Nikon D300s Review

According provided by Nikon D300s camera (body) huge thanks to Alexey Yarysh.

Nikon D300s Review

Nikon D300s Review

On August 23, 2007, Nikon introduced a professional (that is how the company positioned it) cropped camera Nikon D300. At that time the camera was the dream of many photographers.

For its excellent performance and reliability, the camera was even called 'little D3' and other flattering epithets. IN Nikon D300 for the first time, among all Nikon cropped cameras, they started using RAW files with 14-bit color depth, appeared a large 3-inch display, automatic correction HA and new focusing system - Multi-CAM 3500DX... Two years later, on June 30, 2009, an updated model was presented - Nikon D300S. Models D300 and the D300S were very similar, so as not to repeat the review Nikon D300I will simply describe their differences:


Nikon D300S increased burst speed without using a battery pack. D300S can shoot at speed 7 fps, D300 could only shoot at 6 fps. Nikon D300s can accelerate and shoot at the fastest possible speed 8 fpsbut only when using JPEG format or 12-bit color depth in RAW format and only using the optional battery pack MB-D10 or network adapter EH-5a / EH-5. To make the camera shoot at a speed of 8 fps, one MB-D10 not enough. You need to use a special holder MS-D10 with 8 AA cells (batteries or rechargeable batteries). The MS-D10 holder is supplied with MB-D10. Also, 8 fps can be achieved using a more capacious battery. EN-EL4 (from cameras Nikon D2h, D2hs, D2x, D2xs) Or EN-EL4a (from cameras Nikon D3s, D3, D3x), but this requires an additional BL-3 cover (which is not included with MB-D10). In addition, if you purchase a battery EN-EL4 or EN-EL4a, you will have to additionally buy and charge Nikon MH-21 / Nikon MH-22 for it. If in MB-D10 use a regular standard battery EN-EL3e, then the burst speed will not change. Battery pack MB-D10 equally suitable for D300, D300S and D700... Personally, I don't like the fact that for these cameras you have to 'dance with a tambourine' to achieve the coveted 8 fps.


Added function 'Virtual horizon'when sighting via Live View. The same function was available for Nikon D3but was not copied to Nikon D300.

Virtual horizon

Virtual horizon


Added ability to use Active D-lighting in 'Auto' and 'Extra High' mode.

Added two additional modes in ADL

Added two additional modes in ADL


Function appeared bracketing active D-Lightining (function performs bracketing with change in intensity ADL).

Automatic d-lighting

Function bracketing D-lighting


Added by movie function... True, the D300S only shoots with the maximum quality up to HD 1280X720 at 24 fps and the maximum video length is only 5 minutes. Also, the modes 640X424 and 320X216 are available at the same frame rate, while the shooting duration is increased to 20 minutes. Unlike predecessor models - Nikon D90 and D5000, the D300S has the ability to shoot movies using contrast focus. The D300S is the first Nikon CZK to have auto focus when shooting video (to focus, select Live View 'Tripod' mode and press the AF-ON button when recording video). Video recording is considered to be one of the main differences between the D300 and D300S. Also in the D300S you can find an audio input for using a stereo microphone, and speaker to output sound when watching a video. And in the menu there was a function for a very simple video editing.

Now you can shoot a video :)

Now you can shoot a video :)


At D300S removed the lock for opening the memory card compartment, which was in the D300. The memory card cover now opens just like on D700. Some buttons have changed. Appeared on the D300s 'LV' button To quickly switch to Live View mode, on the D300, this mode was selected on the control tower. Comfortable added 'Info' button, same as on D700, and with it a new interactive display (can display data on a black or white background, depending on the illumination). And most importantly, the central joystick button was made separate. On the D300, it was sometimes inconvenient to press the center button of the joystick. On the D300s, the center button is just as easy to use as on D700 и D90.

Differences in controls Nikon D300, D300s

Differences in controls Nikon D300, D300s.


Appeared in a new camera quiet shooting mode 'Q' ('Quiet' - 'Quiet'), which is selected by the wheel on the control tower. In turn, the 'LV' mode disappeared from there, which is now activated by the 'LV' button near the joystick.

Q mode

Q mode


D300S now has the ability to use immediately 2 memory cards 2 different types of SD (SDHC) and CF. The D300 worked with only one type CF memory card. Of course, various capabilities for writing data to memory cards have been added.

