Nikon updates its copy of the D300 with the D300s, a semi-pro box that integrates HD video with autofocus.
That a camera capable of filming to do the update automatically, it sounds normal? If this is the case for compact, know that in the DSLR world, it is a feat. A feat that Panasonic was the first to achieve with its GH1 a SLR, not really, other manufacturers such as Canon activating the video (see the 5 d Mark II) without possibility of autofocus focus.
With his new D300s, Nikon has taken a new step and proposes, on the one hand the video, on the other hand an autofocus clean to a good use of it. While the ingredients that made the D300 a reference in its field. Starting with robustness, trademark of Nikon cameras, which no rival in this area than Pentax. Without pushing up the tropicalization as Pentax (as for the K7, for example), the D300 was a case all time very resistant and it should be the same for the D300s.
The resolution of the sensor (made by Sony), remains to be 12.3 Mpix, and produces images of 4288 x 2848 pixels: enough for good of the A3, or a little more. The range of sensitivity remains between ISO 200-3200, will grow to 100 and ISO 6400. Here again, nothing new. News, include the 51 autofocus points 3D: a system that can follow the topics in space, even if they approach / depart of the photographer. The autofocus is of course declined in several modes (dynamic to 9, 21 or 51 points, punctual, etc.) in order to better with the type of shooting. Particularly efficient on the D700, the driver of the development of the D300s and the older generation seems, on paper, very promising. Promising, as the glass of 100% sight which it is equipped. The viewfinder is indeed another key to SLRs: on the entry level, we frame and the saved final image is actually larger (there are more pixels on the sides). We remember the excellence of the lens of the Sony Alpha 900, and if one does not expect as much comfort on the D300s (both devices do not play in the same range-100% coverage would be a real more for demanding users.)
It comes to video mode, a mode that will excite and annoy the crowds. Annoy, because the video is Mpeg-4 (h.264) but the Mjepg, a heavier format. Annoy, because the image is not Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) but ‘small’ HD (1280 x 720, 24 p) and registration is flanged to the clips of 5 minutes in HD (20 minute in SD). On this last point, we can consider this ‘default’: it is a camera to shoot footage with the surveillance video from the parking of Carrefour Mérignac. A good topic consists of several well mounted plans and very rarely a sequence plan, still more rarely a plan sequence of more than 5 minutes! Professionals should not be disappointed more than that by this limitation.
The part exciting is first of all the presence of this video mode on a high-end SLR, but still more autofocus by contrast integrated into the device. Allowing you to escape to a manual focus not always practical depending on the modes of shooting and subjects. Maintain the point on a zebra or a started car is not always obvious. The reporters will appreciate.
For those who might be tempted to use it in production, the unit has a microphone jack to improve sound quality and avoid saving handling noise, autofocus included.
Expert device, that D300s sensor is always in the format DX (APS – C), which implies a multiplier factor of 1.5 to the focal lengths of the objectives. A disadvantage to play the wide angle – which tends to be reduced with the arrival of specific optical – and one advantage if you want to enjoy a bigger zoom factor (a 200 mm becomes 300 mm without scholarship untie). What makes the D300s a first good box of course, but especially a second excellent case for the reporter already equipped with D700/D3.
Take the Nikon brand, we add the word ‘Expert’ and we get a case also attractive it is expensive: 1799 euros naked case, 2299 euros with a 16-85 mm (24-128 mm equivalent 24 x 36) 3.5 – 5.6 VR and 2399 euro with the new 18-200 mm (27-300 mm EQ. 24 x 36) 3.5 – 5.6 VR II EG. A salt addition that should be, hopefully, at the level of service delivery.