A few days back I mentioned that Nikon had released the new D300s DSLR body and I quickly spouted out a couple of the changes over the D300. I’ve been researching Nikon’s newest video-capable DSLR and I’ve got a few things that I want to share with you more in detail if you’re thinking about this camera. No, I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on one yet but hopefully I will soon.
Video: D-Movie Mode
This is probably the biggest change, although I’m not sure if it’s the most important because Nikon already has the D90 available with D-Movie mode and it uses the same sensor as the D300s. But what makes D-Movie mode unique from the D90 is the little goodies that Nikon added to the D300s that the D90 lacks. Features like an input for an external microphone and the ability to autofocus while shooting video were absent from the D90 and they are seriously missed! With the D300s, photogs that want to shoot stills and pro video will be better suited to do so. That’s not to say that the D90 isn’t as capable of producing awesome video, but it will require a little more work than it would with the D300s.
The ergonomics changes that have been made to the D300s are HUGE in my book. Nikon borrowed features from the D700 like a Center Selection Button, a dedicated LiveView button, and a dedicated Info button so that you can access information quickly on the big 3″ LCD without having to dig through the menus. See the image below:
These are the only real major changes to the D300 that are of any real significance. Of course, the processing will be the same or a little better than what’s in the D90 so users should see some increase in image quality, which will be comparable to the image quality of the D90.
Should I upgrade?
In my opinion, if you already own a D300 it’s not worth upgrading unless you’re really dying to shoot video. D-Movie mode is cool and it’s HD, but if you want to shoot video seriously then you are better off going with an HD camcorder. Don’t get me wrong though, you can shoot and edit some killer videos if you know what you’re doing when it comes to editing. Check out Nikon’s video productions that were made with the D300s… they’re very impressive. So are the credits though.
If you are going to be upgrading from an older camera like the D80 or D200 then I think it would be worth your while if you want the same quality of camera. Otherwise, I’d just go with the D90, save yourself at least $800.00, and call it a day. Remember, it’s not the camera.
The bottom line here is that Nikon released the D300s to compete with the Canon 5D MKII with it’s impressive video, external microphone input, and full-frame sensor. Personally, I’m looking for Nikon to release the D700s, which will bring video capability to a full-frame body… now that will rock!