Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


Nikon D300s Digital SLR Review

Nikon D300s Digital SLR Review - Like a knight galloping into battle on a white charger, Matt Grayson catches the train to London to see the new Nikon D300s.

Exclusive to ePHOTOzine

 Add Comment

Category : Digital SLRs
Product : Nikon D300S
Price : £979
Rating :
Share :

After a two year wait, it's back to London to see the mouth watering upgrade to the ground breaking Nikon D300.
Nikon D300s DSLR front

Nikon D300s: Specification
  • Resolution: 12.3Mp
  • Sensor size: 23.6x15.8mm
  • Sensor type: CMOS
  • Image size: 4288x2848
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Focus system: Multi CAM 3500 DX with TTL phase detection
  • Focus points: 51 inc. 15 cross type
  • Crop factor: 1.5x
  • Lens mount: Nikon F (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
  • File type: JPEG, RAW (NEF), TIFF,
  • Sensitivity: ISO200-3200 (expandable to ISO100 & ISO6400 equivalent)
  • Storage: SD, SDHC, CF (UDMA compliant)
  • Focus types: Single, continuous, predictive, manual
  • Metering system: TTL exposure metering using 1,005px RGB sensor
  • Metering types: Matrix, centre-weighted, spot
  • Exposure compensation: +/- 5EV in 1/3, ½, or 1EV step increments
  • Shutter speed: 30sec-1/8000sec, bulb
  • Frames per second: 7 (8 via grip)
  • Flash: Built-in, hotshoe
  • Flash metering: iTTL, auto aperture, non-TTL, range priority manual
  • Flash sync speed: 1/250sec
  • Integrated cleaning: Image sensor cleaning, Image dust off reference data (requires Capture NX2)
  • Live view: Yes, tripod & handheld, contrast detect AF
  • Viewfinder: Optical eye level pentaprism, approx. 100% coverage
  • Monitor: 3in TFT LCD, 100% frame coverage, 920,000dot (307,000px)
  • Video: Yes, HD 1280x720 at 24fps (max.)
  • Video format: AVI, Motion-JPEG compression type
  • Audio: Mono (stereo with optional external mic)
  • Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI
  • Power: Lithium Ion
  • Size: 147x114x74mm
  • Weight: 840g (excl. battery and card)

Nikon D300s: Features
The Nikon D300 launch was my first press trip and what a camera to go and see. Since then, the camera has set a benchmark for semi-pro DSLRs to work towards. We've seen more cameras use the expandable ISO feature, nearly every camera has live view (I was more surprised to see the Sony Alpha A230 NOT have it) and now there's the notorious introduction of HD video.

Nikon D300s DSLR left shoulder
Nikon D300s DSLR flash
Nikon D300s DSLR shutter
Nikon D300s DSLR back
On the back the new Live view button can be seen and video is accessed from here.
Nikon D300s DSLR rear controls
Anyone hoping that the D300s would keep away from these “gimmicks” will be disappointed as it features 1280x720 video running at 24fps. It's capped at five minutes as this will fill a 2Gb card and it begs the question of who would only need five minutes of video. But at the Nikon D90 launch we were told that Nikon had been asked for video to be added to DSLRs by consumers for over two years.

There are some notable areas that are lacking in this area and the main one is stereo sound. Panasonic have it on the DMC-GH1 so I don't understand why Nikon can't put it on one of the highest cameras in their range. A primitive mono audio system sounds like cost cutting regardless of how good or bad built-in stereo mics are, which is hard to believe as the camera is extremely well made. In fact it's the same chassis as the predecessor but with the addition of the extra features such as the dual memory card chamber, it makes the newer unit around 40g heavier.

The dual slot takes either SD or CF which is great if you're moving up from a smaller model such as the D90 as it means you don't necessarily have to buy new cards straight away. CF has a faster read/
write speed so it would be pointless not to eventually, but retailers will have a tougher job now. The D300s is also UDMA compliant and those cards have a higher transfer speed of up to 45Mb/s. You can also decide which slot to designate images and video to. They can be sent to one slot or a mixture of the two.

