The Power of Nikon D300S: A Complete Review

The Nikon D300S is a professional-grade DSLR camera packed with features that make it a favorite of photographers worldwide. In this blog post, we'll dive into the details of this powerful camera and explore its key features and benefits.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Nikon D300S article cover photo

Key Features

Nov 16 2009


12 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

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Overview of the D300S

For professional photographers, having the right tools makes all the difference in capturing breathtaking images. The Nikon D300S is one such powerful tool, perfectly crafted to meet the needs of photographers who demand the highest quality from their cameras. Featuring 12.3-megapixel resolution, high-speed continuous shooting, and a wide range of shooting modes, the Nikon D300S is undoubtedly a game-changer in the photography world. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the features that give the Nikon D300S its edge over other cameras in its class. From its advanced autofocus system to its stunning image quality, we'll explore every aspect of this camera and delve into the reasons why it has become a favorite of professional photographers around the world. So, let's get started and see what the Nikon D300S has to offer!

Nikon D300S Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Nikon D300S camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High-quality images (DSLR)
Fast and accurate autofocus
7fps continuous shooting
Durable and weather-resistant body
HD video recording (1080p)
Wide range of compatible lenses
Dual memory card slots


High price point
Bulky and heavy body
Limited ISO range
No built-in Wi-Fi or GPS
Outdated Live View function
Limited dynamic range compared to newer models
No touch screen interface

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Nikon D300S

Weather sealed
Dimensions147 x 114 x 74mm

Weather Sealing

The Nikon D300S camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the D300S is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution920k dots
Body typeMid-size SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 920k dots. This makes the Nikon D300S not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


D300S includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 100% and a magnification of 0.63x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Nikon D300S has a 12MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 12 pixels. Nikon D300S has a native ISO range of 200 - 3200 which can be boosted to 100 - 6400. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Nov 16 2009


200 - 3200

ISO Range

Extended ISO100 - 6400
Max resolution4288 x 2848 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


70 / 102

Color Depth

22.5 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12.2 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

787 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Nikon D300S camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the D300S is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageCompact Flash Type I/SD/SDHC
Battery Life950 shots
Battery ModelEN-EL3e
Wireless Connectivity


The Nikon D300S supports Compact Flash Type I/SD/SDHC with 2 slots for storage. Having dual SD card slots on the Nikon D300S is highly advantageous as it mitigates the risk of losing footage due to memory card malfunctions. This feature is particularly beneficial for wedding photography and other professional settings.


The Nikon D300S uses the EN-EL3e model of battery pack. This is rated for 950 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Nikon D300S has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Nikon D300S boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Nikon D300S includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with 51 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Nikon D300S?

The Nikon D300S features a CMOS sensor

Is the Nikon D300S weather sealed?

Yes the D300S does have weather sealing.

When was the Nikon D300S announced?

The Nikon D300S was announced on Nov 16 2009

Does the Nikon D300S have in-body image stabilization?

No the D300S does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Nikon D300S?

The D300S has a native ISO range of 200-3200, which can be expanded to ISO 100-6400 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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