Nikon D300s review

The latest 12 megapixel DSLR snapper from Nikon

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If you're looking to upgrade from a bargain-basement DSLR, the D300S is a superb choice. Absolute beginners might be out of their depth (there's no "green square" mode, for instance), but for someone beginning to build up some technical and creative experience the D300S offers a huge amount of power and flexibility.

We liked:

It's very fast to operate and offers the fastest continuous-shooting mode this side of £3,000. It's the perfect stepping stone between an amateur and professional DSLR. It's more expensive than the Canon 50D, but it's also faster and, to our hands, more solid, besides offering 720p video recording.

If you already have a top-end amateur DSLR things are less clear-cut.

There's also the minor consideration of the price: £1,500 for the D300S with its reasonable 16-85mm VR lens is a bargain. Compare it, for instance, with the D700, which costs nearly two thousand pounds body-only – and you'll need to spend around half as much again to get a lens good enough to withstand the exacting quality of the full-frame sensor.

We disliked:

In terms of absolute image quality the D300S doesn't offer much improvement over older models such as the Nikon D200 or D300. Its noise performance is good, but not as good as full-frame cameras such as the D700 or Canon 5D MK II. But it will probably be faster than your current body and the inclusion of HD video recording is something we think you'll grow to love.

Final verdict:

The bottom line is that we loved taking pictures with the D300S. Quite apart from image quality, it's so quick to use and adjust that you'll hardly ever miss a shot. The build-quality is extraordinary and the inclusion of (admittedly limited) HD video recording is a sleeper feature that grows on you over time. The deceptively good value is the icing on the cake.

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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