Nikon D300S

Last update (23 May’13):
- $250 Instant Savings on the Nikon D300s
- Review & Sample Photos @ DPInterface

Nikon D300S is the Nikon D300 successor features 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS Image Sensor, Continuous Shooting up to 7 fps, D-Movie HD Video for capturing cinematic 24 fps, 720p HD movie clips with stereo sound, One-button Live View, ISO Sensitivity from 200 to 3200, 51-point Autofocus, Dual memory card slots (CF and SD), 3D Color Matrix Metering II, Integrated Dust Reduction System, and a 3-inch Super-density 920,000-dot VGA LCD Monitor.

nikon-d300s
Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Expert Reviews

Nikon D300S Reviews

DPInterface reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“Images are pretty much smooth and close to noise free for the first few ISO settings up to ISO 400. The low amount of noise doesn’t change much when ISO is upped to 800. That’s good, seeing that the D300S with its high shooting frame rate will probably be used by many for low-light and action shooting. Going up to ISO 1600, images look a little grainy here but you still should be able to make large prints out of photos at this level”
Rating: N/A

DCI reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“The D300S delivers a true 7 fps burst rate, very good color accuracy, and low image noise when shooting in bright light, though noise is more pronounced than other models when shooting long exposures. Image sharpness is good, and chromatic aberration is very well controlled. Dynamic range is fine at low ISOs, though it drops off substantially when shooting at ISO 800 and above..”
Rating: N/A

ImagingResource reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“Though autofocus was slower in Auto Area mode, I stuck to Single-point mode and was perfectly happy with the Nikon D300S’s autofocus speed. I was even happier with its accuracy shot-to-shot. Overall I found the Nikon D300S an extremely capable camera with a very refined design and a great demeanor, an excellent tool for making great photos quickly. Like its predecessor, the Nikon D300S is an easy Dave’s Pick.”
Rating: N/A

PCMag reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“The D300s was a champ at suppressing image noise across all ISO sensitivities, making it ideal for low-light shooting situations. From ISO 200-3200, noise levels remained below 1.5 percent—this means that images captured at these ISO settings won’t be visibly noisy.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

Photoxels reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“At ISO 200 to 400, noise is under control and detail is preserved. Noise is also low up to ISO 800 with good detail preservation… The image quality of the Nikon D300s is excellent up to ISO 800 with details preserved in both shadows and highlights.”
Rating: ★★★★½

HardwareZone reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“While the D300s isn’t exactly the best performer when it comes to high ISO shots (the honour, for this category of cameras, belongs to Canon’s EOS 7D), the camera does produce decent shots up to ISO3200. Slap on a fast prime lens, like the 85mm f/1.4, and the D300s will probably cover your low light shots very well..”
Rating: ★★★★½

RegHardware reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“Indeed, the D300s is nicely weighted, has a good grip, with a great mix of features and fine tuning. The video recording is capable of delivering top quality footage too, right out of the box.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Photocracti reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“if you already own a D300, buy the D300S if you need a second body—otherwise, skip it because you’re not really getting that much of a performance or feature boost to make it worth the upgrade. You’d probably do better investing in a D700, if you have the lenses to support it.”
Rating: N/A

WDC reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“it’s clear that the D300s is designed for those who will be using the camera for both still images and video, particularly the latter in a more professional manner when connecting an external microphone. Overall, it adds subtle enhancements to an already rock-solid, excellent system.”
Rating: ★★★★½

PhotographyBay reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“The Nikon D300s is a great camera overall. And, really, it’s hard to find a bad DSLR today. Most DSLRs are really good cameras and many of them are great cameras. Some, like the D300s, are better than others. The D300s occupies the space of a prosumer DSLR very well. “
Rating: N/A

TrustedReviews reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“While the second card slot and slightly improved performance are welcome upgrades to an already brilliant camera, the new video recording mode and live monitor view are a bit disappointing compared to other premium models. The D300s is still utterly superb and one of the best DSLRs on the market, but don’t trade in your D300 just yet.”
Rating: ★★★★½

