The Nikon D300s replaces the popular D300 as Nikon’s flagship DX-format DSLR, and brings HD video capture plus a host of other refinements. Is this Nikon’s most complete enthusiast DSLR yet? Our Nikon D300s review finds out...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Nikon D300s

Noise/resolution:
Metering:
Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
Build/Handling:
Autofocus:

Product:

Nikon D300s review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,499.99

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White balance and colour

The D300s didn’t present me with any surprises during my shooting for this test. For most purposes, and certainly in daylight, AWB is perfectly capable of providing a natural-looking colour balance.

As always, switching to Daylight WB ensures that images take on a more realistic hue that represents the actual temperature of the light, but the very warm Cloudy WB preset should be avoided except in very overcast conditions. In direct sunlight, there is very little difference between the AWB and Daylight WB settings, and if anything, AWB tends to give a slightly warmer, more atmospheric result.

In artificial light, the D300s has a tendency (again, shared with the D300, D700 and D3/x) to ‘overneutralise’ images, especially under tungsten lighting. In a purely technical sense this represents good performance, but it can lead to skin tones, especially, looking grey. As with all cameras, I would recommend switching to a custom white balance under artificial light, and experimenting with the D300s’s colour temperature adjustment feature to fine-tune the colour response if necessary. Alternatively, shooting in raw mode allows the ultimate control.

There is little discernable difference between AWB and ‘Daylight’ WB, but in natural light, AWB can deliver a slightly warmer result. Using the ‘Cloudy’ WB preset on this moderately overcast day has resulted in an atmospheric, but wholly inaccurate warmth

The D300s features the same range of standard ‘Picture Control’ settings as all current Nikon DSLRs. Here, the ‘Neutral’ setting has given an atmospheric, if rather subdued colour tone, while ‘Vivid’ has injected a lot more vibrancy and saturation

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. White balance and colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range and Gamut
  9. 9. LCD, Live View and video
  10. 10. Our verdict
  11. 11. The competition
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