Nikon D300S Reviews

First published on: Sunday, 16 August 2009

Last update (Oct 14, 2009): Yves P sells his D300 for the D300S.

This post is a compilation of Nikon D300S digital SLR camera professional and user reviews, owner opinions and experiences, tests, conclusions, ratings and feedback.

Full attribution is given by linking to the source and where available, the author’s homepage or photo gallery.

Yves P sells his D300 for the D300S — Yves says:

Surprisingly, I traded my D300 for a D300s and I love the new camera even more than the first one. There are some very interesting (silent) improvements that are visible in the final pictures as well Neil. The movie mode, although only at 720P rocks if you know how to use it. The camera is also quieter, much quieter and also features a quiet mode. The improved noise characteristics makes for a good IQ, I am only disappointed in the DR department.

Ex-Pentax user jumps ship and buys the Nikon D300S — Read sandking’s post on why he decided to sell of his K100D and lenses, and buy the Nikon D300S with a starting set of lenses, the Nikkor 16-85mm VR and 70-300mm VR, plus an Nikon SB-600 Speedlight flash.

Initial testing of the D300S: Positive — This is AmatureMike’s forum posting, a current Nikon D300 owner.

His conclusion (edited for clarity) follows.

1) Using ALL POINTS SELECTED [he is referring to the 51-point, AF (autofocus) Area mode, and this particular test was done using the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens] — auto point selection (white box) the D300S is extremely FAST. There is no more of the hesitation it used to have when you depressed the focus and waited for the AF points to light up and BEEP. The D300S focuses right up: “beep!”. Much much improved initial acquisition speed in BOTH the AF-S and AF-C mode. This was one of the things that bugged me much when moving over to Nikon from Canon. The delay is now resolved: AF is IMPROVED. 2) Using the Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens at its 300mm range in AF-C, (LOCK-ON: Off, Center Single AF point selection only, and Release Priority), the D300S is FASTER than the D300! Remember how the D300 would “slide” into focus from subject to subject (with different distances)? The D300S SNAPS into focus. As a matter of fact, I pulled out the D700 to test this side by side, and I have to say it’s almost the same. The focusing “torque” of the AF-S moving from area to area when tracking is the same speed and snappiness. Very, very nicely done here in the AF department: Nikon did not disappoint. 3) Using VIDEO: for those who THINK the video is the same as the D90: think again! Testing the 720p video on an SD card, I panned the D300S and there is very, very little “jello effect”. Although I’m not a big fan of video, I took it out to film outside (filming traffic) and panned smoothly from left to right: no jello effect. I was shocked! I couldn’t believe how good the video is. I liked the fact you could manually select your aperture for shallow depth of field when shooting (quite intimate). [This is good news. This means that movie files produced by the D300S should be of better quality than the D5000, which has the same video quality as the D90.] 4) 7 fps [frames per second] without AA [additional AA batteries in the MB-D10 battery grip] !!!! This was way too cool because using the camera’s drive mode without the MB-D10 made the d300 feel so light and easy to walk around! My overall impression is DANG! I had a blast using the D300S (and the D3000 also !!!). I’ve got to say, for those who say its the same thing: think twice — as I was also disappointed during the announcement of the D300S. However now with first hand experience with the D300S, I’m simply gonna say what Phil said about the D300: “its simply the best APS-C camera out on the market.”

More of AmatureMike’s opinions:

  1. It seemed like Nikon re-did the AF algorithms for the new body. The AF feels much more responsive when tracking and initially focus locking. That was noticeable right away in use.

  2. All I can say is it FEELS much faster at initial acquisition and kept my co-worker screaming in awe (he owns a D700).

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