Nikon D300s

Nikon D300s


I’d like to start this press release with a spot of controversy!
Following the release yesterday of the new Nikon D300s dSLR camera and a couple of lenses (you can download Nikon’s podcast on the releases here) I was chatting on twitter last night to a few mates and suddenly I came out with this gem “If Nikon were to call me up today and offer me two (Hey, I use two Canons at the same time!)  of the brand new Nikon D300s dSLR cameras and one of their new AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II I’d put my Canon’s down and march on with the new babies”… Well, not exactly, but that’s basically what I said (In 140 characters or less)

Nikon D300s

Nikon D300s

I have to say, the new Nikon D300s is a very nice looking camera, with its “new” auto focus whilst shooting HD (720p) video, a faster 7 frame-per-second continuous shooting speed and a 51 point autofocus system all pushing back to the 12.3Megapixel CMOS sensor. Feature packed this camera is, and, I guess we will see given time if it is that match for the Canon 5D Mk2 (My current baby) This Nikon D300s is targetting serious amateurs and professionals that want to take a bit of video from time to time, a wedding photographer perhaps, or… well, anyone! I remember when I first heard about the HD video on the “new breed” digital SLR camera’s and thought to myself “I’ll never use that” well, I have and I have to say it is stunning… I’m sure the quality from the Nikon will be up to par.

Mr. Nikon with the 70-200 Lens

Mr. Nikon with the 70-200 Lens

The text below here is the press release from Nikon USA, It is jam packed full of technical info and numbers for you to drool over! As I said, Nikon, If you’d like to get in touch and swap out my Canon gear for a pair of your new shooters – you know how to find me!

PRESS RELEASENikon D300s Images


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.

Nikon D300s w' Battery Grip

Nikon D300s w' Battery Grip

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.** For more information, please visit

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Sime (aka #gtvone) is the customer support manager for dPS, and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He's a Melbourne based photographer, and please feel free to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Some Older Comments

  • Portrait Poses December 24, 2011 10:16 pm

    In our studio we use Nikon kit exclusively! Always have done. We use D300's as a backup cameras and although they don't see that much use (we have D3's and a D3X as our primary cameras), I can't speak highly enough of their performance when called upon. The D300S can only be an improvement on what is already an extremely capable camera! Can't wait for our lease agreement to be renewed next year when we should get D3S's and D300S's as replacements!

  • chai October 23, 2011 01:26 am

    Nikon D300 is best Camera. I have own. I think D300 can give me nice picture.

  • N September 1, 2010 08:21 pm

    I just bought my D300s sometime in July and I absolutely love it. Occasionally I have second thoughts on the other camera I was about to buy, the Canon 7D.
    For me, I thought the D300s gave me much better pictures than the D70s and the D80 i've used in the past.
    I was just wondering if I made the right decision of going with the D300s over the 7D.

  • msh June 16, 2010 04:03 pm

    hi, i want to ask why is my iso always in maximum setting? even my auto iso is on...
    even im shooting in bright light condition, even my flash attach i always get maximum iso, so all my picture taken have high noice..hope someone can help me thank you

  • seoulman September 17, 2009 08:46 pm

    Canon EOS 7D vs Nikon D300s! Anyone?

  • Joseph William Photography August 28, 2009 03:25 am

    I currently own a D90 and it is a great camera! The new D300s has the D90's chip in it which shows the image quality of the D90. It is great.

    The upside of the new D300s is the 51-point autofocus which is better than the 11-point on the D90. Now you may never need all 51-points, but maybe you do. The D300s also has video with autofocusing which the D90 does not autofocus when shooting video.

    I spoke to the Nikon Service Center Manager in LA and he said the D300s is AMAZING and has even better image quality than the D3 line... He said the ISO quality is better thus less noise when shooting in low light conditions. He was very high on the new D300s.

    I have pre-ordered my D300s and can't wait for it to get here! Will keep the D90 as a backup camera.

  • Arthur Raynolds August 19, 2009 02:58 am

    Since the D300's came out I've been wanting to upgrade from my D200. But now with the D300s, that opens a whole new theater of operation for Nikon still photographers-video. Ya I know camcorders are getting smaller and lighters and now DSR's from other brands are offering video capabilities, but think about it, a pro-quality NIKON DSLR combined in one package, like WOW!!! Oh yes, I'm a drooling now.


  • littlepolaris August 15, 2009 02:26 am

    =) Good enough. Thanks Sime.

  • Sime August 14, 2009 08:23 pm

    hey there, littlepolaris ...I'd say if you can drive the 90, you can drive the 300 - I'd say go for what you can afford / what feels good when you hold it / what suits you technically...BUT...make sure you have room in your budget for a nice enough lens...

    Hope this helps?


