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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Nikon D300s

Nikon Digital Cameras

   

Nikon D300s Review

Review Date: Jan 6, 2010

Nikon D300s
Rollover image for back view

Category: Serious to Advanced Amateur

The Nikon D300s DSLR adds HD Movie at 720p resolution with a smooth cinematic 24 fps rate. It records high fidelity audio either with the convenient built-in microphone or by using the external stereo microphone input. Video length can be trimmed in-camera. In Tripod mode, the D300S features continuous autofocus during video recording using Contrast-Detect AF. Picture Control adjustment options allow easy midifications of the tone and colour of HD video clips.

Like the D300, the D300s is housed in a reinforced magnesium-alloy construction with advanced dust and moisture protection. A durable shutter mechanism is tested to 150,000 cycles.

The D300s retains the D300's 12.3-megapixel DX-Format CMOS Sensor, Live View mode, Dynamic Integrated Dust Reduction System, and fast 51-point autofocus. Besides the HD Video, the D300s adds: dual memory card slots (CF Type I, SD/SDHC), Continuous Shooting at a faster 7fps, one-button Live View, a new Quiet Shutter Release mode, Active-D Lighting (ADL) bracketing, Face Detection on Playback, Virtual Horizon, and faster Scene Recognition System (SRS).

Active D-Lighting (ADL) localizes tone control, restores shadow and highlight detail lost in high contrast situations. ADL bracketing provides the ability to bracket up to five frames of ADL strength to help ensure perfect contrast throughout the frame.

The two memory card slots — one CF and one SD — can be used simultaneously in a variety of configurations to match users’ preferences: stills and video can record to separate cards, or slots can be assigned for JPEG and RAW recording. “Overflow” or “backup” mode allows the user to select the slot containing the card with the most available capacity when shooting D-Movie clips. Users can also copy and paste files between cards.

Quiet Shutter Release mode is quickly accessed by selecting “Q” on the release mode dial and substantially reduces the sound of the mirror while shooting.

Key features:

  • 3.0-inch super density 920,000-dot VGA color monitor with 170-degree wide-angle viewing and tempered-glass protection
  • Continuous shooting up to 7fps, and up to 8fps with the optional MB-D10 Multi-power Battery Pack and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a
  • Advanced D-Movie
  • Fast, accurate 51-point autofocus with 3D Focus Tracking and three Dynamic AF modes for exacting autofocus precision at blazing speeds
  • Large bright viewfinder uses eye-level pentaprism with approximately 100 per cent frame coverage and approximately 0.94x magnification
  • EXPEED image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation
  • Scene Recognition System (SRS) with 1,005-Pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II
  • Dual card slots for CF (Type I only)/SD memory cards
  • Live View: Tripod mode uses Contrast-Detect AF; Handheld mode uses Phase-detection AF
  • Quiet Shutter-release Mode
  • Picture Control settings allow advanced color control with 4 preset options: Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome, as well as 9 customizable settings
  • Active D-Lighting (ADL) enables superior high-contrast images by automatically applying tone compensation at the moment of capture; now with ADL Bracketing
  • Buil-in Flash with 16mm lens coverage
  • Virtual Horizon
  • Integrated Dust Reduction System
  • Optional GPS Unit GP-1

The Nikon D300s DSLR adds enhanced D-Movie capability and maintains the high standards set by the award-winning D300. It remains one of the best designed and fully featured DSLR to date for the Advanced Amateur category, combining professional-level performance with excellent image quality.

