Nikon D300S review:

Nikon D300S

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Compare These
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Super-tough build; great high-ISO picture quality; excellent HD movie mode; 7 or 8 frames per second continuous shooting.

The Bad Steep price; DX sensor format; occasionally overexposed pictures.

The Bottom Line Camera prices have been rising, but £1,350 still seems pretty rich for a 12-megapixel dSLR, even one with an HD movie mode. And don't forget that's the body-only price. The Nikon D300S remains a smart buy for professionals with numerous DX lenses or who need a fast, flexible second body for their system, but it's no bargain

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

The 12-megapixel D300S could be seen as a 'maintenance release' for Nikon's pro-specified D300. The main addition is a high-definition movie mode, although other enhancements have also been made. The continuous shooting speed, for example, has risen to 7 or 8 frames per second with the optional battery pack. The D300S is no bargain, though, at around £1,350 for the body alone.

Hewn from rock?
If you do lay out what is a sizeable wad of cash, you'll get a digital SLR that feels like it's been hewn from granite. When you're not taking pictures, you could use it to bang in tent pegs or beat back grizzly bears. The continuous shooting speed is only a couple of frames per second off the fastest that money can buy, and you've got recourse to Nikon's vast array of professional lenses and accessories. If you're serious about photography, the D300S can go with you all the way.

This example was shot with the Nikkor 16-85mm VR lens, a top choice as a kit lens for the D300S. The definition's about what you'd expect from a 12-megapixel dSLR, but the quality at high ISOs is amazing (click image to enlarge)

The HD movie mode was overdue, mind, considering that the much cheaper D90 has had it for ages, and it's on the new D5000 too. If you're used to a consumer-targeted digital camera or camcorder, you'll find the need to focus before shooting something of a faff (there's no autofocus during filming), but professional film makers won't mind the D300S' more laborious approach at all.

Video quality is excellent. Films might only be shot at a 1,280x720-pixel resolution, rather than a 'Full HD', 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, but it's still a huge leap up from standard-definition movies. You can record stereo sound, too, although you'll need an external mic.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Panasonic Lumix TZ100

    4 stars

    Straddling the line between consumer and enthusiast compacts, the Panasonic Lumix ZS100's...

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

    4 stars

    With a large 1-inch sensor, a versatile lens and a ton of shooting options including 4K...

  • Panasonic Lumix LX100

    Starting at: £499.00
    4 stars

    The company bounces back into the enthusiast compact market with an expensive -- but worth...

  • Nikon D3300

    Starting at: £329.00
    3.5 stars

    The company's latest entry-level model delivers the speed and photo quality you expect...


Discuss: Nikon D300s (Body Only)

Conversation powered by Livefyre