Nikon D300S Review

Overall 40
Imaging 13
Features 57
Size 70
Price 0

Main Features

  • 12.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 3200 (Expands to 100 - 6400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 7.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 480 (24 fps), 320 x 240 (24 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 147 x 114 x 74 mm
  • Weight: 938 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D300. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D500. Compare

Nikon D300S Summary

This review is devoted to D300S that Nikon has first introduced to the public in Nov 16, 2009. This model is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera with a resolution of 12.0 MP and a APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

Initially, Nikon developed this model to replace their older product D300 and, after some time, Nikon has replaced this upgraded model with their most recent one D300. To learn more about the specs and difference between these models, check our complete comparison by following these links:
Nikon D300S vs. D500
Nikon D300S vs. D300

In Semi-Pro DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #128 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 40/100 and it takes a rank of #933 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Nikon D300S Compared to other DSLR Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Nikon D300S review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000
  • Continuous Shooting: 7.0 fps
  • Built-In Flash: Yes
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes
  • Number Of Focus Points: 51
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Timelapse Recording: Yes
  • Storage Slots: 2

CONs

  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 12.2
  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 787
  • Headphone Port: No
  • Wireless Connectivity: Eye-Fi Connected
  • Battery Life: 950 shots

Complete Comparison of Nikon D300S With Other Cameras in Semi-Pro DSLR Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Nikon D300S. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Semi-Pro DSLR cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Nikon D300S

Nikon D300S has the following external dimensions 147 x 147 x 74 mm (57.87 x 44.88 x 29.13″) with the weight of 938 g.

The typical weight for average Semi-Pro DSLR type cameras is 783g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Nikon D300S, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Nikon D300S is thinner than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 74mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Nikon D300S with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

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If you want to have a better idea of how big the Nikon D300S is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

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Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Nikon D300S compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Nikon D300S — 950 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots

Thickness

Nikon D300S — 74 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm

Weight

Nikon D300S — 938 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Unfortunately, Nikon D300S comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Nikon D300S comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Nikon D300S Photo and Sensor Features

Nikon D300S comes with Expeed processor. This model also boasts of a resolution of 12.0 MP and is equipped with a APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Nikon D300S has the following ISO range 200 - 3200 and it also comes with a possibility of extending this indicator to 100 - 6400.

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Nikon D300S features a 12.0 MP APS-C sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Nikon D300S, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 70 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Nikon D300S’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Nikon D300S is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of APS-C sensor featured in Nikon D300S with other standard sensor sizes.

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Other Characteristics And Features of Nikon D300S

LCD and ViewFinder

Nikon D300S is equipped with a Fixed Type 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 920k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentaprism) ViewFinder.

The ViewFinder in D300S has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.63x and it also provides a coverage of 100%.

Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Nikon D300S are its 7.0 fps max speed and 1/8000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

D300S features both an embedded flash and a flash shoe, which means that you can use both built-in and external flashes depending on your needs.

Focusing

One more highlight that makes Nikon D300S stand out is the fact that it features two smart AutoFocusing systems. One of these systems is called Phase Detection and the other one is Contrast Detection. Both features stand for higher accuracy and focus speed in different situations. With the smart AutoFocus system presented in this model, photographers can choose from 51 points.

In addition, D300S has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Nikon D300S, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 1280 x 720 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Nikon D300S allows you to save files in Motion JPEG formats.

Comparing the technical characteristics of this model with the modern standards, we have to admit that 1280 x 720 is a rather poor indicator of video resolution. However, if you are looking for a camera that has 4K video support, we recommend you to consider our Cheapest Camera with 4K video.

In addition, Nikon D300S is equipped with a special port that you can use to connect an external microphone for recording high-quality sound with its help.

Connectivity and Storage

You can connect D300S to compatible devices via its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Nikon D300S provides a shooting life of 950, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 871 shots.

Compared to all models in the Semi-Pro DSLR category, Nikon D300S offers the highest battery life that reaches 950 shots.

How Good is Nikon D300S for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Nikon D300S’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Nikon D300S’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the D300S to the average DSLR camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Nikon D300S for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300S performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 84. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300S can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D300S for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300S performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 89. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300S can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (950 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D300S for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300S performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 92. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300S can be called a 92 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (51)
  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (7.0 fps)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (787)

Nikon D300S for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300S performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 56. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300S can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (938 g)
  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)

Nikon D300S for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Nikon D300S performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 90. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Nikon D300S can be called a 90 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.2)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (787)

Nikon D300S Detailed Specs

General
Brand Nikon
Model D300S
Announced Nov 16, 2009
Body Type Mid-size SLR
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F
Number of Lenses 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 920k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.63
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 7.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization No
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Range 12
Flash Modes Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 70
DxO Color Depth 22.5
DxO Dynamic Range 12.2
DxO Low Light ISO 787
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.6 x 15.8 mm
Sensor Area 372.88 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4288 x 2848
Max Native ISO 3,200
Max Boosted ISO 6,400
Min Native ISO 200
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking No
AF Selective Yes
AF Center No
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 51
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 480 (24 fps), 320 x 240 (24 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1280 x 720
Video Formats Motion JPEG
Microphone Port Yes
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 938 g
Physical Dimensions 147 x 114 x 74 mm
Battery Life 950 shots
Battery Type 950 shots
Battery Model EN-EL3e
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type Compact Flash Type I/SD/SDHC
Storage Slots 2

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