  • It is possible to record pictures first on one card, and when it is filled - on another.
  • You can duplicate material onto two cards at once, which is sometimes an indispensable function for saving images in the event of failure of one of the cards.
  • It is possible to write RAW and JPEG files to different cards separately.
  • You can specify a card on which video files will be recorded.

Only one of the specified working methods is selected.

Slots for memory cards on the Nikon D300S

Slots for memory cards on the Nikon D300S


Added by face detection function on the footage, with the ability to instantly increase this part of the picture.

Face Detection Function

The function of determining faces. The picture is taken on the official website of Nikon.


The image quality has improved slightly, but such a dramatic change as when switching from Nikon D3 on Nikon D3s Did not happen. You can see the synthetic comparison here.

You can find information that cameras use a different matrix: IMX021 at D300 and IMX038 D300s (as well as D90 and D5000). But information varies from source to source. Based on the data from the instructions for cameras, we can conclude that the Nikon D300s has the same sensor as the Nikon D300 and differs from the sensors installed in Nikon D90 and Nikon D5000 (easy to determine by the total pixels / subpixels) But all the majority of sources agree that D300s are used IMX038.


The picture in the Live View mode on the Nikon D300 slowed down noticeably (a similar problem also exists Nikon D700) On D300s in Live View, the picture is displayed normally.


Nikon D300S uses HDMI Type 'C', D300 uses Type 'A'.

Added microphone input, as well as different HDMI ports

Added microphone input, as well as different HDMI ports


The menu is a little different, in addition, Nikon D300s can edit the shot material, including RAW files.

RAW File Editor

RAW File Editor


It is very strange that the D300S not cured of a serious illness, which was available in the D300. Both cameras become very slow when shooting with 14-bit color depth, while the maximum burst speed is a measly 2.5 fps. For instance, Nikon D3 from the same era, chewed 14-bit RAW at 9 fps without any problems. Yes and D700, which was released between the D300 and D300S, coped with this task without problems at a speed of 8 fps. By the way, a disease with brakes from processing 14-bit RAW files was transmitted Nikon D7100 (cannot accelerate to 7 fps, works at 6 fps) and Nikon D5300 (It cannot accelerate to 5 fps, it works at 4 fps).

Here link to the archive with the originals - 1.07 GB, 44 .NEF photos (RAW) Shot on Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKII),

My experience

For me, the only important innovations in the D300S are: the ability to work with 2 memory cards, a slight improvement in image quality and an adequate central joystick button. It may seem strange, but just one single button makes the D300S much more convenient to use. On the D300 and D200 I was constantly nervous about this stupid button that you press while pushing the entire joystick into the camera body, but as a result, I can’t push it (instead, one of the joystick directions is pressed).

Nikon D300S is still the best crop reportage camera. No offense, but all of these Nikon D7100 и D7200 They are located in the lower class, do not accelerate to 8 frames per second, have a meager buffer, do not have such a robust housing and professional controls like the Nikon D300S.

Attention quote! This text once came to my mail. Spelling and punctuation of the original are preserved.

“Good afternoon, Arkady. I own the BEST Nikon camera ever. And you still haven't reviewed this camera. In general, I think that you only needed to review her and EVERYTHING. The rest of Nikon's cameras aren't even worthy of public attention. There is only ONE best camera, the Nikon D300s the best camera for real alpha males! 7fps, best white balance, 2 CF + SD slots, super ergonomics, shooting video clips 720p, really working ISO3200, 51 AF points scattered from edge to edge of the frame (and not shot down in the center like D700, D600, D610, D7000) 100% viewfinder coverage (versus 97% for the Nikon D700) and by the way it is VERY different for the better from the D300, these are two different cameras, heaven and earth. It is even better than the full-frame Nikon D700 which, by the way, is DISPATCH white balance, OH I put it wrong, Nikon D700 has Yellow Balance instead of White))) In general, finally make a review of the BEST Nikon camera. I wish you creative success. And a good day."

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

D300S officially discontinued.

'B. at.-shnuyu'. Nikon D300S sells one and a half to two times more expensive than Nikon D300. Personally, I think that when choosing between the D300 and D300S, a photographer should think 10 times whether he should pay extra for video shooting and a few more small improvements.

