Nikon D300S

Nikon D300S front

Nikon D300S overview

Nikon D300S is Nikon's Advanced DSLR digital camera initially launched on November of 2009. It uses a 12 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4288 x 2848.

Nikon introduced this model to improve the older Nikon D300 (Read Full Comparison) & then launched the newer Nikon D600 (Read Full Comparison) to improve this model.

The D300S stands at #50 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras & all around #354 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. Remember to try out our Advanced camera filter to see camera ratings based on your personal criteria.

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Below is a diagram of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Nikon D300S history

The Nikon D300S is part of a family of digital cameras. You can see the detailed range underneath.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Nikon-D7500 front thumbnailNikon D7500
D300S vs D7500
21MPAPS-C8.0 fps2017
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
D300S vs D500
21MPAPS-C10.0 fps2016
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Nikon-D7200 front thumbnailNikon D7200
D300S vs D7200
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2015
Nikon-D610 front thumbnailNikon D610
D300S vs D610
24MPFull frame6.0 fps2013
Nikon-D7100 front thumbnailNikon D7100
D300S vs D7100
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2013
Nikon-D600 front thumbnailNikon D600
D300S vs D600
24MPFull frame5.5 fps2012
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Nikon-D7000 front thumbnailNikon D7000
D300S vs D7000
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2010
Nikon-D300S front thumbnailNikon D300S12MPAPS-C7.0 fps2009
Nikon-D90 front thumbnailNikon D90
D300S vs D90
12MPAPS-C4.5 fps2008
Nikon-D300 front thumbnailNikon D300
D300S vs D300
12MPAPS-C6.0 fps2008
Nikon-D80 front thumbnailNikon D80
D300S vs D80
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006
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Nikon-D200 front thumbnailNikon D200
D300S vs D200
10MPAPS-C5.0 fps2006
Nikon-D50 front thumbnailNikon D50
D300S vs D50
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2005
Nikon-D70s front thumbnailNikon D70s
D300S vs D70s
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2005
Nikon-D70 front thumbnailNikon D70
D300S vs D70
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2004
Nikon-D100 front thumbnailNikon D100
D300S vs D100
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2002

Nikon D300S Pros and Cons

Below is a list of benefits and drawbacks of the Nikon D300S based on aspects which are usually viewed as crucial in a digital camera.

change lenses (Nikon F mount)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
does have Top LCD screen
environment proofing
features face detection focus
good resolution screen (920 thousand dots)
great max shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
has built in flash
has external microphone socket
has HDMI socket
has phase detect auto focus
manual focus
saves RAW files
screen size is good (3")
two card slots
doesn't have headphone socket
low video resolution (1280 x 720 pxls)
megapixel count low (12MP)
more heavy than competitors (938g)
no image stabilization
no moving screen
screen isn't selfie friendly
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Nikon D300S Sensor specifications

The Nikon D300S houses the Expeed processor. The sensor size on the Nikon D300S is 23.6mm x 15.8mm (APS-C). The 373 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4288 x 2848 pixels and aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CMOS sensor has 12MP and supports a standard ISO range of 200 to 3200. This ISO can be increased electronically to 100 to 6400. RAW photos are supported so the user has wider margin for error.

The picture underneath displays the D300S's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The D300S sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is shown in green.

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To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon D300S dimensions

Nikon D300S has a weight of 2.07 pounds (938 grams / 33.09 ounces) & the volume of the camera is 147mm x 114mm x 74mm (5.8" x 4.5" x 2.9"). The weight of normal Advanced DSLR camera is 776 grams and the Nikon D300S is weightier in comparison with various competitors.

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Underneath is a shot of the Nikon D300S besides a soda to help you get a sense of its scale.

Nikon D300S dimensions scale

The top view just below will provide the button design on the D300S.

Nikon D300S topview buttons dials

Nikon D300S Lens specifications

The D300S fits the Nikon F mount and has 315 lenses that you can buy. Below is some of the lenses we have in our collection which will work with the D300S.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Venus-Laowa-100mm-F2.8-2X-Ultra-Macro-APO-Nikon-F-FX lensVenus Laowa 100mm F2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO100mmf/2.8638g
Voigtlander-58mm-F1.4-Nokton-SL-II-Nikon-F-FX lensVoigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II58mmf/1.4 320g
Photography Glossary
Nikon-AF-Nikkor-80-200mm-f2.8D-ED lensNikon AF Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8D ED80-200mmf/2.8 1300g
Nikon-AF-S-DX-Nikkor-18-55mm-f3.5-5.6G-II lensNikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G II18-55mmf/3.5-5.6 205g
Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-180-400mm-F4E-TC1.4-FL-ED-VR lensNikon AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm F4E TC1.4 FL ED VR180-400mmf/4 3500g
Zeiss-Milvus-25mm-F1.4-Nikon-F-FX lensZeiss Milvus 25mm F1.425mmf/1.41225g
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Sigma-40mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-A-Nikon-F-FX lensSigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM A40mmf/1.40g
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Nikon D300S Connectivity

The D300S has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that consist of NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility can be used wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to send images and sometimes change settings without the hassle of connecting straight to the camera.

A few applications even allow a Liveview and click the shutter if you aren't near the camera. If the camera features a HDMI port, it can be hooked up to an external monitor. Most cameras enable you to recharge the battery using the USB port.

