Nikon D300S DSLR announced: 12.3MP and 24fps 720p HD video

Jul 30, 2009
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Nikon have announced the D300S, its new DX-format DSLR flagship.  The 12.3-megapixel DX-sensor camera has 51-point autofocus and can shoot 7 frames per second; however it can also record 24fps 720p high-definition video with contrast-detect AF (while in Tripod mode).  Nikon have added a stereo microphone input and in-camera movie editing for clip trimming.

 

In terms of still shots, the D300S can span ISO 200 to ISO 3200 with ISO 100- and ISO 6400-equivalent modes, and uses the company's EXPEED image processing and scene recognition setting for automatically adjusting autofocus, auto-exposure, iTTL flash control and white balance.  Face detection also works in playback mode, intelligently zooming into faces on the 3-inch 920k-dot LCD preview screen.

There are also two CF/SD memory card slots, allowing for either backup, overflow or "RAW primary, JPEG secondary", and the chassis is constructed from durable magnesium alloy.  Connectivity includes HDMI and there's an optional GPS unit for geotagging.

The Nikon D300S body will be priced at $1,799.95.

Press Release:

Digital SLR Camera Nikon D300S
July 30, 2009

Nikon's latest flagship DX-format digital SLR combines professional-level performance with agility and enhanced D-Movie capabilities to deliver a new measure of creative versatility.

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of its new DX-format digital SLR flagship, the Nikon D300S.

As well as inheriting the finest features of the highly acclaimed D300, the D300S boasts many innovative enhancements and is designed to meet an even broader scope of creative demands from serious photographers.

First and foremost, the D300S possesses the superb product quality required of the flagship of Nikon's DX-format digital SLR camera line: 7 frames-per-second*1 high-speed continuous shooting, exceptional accuracy thanks to the 51-point AF system and approx. 100% viewfinder coverage, plus dual card slots and the rugged durability that enables the camera to work under extreme conditions. What's more, an enhanced D-Movie function provides new features, such as an external microphone input for stereo sound recording and AF capability with contrast-detect AF during movie recording. Such outstanding specifications in a trim, responsive, versatile DX-format digital SLR will give any serious photographer an extra measure of agility, for traveling and shooting with greater ease.

On top of this, users can choose from the extraordinary range of more than 60 NIKKOR lenses, and Nikon's Total Imaging System — benefits that give the D300S a special advantage in terms of creative D-SLR versatility.

*1 Based on CIPA Guidelines.

Nikon D300S Feature Highlights
High-speed performance
One major advancement of the D300S is its ability to shoot as fast as 7 frames per second,*1 with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e (included), and up to 8 frames per second*2 when using the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a. It also offers a rapid startup time of approx. 130 milliseconds and an amazingly short shutter release time lag of only 49 milliseconds*1.

*1 Based on CIPA Guidelines.
*2 Based on CIPA Guidelines. Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 required for Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a.

Refined D-Movie
The D300S's advanced D-Movie function benefits from a number of functional and technological advancements, including an external stereo microphone input enabling high-fidelity audio, plus in-camera movie editing, allowing the trimming of clips. And in Tripod mode, the D300S features contrast-detect AF. Yet another means of enhancing the dramatic impact of HD video is by taking advantage of the wide selection of finest-quality NIKKOR interchangeable lenses — from ultra-wide-angle and fisheye to super-telephoto — for incredibly sharp results. What's more, the camera's versatile Picture Control adjustment options let you modify the tone and color of HD video clips with remarkable ease.

AF system with high-density 51-point AF
The D300S's Multi-CAM 3500DX AF sensor module provides an exceptionally wide area of AF coverage. With 51 AF points densely positioned across the frame, it's designed to capture your subject accurately, even when its movement is unpredictable. Moreover, it utilizes 15 powerful cross-type sensors in the center of the frame to give you the ultimate in detection performance with any AF NIKKOR lens of f/5.6 or faster. You can also choose to shoot with 11 focus points.
The 51 AF points are employed in various focus area modes, according to subject conditions. Single-point AF mode allows you to choose a single AF point from among the 51, and in dynamic-area AF mode, you can select from 9, 21 or 51 AF points. The 51-point option offers 3D-tracking mode, which automatically shifts the focus point to match the subject's movements. Auto-area AF mode specializes in focusing on people, automatically detecting and prioritizing skin tones with all 51 points.

