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

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Nikon D300s

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LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Nikon D300s review


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Dynamic range and Gamut

The dynamic range of the Nikon D300s is excellent, at around 12.5EV at base ISO sensitivity in AP’s test conditions. This puts it on a level with the best of the APS-C and full-frame competition, and realistically, this figure represents a plateau in the capabilities of conventional sensors. A dynamic range much wider than this would risk a significant contrast loss.

At the D300s’s lowest ISO sensitivity setting of 100 (equivalent) dynamic range is reduced, because rather than being a ‘native’ setting, ISO 100 is achieved by underexposure, followed by adjustment to give a ‘correct’ exposure. This process clips highlight detail significantly.

Although it doesn’t increase dynamic range in the strictest sense, Nikon’s Active D-Lighting allows you to make the most of the sensor’s ability to record detail in midtone and shadow areas.

This graph shows the brightness values recorded by the test camera when it is used to photograph a stepped graduation wedge. The wedge has transmission values in 1⁄2EV steps ranging from 0 to 12EV. The camera’s exposure is set so the 12EV section in the wedge has a brightness value of 255. Software analysis of the image then determines the recorded brightness values of all the other steps and calculates the camera’s dynamic range.

Nikon D300s Gamut

When set to the Adobe RGB colour space the Nikon D300s is capable of reproducing a wider range of red, magenta, purple and blue tones than is contained within the sRGB gamut. However, although it still covers more than sRGB, it struggles to record all of the green and emerald tones in the full Adobe RGB colour space.

  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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