Nikon D300 Survives Antartica!

December 20, 2007 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 34 Comments | |

Nikon D300 Survives AntarticaDutch wildlife photography Jan Vermeer recently made an epic journey through the icy wastelands of Antartica, accompanied by Nikon’s brand new DSLR, the eagerly-anticipated D300. In our exclusive English report, Jan shares his experiences of using Nikon’s prosumer DSLR camera in such an inhospitable climate, photographing the Emperor Penguins of Snow Hill Island. A passionate advocate of the D2X camera, this was Jan’s first hands-on test of the new Nikon D300 - find out how it performed in one of the most beautiful and most hostile parts of our planet.

Website: Nikon D300 Field Test

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#1 Marco

Nice write-up. I'm an olympus user myself but always like to read these camera-in-hostile-environment reports.

Great photos as well.

2:46 pm - Thursday, December 20, 2007

#2 Tom


I would think Olympus's new E-3 would be fantastic under these conditions. A truly weather-sealed camera, 2x multiplier, fastest autofocus using their new SWD lenses. I wish you had brought that along as well.

2:56 pm - Thursday, December 20, 2007

#3 bill pedneault

Hi, I too am going to the antarctic jan6, just got my D300 last week,nice review,When I put a pic in playback, the image opens out of focus,then within a second goes clear, does yours do the same? I had a D80, it didn't do it, but I have a CoolPix P4 that does the same thing. Hope I can get a few pic's as nice as yours, thanks bill.

7:23 am - Saturday, December 22, 2007

#4 Derek Godridge

Just a small point regarding the "Compare prices" section, the links for the UK prices relate to the D200 not the D300. Apart from that it's a great article of a real life extreme test - very informative.

2:32 pm - Sunday, December 23, 2007

#5 annie

Great photos, i have been using this D300 it also has ability to control the camera from a computer remotely, and that includes receiving a Live View image from the camera. You can focus, adjust settings, and fire, all from a computer. Im very much happy with this piece...

1:15 pm - Thursday, December 27, 2007

#6 Jason

Great review, priceless photos... Exactly the same reason I purchased a D300 and enjoy it fully here in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona. Take it to the extremes or go home.

5:05 am - Tuesday, January 1, 2008

#7 Andrea

Fantastic shots, with breathtaking colours and lights. Amazing work! Thank you.

11:29 pm - Wednesday, January 2, 2008

#8 AG


1:38 am - Sunday, January 6, 2008

#9 Mac

Nice write-up. Good info on camera, glad to hear it has live view. Loved the photos. Haven't seen those shades of cyan/blue since using AGFA film in the 70s.

8:20 pm - Sunday, January 13, 2008

#10 ian yew

the review is are astonishing great!! awesome is the only word i can describe about this d300. as nikon user, i am proud to what i used.

the photographer has done a wonderful job.

10:15 am - Tuesday, January 15, 2008

#11 H. Ash Amliwala

A great write up and good information. I am about to purchase a D300 and you have answered most of my questions.You have made my mind up for me.
What a fantastic set of photographs. I envy you for being able to go to the 'white world' so often.
A job well done.

11:44 pm - Tuesday, January 15, 2008

#12 Stan Burg

Purchased my D300 in December and have not given it a real workout yet. Your pictures are fantastic and reinforce my decision to upgrade from a D200. Doubt if I will ever use the D300 in the conditions you experienced but it's nice to know it's capabilities. Thanks for the very informative review and pictures.

7:48 pm - Friday, February 8, 2008

#13 Micky

Your samples are really great, and excactly what I needed. Now I´ll go for one myself and it´s great that I can continue using my old MF-lenses which in some cases are better.
Tanx again.

5:30 pm - Wednesday, February 20, 2008

#14 Suna Yazgan

Wonderful pictures and wonderful colors! I felt I was there...

1:52 pm - Wednesday, February 27, 2008

#15 Alberto Quintal

Fantastic review, excellent samples. Iam waiting for my Nikon D300, now I use D200. Thanks for great review.


5:02 pm - Saturday, March 8, 2008

#16 Uygar Ozel

In it's own class I can compare d300 with 5D... But with it's high-tech D300 is more more better than Canon eos 5d... It's not full frame but viewfinder has same large view like other full frames...

it's more less same with D3; Thrust d300...

1:21 pm - Sunday, March 9, 2008

#17 Tony Barr

Great review that made me envious of some lucky people that get to these locations but gave me the shove to buy the D300

5:10 pm - Sunday, April 6, 2008

#18 Brian Rowland

Great to find a useful "non technical" review from a photographer's perspective.

The superb results speak for themselves! This is a camera that delivers on quality images and most importantly performs under extreme conditions.

Nice to see Nikon providing a class leading product - with some great new lenses!

These well composed and insightful images also remind me how important these wonderful creatures are to our crazy world.

12:54 pm - Tuesday, April 22, 2008

#19 Sean in Portland Oregon

I purchased my first Nikon today! I've been talking myself out of it for nearly a year now, but I finally just had to go for it. This was my first true investment into a field I'm finding I truly admire. I'm so excited to start sharing the things I see that everyone else overlooks!

Thanks for the write-up it was one of the many reasons I decided to go down this road.

8:07 am - Saturday, June 7, 2008

#20 Glen

Great article!

