Excerpt: update: 3/12/08 typo fixes, battery info update: 3/25/08 removed Cleon recommendation 4/3/08: BKT button comment 10/12/12: update Nikon D300 Review Is it really better than a D2x at one-third the cost? Add a comment or send Thom feedback on this article. Update: The D300 got a mid-life refresh with the D300s. That refresh didn't change much: it added video capabilities and a second card slot, but not much of anything else.
Pros: Program exposure mode: maximum internal flash range = 2' to 9'10", Aperture priority exposure mode: maximum internal flash range = 3'3" to 27'11", Wide isn't wide . If you do scenic work, as I do, you need DX lenses to restore your wide angle due to the 1.5x angle of view change. We've now got enough pixels that the flaws of wide angle lenses are more apparent. The Nikkor 12-24mm is a decent mate with the D300, as are the Sigma 10-20mm and the Nikkor 14-24mm., Noise a...
Cons: Program exposure mode: maximum internal flash range = 2' to 9'10", Aperture priority exposure mode: maximum internal flash range = 3'3" to 27'11", Faster than a D2x. You've got to be kidding me: faster autofocus, faster frame rates, faster card writes than a body that sold for three times the price. That's progress., Flexible and Controllable . New controls, more options, and improved user control all around. Some of the stuff is modest (like the MyMenu tab), but it s...
Conclusion: While the lack of any increase in pixel count may disappoint some, using this as a basis to dismiss the D300s would be unfair, as quality shouldn't be based on the pixel count alone. The Nikon D300s is a well-rounded camera and more than capable of professional-quality results. In the same way the D300 has become a favourite with enthusiasts and semi-pros, the same should be true of the D300s.
Summary: The impressive
is an update of the well-regarded D300 DX format digital SLR body, and is a recommended upgrade for existing Nikon users, or as a new body for photographers looking for a powerful and versatile camera.
Conclusion: The 12.3-megapixel Nikon D300s is a solid D-SLR and a nice speed upgrade if you already own Nikon lenses. But for the same price, Canon offers larger 18-megapixel images and more comprehensive HD-video-capture options with its EOS 7D.
Pros: Top-notch image quality. Fast, 7-frames-per-second image capture. Extremely accurate 51-point autofocus system. HD video capture.
Cons: Low-ISO images are softer than those from competing cameras. Limited HD video recording options.
We can't see any reason to recommend the D300s based on its video performance or features.
9 March 2010
Excerpt: Like Rip Van Winkle, Nikon arose from a 2 1/2 year slumber, took a look at Canon and Sony, and tacked some catchy features from the D90 onto the aging D300. As you might have inferred from its model name, the $1700 Nikon D300S is a relaunch of the 3-year-old D300, with a few modern upgrades.
Conclusion: 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, one now capable of video as well.
Pros: Rugged construction; mag-alloy body and full environmental sealing, Low noise levels and excellent sharpness/detail up to ISO 800, very good images at ISO 1,600, Automatic correction for chromatic aberration works very well, improves image quality with almost any lens, Auto Advanced D-Lighting is helpful for avoiding underexposed images when subject is backlit; opens shadows under contrasty lighting somewhat, Excellent hue accuracy, Contrast & saturation adjustments w...
Cons: JPEGs at default settings are slightly soft-looking, 14-bit RAW mode shows continuous shooting from 7 fps to 2.7 fps, Auto white balance has trouble with household incandescent lighting (not unusual, unfortunately), Default noise processing takes a greater toll at ISO 1,600+ (still very competitive, but a bigger drop in detail between ISO 800 and 1,600 than with lower steps), Somewhat slow AF for a camera at this level, especially in 51-point auto-area mode, Activatin...
Summary: The moment when amateurs sensibly put their cameras away and retire for a cuppa, is the exact moment pro photographers leap into action. The D300S is smart, sharp and tough enough for any situation – except facing your bank manager.
Summary: A relatively minor upgrade to one of the defining cameras of the semi-pro sector adds a useful HD video mode and a wealth of minor improvements that improve the already excellent handling. Although the D300S has stronger competition than its predecessor, it still manages to impress - as do the images it produces.
Pros: Highly competitive image quality at all ISO settings, Excellent high ISO performance with low noise and good levels of detail, Highly configurable Auto ISO function (can set maximum ISO and minimum shutter speed), 7 frames per second continuous shooting speed (8 with battery grip), Makes good use of its dual media card slots, Sophisticated AF system with effective subject tracking, Excellent build quality with magnesium body and environmental sealing, Good ergonomics,...
Cons: Unreliable white balance under artificial lighting, Slight tendency to overexpose in contrasty conditions, Rolling shutter effect when shooting video, Occasional 'grain' in blue skies, even at base ISO, Contrast detection AF is slow (as it is on all DSLRs), Internal microphone readily records lens noise, No liveview histogram
Conclusion: When the D300 was introduced back in 2007 (simultaneously with the D3) for $1800, it was a huge step forward from the D2X/D2XS, which was until that point Nikon’s top-of-the-line DSLR at close to $5000. As a result, the D2X’s value in the used market has sunk like a rock. However, since the D300 was so ahead of its time then, it is still very good now in 2009.
Excerpt: When Nikon's D300 hit stores about two years ago, it wowed everyone with its high-resolution LCD, 14-bit RAW capture, and sophisticated AF and metering systems that combined to precisely track moving subjects. But now many DSLRs have big LCDs, 14-bit RAW, and video capture, too-witness the new Canon EOS 7D previewed on page 71.