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Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Nikon refreshes D300 design with movie capabilities
(Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 00:00 EDT)

Alongside the launch of its newest entry-level digital SLR, Nikon Inc. has today announced an update to its mid-range D300 DSLR in the form of the new Nikon D300s.

The Nikon D300s offers dual media capability, with slots for both Type-I CompactFlash cards and Secure Digital cards, including the higher capacity types. The change does mean that Type-II CompactFlash cards including Microdrives are no longer supported, but the change adds a lot of versatility in how data can be stored. The other really big change in the Nikon D300s is a new high definition 1,280 x 720 pixel, 24 frames-per-second movie mode with AVI Motion JPEG compression. Contrast detection autofocus is offered and can be used during movie recording. As well as an internal monaural microphone, the D300s also includes a 3.5mm stereo microphone jack for use with external mics. As compared to the Nikon D300, the D300s also offers slightly faster burst-mode shooting when using the camera's internal EN-EL3e rechargeable battery. Where the D300 was limited to six frames per second, the D300s can now yield seven frames per second. Both cameras are actually capable of eight frames per second when the external battery grip is used with an EN-EL4a battery, however. A couple of other interesting changes in the Nikon D300s are that it adds Auto and Extra High settings to the Active D-Lighting function, which can also now be bracketed. The high-def HDMI video output connector type has also been changed from the larger Type-A to the more compact Type-C connector.

The Nikon D300s will ship in the USA from late August 2009. Body-only pricing for the D300s has been set at about US$1,800. For more details, read our Nikon D300s preview.

Nikon D300s
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypePro SLR
Model NumberD300s
Dimensions5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in.
(147 x 114 x 74 mm)
Weight29.1 oz
(825 g)
Planned Price$1799.95
Planned Availability August 2009
Image Capture
Sensor TypeNikon DX CMOS
13.10 megapixels (total)
12.30 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Focal Length Multiplier1.50
Aspect Ratio3:2
Image Dimensions4288 x 2848 (12.2 megapixels)
3216 x 2136 (6.9 megapixels)
2144 x 1424 (3.1 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderYes, Eye-level pentaprism w/ 0.94x magnification
100% field of view
LCD3.0", 921,600 pixels
Playback Zoom27.0x max
Lens TypeInterchangeable Lens
Lens MountNikon F mount
Image StabilizationNo
Focusing System51 point TTL phase detection with 3D focus tracking by Nikon Multi-CAM 3500DX with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
ISO Sensitivity200-3200, Lo-1=100, Hi-1=6400
Shutter Speed30 - 1/8000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes3D Color Matrix Metering II, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 5.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceHybrid - Auto, 7 manual modes with fine tuning, color temperature, Manual
Internal FlashModes: Front-Curtain Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync, and Rear-Curtain Sync; supports Advanced Wireless Lighting system
Range: Lens dependent
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- -3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Self TimerYes, 2 to 20 seconds
Time LapseYes
Movie FormatAVI Motion JPEG with audio
Max. clip length: 300 seconds () / 1,200 seconds ()
Recording MediumCompactFlash Type 1, SD/MMC
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatCCD-RAW, NEF (RAW), 12 or 14-bit, JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherType-C HDMI Out, DC In, PC Sync, 10-pin Expansion Terminal
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary EN-EL3e, optional MB-D10 battery pack
Product Bundle
SoftwarePictureProject CD-ROM
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary EN-EL3e Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory0.0MB
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes, Metal
Remote ControlYes, Optional wired
More Photos
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Nikon's D300s digital SLR. Photo provided by Nikon Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Nikon D300s Revitalizes The Standard And Measure Of Agile, Pro-Level DX-Format D-SLR Design And Performance

MELVILLE, N.Y. (July 30, 2009) – Today, Nikon announced the D300s digital SLR, combining professional-level performance with agility and enhanced D-Movie capabilities to deliver a new benchmark for creative versatility.  Engineered to leverage proven Nikon technologies, including a 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and 51-point autofocus system; the addition of HD video capture; and faster 7 frame-per-second (fps) continuous shooting, the Nikon D300s balances form factor, performance, versatility and reliability for serious photo enthusiasts and professionals.

The D300s retains the photographer-friendly features of the critically acclaimed D300, while enhancing speed, versatility, and agility of the DX-format for a wide variety of photographers, including advanced enthusiasts, wedding shooters and photojournalists. The D300s can record HD video clips and high fidelity audio with an external stereo microphone input, offering users a D-SLR with full multimedia capabilities. Dual card slots afford users the ability to seamlessly record stills and video to one CompactFlash™ (CF) and one Secure Digital™ (SD) card separately, while one-button Live View, a new Quiet Shutter Release mode and Active D-Lighting bracketing help users to capture stunning images like never before.

