First Look: the Nikon D300s

This is the Nikon D300s with its MB-D10 battery grip attached.
This is the Nikon D300s with its MB-D10 battery grip attached.
Fit and finish on the D300s are very good, and all the buttons and controls are well-made.
Fit and finish on the D300s are very good, and all the buttons and controls are well-made.

My newspaper recently handed me a new Nikon D300s. I’ve been asking for a new camera for some time, and the corporation was able to get the D300s at a deep discount since it has been discontinued.

Despite being “older” technology (which in the tech world means “not the very latest”), I am finding out early on that this camera is very capable, and able to make the images I need.

Just two days after I got my hands on the D300s, I shot an all-star basketball game at ISO 6400, and was not disappointed with the result.
Just two days after I got my hands on the D300s, I shot an all-star basketball game at ISO 6400, and was not disappointed with the result.
  • It is well-built and has all the features I need

    Take your pick:  the battery holder for the MB-D10 grip (top) with the EN-EL3 battery, or the battery chamber cover mounted on one of my EN-EL4 batteries (bottom). The EN-EL4 battery lasts longer and runs the camera at 8 frames per second, but the smaller battery in the holder weighs half as much.
    Take your pick: the battery holder for the MB-D10 grip (top) with the EN-EL3 battery, or the battery chamber cover mounted on one of my EN-EL4 batteries (bottom). The EN-EL4 battery lasts longer and runs the camera at 8 frames per second, but the smaller battery in the holder weighs half as much.
  • Its sensor is about one full exposure value cleaner than my other work cameras; I was able to shoot some basketball at ISO 6400 and it was very usable
  • It controls are similar to my D200
  • The viewfinder and monitor are big and bright
  • I got the MB-D10 vertical grip; unlike grips for cameras like the D100 and D200, it only holds one battery, but with a BL-3 battery chamber cover, I can use the big, powerful battery from my D2Hs, which allow the D300s to run at 8 frames per second

So far the camera seems to have no vices at all, and I look forward to more reviews as I get more experience with it.

All the controls on the D300s are where I expect them to be. I had this camera out of the box and shooting in about five minutes.
All the controls on the D300s are where I expect them to be. I had this camera out of the box and shooting in about five minutes.

 

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5 Comments

  1. “All the controls on the D300s are where I expect them to be.”

    That’s a huge bonus. It’s frustrating to pick up a camera and find you have to retrain your muscle memory. I’ve often wished for some kind of standardization of controls, at least within brands.

    Also, the ISO6400 looks great in the example above. High-ISO performance is one of the greatest advances — for my purposes, anyway — in modern cameras.

    I hope you continue to enjoy it.

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  2. Yes, we all get it, George. Photography isn’t about imagery and self-expression. It’s about ownership, commerce, wealth. It’s a pissing contest.

    Only tools and brand fanboys think that way. The rest of us make pictures with what we have and don’t complain.

    I’ll make you a deal, George. Go to my publisher and tell her I need a $6000 Nikon D4, and until she buys me one, shut your mouth.

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