Nikon D300s review

The latest 12 megapixel DSLR snapper from Nikon

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  • Well-made
  • Excellent images
  • Easy to control


  • Hamstrung video mode
  • Costly

The Nikon D300s is the latest 12 megapixel snapper in Nikon's DSLR range.

The top end of the amateur DSLR market has never been so tempting. For those willing to forgo the luxury of a full-frame body such as the Nikon D700, Canon 5D MK II or Sony Alpha A900, you'll save more than £500 if you opt for a cropped-frame monster such as the Nikon D300S.

For instance, our D300S came with a 16-85mm lens and will cost £1,500. For a full-frame camera from Nikon, Sony or Canon you'll have to spend nearly £2,000 to get just the body.

And to the untrained hand, it's very hard to see why the D300S is so much cheaper.

Nikon d300s

Compared to Nikon's gorgeous D700, for instance, it feels nearly exactly as well-built. The body is made from magnesium alloy and is shelled in exceptionally tough-feeling rubber at every point you're likely to hold it.

Nikon d300s

The natural trade-off is weight: the D300S weighs nearly a kilogram before you even attach a lens, but for dedicated photographers – particularly those who like to tote their camera everywhere they go – the extra build-quality is reassuring. The D300S feels like it will take all sorts of abuse before it gives up.

Nikon d300s

It's not just the grips that feel good: every point that opens, such as the thick rubber flap guarding the USB and HDMI ports, plus the memory slot cover, have rubber seals, theoretically protecting the D300S' fragile innards from downpours.

Nikon d300s

To say we'd be happy to take it into a jungle is an understatement: the D300S feels positively bombproof. And it isn't just tough on the outside: Nikon claims the shutter mechanism has been tested to 150,000 actuations.

That's enough to take more than 100 shots every day for the next four years before you get close to the D300S's theoretical minimum. Indeed, the only weak point on the camera we could identify was the plastic backing on the manually activated pop-up flash.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.3 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyD
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedCompactFlash (CF) Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Brand NameNikon
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)840 g
Maximum Image Resolution4288 x 2848
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height114 mm
Width147 mm
Depth74 mm
Product SeriesD
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW, TIFF
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelD300S
Product NameD300S Digital SLR Camera
Manufacturer Part NumberVBA260AE
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The D300S is a compact DX format professional SLR that extends the options for photographers who value creative flexibility. Incorporates Nikon's D-movie with in-camera editing function into a discrete body, letting you switch quickly between capturing superior stills or movie clips in stereo sound. Protected by a tough, yet light, environmentally-sealed magnesium alloy body, the D300S will change the way you approach the craft of photography.

Package Contents
  • D300s Digital SLR Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Quick Charger
  • Eyepiece Cap
  • Rubber Eyecup
  • USB Cable
  • Audio Video Cable
  • Camera Strap
  • LCD Monitor Cover
  • Body Cap
  • Accessory Shoe Cover
  • Software Suite CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year