Nikon D300s mini review

Started Oct 21, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Nikon D300s mini review
Oct 21, 2009

Some of my thoughts on the Nikon D300s

Build quality is through the roof, very pro-spec in my opinion, it looks and feels much better than the Canon EOS 5D Mark II that I normally shoot with. The overall camera layout is pretty nice, and I sort of wish the 5D2 has a couple more switches. Didn't like the new 8 way multi selector, it just lacks responsiveness, sometimes during image playback for example you'd press it one way and nothing would happen, and I'd end up pressing it the other way to get things moving again. I like this type of controller, it's just that this one (maybe just our unit?) didn't work as well as it should. The new dedicated live view button and info button, though welcome additions, to shallow to press easily without some degree of deliberation.

The interface was standard Nikon as far as menus go which is fine. A little surprised there wasn't more Info screen interaction, but this semi-pro/pro type camera so not a big deal.

Viewfinder nice, AF system a dream. As a 5D2 owner I've often said who needs 51 points, but they make a huge difference, and though it sounds complex to a 9pt AF user, it isn't at all, easy to move the point around just where you need and for dynamic shots, the D300s just is a pleasure to use. The AF alone is a good enough reason to grab a D300s (if you don't have a D300).

Also super nice, the dual card slots. Can every camera have this? So nice to throw RAW on one card and JPEGs on the other, possibly the best "new" aspect to the D300s.

Which leads me to video, which spec wise is disappointing. Forget AF during filming, and you'll want to stick with tripod mode in live view to keep control over depth of field, but no 1080p, and no manual exposure control leaves me scratching my head. Still, the video quality is very good, but on a big screen TV, not as good as the 5D2.

No live histogram in Live View? Also disappointing.

Image quality is very good, usable ISO 1600 for sure, may want to clean (may) ISO 3200, and 6400 will need cleaning or reduced print size in my opinion.

Overall a very good camera, and highly recommended if you're moving up from a lesser Nikon, but not if you have a D300.

Some ISO samples here for the curious: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrickdean/sets/72157622533652296/

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