Nikon D300s review

September 26, 2009

Overall Rating:


Nikon D300s

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Price as Reviewed:


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...

Nikon D300s at a glance:

  • 12.3 million effective pixels
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-6400 (equivalent)
  • 3in, 920,000 dot LCD screen
  • RRP £1,499.99 (body only)

Nikon D300s – Introduction

The Nikon D300 was released very nearly two years ago, 
and since its introduction 
it has become one of the most popular DSLRs on the market. It 
has won a host of awards, and positive reviews from magazines 
and websites all over the world.

Nothing lasts forever, though, and two years on the D300 has retired, to be replaced by the new D300s. The ‘s’, following Nikon’s standard nomenclature, designates an upgrade to an existing camera, rather than a completely new model, and accordingly, the D300s is very similar to the camera it replaces.

In many respects, in fact, it is identical. The key additions to the feature set are some subtle ergonomic changes, and a new HD (720p) video recording mode. The addition of a video option reflects the changes in the DSLR marketplace since 2007, and means that the D300s joins the D90 and D5000 in Nikon’s burgeoning ‘convergence’ range.

Today’s enthusiast photographers have started to expect HD video, even if they don’t necessarily intend to use it. To this end, Nikon’s decision to include a stereo input jack for an external microphone sets it apart from the D90, and places it in a more serious (at least as far as keen videographers are concerned) category, alongside the Pentax K-7 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Although the lack of any additional major new features to the D300’s basic specification has surprised some industry watchers, Nikon will be hoping that by adding video – one of the few features that the D300 lacked compared to its peers – it can ‘futureproof’ the camera in the medium term.

  • Built-in Flash: Yes GN 17m @ ISO 200
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -2 to +1 dioptre
  • White Balance: Auto, seven presets (all with fine-tuning), four custom settings, plus Kelvin setting.
  • Memory Card: SD/SDHC/Compact Flash
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane
  • Viewfinder Type: Optical Pentamirror
  • Output Size: 4288 x 2848 pixels
  • LCD: Fixed 3in TFT with 920,000 dots
  • Field of View: Approx 100%
  • AF Points: 51 automatically selectable points, single vari-zone selection
  • Sensor: APS-C (DX format) CMOS with 12.3 million effective pixels
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed/HDMI
  • Exposure Modes: PASM
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/250
  • Weight: 920g
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery (supplied)
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec in 1⁄3 steps plus B to 4mins
  • Drive Mode: 
Single, continuous (Hi/Lo selectable, 6fps for 100 frames (JPEGs and 12-bit NEF), 2.5 fps (14 bit NEF)
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • ISO: ISO 100-6400 in 1/3EV or 1EV steps
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3 EV steps
  • Compression: Two-stage JPEG
  • Metering System: 3D Matrix Metering, centreweighted, spot
  • Dimensions: 147x114x74mm
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single shot AF, continuous AF,
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Tested as: Enthusiast DSLR

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