Nikon D300s 12.3 Megapixel Digital SLR Reviews Roundup

MELVILLE, N.Y. (July 30, 2009) - Today, Nikon announced the D300s digital SLR, combining professional-level performance with agility and enhanced D-Movie capabilities to deliver a new benchmark for creative versatility. Engineered to leverage proven Nikon technologies, including a 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and 51-point autofocus system; the addition of HD video capture; and faster 7 frame-per-second (fps) continuous shooting, the Nikon D300s balances form factor, performance, versatility and reliability for serious photo enthusiasts and professionals.

The D300s retains the photographer-friendly features of the critically acclaimed D300, while enhancing speed, versatility, and agility of the DX-format for a wide variety of photographers, including advanced enthusiasts, wedding shooters and photojournalists. The D300s can record HD video clips and high fidelity audio with an external stereo microphone input, offering users a D-SLR with full multimedia capabilities. Dual card slots afford users the ability to seamlessly record stills and video to one CompactFlash? (CF) and one Secure Digital? (SD) card separately, while one-button Live View, a new Quiet Shutter Release mode and Active D-Lighting bracketing help users to capture stunning images like never before.

"Today's photographer demands excellence and value from high-performance digital SLRs - and the Nikon D300s delivers," said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR System Products at Nikon, Inc. "It's no secret that more photographers need to gather multimedia content. In addition to proven technologies, such as the 51-point autofocus (AF) system and 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, we are more than confident that the D300s' HD movie mode, along with a host of additional performance enhancements, will broaden the appeal of the camera to those seeking exceptional still image quality and video versatility."

The Benchmark of Speed, Performance and Reliability
Whether on the front lines of spot news or behind the scenes at a spring wedding, users of the D300s can record HD video clips at 720p resolution with a smooth cinematic 24 fps rate. In addition, the D300s also records high fidelity audio-either with the convenient built-in microphone or by using the external stereo microphone input. Photographers can trim video length on the fly and apply Picture Controls to video, modifying the tone and color. Additionally, users can autofocus while recording video, using contrast detect AF, and do so while composing on the D300s' bright three-inch 920,000-dot LCD screen.

Nikon's applauded AF system, with 51 high density focus points, performs even faster and more accurately on the new D300s. The Multi-CAM 3500DX AF module uses 15 cross type sensors to provide unparalleled focus performance across the frame. The D300s offers multiple focus modes, including single-point AF mode, and a dynamic-area AF mode, where users can select from nine, 21 or 51 AF points with 3D tracking. Additionally, the added Face Detection System lets users instantly zoom in on a human face in playback mode on the high-resolution LCD monitor to check critical focus.

The Nikon exclusive and newly-accelerated Scene Recognition System (SRS) further refines Nikon's AF performance and light metering. In conjunction with the 3D Color Matrix Metering II system, the SRS uses precise color and brightness information from the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor to propel AF, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance to unprecedented accuracy.

The renowned 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor in the D300s delivers extraordinary image quality and low noise throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range from 200 to 3200 (Lo-1 at 100 and 6400 at Hi-1). The D300s captures image data using 14 bit A/D conversion, processed through a 16-bit pipeline for optimal performance, resulting in images with sharp details and smooth tonal gradations.

The D300s also incorporates Nikon's exclusive EXPEED? image processing. EXPEED image processing uses an accumulation of sophisticated Nikon intelligence and technologies to ensure impeccable quality for both still images and movies, while also achieving high-speed processing and low power consumption. When using the included EN-EL3e Li-Ion rechargeable battery, photographers can achieve as many as 950 shots under normal shooting conditions. The optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 extends shooting comfort and supports three types of batteries: R6/AA-size batteries, along with Nikon's Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e and the EN-EL4a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery. It combines added stability with extended shooting of up to 2,950 shots*1 per charge and enables faster high-speed continuous shooting at up to 8 fps*2.

