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:


Resolution, noise and sensitivity

As we can see from the images of AP’s test chart above, the Nikon D300s offers excellent resolution for its pixel count, on a par with the best of its 12-million-pixel com petition. At low ISO settings the D300s can also compete with the full-frame D700 and D3, although as the sensitivity is pushed higher, performance drops off a little.

That said, even at ISO 6400 the D300s can record an impressive amount of detail, albeit accompanied by considerable chroma and luminance noise.

Chroma noise is more of a problem in the D300s’s files than luminance, which takes the appearance of a subtle grittiness. Chroma noise is dealt with successfully in JPEG files by in-camera processing, but high ISO noise reduction should be set to ‘off’ or ‘low’ by preference, since it can have a significant impact on detail resolution.

The noise graph shown here displays noise in JPEG files with high ISO noise reduction turned ‘off’. For small prints, high ISO noise reduction can safely be set to ‘high’, and it will deliver smooth noise-free results without any visible penalty in detail reproduction.

For optimal resolution, however, shooting in the NEF (raw) format and applying careful noise reduction and sharpening is the best option. This workflow is more labour-intensive, but with a little care and attention the D300s can deliver excellent, highly detailed results right up to its maximum ISO sensitivity setting.

These images above show sections of images of a resolution chart, still-life scene and a grey card. We show 
the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the 
better the camera’s detail resolution is 
at the specified sensitivity setting.

  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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