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

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Nikon D300s review


Price as reviewed:


The competition

The D300s is essentially an updated D300, and until midway through writing this test I had thought that it was competing with the same cameras faced by its predecessor, namely the Canon EOS 50D and the Sony Alpha 700.

However, in the past few days Canon has released the as yet untested EOS 7D and Sony has discontinued the Alpha 700.

Compared to the Canon EOS 7D, the Nikon D300s offers an AF system that will be hard to beat, but cannot compete with the 7D’s 18-million-pixel resolution.

Also, on paper the EOS 7D should be better in low light, offering an ISO 12,800 (equivalent) setting as well as a range of new and improved features.

Apart from the EOS 7D, the Pentax K-7 is a compelling, if flawed mid-range contender, but the only area in which it unarguably betters the D300s is in terms of resolution, offering 14, as opposed to 12 million pixels.

The Canon EOS 7D will be subjected to a full AP test as soon as possible, with a dual test to follow soon afterwards.

Until then, the D300s remains an excellent camera, but I must reserve judgment for now about how it compares to the competition.








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
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
Focusing Modes:Manual, single shot AF, continuous AF,
DoF Preview:Yes
Tested as:Enthusiast DSLR
  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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