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Nikon D300S Video specifications

The maximum video resolution on the Nikon D300S is 1280 x 720 and you can shoot in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is awful for today's requirements. You really should target a minimum 1080p resolution for decent video. Even though the camera has a microphone socket, it is sadly lacking a headphone socket so you won't have the option to keep an eye on your audio levels.

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Nikon D300S Weather Sealing

Nikon D300S comes with environment sealing which makes it a great pick for use during tricky locations. This can be particularly helpful any time you are unsure about the elements you might encounter during outdoor photography.

Nikon D300S Screen and Viewfinder

The Nikon D300S houses a 3 inch fixed screen supporting a resolution of 920 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the screen has no touch support. The D300S also comes with a Top LCD screen so you're able to quickly checkout camera settings.

Nikon D300S screen and viewfinder Meta to Introduce 'AI-Generated' Labels for Media starting next month

The View Finder specs for Nikon D300S are below:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • Coverage 100%
  • Magnification 0.63x

For sunny outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and tricky to see, viewfinders will be very valuable.

Nikon D300S Shutter specifications

Nikon D300S continuous shooting rate is 7.0 frames/s. The highest shutter speed is 1/8000 sec.

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Nikon D300S Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Nikon D300S has both built in flash as well as external flash ability. The maximum flash sync is 1/250 sec.

Nikon D300S Autofocusing specifications

Nikon D300S has both Phase Detect Autofocus as well as Contrast Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is more faster & exact in comparison with Contrast Detect focusing. The camera boasts Face detection making it useful for taking portraits of people.

It boasts 51 focus points to pick from. Nikon D300S comes with manual focus if needed during low light scenarios or you want to have more accurate control on focus.

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Nikon D300S Battery life

The battery (EN-EL3e) in the Nikon D300S is built to last for 950 photos based on the CIPA requirements making it comparable with it's competition. The general Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 offers the highest possible (2260) battery life within this range of cameras.

Underneath is a listing of Advanced DSLR cameras that come with the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
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Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
D300S vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
D300S vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes

Nikon D300S for varying kinds of photography

The following chart displays a overview of the Nikon D300S for varying kinds of photography. To look at more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Nikon D300S as a Portrait photography camera

The Nikon D300S receives a points total of 63 which is very good, and means the camera is a good fit to use for portrait photos. Taking portraits leans greatly towards sensor size, RAW support and capability to work with external lighting.

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manual focus
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
has face detect autofocus
delivers RAW files
resolution not great (12 megapixels)

Nikon D300S Street photography factors

With a moderate points total of 52, the Nikon D300S is somewhat adequate to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera features a good balance of image quality and portability.

Photography Glossary
nice sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
environment proof
no articulating screen
lack of image stabilization
more heavy than competition (938 grams)

Nikon D300S Sports photography advice

A reasonable sports photography score of 59 suggests the Nikon D300S is reasonably acceptable for shooting sports. A camera needs excellent focusing and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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max shutter speed is good (1/8,000s)
good sensor size (APS-C)
environment sealing
sensor has phase detect AF
lack of image stabilization
MP count low (12MP)

Nikon D300S Travel photography details

Weight is really crucial in picking a travel camera. On the whole, the Nikon D300S gets a average 48 for a travel camera which makes it somewhat appropriate for your holidays.

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environment sealing
built-in flash
heavier than competitors (938g)
resolution not great (12MP)
display isn't selfie friendly

Nikon D300S Landscape photography info

If you are planning to choose a digital camera for landscape photography, the most significant factor is going to be image quality. The Nikon D300S with it's above average score of 65 as a landscape camera is a respectable choice in the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
swap lenses (Nikon F mount)
nice screen size (3")
good sensor size (APS-C)
saves RAW files
environment sealing
two card slots
no image stabilization
sensor resolution low (12MP)

Nikon D300S Vlogging advice

A vlogging camera should really offer a articulating display screen, mic input and if possible IBIS. Taking all things in to account, the Nikon D300S is just not suitable for vlogging as it gets a dreadful score of 22.

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comes with face detection focus
includes external microphone socket
display is not selfie friendly
does not have image stabilization
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pxls)
more heavy than competition in class (938g)

Nikon D300S Alternatives

If you are trying to find alternatives to the D300S, below is a number of the top placed cameras that fall in to the family of Advanced DSLR.

The chart listed below will give you a summary of the D300S compared to it's highest rated competitors suggested above.

These are some more cameras you may check out as alternative options. To review a complete comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Nikon D300S
Advanced DSLR
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
23.6 x 15.8mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Highest resolution
4288 x 2848
RAW pictures
Highest native ISO
Highest boosted ISO
Minimum native ISO
Minimum boosted ISO
Manual focus
AF touch
AF continuous
AF single
AF tracking
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Number of focus points
Lens mount
Nikon F
Number of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen size
Screen resolution
920 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Screen tech
Super Density TFT color LCD with wide-viewing angle
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Slowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
7.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
12.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
Hot shoe
WB bracketing
Maximum flash synchronize
1/250 seconds
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 480 (24 fps), 320 x 240 (24 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Microphone port
Headphone port
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
938 gr (2.07 lbs)
147 x 114 x 74mm (5.8" x 4.5" x 2.9")
Battery life
950 photographs
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
Compact Flash Type I/SD/SDHC
Card slots
Launch cost