Nikon D300S In-depth Review
Like its predecessor, the D300S features a 921,600 dot LCD. Because it takes a triplet of a red, a green and a blue dot to give a single, full-color pixel, these dots represent a 640x480 pixel array. The D300 (along with the Sony A700) was one of the first cameras to include one of these high-resolution screens that give the same resolution as a VGA computer display from the late 1980s. This high resolution makes a surprising difference in terms of being able to assess the quality of the images you've taken, whether looking at the whole-image view or a zoomed-in section.
The higher resolution also means that the user interface can be highly detailed and include a lot of information on each screen, helping to make the incredibly deep menus that bit more manageable. The D300S comes with a protective plastic screen cover to avoid the screen getting scratched when you're out and about.
Top Control Panel
The D300 has one control panel on the top, this large display dominates the entire right top side of the camera and provides a full range of information covering photographic and digital settings. The panel has a green back light which can be illuminated by flicking the power switch to the lamp position, it's spring loaded and returns to 'ON', the back light stays on for the 'auto meter-off' time (CSM c2). You can also choose to have the backlights come on with any button press (CSM d8). Note that even when the camera is 'Off' this panel displays the number of frames remaining on the card or -E- if no card is inserted (an indication that the camera is never really powered off but instead in a sleep mode).
A breakdown of information displayed on the LCD panel can be found on the diagrams below.
Exposure compensation value
Flash compensation value
White balance fine-tuning
White balance preset number
Number of shots in bracketing sequence
Number of intervals
Focal length (non-CPU lens)
|*2|| Aperture (f-number)
Aperture (number of stops)
Number of shots per interval
Maximum aperture (non-CPU lens)
PC connection indicator
|*3|| Number of frames remaining
Number of shots remaining before buffer fills
PC mode indicator
Preset white balance recording indicator
|*4|| Electronic analog exposure display
Bracketing progress indicator
PC mode indicator
Diagram reproduced with permission from the Nikon D300 user manual.
To the right top corner of the removable eyepiece rubber is a diopter adjustment wheel. Unlike the D3-series models, the D300S does not feature an internal viewfinder curtain.
The image below isn't designed to be representative of a typical view through the viewfinder but instead shows the position of all possible information including all 51 AF points, battery status overlay and optional grid lines. All information is displayed using an LCD overlay, rather than being etched into the focusing screen so the numerous focus points are completely invisible until one is selected.
|1||Focus indicator||10||Electronic analog exposure display / compen.|
|2||Metering mode||11||Flash compensation indicator|
|3||Auto exposure lock||12||Exposure compensation indicator|
|4||Flash value (FV) Lock||13||ISO / Auto ISO indicator|
|5||Flash sync indicator||14||ISO sensitivity|
|6||Shutter speed||15||Exposures remaining / buffer / exp. value|
|7||Aperture stop indicator||16||Thousands indicator|
|8||Aperture (f-number / number of stops)||17||Flash-ready indicator|
Diagram reproduced with permission from the Nikon D300 user manual.
One figure hidden away in every SLR's spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is a key factor in the usability of an SLR - the bigger it is, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving process it is.
Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors'. The D300S retains the 0.94x magnification, 100% coverage viewfinder featured in its predecessor.
|The D300S offers 0.94x magnification which, with its 1.5x crop sensor gives it an overall magnification equivalent to 0.63x in full-frame terms. This makes it indistinguishable from the Canon EOS 7D.|
The Nikon D300S is a member of a fairly exclusive club of DSLRs that offer 100% field of view (the EOS 7D and K-7 compared here are others). As a result, you get to see exactly what the sensor will record, helping optimize composition.
|Nikon D300S: 100% viewfinder|
Battery and Charger
Battery information available on the camera:
- Top control panel has a five segment battery life indicator
- The Setup menu -> Battery Info provides:
- Battery meter (as a percentage)
- Picture meter (estimated frames on current power)
- Charging Life (a scale from 0 to 4 indicating if the battery has come to the end of its useful life)
Battery pack / Vertical grip (optional)
The D300S can use the same MB-D10 battery pack / vertical grip as its predecessor. The grip plugs in to a small series of connectors on the bottom of the camera to allow power and control connection without the need to remove the built-in battery or battery door, allowing fast addition and removal. The MB-D10 supports a range of batteries; the EN-EL3e used in the camera, the larger EN-EL4a as used in D3-series bodies or with a collection of AA batteries. Using either AAs or an EN-EL4a allows the camera to shoot at a slightly improved continuous shooting rate of 8 fps. (Images are of a D300)
- 17 Photographic tests (DR)
- 18 Photographic tests
- 19 Movie Mode
- 20 Compared to
- 21 Compared to (JPEG)
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (RAW)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 28 Compared to (Resolution)
- 29 Compared to (Resolution)
- 30 Conclusion
- 31 Samples
|I see you by Phocal|
from Animal eye reflection
|Apocalyptic Sunset by Impact Photo|
from A wheel good photo!
|AU4_6418_BB-35 by DaveInHouston|
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.
PDN sat down with Ahmed Fakhr, director of photography at RollingStone.com, to talk about how the famed publication is adapting to the changing photo and video needs of the modern era and how he 'evaluates the skills of potential contributors.'
Kudos to Canon. Earlier today, the camera giant announced that it had produced its 90 millionth EOS camera and 130 millionth EF-series lens.
The ROV Slider is a portable, motorized slider that promises to bring 'beautiful cinematic video and time-lapse' shooting to anybody with a smartphone, GoPro or DSLR that weighs less than 5lbs.
The new Surface Book 2 laptops come with Intel's 8th generation quad-core processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 GPUs. In other words: they pack a serious punch.
Leica is resurrecting a portrait lens from the 1930s: the Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. This lens features just 4 lens elements, and was famous for its spherical aberration that creates extremely soft images.
Google's Visual Core is an Image Signal Processor designed to power and accelerate HDR+ processing and other imaging tasks in the new Pixel 2 devices (and beyond).
The Google Pixel's camera is among the best we've reviewed, and its successor has already been hailed as class-leading. With expectations set high, the Pixel 2 has nonetheless left a very good first impression on us as we shot some initial sample images.
Leica is one of the oldest names in photography, and has long been one of the most prestigious. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit Wetzlar, to see for ourselves how Leica's lenses are put together.
Canon went and put an APS-C sensor in a G series compact. The result is a mighty tempting camera for travel.
Google Photos is adding a few pet-friendly features that will make it easier to find photos of your favorite pooch. Now, you can organize your pet photos by facial recognition, and you can even search your library by breed.
Colorful tripod maker MeFOTO has launched a new tripod... and a whole new brand name. Meet the GlobeTrotter travel video tripod, the first product to be released under the MeVIDEO brand.
If you own a Moto Z, you'll soon be able to attach a Polaroid instant printer to it. Check out the unreleased Moto Mod, which was leaked earlier today.