As someone who shoots a D300, its great to see it handling suck low temperatures. I'm feeling a lot more confident about my planned cold weather photos after reading here.

Some really great pictures also.


3:32 am - Friday, July 11, 2008

#21 Morag MacDonald

a beautiful article and wonderful photographs Jan.


4:30 pm - Friday, July 11, 2008

#22 dgamer

Amazing camera. I just bought a d300 from here 2 weeks ago and I feel like a pro. when I use it.

10:04 am - Sunday, July 20, 2008

#23 Greg Holmes

Beautiful photographs with excellent colours, which is amazing when you think of the climate. Love the group of baby penguins!!

Yes I will definately buy a D300.

I will now search for Jan Vermeer's website.

Thanks for such a good review.

4:22 pm - Saturday, September 13, 2008

#24 michael

Woohoo! just picked mine up,cant wait to test drive it ;-)

11:39 pm - Saturday, October 25, 2008

#25 Will

Excellent review. And beautiful pictures. Thanks. But I am wondering, how will the camera do at +20C? :-)

11:27 am - Thursday, November 6, 2008

#26 kathy

I took the Nikon D300 to Alaska in December 08, and spent three nights with a tripod in temperatures around -33C. I kept a spare battery warm but never needed to use it, even after hours of continuous use. The camera remained mounted on the tripod outside during any of my forays indoors although I took the battery with me to preserve power. At the end of my sessions I put the whole camera into a padded and reasonably insulated camera bag where it remained untouched for several hours until slowly defrosted.I had no instances of condensation or crystal formation....although it was hard to resist an immediate closer inspection of attempts to shoot the Aurora Borealis! I was very impressed with the electronics in such conditions.

8:55 am - Tuesday, April 28, 2009

#27 embie

This is great info, but i'd like to additionally ask a silly question. Upcoming trips to Africa and the Antarctic are in the works. The Nikon seems like a good bet to take to those places.

Besides taking along a workhorse like the Nikon, my wife would like to take a small compact point-and-shoot, which will be used not just in the extreme cold, but on other trips such as to the tropics and even Africa. She has a weather resistant Olympus Stylus 410, which is the right size to take along with a bigger SLR type camera. The 410 is a few years old, and only 3x optical zoom.

This camera would be used for the next few years in more normal settings.

Researching newer weather resistant cameras from Olympus, I see they've totally eliminated an optical viewfinder on their small Stylus models. I consider that a must.

So: anybody out there with a suggestion as to a competent upgrade to the old 410?

I'd like to get these features:

- Optical and LCD viewfinder
- Point and shoot size (similar to the size of the 410). No DSLR-like
body/size. I want a pocket-sized camera
- Weather resistant and hopefully cold resistant. The camera will live
in the tropics part of the year, so resistance to rain and salt are desired.
- Image stabilization
- At least 3x optical zoom (5x or 7x would be better, but 3x is liveable)
- Needs to be easy to use. Must have at the least a good Program mode

Thanks for any help and tips!

9:37 pm - Sunday, May 17, 2009

#28 Samuel


few questions. This trip was done in octobre/novembre I presume ? So at the begining of the Antarctic season. Moreover you have sun, blue sky and no wind, how can you have -20°C ?
All the best,

1:38 pm - Thursday, July 2, 2009

#29 kathykathy

What long lens did you use and what is the sturdy looking tripod that you have it mounted on in the photos. I made the mistake of taking a lighter travel tripod and soon ditched it for a more stable borrowed one. Wind, gloves,cold fingers, fleeting animals and auroras make it necessary to use something which doesn't require constant fiddling to maintain desired position-especially with the weight of the D300

7:27 am - Friday, July 3, 2009

#30 Emily


I've been trying to decide which dslr camera to buy for 12 months, this rewiew was a great help, i was already leaning towards the Nikon D300 and the great photos shown here have tipped me over the edge. Thanks for the help.

6:26 am - Saturday, August 29, 2009

#31 James King

You just make me drool. I've used Nikons and never bought any other brand of camera. But with the responsibilities of being a grandfather of two and father of 2 and etc etc, I can't justify the expense of such a wonderful camera. I have still got all my 35mm bodies - 2 FMs and an F3, and all the single focal length lenses that I bought over time, and when the D50 came out my wife purchased it for me for Christmas. I've just recently passed the 10000th shot with this body, plenty of them discarded as is the beauty of digital photography. Artifact from extreme weather conditions with this old of a model is simply a given, but I had no idea they had conquered the problem. Excellent review!

6:19 am - Wednesday, December 23, 2009

#32 Chris

Nice writeup on the Nikon D300, but I love my Nikon D90

7:06 am - Saturday, March 13, 2010

#33 Nikon D90

I would either get a nikon D90 or you could wait on its replacement

3:30 am - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#34 holy f stop

I was recently in Antarctica and several people used D300's on the trip and the performed flawlessly... it is a great camera (I used a D3). It is ideal for wildlife as with the 1.5x DX crop, you get a little more "reach" (well, kinda) with your lenses not to mention the pixel density is good.

Antarctica is an amazing place and every photographer should go there... you will lose your mind! I was just there and I am writing up my journey on my blog

If you have the resources, go to Antarctica. You will never regret it!

2:09 am - Saturday, January 22, 2011