A dedicated live view button has been added to the back of the camera sitting near to the navigation pad and has the same tripod or handheld options with virtual horizon.

Live view can be seen on the 3in polysilicon TFT LCD screen which has 920,000dots or 307,000px for superior picture quality. In fact Nikon were one of the first to introduce the higher quality screen and others have always seemed more inferior. Even Canon have followed suit after saying that they considered the quality of the screen less important than the picture taking ability.
Dust has always plagued photographers so as well as a sensor shaking system to get rid of as much as possible, Nikon have also included dust reduction software on Capture NX2 although this is an optional software programme.

Playback has also been upgraded and the thumbnails can now be zoomed out to include up to 72 pictures on the screen. There's also in camera retouching available meaning you can make basic changes to the image such as adding active D-lighting and there's a face detection zoom feature which is great for portrait photographers as it means not having to scroll around the image trying to find the eyes.

Nikon D300s: Build and handling
Any semi-pro DSLR worth its salt has a good build quality and the Nikon D300s is no exception with its rugged magnesium alloy cover, chassis and mirror box. The shutter has also been tested to 150,000 cycles and the outside is moisture and dust resistant in all key areas.

It certainly feels as good as you'd expect from a camera company that seems to be bucking the trend in sales through the credit crisis as Jeremy Gilbert reported a 14% like for like growth and a 42% share of the market for DSLRs over £1000.

The grip is well defined and solid, the 40g extra weight is marginally noticeable and all the controls still fall within easy reach of probing fingers. The same rocking navigation pad is used as ever and it's soft and springy but responsive.

It goes without saying that heavy traffic areas such a the tripod bush and lens mount are metal and the card door is firm with no play in it.


Nikon D300s: Performance
Working with the EXPEED processor for faster, more direct processing of images and the D300s has a maximum continuous shooting rate of 7fps standard or can be boosted to 8fps with an optional grip.

A “Q” icon on the wheel on the top left shoulder signifies the quiet mode. This was first seen on the D5000 and smooths the whole operation out to a quieter mechanism. Nikon say this is the reasoning behind the sliding door of the memory card bay instead of a switch and spring loaded door concept. The latter are always louder as they spring open and wildlife photographers could scare away potential subjects.

Nikon D300s DSLR colours
There are a number of colours settings available on the Nikon D300s and they can be changed in the menu system. Monochrome, vivid, neutral and standard are the options open to you and I quite like the reproduction of all four. The colours are punchy in the vivid mode and nicely desaturated in neutral. Monochrome looks more contrasty than I've seen on other monochrome conversions in camera.

Active D-Lighting is a dynamic range feature that was the first commercially available, paving the way for other manufacturers to introduce a similar mode. It adds detail to the darker areas of the image while not allowing the highlights to get blown out. It works well on these images taken in London where strong sunlight was causing high contrast.
Nikon D300s DSLR D-Lighting Nikon D300s DSLR panning
A spontaneous shot hasn't come out too badly. 1/800sec at f/9.
Nikon D300s DSLR landscape
On a lovely day, the landscape image could do with a spot of Active D-Lighting but that's not allowed in our landscape test so we can see what the camera does on its own. The camera has been blinded by the sunny spot in the distance and closed down the aperture thereby under exposing the shaded area in the foreground. Still, there's detail in the water and white balance coped without me having to override it.

In the portrait test, it was another lovely day although at the time we took the shots, the side of the building we use was shaded. I used the white balance in the shade setting and also added flash to one of the shots.

The image is lovely and sharp and I like the level of detail in the skin and hair. Adding flash and switching the white balance over to flash has kept the whites balanced but it's over exposed slightly. Thankfully there's a flash compensation to drop it down as much as three stops. However, you can only gain by one stop. It's not an unappealling over exposure but I think it could've been managed better.
Nikon D300s DSLR portrait
The portrait shot is balanced enough with a warm tone to it.
Nikon D300s DSLR portrait with flash
Adding flash evens out the shadows and adds catchlights but it's a bit strong for me.

Nikon D300s DSLR colour chart
Colours are nice and punchy although pink is a bit too much.
It's a good result gleaned from the colour test chart with primary blue bursting out of the tile. Reds are warm, earth colours such as brown and forest green are rich and the mono tones are balanced.

