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 и D5000, the D300S now has the ability to shoot video using contrast focusing. The D300S is the first Nikon DSLR to have automatic focusing at all when shooting video (to focus, select the Live View 'Tripod' mode and press the AF-ON button when recording a video). It is believed that video shooting is 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 и D5000) But information changes from source to source. Based on the data from the camera manual, it can be concluded that the Nikon D300s has the same sensor as the Nikon D300 and differs from the sensors installed in Nikon D90 и Nikon D5000 (easy to determine by 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. For the selection of a variety of photographic equipment, I recommend E-Catalog, Socket и 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.


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 | VK | Instagram | Twitter.

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Comments: 531, 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

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