“Today’s photographer demands excellence and value from high-performance digital SLRs – and the Nikon D300s delivers,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR System Products at Nikon, Inc. “It’s no secret that more photographers need to gather multimedia content. In addition to proven technologies, such as the 51-point autofocus (AF) system and 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, we are more than confident that the D300s’ HD movie mode, along with a host of additional performance enhancements, will broaden the appeal of the camera to those seeking exceptional still image quality and video versatility.”

The Benchmark of Speed, Performance and Reliability
Whether on the front lines of spot news or behind the scenes at a spring wedding, users of the D300s can record HD video clips at 720p resolution with a smooth cinematic 24 fps rate. In addition, the D300s also records high fidelity audio—either with the convenient built-in microphone or by using the external stereo microphone input. Photographers can trim video length on the fly and apply Picture Controls to video, modifying the tone and color. Additionally, users can autofocus while recording video, using contrast detect AF, and do so while composing on the D300s’ bright three-inch 920,000-dot LCD screen.

Nikon’s applauded AF system, with 51 high density focus points, performs even faster and more accurately on the new D300s. The Multi-CAM 3500DX AF module uses 15 cross type sensors to provide unparalleled focus performance across the frame. The D300s offers multiple focus modes, including single-point AF mode, and a dynamic-area AF mode, where users can select from nine, 21 or 51 AF points with 3D tracking.  Additionally, the added Face Detection System lets users instantly zoom in on a human face in playback mode on the high-resolution LCD monitor to check critical focus.

The Nikon exclusive and newly-accelerated Scene Recognition System (SRS) further refines Nikon's AF performance and light metering. In conjunction with the 3D Color Matrix Metering II system, the SRS uses precise color and brightness information from the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor to propel AF, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance to unprecedented accuracy.

The renowned 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor in the D300s delivers extraordinary image quality and low noise throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range from 200 to 3200 (Lo-1 at 100 and 6400 at Hi-1). The D300s captures image data using 14 bit A/D conversion, processed through a 16-bit pipeline for optimal performance, resulting in images with sharp details and smooth tonal gradations.

The D300s also incorporates Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED™ image processing. EXPEED image processing uses an accumulation of sophisticated Nikon intelligence and technologies to ensure impeccable quality for both still images and movies, while also achieving high-speed processing and low power consumption. When using the included EN-EL3e Li-Ion rechargeable battery, photographers can achieve as many as 950 shots under normal shooting conditions. The optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 extends shooting comfort and supports three types of batteries: R6/AA-size batteries, along with Nikon's Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e and the EN-EL4a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery. It combines added stability with extended shooting of up to 2,950 shots*1 per charge and enables faster high-speed continuous shooting at up to 8 fps*2.

The reinforced magnesium alloy body is lightweight, ruggedly constructed and comprehensively sealed and gasketed against the elements at key points, and the shutter has been proven to a demanding 150,000 cycles. Additionally, the D300s employs the Integrated Dust Reduction System countermeasures that combat the accumulation of image-degrading particles on the optical low-pass filter.

World Class Versatility
With the D300s, Nikon introduces the ability to bracket Active D-Lighting (ADL). By localizing tone control, ADL restores shadow and highlight detail typically lost in high contrast situations, such as backlit subjects or while outdoors with strong sunlight. ADL bracketing provides users with the ability to bracket up to five frames of ADL strength to help ensure perfect contrast throughout the frame, putting an end to the guesswork behind the shot with a bride’s intricate white dress and a groom’s tuxedo in the same frame, for example.

Additionally, the D300s features two memory card slots—one CF and one SD, used simultaneously in a variety of configurations to match users’ preferences. Among the many options available, stills and video can record to separate cards or slots can be assigned for JPEG and RAW recording. The D300s offers “overflow” or “backup” modes, and when shooting D-Movie clips, it allows you to select the slot containing the card with the most available capacity. Users can also copy and paste files between cards.

Also added to the D300s is a Quiet Shutter Release mode, which substantially reduces the sound of the mirror while shooting. Quickly accessed by selecting “Q” on the release mode dial, this feature is ideal for the photographer who wishes to remain unobtrusive.

To further expand versatility, users have the ability to fine tune their images using Nikon’s Picture Controls to adjust sharpening, brightness, contrast and color hue. The D300s offers users four presets including Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome; while Landscape and Portrait settings can be downloaded from the Nikon website. While the D300s offers a versatile built-in flash with wider coverage for a 16mm lens, the camera is also compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System and is capable of controlling up to two groups of remote units as a master / commander for Advanced Wireless Lighting.

System Expandability
In addition to compatibility with more than 60 NIKKOR lenses and a broad array of system accessories, the D300s will also perform well with the recently announced AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II and the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 ED VR II lenses.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D300s camera body will be available at Nikon Authorized dealers beginning in late August 2009 at an estimated selling price of $1799.95.** For more information, please visit http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.

*As determined in Nikon performance tests
**Estimated selling price listed is only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

  1. Based on CIPA Standards. When Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e is used for camera body, together with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a and Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 for the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10.
  2. Based on CIPA Guidelines. When Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a and Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 are used for the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10, all of which are sold separately.


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