KenRockwell reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“I wouldn’t buy a D300s. If need a camera more serious than the D90, I’d go directly to the D700 instead of the D300s for not much more money, and if I couldn’t swing a D700, I’d get the D90 instead and save my money. For sports and action, again the D3 is the step you want to make, not the D300s.”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBlog reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“Image quality is about as good as it gets for a DX-sized sensor, in terms of detail, dynamic range and noise handling alike…everyone in the market for a capable and high-quality DSLR should seriously consider this camera, which easily earns our ‘Highly Recommended’ rating. “
Rating: ★★★★½

CameraLabs reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“the D300s will remain a superb photographic tool which is a joy to use, and ideal for the high-end enthusiast or pro wanting a backup body. It easily comes Highly Recommended, but unless you’re 100% committed to the Nikon system, be sure to compare very closely with the EOS 7D.”


Rating: ★★★★☆

CNET.au reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“Throughout the native (ISO 200-3200) sensitivities, there’s little to complain about. Visible chromatic noise begins to occur at ISO 1600 and 3200 at full magnification but certainly nothing out of the ordinary. The Hi-ISO settings are pretty messy though.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CNET reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“The Nikon D300s is a great camera, especially if you need the burst speed or slightly improved low-light focus, but if you don’t care about video you might consider looking for a really good deal on a D300 and using what you save to splurge on a good lens.”


Rating: ★★★★☆

Pocket-Lint reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“In terms of image noise here things are looking good too and shots in near darkness at ISO 1250 provides images with an excellent balance between image detail and noise; noise taking on the appearance of fine film grain, making it less intrusive…”
Rating: ★★★★½

Preview video by DigitalRev

Preview video by B&H

TechRadar reviews the Nikon D300S and writes;
“The bottom line is that we loved taking pictures with the D300S. Quite apart from image quality, it’s so quick to use and adjust that you’ll hardly ever miss a shot. The build-quality is extraordinary and the inclusion of (admittedly limited) HD video recording is a sleeper feature that grows on you over time. The deceptively good value is the icing on the cake.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Nikon d300s vs. Nikon d300 Video Review

D300s first look review;

Samples

Nikon D300S Sample Photos

- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ DPInterface
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ DCI
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ Photoxels
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ RegHardware
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ PhotographyBay
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos @ TechRadar
- Nikon D300S Sample Photos: 12345 @ Nikon USA

Nikon D300S Sample Videos

- Nikon D300s Sample Video @ Nikon

Download

Nikon D300S Brochure

- Download Nikon D300s Brochure (PDF – 7.13MB)

Press Release

Nikon D300S Press Release

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 30th July 2009 – Nikon announces the D300S, a camera to broaden the possibilities for today’s creative image makers.

The D300S brings HD movie capability, a faster frame advance rate of 7fps and dual CF and SD memory card slots to offer new opportunities to explore creative imaging. Built upon the widely acclaimed D300, the D300S incorporates the same DX-format 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, professional 51-point autofocus system and commended EXPEED image processing in a discrete compact body.

Robert Cristina, Manager, Professional Products for Nikon Europe, comments: “The D300S is designed for today’s generation of creative image makers who want to combine brilliant stills in photography with the creative potential of video capture. The DX format has the advantage of lens magnification, compact size and affordability making the D300S a really exciting package for anyone looking to take their photography to another level”.

Capture and Edit HD Movies in stereo
The D300S comprehensively extends DSLR HD movie capture by adding external stereo sound input, autofocus capability and premieres in-camera movie editing. External stereo microphone support adds more realistic sound to shooting movie clips, and a new dedicated LV button makes switching between stills and movies easier than ever. In-camera movie clips can be edited by simply selecting the start and stop points during playback. Also, the new Type C HDMI interface enables editing to be carried out on an HD display if desired.

Dual slot storage media
For the first time in this class, the D300S offers the choice of dual storage media standards; CF (Compact Flash™) and SD (Secure Digital™) with options to manage how the camera records data to them. For example, one can elect to store stills to one format and movie clips to another.

