Thom Hogan Re: D300 1.03 Firmware Changes

Jan 26, 2005
Haverhill, MA
I emailed Thom immediately after testing my D300 body post 1.03 release. I upgraded one and left one alone.

I indicated that I found 2 major differences between the two rather quickly and asked if he had seen them. At that time, he indicated that he had not.

I also posted a query on this site asking if anyone had seen changes without indicating what I seemed to be experiencing....I didn't want folks thinking I was nuts since many here think that already!

Apparently Thom now has experienced them. :)

From his site (buried in his D3 notes):

"Nikon has a habit of sneaking in unknown changes at firmware updates. Indeed, if you've got a D300 you should probably already have noted that there appear to be two unannounced differences with the latest firmware for that camera. First, the 14-bit hesitation seems to have been either removed or lowered significantly. Second, there seem to be improvements to auto focus tracking of some motions; I notice this especially in 51-point.."

Perhaps this is why I'm now shooting 51 point for almost all of my flight shots :)

The acqusition speed still sucks for BIF with a TC on board IMHO and unless the birds are at distance (greater than 35 or 40 yards), I don't even attempt it any longer.
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Sep 15, 2007
Long Island, NY

That's funny!!

So I'm not nuts!

I've been commenting over the past few days that I have a renewed liking for 51pts, though I have not tried if for birding yet. Silly me...I didn't put it together with the FW update but did notice that you said you were now in 51pt mode.

Berry, Berry sneaky...

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Jul 20, 2007
What puzzles me is why Nikon would not mention the improvements if they were there.

Aren't firmware updates the kind of product support we expect? So why not publicize what's been included in the new FW? Hey they fixed DBS, came out with new pic controls, and now if they improved the AF and 14 it shutter-lag, why not mention it?

Anyway, my congratulations to Nikon for standing behind their products and fixing or improving them. At the end of the day what counts is what they do, not what they say, to consolidate customer fidelity.
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Nov 11, 2005
Houston, TX
It is not an improvement, it was a bug fix. Not many would admit the released code has bugs - they would rather fix it seripticiously and sneak it in the back door. After all, who would admit they are flawed.
Feb 8, 2006
Well done. Can't comment on the 14 bit change, however my 51 point AF is much improved. Though I'm still a 21 point guy. : )
Oct 8, 2006
I can only comment on the low light performance of the D3, and it has certainly improved as I noticed shooting a wedding last weekend.
I hope to learn more at my next motorsports event when I´ll be using both the D3 and D300.

The biggest difference I´ve noticed before the firmware upgrade was that the D300 were a lot slower then the D3 when the subject was going away from me for some reason and with the same settings.
When they were coming towards me the difference were a lot smaller.0


I'm glad there are people like Jim, to test the functions of the D300 and the different upgrades and graciously post the results. Thanks, I'll have to give that setting a try.
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