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The D300s is an update of the D300, which is one of the digital SLRs with the best market reception during its release. The D300s is a DSLR that has frame rate that’s slightly faster than its predecessor, along with an HD capture capability for videos and the same 12.3 mp sensor, among several other improvements. During its release, the D300s also had a similar price tag as its older brother at 1,799.95 USD.
The Nikon D300’s has feature set that’s robust enough for the avid amateur photographer. Yet it’s also attractive enough to lure in pros who are looking for a camera body without significantly draining their bank accounts. In fact, it incorporates most of its older brother’s features, plus several other must-have functionalities that can compete with many of the latest DSLRs.
To kick off this Nikon D300s Review, we’ll start with the differences between the D300s and D300:
- HD video recording at 1280 x 720p and 24 frames per second
- Stereo mic jack; 3.5mm, external
- Mono microphone; built-in with adjustable gain
- Top burst speed: 7 fps versus 6 fps, although both would be at 8 fps with battery grip
- Contrast-detect autofocus (AF) during video capture
- Built-in flash coverage that’s wider (16mm versus 18mm)
- AF performance that’s slightly faster
- Dedicated button for Info
- Dedicated button for Live View
- Shutter release mode that’s quieter
- Multi-selector center button
- Virtual horizon display
- Sliding memory card door versus locking swing type
- Auto Active and Extra-high D-Lighting settings
- Quicker access to settings due to icon bar menu that’s just below the shooting info display
- Movie trimming, in-camera
- Image resizing and In-camera RAW processing
- Playback mode with 72-image thumbnail view
- Other changes
Design-wise, the D300s weighs about 840g (1.85 lbs.), which is half an ounce heavier than its D300 predecessor. Overall appearance and dimensions are basically the same, although there are a few differences. As a matter of fact, if you’ve used a D300, you’ll be greeted with a familiar look when you get a D300s. Other than the D300s logo, perhaps the major addition that’s readily noticeable would be monaural microphone found just below the logo, which is evidenced by three holes.
As for its body, the D300s body is made up of a magnesium alloy that’s strong enough to give it a rock-solid feel. But its appeal in terms of construction is how it can keep out moisture and dust. Size-wise, the D300s is quite the handful, although its surface area is maximized because of the placement of dials of buttons that will prove useful when you start taking pictures. It certainly isn’t the best DSLR for casual travel or portability. However, you still probably won’t mind its extra bulk if your travels include photography pursuits, what with this unit’s host of useful features.
Oh, and did we mention its flash? Well, it has an improved 16mm popup flash strobe that’s built-in and has a wide-angle coverage. And in the Nikon Creative Lighting System, this flash can still be utilized as the master controller.
We conclude our Nikon D300s review with this – it’s not only has awesome features, comparably so to its predecessor, it also has a very agreeable price. So ever you get to buying a DSLR one day, the D300s would make a sound choice.
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