Faster shooting, outstanding quality.
The D300S captures images up to a blistering 7 frames per second without requiring any additional battery pack. The optional MB-D10 pack makes 8fps possible as well as improved vertical shooting ergonomics.

The camera inherits the groundbreaking imaging technologies from the D300 such as Scene Recognition System with 1005 pixel RGB colour metering, and class-leading autofocus performance from the 51-Point Multi-CAM3500 autofocus system, which together deliver accurate autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance control. The EXPEED image processing system delivers Nikon’s acclaimed image quality criteria of rich accurate colours, smooth skin gradations, exceptional detail with the minimum of noise, with all of the flexibility of Nikon’s exclusive Picture Control system to manage the ‘look and feel’ of your work.

Intuitive ergonomics
Significant improvements have been made to Nikon’s renowned ergonomics with the adoption of the same multi-selector to that used on the D3 series and D700 that features a centre button to trigger movie start and stop. The D300S also features a Quiet release mode for discrete photography by allowing the user to manage the mirror return manually. The dedicated Info button simplifies displays and short cuts to commonly used settings, and the built-in pop-up flash diffuser covers 16mm wide-angle field of view.

Practical performance

The 3 inch 920K dot high definition TFT monitor offers excellent image playback and movie composition support. One can also display the Virtual Horizon level during movie shooting if desired. A variety of in-camera processing tools now includes an image resize function to process RAW files to one of four pre-set dimensions to enable to do more in camera, and less on the PC.

More than just an ‘s’
The D300S comprehensive feature set is designed for anyone who is serious about the future of their photography. It proposes much more than the simple ‘s’ suffix might suggest to cement a unique position in Nikon’s comprehensive DSLR range with a practical blend of creative options, professional technologies, compact size and affordability.

The D300S will be available in two kit configurations: AFS DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR and the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II.

Features

High-speed performance
One major advancement of the D300S is its ability to shoot as fast as 7 frames per second,*1 with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, and up to 8 frames per second*2 when using the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a. It also offers a rapid startup time of approx. 130 milliseconds and an amazingly short shutter release time lag of only 49 milliseconds*1.
*1 Based on CIPA Guidelines.
*2 Based on CIPA Guidelines. Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 required for Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a.

Refined D-Movie
The D300S’s advanced D-Movie function benefits from a number of functional and technological advancements, including an external stereo microphone input enabling high-fidelity audio, plus in-camera movie editing. In Tripod mode, the D300S features contrast-detect AF.

Experimenting with Nikon’s selection of finest-quality NIKKOR interchangeable lenses — from ultra-wide-angle and fisheye to super-telephoto – will enhance the dramatic impact of HD video. What’s more, the camera’s versatile Picture Control adjustment options let you modify the tone and colour of HD video clips with remarkable ease.

AF system with high-density 51-point AF
The D300S’s Multi-CAM 3500DX AF sensor module provides an exceptionally wide area of AF coverage. With 51 AF points densely positioned across the frame, it’s designed to capture your subject accurately, even when its movement is unpredictable. Moreover, it utilises 15 powerful cross-type sensors in the centre of the frame to give you the ultimate in detection performance with any AF NIKKOR lens of f/5.6 or faster. You can also choose to shoot with 11 focus points.

The 51 AF points are employed in various focus area modes, according to subject conditions. Single-point AF mode allows you to choose a single AF point from among the 51, and in dynamic-area AF mode, you can select from 9, 21 or 51 AF points. The 51-point option offers 3D-tracking mode, which automatically shifts the focus point to match the subject’s movements. Auto-area AF mode specialises in focusing on people, automatically detecting and prioritising skin tones with all 51 points.

Large, bright viewfinder with approximately 100% frame coverage
The D300S’s viewfinder features an eye-level pentaprism with approx. 100% frame coverage and approx. 0.94x magnification. The large, bright viewfinder makes for easier, more accurate composition.