The reinforced magnesium alloy body is lightweight, ruggedly constructed and comprehensively sealed and gasketed against the elements at key points, and the shutter has been proven to a demanding 150,000 cycles. Additionally, the D300s employs the Integrated Dust Reduction System countermeasures that combat the accumulation of image-degrading particles on the optical low-pass filter.

World Class Versatility
With the D300s, Nikon introduces the ability to bracket Active D-Lighting (ADL). By localizing tone control, ADL restores shadow and highlight detail typically lost in high contrast situations, such as backlit subjects or while outdoors with strong sunlight. ADL bracketing provides users with the ability to bracket up to five frames of ADL strength to help ensure perfect contrast throughout the frame, putting an end to the guesswork behind the shot with a bride's intricate white dress and a groom's tuxedo in the same frame, for example.

Additionally, the D300s features two memory card slots-one CF and one SD, used simultaneously in a variety of configurations to match users' preferences. Among the many options available, stills and video can record to separate cards or slots can be assigned for JPEG and RAW recording. The D300s offers "overflow" or "backup" modes, and when shooting D-Movie clips, it allows you to select the slot containing the card with the most available capacity. Users can also copy and paste files between cards.

Also added to the D300s is a Quiet Shutter Release mode, which substantially reduces the sound of the mirror while shooting. Quickly accessed by selecting "Q" on the release mode dial, this feature is ideal for the photographer who wishes to remain unobtrusive.

To further expand versatility, users have the ability to fine tune their images using Nikon's Picture Controls to adjust sharpening, brightness, contrast and color hue. The D300s offers users four presets including Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome; while Landscape and Portrait settings can be downloaded from the Nikon website. While the D300s offers a versatile built-in flash with wider coverage for a 16mm lens, the camera is also compatible with Nikon's Creative Lighting System and is capable of controlling up to two groups of remote units as a master / commander for Advanced Wireless Lighting.

System Expandability
In addition to compatibility with more than 60 NIKKOR lenses and a broad array of system accessories, the D300s will also perform well with the recently announced AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II and the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 ED VR II lenses.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D300s camera body will be available at Nikon Authorized dealers beginning in late August 2009 at an estimated selling price of $1799.95.**

Nikon D300s Sample Photos on Flickr



Nikon D300s Camera Reviews Roundup


Digital Camera Info - Mar 10 2010
"The Nikon D300S is physically and functionally very close to the D300 introduced back in 2007. The company essentially took the 720p video recording capability from the $900 D90 (the first SLR to offer movie mode) and grafted it into the heftier, pro-level D300 body. There are a few other enhancements, including a fast 7 frame per second burst rate and a du..." More »
80out of 100
Imaging Resource - Feb 18 2010
"The Nikon D300S brings the enthusiast flagship up to the standards of more recent Nikon models, including the D90 and D5000, as well as taking on the Canon 50D and Pentax K7 with their HD movie modes. Though the upgrade didn't include an increase in resolution, there's no question that the Nikon D300S continues to serve as an excellent photographic tool, on..." More »
Not Rated
RegHardware - Dec 06 2009
"A range of in-camera processing tools includes red eye editing, colour balance, NEF RAW processing of exposure and white balance. These secret tweaks are handy if what you shot wasn't optimum and you need to show people what you have photographed. It is non-destructive too. The original NEF is kept with the output of your edit being a high quality JPEG. For..." More »
80out of 100
Photocrati - Nov 09 2009
"Photographing people constantly in motion at fairly close range proved a challenge on the street. Nikon employs a very capable AF system, with a vast array numbering as many as 51 AF points or down to a very finite single point AF. In combination, you can select single-shot or continuous AF. You also have the option of 9 and 21 points. Noise is certain..." More »
Not Rated
PhotographyBay - Oct 23 2009
"Generally speaking, I feel that the Nikon D300s does OK with handling low light and high ISO.  I think that it should probably do better though.  Several pundits have criticized the Nikon D300s' high ISO performance in light of the lower-priced and lower-spec'd D90 producing cleaner images at higher ISOs.  Although I have not personally revie..." More »
Not Rated
TrustedReviews - Oct 20 2009
"The D300s also inherits all of the D300's superb image quality, including its exceptionally good high-ISO noise control. 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. At more normal settings the image quali..." More »
90out of 100
PhotoReview - Oct 13 2009
"Not unexpectedly, subjective assessment of test shots taken with the default standard Picture Control setting showed them to be similar to our test shots from the D300. Even without the Active D-Lighting function engaged, outdoor shots contained the wide dynamic range that's expected from a DSLR camera. Applying Active D-Lighting processing, even at the low..." More »
Not Rated
Pocket-lint - Sep 03 2009
"In terms of image noise here things are looking good too and shots in near darkness at ISO 1250 provides images with an excellent balance between image detail and noise; noise taking on the appearance of fine film grain, making it less intrusive. However, pushing ISO to the 3200 and 6400 settings makes images with a distinct level of noise that takes o..." More »
90out of 100
TechRadar - Aug 19 2009
"We liked: It's very fast to operate and offers the fastest continuous-shooting mode this side of £3,000. It's the perfect stepping stone between an amateur and professional DSLR. It's more expensive than the Canon 50D, but it's also faster and, to our hands, more solid, besides offering 720p video recording. If you already have a top-end amateur DSLR thing..." More »
90out of 100