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  • Specifications
Nikon D300s DSLR
QuickFact™ Sheet
Nikon D300s US | CAN | UK | Imaging | Microsite
Image Sensor 12.3 million pixels, CMOS sensor, 23.6 x 15.8 mm; Nikon DX-format; Dust-reduction System
File Format NEF (RAW), TIFF (RGB), JPEG, NEF (RAW) + JPEG
Media CF Type I, SD/SDHC; Dual Card Slots
Viewfinder Pentaprism, 100% horizontal and 100% vertical frame coverage, 0.94x magnification
Depth of Field Preview Yes
Shutter Speed 1/8,000 to 30 s
Flash Sync Speed: 1/250 s
Frame Advance Rate 7 fps
With optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a: 8 fps
Exposure Modes Programmed auto with flexible program (P); Shutter-priority auto (S); Aperture-priority auto (A); Manual (M)
Exposure Metering Matrix, Centre-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation: -5 to +5 EV
Exposure Bracketing: 2 to 9 frames
ISO sensitivity ISO 200 to 3200
Active D-Lighting auto, extra high, high, normal, low or off
ADL Bracketing: 2 to 5 frames
Autofocus 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors) with AF-assist illuminator
White Balance Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, preset manual and colour temperature setting (2,500K to 10,000K)
WB Bracketing: 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3
Live View Tripod: Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame
Hand-held: Phase-detection AF with 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors)
LCD Monitor 3-in. 920,000-dot (VGA), 170-degree wide viewing angle, 100% frame coverage, with brightness adjustment
Movie 1,280 x 720/24 fps, 640 x 424/24 fps, 320 x 216/24 fps
Autofocus using Contrast-detect AF in Tripod mode
built-in (monaural) or optional external (stereo) microphone
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 147 x 114 x 74 mm
Weight Approx. 840 g
( without battery, memory card, body cap or monitor cover)
MSRP Body only: US $1,799.95 / CAD $ / UK 1499.99 / 1821.00

Related Links:
- Nikon D300s Press Release - Sample Images | more
- Sample Video
- DSLR Comparison

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Nikon D300s
Body only 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR
DX Lens

Nikon D300s DSLR
Technical Specifications
Nikon D300s US | CAN | UK | Imaging | Microsite
Type of Camera Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens Mount Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
Effective Picture Angle Approx. 1.5 x conversion factor (Nikon DX format)
Effective Pixels 12.3 million
Image Sensor CMOS sensor, 23.6 x 15.8 mm; total pixels: 13.1 million; Nikon DX-format
Dust-reduction System Image Sensor Cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (requires optional Capture NX 2 software)
Image Size (pixels) 4,288 x 2,848 [L], 3,216 x 2,136 [M], 2,144 x 1,424 [S]
File Format NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed
TIFF (RGB)
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression (Size priority); Optimal quality compression available
NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control System Can be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome; storage for up to nine custom Picture Controls
Media Type I CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA compliant); SD memory cards, SDHC compliant
Dual Card Slots 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
File System DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif 2.21 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge
Viewfinder Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.94 x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint 19.5 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Diopter Adjustment -2 to +1 m-1
Focusing Screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with AF area brackets (framing grid can be displayed)
Reflex Mirror Quick return
Depth of Field Preview When depth-of-field preview button is pressed, lens aperture is stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (P and S modes)
Lens Aperture Instant return, electronically controlled
Compatible Lenses DX NIKKOR: All functions supported
Type G or D AF NIKKOR: All functions supported (PC Micro-NIKKOR does not support some functions); IX-NIKKOR lenses not supported
Other AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except 3D colour matrix metering II; lenses for F3AF not supported
AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except 3D colour matrix metering II
Non-CPU: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; colour matrix metering and aperture value display supported if user provides lens data (AI lenses only)
Electronic rangefinder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster
Shutter Type Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed 1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb, X250
Flash Sync Speed X = 1/250 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/320 s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320 s)
Release Modes Single frame, continuous low speed, continuous high speed, quiet shutter-release, self-timer, mirror up
Frame Advance Rate With Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e: Approx. 1 to 7 fps (CL), Approx. 7 fps (CH); With optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a: Approx. 1 to 7 (CL) fps, Approx. 8 fps (CH)*
*With a battery other than Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a, the continuous shooting speed may be slower than 8 fps in continuous high-speed mode.
Self-timer Can be selected from 2, 5, 10 and 20s duration
Exposure Metering TTL exposure metering using 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
Exposure Method Matrix: 3D colour matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); colour matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); colour matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data
Centre-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in center of frame. Diameter of circle can be changed to 6, 10 or 13 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (fixed at 8 mm when non-CPU lens is used)
Spot: Meters 3-mm circle (about 2% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
Exposure range (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV
Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV
Exposure Meter Coupling Combined CPU and AI
Exposure Modes Programmed auto with flexible program (P); Shutter-priority auto (S); Aperture-priority auto (A); Manual (M)
Exposure Compensation -5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Exposure Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV
Exposure Lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO sensitivity
(Recommended Exposure Index)
ISO 200 to 3200 in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 100 equivalent) below ISO 200 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 6400 equivalent) above ISO 3200
Active D-Lighting Can be selected from auto, extra high, high, normal, low or off
ADL Bracketing 2 to 5 frames with strength levels varying according to number of frames chosen; for 2 frames, off and a chosen level are applied
Autofocus Nikon Multi-CAM 3500DX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors) and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5 to 3 m/1 ft. 8 in. to 9 ft. 10 in.)
Detection Range -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 equivalent, 20°C)
Lens Servo Autofocus: Single-servo AF (S); continuous-servo AF (C); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in single- and continuous-servo AF
Manual (M): Electronic rangefinder supported
Focus Point Can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points
AF Area Mode Single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF
Focus Lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (Single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Built-in Flash Manual pop-up with button release; Guide number of 17m  (ISO 200, 20 °C) or 12m (ISO 100, 20 °C)
Guide number (ISO 200, m): approx. 17 (manual 18)(ISO 100 equivalent, m): approx. 12 (manual 13)
Flash Control TTL: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash for DSLR using 1,005-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash, Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-400
Auto aperture: Available with Speedlight SB-900 or SB-800 and CPU lens
Non-TTL auto: Supported flash units include Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-28, SB-27 and SB-22S
Range-priority manual: Available with Speedlight SB-900 and SB-800
Flash Sync Mode Front curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync
Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Flash Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV
Flash Ready Indicator Lights when built-in flash or flash unit such as Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX or SB-50DX is fully charged; blinks after flash is fired at full output
Accessory Shoe ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts, and safety lock

Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, Speedlight SB-900, SB-800 or SU-800 as commander and SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes; Auto FP High-Speed Sync and modeling illumination supported with all CLS-compatible flash units except SB-400; Flash Colour Information Communication and FV lock supported with all CLS-compatible flash units

Sync Terminal

ISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread
White Balance Auto (TTL white-balance with main image sensor and 1,005-pixel RGB sensor), Incandescent, Fluorescent (7 options), Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, preset manual (able to store up to 5 values) and colour temperature setting (2,500K to 10,000K); fine-tuning available for all options
White Balance Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3
Live View Modes Tripod, Hand-held
Live View Autofocus Tripod: Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame
Hand-held: Phase-detection AF with 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors)
LCD Monitor 3-in., approx. 920,000-dot (VGA), 170-degree wide viewing angle, 100% frame coverage, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Movie Frame Size (pixels) 1,280 x 720/24 fps, 640 x 424/24 fps, 320 x 216/24 fps
Movie File Format AVI
Movie Compression Format Motion-JPEG
Movie Autofocus Contrast-detect AF on a desired point within a frame is possible (Tripod mode)
Movie Audio Sound can be recorded via built-in (monaural) or optional external (stereo) microphone; sensitivity can be adjusted
Movie Maximum Length 5 min (1,280 x 720 pixels), 20 min (640 x 424, 320 x 216 pixels)
Playback Function Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9 or 72 images) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, slide show, histogram display, highlights, auto image rotation, and image comment (up to 36 characters)
USB Hi-Speed USB
Video Output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
HDMI Output HDMI Mini connector (Type C); camera monitor turns off when HDMI cable is connected
Audio Input Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter)
10-Pin Remote Terminal Can be used to connect optional remote control, GPS Unit GP-1 or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 (requires optional GPS Cable MC-35 and cable with D-sub 9-pin connector)
Supported Languages Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Battery One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e
Battery Pack Optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 with one Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, EN-EL4a/EN-EL4 or eight R6/AA-size alkaline, Ni-MH, lithium or nickel-manganese batteries; Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EN-EL4 and R6/AA-size batteries available separately; Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 (available separately) required when using Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EN-EL4
AC Adapter AC Adapter EH-5a/EH-5 (available separately)
Tripod Socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Custom Settings 48 settings available
Operating Environment Temperature: -40°C
Humidity: Less than 85% (no condensation)

Supplied Accessories
(may differ by country or area)

Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-23, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-DC4, LCD Monitor Cover BM-8, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, Software Suite CD-ROM
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 147 x 114 x 74 mm
Weight Approx. 840 g without battery, memory card, body cap or monitor cover

Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

 

 

 

 



 

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