Results

Nikon D300s - one of the best Nikon DX camerasever released. Many years later, at the beginning of 2016, Nikon D300s received a full-fledged continuation - Nikon D500.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 572, on the topic: Review of Nikon D300s

  • Artem

    Hello, I wanted to buy a camera, the oldest class that I used to finally try to roll into commerce, and in the battle d300s vs d7000 vs d7100 there are so many opinions that I want to give up everything and buy 7d

    someone writes that 7000, in which the shutter of 80k dies, is a frequent occurrence, plus aa filter, soap soap, 7100 for the same price or with a mileage of 100-200, and then you wonder if it's worth it

    d300s - little men in their ads already quote statements from here that 7000 and 7100 are for noobs, and the only thing that is beyond doubt is terrible reliability, and, again, they write that autofocus is many times steeper

    but 12MP and a ceiling of 800 iso (1600, as these people write, norms, if you get tired), while the Nubian 7k can handle something at 3200

    and what decision to make in this heap of information?

    • Andrei

      He himself wrote about 7D.

      • Artem

        no, I'm not so desperate yet, the choice is only from three nikons

    • Victor

      Between 300s and 7100 there is a maximum stop difference.

      That is, where d300 folds to 800, 7100 will not survive even 1600.

      Actually, both cameras are good, I would take the one that has the best preservation.

    • Oleg

      I once sold D7100 and bought D300s and never regretted it.
      I didn’t sell it with the intention of buying a three hundred, but in connection with financial difficulties. Then it got better, again I didn't want to take 7100.
      I ended up shooting in 300s and having fun.

  • Alexey

    the three hundred has excellent AF in any conditions. plus coverage of almost the entire frame with AF points, which I don't remember with any other camera, and of an armored structure.

    • Victor

      In terms of coverage with AF points, the d300 and d7100 are absolutely identical, but in the 7100 there is an improved AF module, but there is enough "armored vehicle" even in the 7100, it still does not hammer nails.

  • Konstantin

    Hello! Does your camera have a live view face-to-face mode?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      no, there is no such regime here. The face is detected only on the images already taken

  • Andrei

    Good afternoon. Tell me what to change d300s for? Mostly studio shooting and street people, faces.

    • Ivan

      Any camera allows you to capture people in the studio and outdoors, including the D300s.

    • Alex

      You need to dance from those characteristics that do not suit the d300s. There are a lot of options, and, as already said, they are all suitable for the studio and the street.

    • Andrei

      Not satisfied with the focus if a lot of people blurred around the edges of the face.
      Also, you can't see where the focus hits, it was more convenient with dots. You can see from the video finder where the focus is focused.

      • Andrei

        I like the picture.

      • Alex

        If the faces are sharp in the center and blurred along the edge, this is not a question for the camera, but for the lens. You need to either buy with good sharpness all over the floor, or close the aperture more tightly. It is not clear what you mean about the points, the d300s have them, one with point focusing and a bunch of ones with multi-zone focusing (or as it is correctly called). In general, the autofocus of this camera is excellent. If you need newfangled face detection and eye focus, then you need to look at modern mirrorless cameras.

        • Andrei

          Nikon 50mm f / 1.8G lens.

  • Alexander

    Hello.
    Please tell me which direction to move to get faster and more accurate autofocus in sports shooting:
    Shooting with d300s + Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKIII)
    Change the camera to D780 or invest in a 70-200 (MKVI, VRII) or 70-200 (MKVII, E)

    • Ivan

      Z9.

      • Alexander

        I am an amateur, it will probably still be too much. And change the whole optics ...

    • Arkady Shapoval

      VRII, E just right

      • Alexander

        Thanks. I think it will be possible to get a used VRII. As far as I understood from your review, it is very reliable, without motor diseases and other things. Does it make sense to do additional checks, besides the standard ones (to the front, back focus, dust) when buying from hand?

        • Alex

          I would also check focusing at different distances and different focal lengths. Somehow I came across an 18-105, which on a FR up to 25mm could focus only up to 3m, and then did not turn the motor a little. At focal lengths larger than 25mm, I focused at all distances. Of course, the 80-200 has a completely different design, and, perhaps, this cannot be, in principle, but it is better to beat it.

          • Victor

            .