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1564 user reviews


User Review of the camera - Nikon D300s

  • 2014-08-17 07:00
    ... frame advertised everything in the package and apparently in good working, Robert Herder
    Verified Purchase(
    Arrived with in the time frame advertised everything in the package and apparently in good working condition
  • 2014-08-10 07:00
    the camera itself is very capable and would make a great durable spare, Jeffrey Wineriter
    Verified Purchase(
    I purchased this camera to replace my Nikon d80. This is a solid performing dSLR. The entire frame is metal and durable I am convinced it could take a few falls though I never tested it. It is also sealed to be weather proof another feature I did not test, but I did use it in conditions with sand and mist such as the beach with little issues. It can take pictures very quickly as long as your memory card has the speed to handle it. I am told if you add the battery pack to this camera it will shoot another frame per second quicker. Though this camera is dated where picture quality may not be as ideal as needed, the camera itself is very capable and would make a great durable spare. Keep in mind the camera will add a bit of extra weight and space to your bag.
  • 2014-07-11 07:00
    Great sports camera!, Eldon F. Rahmiller
    Verified Purchase(
    I use it primarily for taking photos of cross country runners. Rugged and the speed and image quality meet my needs as a non-professional. The weight with a midrange zoom is perfect. Used it at the Boston Marathon and we were very pleased with the results.
  • 2014-07-08 07:00
    love it, Las Vegas knows concerts "experience counts"
    Verified Purchase(
    gr8 in every way
  • 2014-05-28 07:00
    Used Camera Sold as New, dcchico
    Verified Purchase(
    The pop up flash did not work when this camera arrived so after many hours of investigation with Nikon and after sending it to their repair facility they determined that it had originally been sold years earlier so the new camera warranty was not in effect. I eventually shipped the camera back to the seller and was reimbursed but it was a huge hassle and it was obviously not the product they said it was when they first sold it to me.
  • 2014-03-26 07:00
    i like, Elena
    Verified Purchase(
    It's a excellent product. I like the product anytime, I recomended this because is really what I was expecting to receive.
  • 2014-03-26 07:00
    i like, Elena
    It's a excellent product. I like the product anytime, I recomended this because is really what I was expecting to receive.
  • 2014-03-18 07:00
    Lens compatibility poor, lmguse
    Verified Purchase(
    I like the camera body, but very disappointed that so many of the nikon lenses don't work with this camera. I should have researched that first.
  • 2014-03-18 07:00
    Lens compatibility poor, lmguse
    I like the camera body, but very disappointed that so many of the nikon lenses don't work with this camera. I should have researched that first.
  • 2014-02-27 08:00
    Gray market camera, Sandra K. Mcvicar "Sandy McVicar"
    Verified Purchase(
    The camera unfortunately does not come with a US warranty. It is a gray market camera and I believe this should have been disclosed upfront.
  • 2014-02-27 08:00
    Gray market camera, Sandra K. Mcvicar "Sandy McVicar"
    The camera unfortunately does not come with a US warranty. It is a gray market camera and I believe this should have been disclosed upfront.
  • 2013-12-29 08:00
    Love this camera, Danny Morgner
    Verified Purchase(
    User friendly controls, high level of performance. Great image quality for an asp-c sensor. I was also impressed by the ISO performance. I moved to full-frame and this body still has a place in my bag.