I'm unsure of the skin tone tile, I think it's a bit too pink but the portrait images weren't too bad so it doesn't reflect on real situations. There's colour in the pastel tiles which run down the left side of brown, orange and blue which is good as they can sometimes be washed out.

Nikon D300s: Focus and metering
I swear I saw someone faint at the Nikon D300 launch when we were told that the new camera had 51 AF points. The D300s offers the same system with the same 15 cross sensor for higher precision focusing.

You can choose from single point AF and dynamic area AF (9, 11 or 51 points with 3D tracking are selectable in this mode). A small switch on the front of the camera allows you to choose between single, continuous and manual focusing while the custom menu offers a wider variety of options for the focusing system.

Focus is available in live-view, albeit slow and because video runs through live-view, focusing is available in that too. Again it's a bit slow and to get a professional feel, it may be better to do it manually anyway due to the hunting.
Nikon D300s DSLR 3D matrix
3D Matrix multi metering.
Nikon D300s DSLR centre weighted
Centre-weighted metering.
Nikon D300s DSLR spot metering
Spot metering on the shaded clock face.
There are three metering modes available on the Nikon D300s which are 3D colour Matrix, centre-weighted and spot metering. There's also a new Scene Recognition System which works by using the 1005 pixel RGB sensor ato make flash, focusing, white balance and colour more accurate.

Nikon D300s: Noise test
With no true ISO100 setting, the Nikon starts at ISO200 but does have the option of using ISO lo mode which gives an equivalent to the true ISO setting. There's plenty of detail in the petals and despite a fraction of noise showing through, it's not enough to pick the camera up on. After all, it can only be seen at 100% magnification.

This trend continues throughout the stages with only a mild increase at ISO800 which then starts the process of adding more noise with each stage of ISO. There's quite a nasty leap at ISO3200 where detail starts to leave the image in the petals and the grey card starts to get invaded with colour.

While there's spots of bright colour dotted around the ISO hi (ISO6400 equivalent) image, there's still a massive improvement on the ISO6400 image presented to us by the Nikon D300. I can still see detail in the petals and from a distance the image isn't unpleasant to look at.

I've also uploaded RAW files of the ISO100 and ISO6400 equivalent setting into the Download section of ePHOTOzine. Follow the links to download them and compare with the JPEGs.
Nikon D300s DSLR ISO100 equivalent test
The ISO100 equivalent test.
Nikon D300s DSLR ISO200 test
The ISO200 test.
 Nikon D300s DSLR ISO400  test
The ISO400 test.
 Nikon D300s DSLR ISO800  test
The ISO800 test.
 Nikon D300s DSLR ISO1600  test
The ISO1600 test.
 Nikon D300s DSLR ISO3200  test
The ISO3200 test.
Nikon D300s DSLR ISO6400 equivalent  test
The ISO6400 equivalent test.
Nikon D300 DSLR ISO6400 equivalent  test
Nikon D300 ISO6400 equivalent test.


DxOMark provides objective, independent, RAW-based image quality performance data for lenses and digital cameras to help you select the best equipment to meet your photographic needs.

Visit the DxOMark website for tests performed on the Nikon D300s.

Nikon D300s: Verdict
Now I've had the camera in for a full test, I'm amazed by the improvement in noise reduction. The images I produced are clean and pleasing to look at.

Having a play around with the colours gave some interesting results that I think will be useful to a lot of photographers and some professionals will be able to implement the use of the video functions into their work.

Their was a lot of scoffing at the release of this camera simply due to its only visible upgrade which is the inclusion of video. But it doesn't look like Nikon have been sitting back on their laurels at all and I think this is a worthy camera to add to the stable until the D400 (?) is released. Of course the price is a tricky one to get around so if you're thinking of using this as a stop gap, then I wouldn't bother. Only really get this camera if it's something you'll keep for a number of years and judging by the picture quality, there's no reason why you shouldn't.

