Nikon D300S Review

 
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Nikon D300S Viewfinder

The Nikon D300S's viewfinder remains unchanged from the D300. The viewfinder is rated at 100% coverage, and is a bright, pentaprism design with 0.94x magnification at 50mm and -1 diopter, and a 19.5mm eyepoint. A diopter adjustment dial to the top-right on the viewfinder eyepiece offers a diopter adjustment range of -2 to +1.

The focusing screen is a fixed (non-interchangeable) type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark II screen. A framing grid (shown below) can be displayed on demand via a Custom menu setting. The active focus area can be highlighted in red or black (normally, the active area is highlighted in black only). There are three AF Point Illumination Custom settings available: Auto, which highlights when needed to establish contrast with the background; On, which always highlights, and Off, which disables the red highlighting.

The data readout below the focusing screen is also essentially identical to that of the D300, except that the Nikon D300S no longer displays the PC mode indicator in the viewfinder. (PC mode indicator is displayed in the top panel LCD.)

The graphic (courtesy of Nikon USA) and table below shows what information is displayed in D300S's viewfinder.


1
On-demand framing grid
13
ISO sensitivity
2
Focus areas
14
Number of exposures remaining
Spot metering targets
Number of shots remaining before memory buffer fills
3
AF area brackets
White balance recording indicator
4
Battery status
Exposure compensation value
5
Focus indicator
Flash compensation value
6
Metering mode
15
Flash-ready indicator
7
Autoexposure (AE) lock
16
FV lock indicator
8
Shutter speed
17
Flash sync
9
Aperture value
18
Aperture stop
10
Exposure mode
19
Electronic analog exposure display
11
Flash exposure compensation indicator
20
Auto ISO indicator
12
Exposure compensation indicator
21
"K" (appears when memory remains for over 1,000 frames)

 

Viewfinder Test Results

Coverage
Very good accuracy with the optical viewfinder, excellent on the LCD monitor in Live View mode.

70mm, Optical 70mm, Live View LCD

The Nikon D300S's optical viewfinder proved quite accurate, with almost 99% coverage when measured with our Sigma 70mm f/2.8 test lens. This is very good, but just short of the 100% coverage Nikon claims. That said, though, it's tough to frame to within a percent or two when squinting through a viewfinder eyepiece, so the actual accuracy could be a shade higher than we measured here. The resulting image is slanted very slightly to the left, which is unfortunately quite common with optical viewfinders these days. The amount of tilt in the D300S's viewfinder is very slight indeed, though. The camera's Live View LCD mode was extremely accurate, with essentially 100% coverage in our measurements.

 

Nikon D300S

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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