  • 2013-12-29 08:00
    Love this camera, Danny Morgner
    User friendly controls, high level of performance. Great image quality for an asp-c sensor. I was also impressed by the ISO performance. I moved to full-frame and this body still has a place in my bag.
  • 2013-12-28 08:00
    Nikon, Valeria Quintero
    Verified Purchase(
    The product came in perfect time and conditions. After having the D300 I had a blast with this camera and the video option!! One of the best cameras for me.
  • 2013-12-28 08:00
    Nikon, Valeria Quintero
    The product came in perfect time and conditions. After having the D300 I had a blast with this camera and the video option!! One of the best cameras for me.
  • 2013-12-16 08:00
    possible help for the dreaded ERR message, Donna T Gustin
    Verified Purchase(
    I've been using this thing for years. I'm a professional wedding photographer, and it's a workhorse and I abuse it. It's taken a beating, but it does the trick. Yes, there are better cameras out there, but a camera is only a tool, the user is the artist. I'm writing this review specifically to address a possible solution if you are have an ERR code pop up and think its life is over. Try switching modes. I shoot only in manual, popped it into automatic and it fired right off, then when I switched it back it worked again. I'm not sure it will keep working forever, I think it's a sign that it probably needs a good cleaning, but I got through another wedding and a few more family shoots and it's still going.
  • 2013-12-16 08:00
    possible help for the dreaded ERR message, Donna T Gustin
    I've been using this thing for years. I'm a professional wedding photographer, and it's a workhorse and I abuse it. It's taken a beating, but it does the trick. Yes, there are better cameras out there, but a camera is only a tool, the user is the artist. I'm writing this review specifically to address a possible solution if you are have an ERR code pop up and think its life is over. Try switching modes. I shoot only in manual, popped it into automatic and it fired right off, then when I switched it back it worked again. I'm not sure it will keep working forever, I think it's a sign that it probably needs a good cleaning, but I got through another wedding and a few more family shoots and it's still going.
  • 2013-12-04 08:00
    Real workhorse camera body, Steve
    Verified Purchase(
    I've had this body for a few years before writing this review and it has performed flawlessly for several thousand images. Though I have a backup for my critical work, this body is my go-to for nearly all my shooting. I have never had to resort to the backup. No reservations about this body.
  • 2013-12-04 08:00
    Real workhorse camera body, Steve
    I've had this body for a few years before writing this review and it has performed flawlessly for several thousand images. Though I have a backup for my critical work, this body is my go-to for nearly all my shooting. I have never had to resort to the backup. No reservations about this body.
  • 2013-11-16 08:00
    Best Nikon DX Ever!!!, Genaro Goyzueta Jr.
    LOVE IT!! Had to be the DX Flagship..! best DX camera ever!!
    Not for the "Auto" shooter, full manual modes and fully configurable to your taste,
    bought it as soon as it hit the stores in 2009 and is my main travel camera,
    I use it with the MB D-10. I like to use it also for telephoto pairing it with my Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM.
    I'm not going to waste your time making you read a tiresome Mumbo Jumbo on how good this camera is...
    If you know what you are doing with a Manual camera, Simply BUY IT... I know you'll love it too... Cheers! :)