes features included on the professional D3 also announced today, including a CMOS sensor in lieu of a CCD sensor, 51-point autofocus system, LiveView, and an EXPEED processor. The D300 also adds a dust reduction system. The 12.3-megapixel Nikon D300 will retail for $1,799.95 when it is released in November.

"Nikon’s D200 digital SLR camera has been a runaway success for us because it embodies everything that performance-conscious photographers demand. With the D300, we’ve raised the bar with remarkable new features, greater resolution and speed, and even higher image quality," said Nikon General Manager of Marketing SLR Systems Products Edward Fasano in a company press release. "The D300 delivers an unmatched combination of quality, performance, and value that’s hard for discerning photographers to resist."

Coming nearly two years after the announcement of the 10.2-megapixel D200, the 12.3-megapixel D300 carries vast changes in many areas of the digital SLR. Nikon switched from the CCD sensor in the D200 to a CMOS sensor in the D300, while boosting image resolution. DX-format and sensor size remained the same at 23.6 x 15.8mm.

In addition, Nikon added a new self-cleaning system to shake dust from the sensor. Nikon’s entrance into the dust reduction realm comes a year after other SLR competitors adopted the technology, including Canon, Olympus, Pentax, and Sony. Nikon’s system uses four resonance frequencies that vibrate the optical low pass filter, shaking off particles from the sensor, according to the release. The anti-dust system is complemented with rubber gasket body seals that lock out moisture and dust, a borrowed feature from the earlier D200.

The Nikon D300 now employs LiveView technology, a feature missing from earlier Nikon SLRs but included on the professional D3 digital SLR model also introduced today. Users can shoot at high or low angles with the live preview on the 3-inch LCD monitor, larger than the 2.5-inch screen on the D200. Nikon also increased monitor resolution to a high 920,000 pixel resolution, soaring from an earlier 230,000 pixel resolution on the D200. The LCD still carries a 170-degree viewing capability for angled shooting.

Among other significant changes is the new 51-point AF system, up from the 11-point system on the D200. Utilizing the new Multi-CMA 3500DX auto focus module, the D300 has an array of 15 cross-type sensors and 36 horizontal sensors. Users can select those points either individually in Single Area AF or through Dynamic AF in nine, 21, or full 51-point clustered groups.

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For improved auto focus, the Nikon D200 features 3D Focus Tracking and a Scene Recognition System, both included on Nikon’s D3 flagship model. The 3D Focus Tracking uses the 51-point system to track moving subjects, while the Scene Recognition System promises improved auto focus, auto exposure, and auto white balance.

Nikon also increased the burst rate to 6 frames per second (fps), up from 5 fps on the D200. With the optional battery pack accessory (MB-D10) the D300 is capable of shooting at an increased 8 fps. Sequentially, the DSLR can shoot 100 full resolution JPEGs consecutively using a SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash 1GB card, according to the release.

To save frequently used settings, the D300 now includes a Picture Control System. Picture Control allows users to save up to nine combinations of settings on the camera or up to 99 to a Compact Flash memory card.

The Nikon D300 measures 5.8 x 2.9 x 4.5 inches and weighs 1.82 pounds.

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