Large, bright viewfinder with approximately 100% frame coverage
The D300S's viewfinder features an eye-level pentaprism with approx. 100% frame coverage and approx. 0.94x magnification. The large, bright viewfinder makes for easier, more accurate composition.

DX-format CMOS image sensor; 12.3 effective megapixels
The D300S employs Nikon's renowned DX-format CMOS image sensor that provides 12.3 effective megapixels. It delivers extraordinary image quality throughout a wide ISO sensitivity range of ISO 200 to ISO 3200 with low noise. In addition, Lo 1 for ISO 100 equivalent and Hi 1 for ISO 6400 equivalent are also available. Initial image capture data can be quickly and accurately transferred using 14-bit integrated A/D conversion. All successive internal processing is then handled at a full 16 bits. The resulting output reveals breathtaking details and remarkably smooth tonal gradations.

EXPEED image processing
Nikon's comprehensive EXPEED image processing utilizes 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. It also effectively reduces lateral chromatic aberration.

Scene Recognition System makes the most of the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
Nikon's intelligent and exclusive light metering sensor applications have undergone a refining process that has led to a breakthrough technology, the Scene Recognition System, which uses precise color and brightness information from the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor to push accuracy levels for autofocus, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance to an unprecedented level. And in playback mode, the added Face Detection System lets you instantly zoom in on a human face in the high-resolution, 920k-dot LCD monitor.

Dual card slots for CF/SD memory cards
New for the D300, the D300S provides dual card slots, enabling the simultaneous use of both CompactFlash* and SD memory cards and allows photographers to designate the primary recording slot. For the slot designated as secondary, photographers can select from three recording methods: "Overflow" recording lets you use the memory capacity of the secondary card when the primary card is full, automatically; "Backup" recording stores the same images on both cards; and "RAW primary, JPEG secondary" recording lets you record RAW data and JPEG data separately to each card. You can also copy images between the two memory cards. And when shooting D-Movie clips, it allows you to select the slot containing the card with the most available capacity.

* Type I compatible only.

Engineered durability
Tested on fully assembled cameras, the shutter mechanism assembly has been proven for 150,000 cycles under demanding conditions. The ruggedly constructed D300S employs a strong yet lightweight magnesium alloy for its exterior cover, chassis and mirror box, as well as for the cover of the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10. The camera also offers comprehensive countermeasures at key points to combat invasive moisture and dust.

Easy-to-access Live View mode
Live View function, activated by pressing the dedicated Live View button, makes it easy to shoot while composing on the LCD monitor.
In Handheld mode, which allows you to recompose the frame prior to actual shooting, TTL phase-detection AF using 51 AF points is activated. Tripod mode is designed for precise focus accuracy with still subjects. It allows contrast-detect AF on a desired point within a frame.

Quiet Shutter-release mode for nonintrusive shooting
One more advancement over the D300 is that by selecting "Q" on the release mode dial, photographers can opt to substantially reduce the sound of the camera's mirror-down during shooting. This is particularly useful when shooting in restrictive conditions such as when photographing wildlife.

Active D-Lighting for smooth tone reproduction in high-contrast lighting
By localizing tone control, Active D-Lighting accurately restores the details in shadows and highlighted areas which are often lost in high-contrast lighting situations. Simply choose the appropriate setting — auto, extra high, high, normal, low or off — prior to shooting. For further options that will help you achieve your desired tone, the D300S also allows you to bracket your pictures with varying strength levels, for up to five frames, perfect for difficult lighting situations or if you don't have the time or experience to select just one Active D-Lighting setting.

Picture Control: Customize the visual style of your images
Nikon's Picture Control enables you to create the pictures you envision, quickly and easily, by making specific selections and adjustments to image sharpening, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue. And with other Picture Control-compatible cameras, as long as the settings are the same, you're able to obtain the same picture tone. The D300S offers four preset Picture Control options — Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome. Your can also download two additional presets, Portrait and Landscape, from the Nikon website.

Built-in flash with 16mm lens coverage
With a guide number of approx. 17/56 (m/ft., ISO 200, 20°C/68°F) and 16mm lens coverage — wider than the 18mm of the D300 — the high-performance built-in flash supports Nikon's original i-TTL flash control that evaluates flash exposure with greater precision for exceptional results. Compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the built-in flash controls up to two groups of remote units as a master/commander in Advanced Wireless Lighting.

Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 (optional)
The optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 supports three types of batteries: R6/AA-size batteries, along with Nikon's Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a. It combines added stability with extended shooting of up to approx. 2,950 shots*1 per charge and enables faster high-speed continuous shooting at up to 8 fps*2.

*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.

Additional Nikon D300S Features
Virtual Horizon that is available in Live View shooting.
3-in., 920-k dot high-resolution LCD monitor.
Highly efficient energy-saving design allows as many as 950 images on a single charge of the Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e. (CIPA Standards)
Nikon's Integrated Dust Reduction System including Image Sensor Cleaning function that provides effective dust reduction.
Versatile in-camera Retouch Menus let you enhance your images without using a computer.
Compatible with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output. Type C connector (mini size) is employed.
With the optional GPS Unit GP-1, location information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and time are automatically recorded to each image's Exif data.
Exclusive Nikon Software — Nikon Transfer and ViewNX software packages (supplied) for a range of basic photo browsing and editing operations; Capture NX 2, Camera Control Pro 2, and Image Authentication Software (all optional) enable more advanced operation and image editing.

Nikon Digital SLR Camera D300S Specifications
Type Type Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens mount Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
Effective picture angle Approx. 1.5 x conversion factor (Nikon DX format)
Effective pixels Effective pixels 12.3 million
Image sensor Image sensor 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS sensor
Total pixels 13.1 million
Dust-reduction system
Image Sensor Cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (requires optional Capture NX 2 software)

Storage Image size (pixels) 4,288 x 2,848 [L], 3,216 x 2,136 [M], 2,144 x 1,424 [S]
File format • NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed
• TIFF (RGB)

• JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression (Size priority); Optimal quality compression available
• NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

Picture Control System Can be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome; storage for up to nine custom Picture Controls

Media Type I CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA compliant); SD memory cards, SDHC compliant
Dual card slots Either card can be used as the primary card; secondary card can be used for overflow or backup storage, or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; images can be copied between cards
File system DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif 2.21 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge
Viewfinder Viewfinder Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
Frame coverage Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
Magnification Approx. 0.94 x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint 19.5 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Diopter adjustment -2 to +1 m-1
Focusing screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with AF area brackets (framing grid can be displayed)
Reflex mirror Quick return
Depth-of-field preview When depth-of-field preview button is pressed, lens aperture is stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (P and S modes)
Lens aperture Instant return, electronically controlled
Lens Compatible lenses • DX NIKKOR: All functions supported
• Type G or D AF NIKKOR: All functions supported (PC Micro-NIKKOR does not support some functions); IX-NIKKOR lenses not supported
• Other AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II; lenses for F3AF not supported
• AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II
• Non-CPU: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; color matrix metering and aperture value display supported if user provides lens data (AI lenses only)

Electronic rangefinder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster

Shutter Type Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Speed 1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb, X250
Flash sync speed X = 1/250 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/320 s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320 s)
Release Release modes Single frame, continuous low speed, continuous high speed, quiet shutter-release, self-timer, mirror up
Frame advance rate With Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e: Approx. 1 to 7 fps (CL), approx. 7 fps (CH);
With optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a: Approx. 1 to 7 (CL) fps, approx. 8 fps (CH)*
Self-timer Can be selected from 2, 5, 10 and 20 s duration
*With a battery other than Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a, the continuous shooting speed may be slower than 8 fps in continuous high-speed mode.Exposure Metering TTL exposure metering using 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
Metering method • Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in center of frame. Diameter of circle can be changed to 6, 10 or 13 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (fixed at 8 mm when non-CPU lens is used)
• Spot: Meters 3-mm circle (about 2% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)