Nikon D300s: Plus points
Video capability
Dual slot
Higher drive mode

Nikon D300s: Minus points
Mono sound
Secondary dust reduction is only optional

FEATURES

HANDLING

PERFORMANCE

OVERALL



The Nikon D300s has an RRP of £1249.99 body only and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Nikon D300s

Click the link below to read the press release of the Nikon D300s:

Nikon D300s press release

Explore More

Photographs taken using the Nikon D300S

Crackpot waterfallFarm RoadHurricane Bertha attacking Porthcawl harbourCenarth Salmon LeapSpeedwayCircular ReflectionsReflecting BlueReflecting SkyscraperWolf's MoonHungry Gold FishEmbletonBike SculptureBlack-headed gullOrchidWho's there?
Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Comments


MK 5
30 Jul 2009 10:23PM
Wow. Lucky you... Can't wait to get my own hands on one to check it out...

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

5 Aug 2009 12:38PM
After a two year wait, it's back to London to see the mouth watering upgrade

Really, since the launch of the D300 you've been waiting for the upgrade? Shame, during those two years I've been enjoying my "normal" D300.

Considering that you can get a good quality, compact video camera for less money than the "upgrade" costs (over the old D300) I don't personally see the point. If I wanted to have a video camera I'd buy one, then leave it on a tripod (or with a second user) whilst I continued with taking photographs.

I like the addition of the dual slot for memory cards, this signifies to me that Nikon still rate this as a pro camera and should help retain it's status as the best DX format camera available.

Can't say I'm thrilled or excited in anyway by the release though. It does put the D300 back in the lime light for a while though, as many people had forgotten about it since the introducton of "affordable" FX cameras.

It won't do the prices any good though so my second D300 will just have to wait a bit longer...
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
5 Aug 2009 1:15PM
I couldn't use my D300 as I don't own one so, yes, I've been waiting for the upgrade. Just like I'm waiting for the upgrades of all cameras. Smile
mztriz 5 United States
5 Aug 2009 2:10PM
24fps is the desired framerate for people who wish to produce cinematic films and the "gimmick" of video is what has drawn many amateur cinematographers to the Nikon d90 over the Canon 5d Mk2. The d90's sensor size is nearly identical to a "full frame" Super 35mm cinema film frame. The 5d's sensor is too large. This affects the angle of view when framing a scene. The d90 is a godsend for people who want to make cinematic-themed films because of the superior control of depth of field they achieve with the larger sensor. Most semi-pro video cameras like the Canon XL (and its successors) as well as others like the Panasonic HVX200 have far smaller sensors in them and it's impossible to get wide shots as well as really shallow depth of fields with these cameras alone. People have to spend an extra 3 or 4 thousand on top of the price of said cameras (which around 5 thousand themselves) to achieve that sort of look using what is called a 35mm DOF adaptor. It would make sense to offer this "gimmick" in a more robust system that is able to weather the elements far better than the d90. It doesn't hurt that the d300s will cost twice the price of the d90 helping Nikon develop more "gimmicks" in the future. The 5 minute cap is more than enough to film scenes. 400 feet of super 35mm film only lasts 4 or 5 minutes depending on the framerate of the camera. Even the Red One 4k ultra high definition cinematic camera only records 5 to 6 minutes at a time to an 8gb card.

The dual slot was not intended to accomodate only the people moving up from the cameras below the d300s but also to provide a flexible way to store multiple image formats and video. Why did you not mention that the flagship camera of Nikon's line also has dual card slots that allow you a multitude of ways to store pictures? Specifically, the camera allows professionals to use both slots identically allowing for real-time backup but also as an overflow system to effectively combine the 2 into 1 drive for a larger storage system. In addition to that you can also choose to store JPG's on one card and NEF RAW files on the other. Finally, videos on one and images on another.

I think you are very misleading in your review when you say CF is faster than SD. The fact of the matter is SD is rated in Classes. These do not dictate the FASTEST speed the card transfers at but rather the MINIMUM. Therefore, a Class 6 SD card's minimum transfer rate is 6 MB/s or 40x. There are SD cards that transfer in excess of 40 MB/s so your proclamation that CF is faster and more professional is false. The truth is CF has a higher propensity to be damaged. The data transfer pins are not on the card but in the host device which can lead to a nightmare if you bend one of 50 tiny pins. You will have to mail the camera in and they will replace the entire main pc board.