            Well, on a curved focal plane does not hurt, you never know.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Check everything you can

  • st_tsourkan

    Arkady, please tell me, is there any difference in color (in RAW) between the D300 and D300s? I read more than once that the color on the D300 is supposedly a little nicer and warmer than on the D300s (IMX021 vs. IMX038).

    In the DPReview reviews, the D300 had a slightly larger dynamic range than the D300s - by about half a stop: 9,2 vs. eB for D8,6). It is clear that the measurement methods are different. But the opposite divergence of results is surprising.

    In general, what's with the color? There are D300s, I'm thinking of taking the D300 to play around, for comparison.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      there is a difference, but it is small. I don't see the point in playing. The sensor is primarily modified for video shooting

    • Alex

      To play around, take better d200, its color is really different.

  • Dmitriy

    Hello everyone!) Here I read the comments, the article, a double feeling. And it often happens that there are ambivalent feelings from the articles of Arkady. Of course, no offense to him, but I would like more certainty on his part. For example, he says more than once in the reviews of different cameras that they should not chase the speed of shooting, but in this article he says that 8 fps is not enough for a pro camera. And if you remember that many pro cameras in the early 200s had a shooting speed of no more than 5 fps in a ravine, then it’s not at all clear what the author had in mind. Also B 4 has, if I'm not mistaken, a shooting speed of 10-11 frames per second, a buffer of 60 frames in equal. Then, following this logic, the D300s or D 500 is not a camera pro. Or a pro, they say it's about only the D1-6 series. And the rest are advanced amateur. The same question about the governing bodies. Yes, their convenience is one of the moments of the pros of the camera, but not the key one. For example, some amateur mirrorless cameras have external controls that are more advanced than Nikon D 300. And what, now they are only for pros? No) In general, Nikon very much abuses the marketing system almost at the level of Canon and cuts or does not develop a universal model, although at a price, those. the filling could already make such a model or models, promoting those progress and increasing its turnover around the world at times. But the situation is the opposite. But at the same time, I think that you should not so sharply border the pros and non-pros of the camera. For example, a lot still depends on the hands of the photographer: many people still shoot commercial photo sessions on Nikon 500 series and not different cats, even weddings are shot on Nikon 700 series. I’ll keep silent about how Canons are abused in commerce)) Of course, there are sometimes very annoying limitations in amateur DSLRs, and we need to talk about how they differ. For example, the 5100 is an advanced amateur and the same kinds of cameras, why advanced, because there are not many more flexible control settings, but they are there, there is a bracketing system, an electronic rangefinder, there is autofocus in the video, advanced video settings in the latest models, etc. And at the same time, the 3000 and 5000 series do not particularly differ fundamentally in terms of functionality, while the 500th series is more convenient to shoot in the studio and video, but are positioned differently, that the 1st model “pointed and shot”, and in the 2nd “pointed, shot, processed, thought , twisted the settings and took it off”) It seems that the d3000 will soon leave and merge with the 500, but marketing will not allow it.

    And in essence, another thing: a photographer cannot be considered a pro if the camera in his hands is ideally sophisticated and super technical, and vice versa. But, depending on how and under what conditions the camera is used and for what. So the main thing is that the hands, first of all, be straight and the skills, the worldview of the photographer.

    It was funny that here people write at the beginning that, they say, I don’t know, they got confused, switch to d300 s or Nikon 7100 or immediately to 7D.)) None of these cameras will solve your requests if you set yourself the bar to jump above your head or want to buy a camera for show-off.
    By the way, speaking of comments, a crop camera is not a pro camera. Nonsense, the same as saying that Pentaxes have few full-frame cameras and that they are the “wrong” functional pros, and if Pentax does not have reportage cameras, then they cannot be considered pro cameras. Also nonsense launched by Pentax competitors. Or vice versa, a stereotype, they say, why do all these system cameras and SLRs when there are APS-C Olympus?)))

    The fifth point is torn and always torn when trolling Nikon 700 series lovers, when their devices are compared with 300s or d 500, then even seemingly intelligent photographers turned into a kind of Kenonists with cameras of the 60s series with foam at the mouth proving that their cameras are the best. By the way, at the same time, I saw studio shots of excellent quality from the Canon 200 D, and my “old man” Nikon d 700 recently showed his time and a decent video from the Canon 7000 d, and the excellent work of the buffer in dynamic shooting of animals, without much freezing of the buffer in equal to 12 bits. As a result, the professionalism of advanced cameras, and especially amateur ones, depends on the professional tasks that it must perform. Therefore, also, if, for example, you use the heaped reportage camera itself for underwater shooting, for everyday non-commercial shooting, shooting while traveling, then it will seem cumbersome and even oversaturated with settings that can distract from simple shooting. Moreover, in such cameras, some functions for simple shooting are removed.

