Playback is where the D300S's high-resolution VGA screen really comes into its own. It's a relatively common feature on cameras of this level now (and appears on the considerably less expensive D90, too), but makes a surprisingly big difference to how easy it is to get a good idea of the quality of results you're getting.

Record Review

You can choose for the D300 to display a review of the image taken immediately after shutter release. The type of display used will be the same as the last mode used in playback (histogram, thumbnail index, details etc.). Note that record review has all of the functionality of playback mode, this means its easy to delete, magnify, protect etc. The image will remain on the screen for the 'Monitor off delay' CSM c4 or until you half-press the shutter release.


Press the Playback button to enter playback mode, press the multi selector up or down to change display mode. By default you get an image view with an information strip along the bottom of the image - pressing up of down takes you to a simple histogram and data page. Using the 'Display Modes' option in the Playback menu you can change the simple image view to include the focus point used to shoot the image.

Additionally you can add optional screens, such as Highlights, Histograms and full data listings (which runs to three pages). Just in case that isn't enough detail for you, the histogram and highlights screens can be adjusted so that they show information about the individual color channels.

Basic photo display: file number, folder, filename, date & time, quality, size Basic photo display: image thumbnail, histogram, exposure information and other data as per default display
Detailed photo display: Highlights (Here showing Red channel clipping) Detailed photo display: Histograms
Detailed photo display data 1: metering mode, shutter speed, aperture, exposure mode, ISO, exposure compensation, focal length, lens used, AF mode, VR mode, flash mode and flash compensation Detailed photo display data 2: white balance & fine tuning, color space, picture control and image parameter adjustments
Detailed photo display data 3: noise reduction, active d-lighting, retouching, comment Basic photo display data with optional focus point displayed.

Playback Zoom

While magnified use the multi selector to move around the image, the navigation box and loupe at the bottom right of the image (as can be seen below) disappears after a couple of seconds. There are eight magnification levels, on the D300's high resolution screen the last two go beyond 1:1 and provide an enlarged pixelated view. Using the control dial jumps between images without changing the magnification level, so that you can compare critical focus between images.

Playback thumbnail views

The D300S has three levels of thumbnail view, now easier thanks to the dedicated zoom-out button, just press to switch to the initial 2x2 (4 image) view, again for the 3x3 (9 image view), and a third time for a 9x8 (72 image) view. These views are particularly useful for selecting images to delete, without having to nudge through every single image. Use the multi selector to move around the index..

One click right for a 2 x 2 thumbnail view Two clicks right for a 3 x 3 thumbnail view
A third click gives a 9 x 8 thumbnail view  

Other Playback displays

After pressing the delete button just press once more to confirm the deletion An example of a protected image