Your mention that the dust reduction system actually shakes the sensor is also incorrect. It does not move the sensor but a filter made of glass that is vibrated by a piezo element.

The shutter is tested to 150,000 cycles not the "mirror box". The shutter mechanism lies behind the mirror.

I'm not sure why you mention the tripod mount and lens mount being made of metal because I have not seen a semi professional DSLR or any semi professional camera that has plastic mounts for either.

The quiet mode you talked about actually allows the photographer to delay the mirror return, quieting the sound of taking a photo from the well-recognized and louder double click sound to a single event which is far less recognizable and disturbing to a person or animal. I'm not quite sure what this has to do with the card slot as it seems the lever to release the card was omitted from the d300 because of the newly introduced dedicated "info" button taking the space where the lever was.

Finally, the d300s does offer stereo sound. You just need to use a microphone system that supports it. Why would you want to be limited by the very narrow stereo field available by using microphones embedded in the camera body when you can place 2 microphones in a much wider array on top of the camera? The onboard microphone is terrible at best and is mostly used as a reference to sync off-board recording to the video but now you have the option of recording stereo directly to the camera something the d90 doesn't offer. I'm not quite sure how the d300s is disappointing when it comes to video. It seems it has more features than the d90 did.
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
5 Aug 2009 4:17PM

Quote: The dual slot was not intended to accomodate only the people moving up from the cameras below the d300s but also to provide a flexible way to store multiple image formats and video. Why did you not mention that the flagship camera of Nikon's line also has dual card slots that allow you a multitude of ways to store pictures? Specifically, the camera allows professionals to use both slots identically allowing for real-time backup but also as an overflow system to effectively combine the 2 into 1 drive for a larger storage system. In addition to that you can also choose to store JPG's on one card and NEF RAW files on the other. Finally, videos on one and images on another.

I never said that it was just for this reason, but that it was handy. I do mention the D3x has dual slot, in the D3x review.


Quote: I think you are very misleading in your review when you say CF is faster than SD. The fact of the matter is SD is rated in Classes. These do not dictate the FASTEST speed the card transfers at but rather the MINIMUM. Therefore, a Class 6 SD card's minimum transfer rate is 6 MB/s or 40x. There are SD cards that transfer in excess of 40 MB/s so your proclamation that CF is faster and more professional is false. The truth is CF has a higher propensity to be damaged. The data transfer pins are not on the card but in the host device which can lead to a nightmare if you bend one of 50 tiny pins. You will have to mail the camera in and they will replace the entire main pc board.

I've tested a lot of SD cards and they never performed to the same speed as CF. If SD is so good, why isn't it used on larger cameras? Because it isn't. Sure it's on its way up but it's not quite there yet.


Quote: Your mention that the dust reduction system actually shakes the sensor is also incorrect. It does not move the sensor but a filter made of glass that is vibrated by a piezo element.

I'll check into that, if it's incorrect, I'll change it.


Quote: The shutter is tested to 150,000 cycles not the "mirror box". The shutter mechanism lies behind the mirror.

That was a typo, sorry. I was going to write something else and changed my mind opting for the shutter cycle test instead. Because latter and shutter are similar looking, I misread it.


Quote: I'm not sure why you mention the tripod mount and lens mount being made of metal because I have not seen a semi professional DSLR or any semi professional camera that has plastic mounts for either.

Does it matter?


Quote: The quiet mode you talked about actually allows the photographer to delay the mirror return, quieting the sound of taking a photo from the well-recognized and louder double click sound to a single event which is far less recognizable and disturbing to a person or animal. I'm not quite sure what this has to do with the card slot as it seems the lever to release the card was omitted from the d300 because of the newly introduced dedicated "info" button taking the space where the lever was.

It's because that's what Nikon told me. Are you saying that they couldn't have put a lever anywhere else on the camera at all?


Quote: Finally, the d300s does offer stereo sound. You just need to use a microphone system that supports it.

So it doesn't have it as standard then?