DX-format CMOS image sensor; 12.3 effective megapixels
The D300S employs Nikon’s renowned DX-format CMOS image sensor that provides 12.3 effective megapixels. It delivers extraordinary image quality throughout a wide ISO sensitivity range of ISO 200 to ISO 3200 with low noise. In addition, Lo 1 for ISO 100 equivalent and Hi 1 for ISO 6400 equivalent are also available. Initial image capture data can be quickly and accurately transferred using 14-bit integrated A/D conversion. All successive internal processing is then handled at a full 16 bits. The resulting output reveals breathtaking details and remarkably smooth tonal gradations.

EXPEED image processing
Nikon’s comprehensive EXPEED image processing utilises an accumulation of sophisticated Nikon technologies to ensure impeccable quality for both still images and movies, while also achieving high-speed processing and low power consumption. It also effectively reduces lateral chromatic aberration.

Scene Recognition System makes the most of the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
Nikon’s intelligent and exclusive light metering sensor applications have been refined to deliver the Scene Recognition System, which uses precise colour and brightness information from the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor to push accuracy levels for autofocus, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance to an unprecedented level. And in playback mode, the added Face Detection System lets you instantly zoom in on a human face in the high-resolution, 920k-dot LCD monitor.

Dual card slots for CF/SD memory cards
New for the D300, the D300S provides dual card slots, enabling the simultaneous use of both CompactFlash*3 and SD memory cards and allows photographers to select the primary recording slot. The secondary slot can record in three methods : “Overflow” recording lets you use the memory capacity of the secondary card when the primary card is full, automatically; “Backup” recording stores the same images on both cards; and “RAW primary, JPEG secondary” recording lets you record RAW data and JPEG data separately to each card. You can also copy images between the two memory cards. And when shooting D-Movie clips, it allows you to select the slot containing the card with the most available capacity.
*3Type I compatible only.

Engineered durability
Tested on fully assembled cameras, the shutter mechanism assembly has been proven for 150,000 cycles under demanding conditions. The ruggedly constructed D300S employs a strong yet lightweight magnesium alloy for its exterior cover, chassis and mirror box, as well as for the cover of the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10. The camera also offers comprehensive countermeasures at key points to combat invasive moisture and dust.

Easy-to-access Live View mode
Live View function, activated by pressing the dedicated Live View button, makes it easy to shoot while composing on the LCD monitor.

In Handheld mode, which allows you to recompose the frame prior to actual shooting, TTL phase-detection AF using 51 AF points is activated. Tripod mode is designed for precise focus accuracy with still subjects. It allows contrast-detect AF on a desired point within a frame.

Quiet Shutter-release mode for non-intrusive shooting
By selecting “Q” on the release mode dial, photographers can opt to substantially reduce the sound of the camera’s mirror-down during shooting. This is particularly useful when shooting in restrictive conditions such as when photographing wildlife.

Active D-Lighting for smooth tone reproduction in high-contrast lighting
By localising tone control, Active D-Lighting accurately restores the details in shadows and highlighted areas which are often lost in high-contrast lighting situations. Simply choose the appropriate setting — auto, extra high, high, normal, low or off — prior to shooting. For further options that will help you achieve your desired tone, the D300S also allows you to bracket your pictures with varying strength levels, for up to five frames, perfect for difficult lighting situations or if you don’t have the time or experience to select just one Active D-Lighting setting.

Picture Control: Customise the visual style of your images
Nikon’s Picture Control enables you to create the pictures you envisage, quickly and easily, by making specific selections and adjustments to image sharpening, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue. And with other Picture Control-compatible cameras, as long as the settings are the same, you’re able to obtain the same picture tone. The D300S offers four preset Picture Control options — Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome. You can also download two additional presets, Portrait and Landscape, from the Nikon website.

Built-in flash with 16mm lens coverage
With a guide number of approx. 17/56 (m/ft., ISO 200, 20°C/68°F) and 16mm lens coverage — wider than the 18mm of the D300 — the high-performance built-in flash supports Nikon’s original i-TTL flash control that evaluates flash exposure with greater precision for exceptional results. Compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the built-in flash controls up to two groups of remote units as a master/commander in Advanced Wireless Lighting.

Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 (optional)
The optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 supports three types of batteries: R6/AA-size batteries, along with Nikon’s Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a. It combines added stability with extended shooting of up to approx. 2,950 shots*1 per charge and enables faster high-speed continuous shooting at up to 8 fps*2.
*1Based on CIPA Standards. When Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e is used for camera body, together with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a and Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 for the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10.
*2 Based on CIPA Guidelines. When Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a and Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 are used for the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10, all of which are sold separately.

Additional Nikon D300S Features

* Virtual Horizon that is available in Live View shooting.
* 3-in., 920-k dot high-resolution LCD monitor.
* Highly efficient energy-saving design allows as many as 950 images on a single charge of the Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e. (CIPA Standards)
* Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System including Image Sensor Cleaning function that provides effective dust reduction.
* Versatile in-camera Retouch Menus let you enhance your images without using a computer.
* Compatible with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output. Type C connector (mini size) is employed.
* With the optional GPS Unit GP-1, location information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and time are automatically recorded to each image’s Exif data.
* Exclusive Nikon Software — Nikon Transfer and ViewNX software packages (supplied) for a range of basic photo browsing and editing operations; Capture NX 2, Camera Control Pro 2, and Image Authentication Software (all optional) enable more advanced operation and image editing.

Rival

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon D300S

Olympus E-620 Reviews

olympus-e-620
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Reviews

panasonic-dmc-gh1
Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax K-7 Reviews

pentax-k7
Overall Rating: ★★★★½


See also: Digital Camera | Digital SLR Cameras | Nikon





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12 Comments »

Comment by John
2009-07-31 05:43:16

This looks good!!
I’ve been waiting for a DSLR with decent video quality, I think Nikon has answered my prayer. It’s time to update my D300.

Anyone knows if there are video samples posted on the web?

 
Comment by Rieni Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-20 10:35:46

John,

There are some samples on http://www.vimeo.com

 
Comment by amrulkareem
2009-09-06 17:06:30

i bought mine d300s last friday at directphoto. works great. i upgraded from my old d50 and never felt better.

wuhuu. RM5800. body.

 
Comment by newd300s Subscribed to comments via email
2009-10-01 20:44:49

I started off with D60 about a year ago.

Just got D300s.

Don’t get why pple critic it so much.

Personally.
1) The SD card option is a dream come true. I hate CF cards because of the high chance of damaging the pin connectors, and also unreliable CF card readers.
2) The video quality we get from the camera, isn’t suppose to be as good as a video cam, but for pple like me it’s a handy extra. Did some test video shots, and I’m happy with it.
3) The feel of the camera makes me feel safe to lug this around when I go outdoors!

One drawback.. Ain’t used to the weight! :p

Another happy D300s user :)

 
Comment by newd300s Subscribed to comments via email
 
Comment by Tibor
2009-10-06 08:08:43

photographyblog.com have also reviewed it:

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/nikon_d300s_review/

 
Comment by MKD
2009-11-16 17:44:36

Tnx for compiling this list. Always good 2 see an overview. Love the videos. and I agree with Jack Neubart (the Photocrati review) that the dual card slot is the bomb… how smart is that?

 
Comment by Ryan
2009-11-25 19:10:55

Was it just me or was the CNET video the WORST video review I’ve ever seen of any product. Just my opinion but lesser sites are doing better reviews. Anyways, great list of reviews and videos though. Thanks.

 
Comment by daFoxy
2009-12-08 05:29:23

thanks for overview. i like this cam very much

 
Comment by Jane Subscribed to comments via email
2010-08-01 04:37:10

Hi,

Just wondering if anyone can tell me about memory card sizes and what i might need?

For instance, say i wanted to film about 5 minutes of the highest quality setting footage – what size SD and CF cards would i need? Do you need both cards, or is one ok?

Also, does anyone know about editing of the video footage and whether it’s compatible with most software (e.g. final cut pro?)

Any tips on the sound quality?

Many thanks,
Jane

 
Comment by Lela Seeholzer
2011-08-24 07:27:55

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Comment by Heather
2013-11-11 11:23:01

You actually created a number of outstanding ideas throughout ur post, “Nikon D300S”.
I’ll remain returning to your web page soon enough. Thank you ,Rusty

 

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