Nikon D300s Review

October 5, 2009 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |



Single-lens reflex digital camera

Lens mount

Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)

Effective picture angle

Approx. 1.5 x conversion factor (Nikon DX format)

Effective pixels

12.3 million

Image sensor

23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS sensor

Total pixels

13.1 million

Dust-reduction system

Image Sensor Cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (requires optional Capture NX 2 software)

Image size (pixels)

4,288 x 2,848 [L], 3,216 x 2,136 [M], 2,144 x 1,424 [S]

File format

• NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed
• JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression (Size priority); Optimal quality compression available
• NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

Picture Control System

Can be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome; storage for up to nine custom Picture Controls


Type I CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA compliant); SD memory cards, SDHC compliant

Dual card slots

Either card can be used as the primary card; secondary card can be used for overflow or backup storage, or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; images can be copied between cards

File system

DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif 2.21 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge


Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder

Viewfinder frame coverage

Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical


Approx. 0.94 x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)


19.5 mm (-1.0 m-1)

Diopter adjustment

-2 to +1 m-1

Focusing screen

Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with AF area brackets (framing grid can be displayed)

Reflex mirror

Quick return

Depth-of-field preview

When depth-of-field preview button is pressed, lens aperture is stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (P and S modes)

Lens aperture

Instant return, electronically controlled

Compatible lenses

• DX NIKKOR: All functions supported
• Type G or D AF NIKKOR: All functions supported (PC Micro-NIKKOR does not support some functions); IX-NIKKOR lenses not supported
• Other AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II; lenses for F3AF not supported
• AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II
• Non-CPU: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; color matrix metering and aperture value display supported if user provides lens data (AI lenses only)
•Electronic rangefinder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster


Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter


1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb, X250

Flash sync speed

X = 1/250 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/320 s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320 s)

Release modes

Single frame, continuous low speed, continuous high speed, quiet shutter-release, self-timer, mirror up

Frame advance rate

With Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e: Approx. 1 to 7 fps (CL), approx. 7 fps (CH);
With optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a: Approx. 1 to 7 (CL) fps, approx. 8 fps (CH)*

* With a battery other than Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a, the continuous shooting speed may be slower than 8 fps in continuous high-speed mode.


Can be selected from 2, 5, 10 and 20 s duration


TTL exposure metering using 1,005-pixel RGB sensor


• Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in center of frame. Diameter of circle can be changed to 6, 10 or 13 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (fixed at 8 mm when non-CPU lens is used)
• Spot: Meters 3-mm circle (about 2% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)

Range (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)

• Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV

Exposure meter coupling

Combined CPU and AI

Exposure modes

Programmed auto with flexible program (P); Shutter-priority auto (S); Aperture-priority auto (A); Manual (M)

Exposure compensation

-5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV

Exposure bracketing

2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV

Exposure lock

Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button

ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index)

ISO 200 to 3200 in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 100 equivalent) below ISO 200 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 6400 equivalent) above ISO 3200

Active D-Lighting

Can be selected from auto, extra high, high, normal, low or off

ADL bracketing

2 to 5 frames with strength levels varying according to number of frames chosen; for 2 frames, off and a chosen level are applied


Nikon Multi-CAM 3500DX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors) and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5 to 3 m/1 ft. 8 in. to 9 ft. 10 in.)

Autofocus detection range

-1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 equivalent, 20°C /68°F)

Lens servo

• Autofocus: Single-servo AF (S); continuous-servo AF (C); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status
• Manual (M): Electronic rangefinder supported

Focus point

Can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points

AF-area modes

Single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF

Focus lock

Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (Single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

Built-in flash

Manual pop-up with button release; Guide number of 17/56 (m/ft., ISO 200, 20 °C/68 °F) or 12/39 (m/ft., ISO 100 equivalent, 20 °C/68 °F)

Flash control

• TTL: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR using 1,005-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash, Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-400
• Auto aperture: Available with Speedlight SB-900 or SB-800 and CPU lens
• Non-TTL auto: Supported flash units include Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-28, SB-27 and SB-22S
• Range-priority manual: Available with Speedlight SB-900 and SB-800

Flash modes

Front curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync

Flash compensation

-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV

Flash bracketing

2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV

Flash-ready indicator

Lights when built-in flash or flash unit such as Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX or SB-50DX is fully charged; blinks after flash is fired at full output

Accessory shoe

ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts, and safety lock

Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, Speedlight SB-900, SB-800 or SU-800 as commander and SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes; Auto FP High-Speed Sync and modeling illumination supported with all CLS-compatible flash units except SB-400; Flash Color Information Communication and FV lock supported with all CLS-compatible flash units

Sync terminal

ISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread

White balance

Auto (TTL white-balance with main image sensor and 1,005-pixel RGB sensor), Incandescent, Fluorescent (7 options), Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, preset manual (able to store up to 5 values) and color temperature setting (2,500K to 10,000K); fine-tuning available for all options

White balance bracketing

2 to 9 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3

Live View modes

Tripod, Hand-held

Live View autofocus

• Tripod: Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame
• Hand-held: TTL phase-detection AF with 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors)

Movie frame size (pixels)

1,280 x 720/24 fps, 640 x 424/24 fps, 320 x 216/24 fps

Movie file format


Movie compression format


Movie autofocus

Contrast-detect AF on a desired point within a frame is possible (Tripod mode)

Movie audio

Sound can be recorded via built-in (monaural) or optional external (stereo/monaural) microphone; sensitivity can be adjusted

Movie maximum length

5 min (1,280 x 720 pixels), 20 min (640 x 424, 320 x 216 pixels)

LCD monitor

3-in., approx. 920k-dot (VGA), low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with 170° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage, and brightness adjustment

Playback function

Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9 or 72 images) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, slide show, histogram display, highlights, auto image rotation, and image comment (up to 36 characters)


Hi-Speed USB

Audio video output

Can be selected from NTSC and PAL

HDMI output

HDMI Mini connector (Type C); camera monitor turns off when HDMI cable is connected

Audio input

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter)

10-pin remote terminal

Can be used to connect optional remote control, GPS Unit GP-1 or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 (requires optional GPS Cable MC-35 and cable with D-sub 9-pin connector)

Supported languages

Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish


One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e

Battery pack

Optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 with one Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, EN-EL4a/EN-EL4 or eight R6/AA-size alkaline, Ni-MH, lithium or nickel-manganese batteries; Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EN-EL4 and R6/AA-size batteries available separately; Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 (available separately) required when using Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EN-EL4

AC adapter

AC Adapter EH-5a/EH-5 (available separately)

Tripod socket

1/4 in. (ISO 1222)

Dimensions (W x H x D)

Approx. 147 x 114 x 74 mm/5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in.


Approx. 840 g/1 lb. 14 oz. without battery, memory card, body cap or monitor cover

Operating environment



Less than 85% (no condensation)

Supplied accessories (may differ by country or area)

Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-23, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-DC4, LCD Monitor Cover BM-8, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, Software Suite CD-ROM


Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 720p, nikon, 12 megapixel, video, DSLR, high definition, d300, d300s, Nikon D300s Review

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