Quote: Why would you want to be limited by the very narrow stereo field available by using microphones embedded in the camera body when you can place 2 microphones in a much wider array on top of the camera? The onboard microphone is terrible at best and is mostly used as a reference to sync off-board recording to the video but now you have the option of recording stereo directly to the camera something the d90 doesn't offer. I'm not quite sure how the d300s is disappointing when it comes to video. It seems it has more features than the d90 did.

Stereo sound is stereo sound and anyone not wanting to have a big microphone on top of their camera but wanting stereo sound are losing out. If the mic is so terrible why include it at all? I don't say that video is disappointing.

I'm shocked that you would pick the preview apart so much as on the whole it's quite a positive article. You've obviously gone indepth on the camera and I wonder whether you work in the industry or for Nikon themselves.

I simply haven't had the time to look so far into the workings at this time and I may have missed something along the way. If I'm wrong on areas or I missed them out then I will correct them and admit I was wrong but there's no need to be so harsh.
10 Aug 2009 11:26AM
I am impressed with this camera, although I'm not going to be replacing my D300 with it.

Did you mention that autofocus will work whilst using the video function, I don't think this is the case with the D90? Also, have you ever listened to the 'stereo' sound from any small video camera or compact camera, to call it stereo is pushing the truth a bit, yes they are separate, but they are so close together they record exactly the same sound. Anyone who wants to do reasonable filming with this camera will get the add-on stereo mic. The kids at disneyland would be just fine mono.

mztriz is correct that it is the filter infront of the sensor that is vibrated to remove dust. This works OK in the D300, but is not perfect, and you should still be careful when changing lenses, and watch out for the super sticky dust that will require traditional removal. Does anyone actually use the the dust mapping in Capture NX2? Since getting a new laptop I havn't even put NX2 on!

Anyone that thinks the quiet mode is why the memory card door has changed is deluded (even nikon)! If you hold the camera in your hands and flip the lever with your right thumb the door opens against your hand and doesn't ping, band, clunk or clatter open. A wildlife photographer rummaging for the replacement card is noisier!

The dual card slot is great too, although I disagree that CF is easy to damage, the rail that they slide in on makes it almost impossible to insert the card wrong unless you are clumsy and rough with it. And did you ever see the review trying to destroy a sandisk extreme III? They left it in a garden for a month, stuck it through the wash, ran over it with a car.... only killer was 24hrs after being washed in the sea (they recovered the images immediately after, just took a while for the salt to take effect)! It is possibly the most durable card you can get. SD by contrast is more vulnerable. I've fortunately never had a CF card die on me, but 2 SD cards have, also if you've upgraded from one of the SD cameras you're more likely to have bought cheaper SD cards which are more vulnerable than if you had invested in a decent CF card.

I assume it uses the same batteries as the D300, and takes the same grip?
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
11 Aug 2009 12:04AM

Quote: I am impressed with this camera, although I'm not going to be replacing my D300 with it.

A lot of people are agreeing with you.


Quote: Did you mention that autofocus will work whilst using the video function, I don't think this is the case with the D90? Also, have you ever listened to the 'stereo' sound from any small video camera or compact camera, to call it stereo is pushing the truth a bit, yes they are separate, but they are so close together they record exactly the same sound. Anyone who wants to do reasonable filming with this camera will get the add-on stereo mic. The kids at disneyland would be just fine mono.

It's a fair point worth considering.


Quote: mztriz is correct that it is the filter infront of the sensor that is vibrated to remove dust. This works OK in the D300, but is not perfect, and you should still be careful when changing lenses, and watch out for the super sticky dust that will require traditional removal. Does anyone actually use the the dust mapping in Capture NX2? Since getting a new laptop I havn't even put NX2 on!

lol


Quote: Anyone that thinks the quiet mode is why the memory card door has changed is deluded (even nikon)! If you hold the camera in your hands and flip the lever with your right thumb the door opens against your hand and doesn't ping, band, clunk or clatter open. A wildlife photographer rummaging for the replacement card is noisier!

Maybe it was a PR stunt to keep us happy Worked on me.


