Creative options

“The D300S has everything — the vast NIKKOR lens lineup, multiple speedlights, Active D-Lighting and more. I can't imagine what else I would need.”

  • Built-in flash and Speedlights
  • Picture Control
  • Active D-Lighting
  • Live View
  • Quiet Shutter- release mode
  • AF fine tune
  • White balance fine tuning
  • Retouch Menus


NIKKOR lenses — an extraordinary collection of imaging tools

It's a fact: The current NIKKOR lineup offers more than 60 lenses, all able to draw on the exceptional quality and creativity of Nikon's latest DX-format flagship camera, the D300S. Indeed, the diverse scope and excellence of these lenses plays a vital role in determining how finely and effectively you'll be able to express your own creative needs.
Equally important, the compatibility and continuity of these lenses is the key that enables you to develop your ideal photographic system over the course of your life. Unlike other manufacturers, because almost all NIKKOR lenses are interchangeable with whatever Nikon cameras you have, they never become obsolete. This unique advantage is underlined by the fact that the legendary Nikon F mount celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2009.
Indeed, this DX-format flagship camera, in combination with the unparalleled selection of NIKKOR lenses, delivers a professional system of unmatched compatibility.


Discover why so many top professionals make our legendary NIKKOR lenses their preferred choice. To learn more about NIKKOR technologies and advantages, and to hear what leading pros have to say,

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm
f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

Super high-power zoom of 11.1x covers a broad focus distance from wide-angle to telephoto. It also features a zoom lock switch for added convenience when shooting on location. An ideal lens for travel applications. (Picture angle is equivalent to a 27-300mm lens in 35mm and FX formats.)

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II • Exposure: [A] mode, 1/2000 second, f/6.3 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 200 • Picture Control: Standard
©Robert Bösch

AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm
f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

This compact and lightweight lens covers the wide focal range of 16mm, and with VR (Vibration Reduction) II, you can shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops slower* and ED glass elements control color aberration. (Picture angle is equivalent to a 24-127.5mm lens in 35mm and FX formats.)

*Under Nikon measurement conditions

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR • Exposure: [A] mode, 1/1600 second, f/8 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 200 • Picture Control: Standard
©Robert Bösch

AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm
f/3.5-4.5G ED

Further strengthening the wide-angle coverage of the DX-NIKKOR lens lineup, this lens, starting at 10mm, offers an ultra-wide-angle perspective optimal for vast landscapes or a small room, and lets you add an exaggerated perspective effect if that's your desire. (Picture angle is equivalent to a 15-36mm lens in 35mm and FX formats.)

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/100 second, f/4.5 • White balance: Cloudy • Sensitivity: ISO 800 • Picture Control: Standard
©Ami Vitale

Lens compatibility chart
Lens compatibility chart
  1. IX-NIKKOR lenses can not be used.
  2. Vibration Reduction (VR) supported with VR lenses.
  3. Spot metering meters selected focus point.
  4. Cannot be used with shifting or tilting.
  5. The camera's exposure metering and flash control systems do not work properly when shifting and/or tilting the lens, or when an aperture other than the maximum aperture is used.
  6. Manual exposure mode only.
  7. Can be used with AF-S and AF-I lenses only.
  8. With maximum effective aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
  9. When focusing at minimum focus distance with AF 80-200mm f/2.8, AF 35-70mm f/2.8, AF 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 <New>, or AF 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 lens at maximum zoom, in-focus indicator may be displayed when image on matte screen in viewfinder is not in focus. Adjust focus manually until image in viewfinder is in focus.
  10. With maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
  11. Some lenses cannot be used.
  12. Range of rotation for AI 80-200mm f/2.8 ED tripod mount is limited by camera body. Filters cannot be exchanged while AI 200-400mm f/4 ED is mounted on camera.
  13. If maximum aperture is specified using Non-CPU lens data, aperture value will be displayed in viewfinder and control panel.
  14. Can be used only if lens focal length and maximum aperture are specified using Non-CPU lens data. Use spot or center-weighted metering if desired results are not achieved.
  15. For improved precision, specify lens focal length and maximum aperture using Non-CPU lens data.
  16. Can be used in manual exposure modes at shutter speeds slower than flash sync speed by one step or more.
  17. Exposure determined by presetting lens aperture. In aperture-priority auto exposure mode, preset aperture using lens aperture ring before performing AE lock and shifting lens. In manual exposure mode, preset aperture using lens aperture ring and determine exposure before shifting lens.
  18. Exposure compensation required when used with AI 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5, AI 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5, AI 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5, or AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8D.
  19. Requires Auto Extension Ring PK-12 or PK-13. Bellows Spacer PB-6D may be required depending on camera orientation.
  20. Use preset aperture. In aperture-priority auto exposure mode, set aperture using focusing attachment before determining exposure and taking photograph.
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Built-in flash and Speedlights

Powerful, versatile lighting solution

Intelligent built-in flash with 16mm lens coverage

The built-in flash lets you handle wide flash photography, even for a 16mm picture angle, without vignetting. It also works as a wireless commander, controlling a single group or two independent groups containing an unlimited number of remote Speedlights with Advanced Wireless Lighting to provide flexible lighting control in a wide range of situations.

