Nikon D300S

Released July, 2009
  • 12.2 MP
  • APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Image quality is about as good as it gets for a DX-sized sensor, in terms of detail, dynamic range and noise handling alike.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2009)
9.5 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Nikon D300S

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

D300S
9.5
Nikon D3
10.0
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

D300S
9.2
Nikon D3
9.2
focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

D300S
10.0
Nikon D3
10.0
continuous shooting

Reviews

What do the experts think?

D300S
9.4
Nikon D3
9.8
Reviews from nikonrumors.com, techradar.com, reviews.cnet.com, trustedreviews.com and 2 more

9.5

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

D300S
9.5
Nikon D3
9.8

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Nikon D300S

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

D300S
787 ISO
Nikon D3
2,290 ISO
D5200
1,284 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

D300S
1,700 LPH
D7100
3,000 LPH
D5200
2,800 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D300S
225 ms
Nikon D3
88 ms
EOS 7D
131 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

D300S
53 ms
D5100
114 ms
D5200
88 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

D300S
300 ms
D5200
500 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D300S
7 fps
D5100
4 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Nikon D300S


8.2
We'd recommend using an external microphone if you're likely to use this features, since the noise of the camera or lens autofocusing can be heard on the movies.

9.0
Either card can be used as the primary card; secondary card can be used for overflow or backup storage, or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; images can be copied between cards.

9.0
It's the first time I've used this particular lens, and it performs exceptionally well, far better than most standard kit lenses.

9.0
The natural trade-off is weight: the D300S weighs nearly a kilogram before you even attach a lens, but for dedicated photographers – particularly those who like to tote their camera everywhere they go – the extra build-quality is reassuring.

8.2
Images begin to look "processed" at ISO 800; you can begin to see some sharpness degradation starting at ISO 1,600, but it doesn't become obtrusive until ISO 3,200.

Overall

8.7 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Video

In 720p HD mode, for instance, you can only shoot up to five minutes' video.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2009)
I also wish Nikon had separated the movie settings somehow, as well as adapted the information readout to display or access movie setting information.
by c|net (Sep, 2009)
You can use the Picture Controls to adjust the tone and color in movie mode, which is nice if you want to shoot black and white videos.
by c|net (Sep, 2009)

Sensor

As you'll see from the accompanying sample shots it can produce good printable results at 1600 ISO, and even at the extended maximum 6400 ISO is still produces shots that look good at smaller sizes.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)
As expected the RAW converted images look sharper than JPEG (images look crisper and demonstrate better per-pixel sharpness), it does appear as though View NX and Capture NX are using the same engine as their output is identical.
by DPReview (Nov, 2009)
Picture quality is still excellent at 1600 ISO.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)

Focus

Note though that in 'Tripod' mode, you can only use the AF-ON button for autofocus; there is no other option.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2009)
Thankfully, the AF points aren't engraved on the focusing screen, so you only see the one in use.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2009)
Obviously you don't have to use AF when using live view – in fact, one of the key benefits of this feature is that it's an excellent manual-focus aid.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2009)

Lens

• Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data • Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in center of frame.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2009)
The out-of-camera JPEGs are in fact quite sharp at the default settings if you use a sharp lens to begin with, but shots taken at maximum aperture often benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2009)
I'm also very impressed with the recent AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5 - 5.6G ED DX VR zoom lens that was supplied with my review camera.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)

Image quality

We found that you got no additional information beyond around -1.25 EV, and even at this point the color accuracy of the recovered areas is imperfect.
by DPReview (Nov, 2009)
Fast, with a flexible feature set, durable body, and excellent photo quality, the Nikon ably fills its predecessor's shoes, though it fails to blaze any significantly new trails in them.
by c|net (Sep, 2009)
It's a well-selected range, with a sensible number of steps and a realistic level of noise reduction (the 'Off' setting isn't overly intrusive and we find it hard to imagine you wanting to apply more noise reduction than the 'High' setting).
by DPReview (Nov, 2009)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 12.2 MP
Resolution 4288 x 2848
Size APS-C
Area 23.6 x 15.8 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 30.5 microns
Light sensitivity 200 ISO to 3,200 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 3,200 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Codecs
  1. NEF 14bit
  2. TIFF
  3. NEF
  4. JPEG
  5. NEF 12bit
  6. RAW
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 1,700 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 1,750 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 51
Cross type focus points 15
Supports continuous Yes

shutter

Min 30 s
Max 1/8000 s

form factor

Size 147 x 114 x 74 mm
Thickness 74 mm
Weight 938 g
Is weather sealed Yes

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None

video

Video 1280 x 720 @ 24 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 920 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentaprism
Coverage 100%
Magnification 0.94x
Viewfinder size 0.62x

performance

Max continuous shooting 7 fps
Battery life 950 photos
Continuous shooting 7 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 225 ms
Shutter lag 53 ms
Startup delay 300 ms
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