Range (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F) • Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV
• Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV
Exposure meter coupling Combined CPU and AI
Exposure modes Programmed auto with flexible program (P); Shutter-priority auto (S); Aperture-priority auto (A); Manual (M)
Exposure compensation -5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Exposure bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV
Exposure lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index)
ISO 200 to 3200 in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 100 equivalent) below ISO 200 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 6400 equivalent) above ISO 3200
Active D-Lighting Can be selected from auto, extra high, high, normal, low or off
ADL bracketing 2 to 5 frames with strength levels varying according to number of frames chosen; for 2 frames, off and a chosen level are applied
Focus Autofocus Nikon Multi-CAM 3500DX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors) and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5 to 3 m/1 ft. 8 in. to 9 ft. 10 in.)
Detection range -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 equivalent, 20°C/68°F)
Lens servo • Autofocus: Single-servo AF (S); continuous-servo AF (C); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status

• Manual (M): Electronic rangefinder supported

Focus point Can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points
AF-area modes Single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF
Focus lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (Single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

Flash Built-in flash Manual pop-up with button release; Guide number of 17/56 (m/ft., ISO 200, 20 °C/68 °F) or 12/39 (m/ft., ISO 100 equivalent, 20 °C/68 °F)
Flash control • TTL: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR using 1,005-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash, Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-400
• Auto aperture: Available with Speedlight SB-900 or SB-800 and CPU lens
• Non-TTL auto: Supported flash units include Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-28, SB-27 and SB-22S
• Range-priority manual: Available with Speedlight SB-900 and SB-800
Flash modes Front curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Flash bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV
Flash-ready indicator Lights when built-in flash or flash unit such as Speedlight SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX or SB-50DX is fully charged; blinks after flash is fired at full output
Accessory shoe ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts, and safety lock
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, Speedlight SB-900, SB-800 or Wireless Speedlight Commander SU-800 as commander and SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes; Auto FP High-Speed Sync and modeling illumination supported with all CLS-compatible flash units except SB-400; Flash Color Information Communication and FV lock supported with all CLS-compatible flash units
Sync terminal ISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread
White balance White balance Auto (TTL white-balance with main image sensor and 1,005-pixel RGB sensor), Incandescent, Fluorescent (7 options), Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, preset manual (able to store up to 5 values) and color temperature setting (2,500K to 10,000K); fine-tuning available for all options
White balance bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3
Live View Modes Tripod, Hand-held
Autofocus • Tripod: Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame
• Hand-held: TTL phase-detection AF with 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors)
Movie Frame size (pixels) 1,280 x 720/24 fps, 640 x 424/24 fps, 320 x 216/24 fps
File format AVI
Compression format Motion-JPEG
Autofocus Contrast-detect AF on a desired point within a frame is possible (Tripod mode)
Audio Sound can be recorded via built-in (monaural) or optional external (stereo/monaural) microphone; sensitivity can be adjusted
Maximum length 5 min (1,280 x 720 pixels), 20 min (640 x 424, 320 x 216 pixels)
Monitor LCD monitor 3-in., approx. 920k-dot (VGA), low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with 170° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage, and brightness adjustment
Playback Playback function Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9 or 72 images) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, slide show, histogram display, highlights, auto image rotation, and image comment (up to 36 characters)

Interface USB Hi-Speed USB
Audio video output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
HDMI output HDMI Mini connector (Type C); camera monitor turns off when HDMI cable is connected
Audio input Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter)
10-pin remote terminal Can be used to connect optional remote control, GPS Unit GP-1 or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 (requires optional GPS Cable MC-35 and cable with D-sub 9-pin connector)
Supported languages Supported languages Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

Power source Battery One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e
Battery pack Optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 with one Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, EN-EL4a/EN-EL4 or eight R6/AA-size alkaline, Ni-MH, lithium or nickel-manganese batteries; Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EN-EL4 and R6/AA-size batteries available separately; Battery Chamber Cover BL-3 (available separately) required when using Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EN-EL4
AC adapter AC Adapter EH-5a/EH-5 (available separately)
Tripod socket Tripod socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions/Weight Dimensions
(W x H x D) Approx. 147 x 114 x 74 mm/5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in.
Weight Approx. 840 g/1 lb. 14 oz. without battery, memory card, body cap or monitor cover
Operating environment Temperature 0-40°C/32-104°F
Humidity Less than 85% (no condensation)

Accessories Supplied accessories (may differ by country or area) Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-23, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-DC4, LCD Monitor Cover BM-8, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, Software Suite CD-ROM

PictBridge is a trademark.
CompactFlash is a registered trademark of SanDisk Corporation.
HDMI, the HDMI logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.
Products and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.


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