Quote: The dual card slot is great too, although I disagree that CF is easy to damage, the rail that they slide in on makes it almost impossible to insert the card wrong unless you are clumsy and rough with it. And did you ever see the review trying to destroy a sandisk extreme III? They left it in a garden for a month, stuck it through the wash, ran over it with a car.... only killer was 24hrs after being washed in the sea (they recovered the images immediately after, just took a while for the salt to take effect)! It is possibly the most durable card you can get. SD by contrast is more vulnerable. I've fortunately never had a CF card die on me, but 2 SD cards have, also if you've upgraded from one of the SD cameras you're more likely to have bought cheaper SD cards which are more vulnerable than if you had invested in a decent CF card.

I heard they managed to stop it working by smashing it with a sledgehammer and nailing it to a tree.

Quote: I assume it uses the same batteries as the D300, and takes the same grip?

I'll find out for you. Smile
theorderingone 10 2.4k United Kingdom
11 Aug 2009 6:20PM
Just pitching in myself.

After many thousands of card changes across my last four DSLRs, I've never managed to bend a CF pin in my camera. However I have let CF cards go through the wash, trodden on them, dropped them in crowds of excitable music fans and never had one fail to the point where I can't retrieve the images.

I notice they've changed the mutli-selector to the same as found on the D700/D3/D3X. That's a subtle, but welcome addition, as I always found the one on the D200/D300 a little spongy and unresponsive.

The Dual Memory slots and quiet shutter (I used to use this feature a lot on my old F70) are both interesting additions to me. I wish they'd included those in the D700... not that I can grumble too much Wink
User_Removed 10 17.9k 8 Norway
11 Sep 2009 7:11PM
Matt - I'm a committed D200 user because I have analysed my photography and the tools I need to produce my work.

I have been very tempted by the D300 from it's launch and my intention not to move to the D300 is a matter of public record.

However, in the interim, and with the launch of the D300s, I am now seeing a drop in the price of S/H D300 examples.

The one, single reason that I will make me move to the D300/D300s is high ISO noise. That said, there are very few occasions where noise control is an issue for me - but they do exist.

To my point.

You quote above -


Quote: I'm amazed by the improvement in noise reduction.

Can you quantify that statement in percentage terms of the D300s version's reported improved abilities of noise control over that of the D300 ' s capabilities please Matt?
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
12 Sep 2009 2:07AM
mathematics never was my strong point, so just for you, i'll put a D300 noise test image in next to the D300s hi ISO image. Smile
User_Removed 10 17.9k 8 Norway
12 Sep 2009 8:04AM
Thank you kind Sir!
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
25 Sep 2009 11:55AM
Done. Smile
fyo 5 Croatia
12 Oct 2009 11:49PM
Nice review for a really nice camera.
Anyway, I would appreciate a comparison opinion on Nikon D300s vs. Pentax K7. The D300 (body only) price in Croatia is about 1600 while the K7 with a DA 18-55 mm WR kit lens costs about 1100. Now, since as a student I have to work a half an year to spare that kind of money (and also sell my Canon 450D), I would really like to know if the D300s is that much better (high iso seems to be the K7's problem...?). Thank you
9 Dec 2009 9:39PM
purchased this camera after using 40D for a year, give me the satisfaction that i don't have while using 40D.

Totally in love with this gear Smile
24 Feb 2010 9:57AM
I absolutely love the D300s, it's the best money I've ever spent on a camera. The only down side is its weight which does start to hurt the back after a day shooting!

All in all though, a great bit of kit and I'm so glad I made the swap from Canon. Just need to go and spend a few thousand quid on lenses now! Lol
18 Jul 2012 8:11PM
I've been using the Nikon D300s now for two years, and it's a brilliant camera, especially combined with the f2.8 17-55 lens, although I mus agree with jontash that after a day shooting your back does ache a little from the weight (and that's without the optional battery grip) I'd love to get the grip to go with it but I think that'll have to wait until I upgrade to the D800.
All in all though it's a great camera and I can't flaw it in good lighting, under difficult lighting any camera is going to struggle and seen as I hate flash and only use it when forced to I'd like to see a camera that can focus pin sharp in low light and then track a moving person in those same conditions.
Who knows, my dreams may one day come true!

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.