    It is also amusing in many articles and comments in general that prof. there are no “Rotating rings for selecting shooting modes”, set shooting modes, but there are only answering buttons
    for all shooting settings. Then, based on this logic, the same D 300 is amateur, since it has preset shooting modes, even full auto mode, moreover, it’s all there even on the D500, I’m already silent about higher-class Canons. By the way, I haven’t seen a single mirror, and even more so a mirrorless one, because in principle there was some kind of lack of set unchanged shooting modes, and the vast majority of even professional cameras used to have a shooting mode selection ring.

    So the camera pro determines the photographer's ability to use it like a pro and whether this camera will continue the "hands and skills" of the photographer.

    • B. R. P.

      How much text. Arkady has enough certainty. You took some sentences out of context. The site is primarily for amateurs. The pros themselves know what they need and it is unlikely that Arkady will tell them something new. You should not compare, for example, the shooting speed of film and digital cameras. And if for some reason the pros are satisfied with the D3100, why not. If a pro needs high speed shooting, he will solve this issue. A good photographer, amateur or professional, will capture what he needs with any camera. For some, the criterion of a pro is whether he earns with his craft or not, for others it is a skill. I think balance is important here.

      • Paskuda

        Yes, yes, right! For this I love this site, that it is for beginners and amateurs the very thing. Everything is written in simple language, with explanations and links. For example, here in the reviews I figured out the gradations of models and more accurately figured out what exposure and white balance bracketing is. And sometimes I like to hang out in the comments. 😉

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Here distinct gradation

  • Vadim

    Hello Arkady, I want to ask you. Is it true that the Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro has a better dynamic range than the Nikon D300s?

    • Viktre

      What makes you doubt?)

      • Vadim

        It's just that 14 bit equals are used here and there. What then achieves a greater dynamic range?

        • Dmitry Kostin

          Different structure of matrices.
          Fuji has a tricky matrix.
          Look here at Arkady's article on the Fuji S5Pro, it is described in some detail.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      yes, palpable

      • Vadim

        Does this only work for JPEG format or is there a difference in RAW too ???

        • Arkady Shapoval

          especially for RAW

          • Vadim

            Thanks Arkady, a year ago I bought a nikon D700 almost like new, thanks in many ways to your blog. I read the article carefully, looked at examples of pictures. Now I decided to buy a good crop. And I decide what to choose Nikon D300s or Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro. I'm torn to pieces right now. Our Fujik costs a little more than a three hundred.

            • B. R. P.

              Looking for what. Heel for color, 300 for reporting.

              • Vadim

                Art photo, street, nature, object, portraits.

  • B. R. P.

    Neg the "reply" button. For Vadim: Dirty definitely.

    • Vadim

      Thank you!

      • Dmitry Kostin

        My advice as an owner is to read very thoughtfully the article here on Radozhiv about this camera (about Pryatka).

        • Vadim

          I read it very thoughtfully and all the shortcomings of this camera are more or less known to me. But that wasn't what stopped me. I develop Rava C1, and it is not quite suitable for ghee. Therefore, for some time now I have also installed Lightroom. But all the flaws are pulled by only one color. Maybe it just seems to me, but I looked at a lot of examples and I have a feeling that the color is more plastic than that of Nikon's DSLRs. That is, in shades and the most subtle nuances, it is more harmonious in transitions and so on. Recently I watched a selection of photos from the UPC from a watering can. Oh, everyone sang such praises to the camera for 5 pieces of green. But she didn’t impress me, since the contrast in 80% percent was bullied, mom don’t worry, everything is too much. I still love the old ones, which were once made with high quality. Maybe, of course, I'm too biased, but for some reason the cameras of the latest generation do not inspire me very much.

          • B. R. P.

            Cameras of the latest generations are all from my aunt, no matter the nameplate. That's not inspiring.

            • Vadim

              And what is the lack of Aunt Sonya?

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2014/06/nikon-d300s-last-mohican/

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