They have done what they have to do, plus a little bit more, just to keep the interest up. It's still a great camera. I do wonder why they don't come up with some new primes to match. There's no fast wide (actually, there are no wide primes designed for the DX format at all made by Nikon), and the telephoto lenses up to 180mm, even if optically very good, are showing their age. How about an 85/105/135mm f/2.0 trio with AF-S, VR and nano coating?
VR isn't likely to happen on the wide lenses. 85mm and up would be nice, though. I agree with Jorgen, just having an AF-S version of the 105/2,5 would make me very happy indeed.
So excuse my ignorance to the old D300, but what is new in this one? The video stuff?
Nikon D300S vs D300: Key Differences
The D300S is a subtle upgrade from the D300; but aside from the obvious addition of video, there are a few other tweaks and additions:
720p HD video, including autofocus while recording
SD card slot in addition to existing CF slot
Faster continuous shooting (7fps, vs. 6fps)
Socket for external microphone
Live View and Info buttons
Discrete 'OK' button in multi controller
Interactive settings display screen
Auto and Extra High Active D-Lighting options
Quiet drive mode
The back of the D300S is slightly revised from the D300, and is now almost a dead-ringer for the D700. All of the key shooting controls remain in the same place, but the card door latch makes way for a dedicated 'info' button, and in a welcome move the D300's somewhat spongy multi-controller is replaced with the more positive design (with separate center button) seen on every Nikon DSLR since. Echoing the D90 and D5000, Live View now has its own dedicated button on the back of the camera; its place on the drive mode dial is occupied by the 'Quiet' mode, which in truth isn't especially quiet but does at least delay the mirror return until the shutter button is released. Finally nine small holes at the bottom right corner reveal the location of the small speaker used for audio playback, resulting in a decrease in area of the rubberised grip on the back.
Full article here
All of this is well and good, but the important questions IMO, given the rather old (in DSLR-terms) 12 Mpx chip, are: Has Nikon lightened the AA filter to improve resolution and definition, has DR been increased, is noise at low and high ISO reduced? Curiously none of these issues are clearly mentioned in the press release which leads me to believe (or rather fear) that they have not been addressed at all.
Hopefully I'm wrong...
From Nikon's UK site:
Given that the sensor and processor are the same, i would not be expecting dramatic changes in the IQ department. Its not to say that there aren't software tweaks, but I wouldn't look for much.Built upon the widely acclaimed D300, the D300S incorporates the same DX-format 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, professional 51-point autofocus system and commended EXPEED image processing in a discrete compact body.
If they put the same feature in a D700 replacement I will go there imediately as a high ISO companion to the D3X rather than the D3.
Could care less about video. But it seems all the rage.
There's a comparison between the Pentax K-7 and different other cameras on the Pentax forum at DPreview, and although the Pentax is more noisy, I was surprised to see the difference in resolution and detail rendering. To me, that shows that the low noise levels of some Nikon cameras, particularly those with the 12MP sensor, come at a price.
maybe still a market for my 70-200 2.8 vr.....
Jorgen, I had a look around at the Pentax forum, but couldn't identify the thread you referred to, do you have a link or title? Thanks.
Sorry, no, I can't find it. It was on the front page for a while, but now it seems to be totally gone. Probably removed, due to some of the usual dpreview bashing.
What a few posters had done, was to compare photos at 800 and 1600 ISO from www.imaging-resource.com, not the Still-leben, but the mannequin in a green blouse. Although noisier than the Nikons, the K-7 showed a surprising amount of detail, even compared to the 20MP+ cameras, and much more than the D300.
The photos are probably shot in jpeg, and RAW plus a good converter may change the picture somewhat, but the people at Pentax clearly know what they are doing.
I had a look at the IR comparisons and the difference in resolution seems much larger than the modest increase in Mpx would indicate. But it is all Jpeg, so the jury is probably still out. Pentax has some nice primes though...
I think what it mainly shows, is that, if the sensor size is the same, sensor quality is now at a level where it's mostly up to the skills of the photographer and his choice of lenses to make the quality statement with his work. Ergonomics, features and selection of lenses will be the deciding factor for choice of camera.
I received that tip anonymously several days ago. The name Nikon D300s is not really what we all expected, but everything makes sense (at least to me): same as the D300 plus HD movie mode, built-in mic and stereo audio input, dual SD and CF slots
Its quite impressive with its 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