  • littlepolaris August 14, 2009 07:24 pm

    hey Sime, I'm thinking to get a new camera. Currently I'm considering Nikon D300s but my friend told me it might be too complicated for me to use. He recommend me D90. So which should I get?

  • Bali Photographer August 14, 2009 10:45 am

    one thing for sure, i don't like camera that also for capturing video. now i use nikon D300 the old one and work very well for me.

  • Mike August 11, 2009 04:29 am

    Who cares about which camera you have. I have SOOO many friends who are caught up in the hype! "Nikon or Canon? Nikon has better this. Canon has better that. He said this, She said that." To be perfrectly honest, 80% of my buddies who go back and forth bickering about gear spend little time honing their creative skills. All they care about are noise levels at high ISO. Sure your pictures may have less noise, but the shot is uninteresting. It lacks a story, or a statement. Remember, pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words.

    Point is. Spend LESS time worrying if you have the right gear or not and spend MORE time mastering the ART of photography.

  • John Parisi August 10, 2009 11:49 pm

    As an amateur, how does this compare to the D90? What are the differences?

  • Michael August 7, 2009 03:37 am

    I have a D300 for about the last 6 months paired with Nikkor 200-400 AF lens. We shoot surf photos with this one all the time and its working out great. (would prefer an af-s lens but we got a really good deal on this one).

    Also, I did take its durability into serious consideration and it sounded like a very solid cam on that level.. since its on the beach everyday .. close to the equator, and extremely high humidity.. it has performed well for me in the field.

  • Sime August 4, 2009 02:43 am

    You're a funny bunch....

    - No, 1080p and 720p are not the same at the end of the day... (But hands up who would know the difference if I played them a set of videos on anything less than a big HD screen?)

    - I spent the weekend perched on some press tables and everyone except me was Nikon... I felt special AND I had white lenses which made the artists look at me (And I was wearing a nice light blue t-shirt in the pit at a metal gig)

    - I didn't compare the two, A: I'd say there is no comparison and B: there's not been a review model cross my desk (Thus no compare)

    I just said that if Nikon want to swap me two of them for my 5DMk2 I'd listen with open ears... (two for one, that's a good swap, right?)

    I do shoot music, lots of it... The Canon 5DMk2 is great in low light, as is the 70-200f2.8IS - I shot the whole weekend just gone with the 100-400f4.5-5.7 and the 5DMk2 strolled gracefully amongst the invariably interestingly lit stages.. no problem check it out on if you like...

    *knowing that Nikon would never offer to swap out my Canon made it much easier to speculate on such a matter... ;-)

  • Peter August 1, 2009 10:24 pm

    I have to echo marcus' words. those cameras are in two different 'classes' if you will. FX and DX are two very different sensors... and the d300s video technically is inferior to the Cannon's MII.

    i own a nikon D90(720p), and the D300... the video is good, but 1080p is of higher quality...

  • Bill August 1, 2009 08:06 pm

    "I think people want to compare dSLRs with video, and it’s throwing people off because there aren’t any direct competitors that both it."
    I know it's off most people's radar, but the Pentax K-7 seems directly comparable

  • marcus August 1, 2009 03:53 am

    I'm finding it interesting that so many people are comparing the D300s with the 5DMkII. Comparing the two is apples and oranges. The D300s is still a crop sensor camera, so I don't think Nikon intended it to be a direct competitor to the 5DmkII. I think people want to compare dSLRs with video, and it's throwing people off because there aren't any direct competitors that both it.

    Sime, since you shoot so many concerts, Nikon would make a lot of sense, with it's low light focusing and high ISO image quality.

  • Jeff August 1, 2009 02:36 am

    I'll totally take one of these Nikons too! Sign me up. *grin*

    I'll even review it. From an Amateurs point of view, of course. Nikon needs more reviews by amateurs, I'm sure of it. Email me Nikon, and we'll work something out. ;) You can also twitter me, @suprspi

    Talk to you soon. (Hey Sime - care to publish my amateurs review once Nikon sends me one of these? Cause, um, with all my powers of persuasion, y'know they're gonna right?)

  • Trevor August 1, 2009 02:31 am

    As a Nikon user I'd like to believe you when you say the Nikon's video will be up to par with the Canon's. Sadly that may not be true, given what I've seen out of the 5DMk2. But if you find that it is, I'd very much like to hear it.

  • Heather August 1, 2009 02:31 am

    If you're that keen to swap to Nikon from Canon, just do it. =o) If you want to sell your 5D MkII to me, I'll take it off your hands in a heartbeat.

    I'm just unclear as to why you'd be happy to swap a professional 21MP DSLR for one with about 12MP. (I know, the old megapixel myth and all that, but hey...) Is it down to the glass? Better autofocus? Support for two types of media card?

    The HD video on the Nikon is 720p, where the Canon has 1080p. The Canon is full frame, while the Nikon is not. I don't get your comment, sorry. =o(