Built-in flash compatibility chart

The built-in flash can be used with CPU lenses with focal lengths of 16-300 mm. Remove lens hoods to prevent shadows. The flash has a minimum range of 60 cm (2 ft.) and cannot be used in the macro range of macro zoom lenses. The flash may be unable to light the entire subject with the following lenses at ranges less than those given below:

When used with the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, the flash will be unable to light the entire subject at all ranges. The built-in flash can also be used with AI-, AI-modified, Nikon Series E and non-CPU lenses with a focal length of 16-300mm. AI 50-300mm f/4.5, modified AI 50-300mm f/4.5, and AI-S 50-300mm f/4.5 ED lenses must be used at a zoom position of 135mm or above, and AI 50-300mm f/4.5 ED lenses at a zoom position of 105mm or above.

Nikon's Creative Lighting System

Realizes all your lighting ideas perfectly using nothing but the simple-to-use yet sophisticated Nikon Speedlights: SB-900, SB-600, SB-400 and SB-R200. The D300S is fully compatible with Nikon's renowned Creative Lighting System and all of its advanced features, including i-TTL flash control, Advance Wireless Lighting and more.

  • Speedlight SB-900
  • Speedlight SB-600
  • Speedlight SB-400
  • Wireless Remote Speedlight SB-R200
i-TTL flash control refined by Scene Recognition System

No matter which of the compatible Nikon Speedlights you choose to use, you'll appreciate the improved accuracy of the i-TTL flash metering. The Scene Recognition System employs a 1,005-pixel RGB sensor for more effective flash metering evaluation in scenes containing highly reflective objects.

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED • Exposure: [S] mode, 1/800 second, f/5.6 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 250 • Picture Control: Standard
©Robert Bösch

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/60 second, f/4 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 200 • Picture Control: Standard
©Ami Vitale

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Picture Control

Picture Control — customize images to your particular preferences

Picture Control — Nikon's powerful and intuitive image adjustment tool — gives you the freedom to define the look and feel of your images, custom-tailoring sharpness, saturation and other parameters to match your own particular creative intentions. Tones defined by Picture Control are consistent across all other Nikon digital SLR cameras that employ the Picture Control System. With the D300S, four types of easy-to-use presets are available — Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome — to complement your shooting themes and styles. Two additional presets, Portrait and Landscape, can be downloaded from the Nikon website.

Direct, intuitive fine-tuning

Standard, Neutral, and Vivid settings enable you to adjust parameters such as sharpening, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue. Monochrome lets you fine-tune sharpening, contrast, brightness, filter effects and toning. Changes can be saved as custom Picture Controls, under the name of your choice, for future use with particular shooting scenarios.
Quick Adjust and grid display can be used to help you achieve the specific results you're after.

Collaboration with Nikon's exclusive software

Another aspect unique to the Picture Control System is its collaboration with ViewNX and Capture NX 2 software via Picture Control Utility. Importing and exporting custom Picture Control parameters between your Nikon D-SLR camera and software further expands creative flexibility. You can apply Picture Control settings defined in the D300S to Capture NX 2 post-production work. Picture Control parameters minutely defined on a personal computer can then be applied to the D300S. You can even trade your favorite custom Picture Controls with colleagues for enhanced potential and productivity.


Versatile, for a broad range of situations

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/80 second, f/3.5 • White balance: Cloudy • Sensitivity: ISO 400 • Picture Control: Standard
©Ami Vitale


Less contrast, for natural-looking results

• Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED • Exposure: [S] mode, 1/1250 second, f/4.5 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 200 • Picture Control: Neutral
©Robert Bösch


Enhanced saturation of red and green, producing sharper contrast

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/160 second, f/7.1 • White balance: Cloudy • Sensitivity: ISO 500 • Picture Control: Vivid
©Ami Vitale


Black and white, for a timeless, classic look

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/1000 second, f/6.3 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 200 • Picture Control: Monochrome
©Ami Vitale


Natural texture, gives the skin of portrait subjects a smoother feel

• Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/200 second, f/1.8 • White balance: Cloudy • Sensitivity: ISO 200 • Picture Control: Portrait
©Ami Vitale


Brighter greens and blues for more vibrant landscapes and cityscapes

• Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED • Exposure: [S] mode, 1/640 second, f/9 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 200 • Picture Control: Landscape
©Robert Bösch

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Active D-Lighting

Active D-Lighting — rescuing tone in highlights and shadows

Active D-Lighting comes to your rescue in high-contrast situations when previously you've been forced to choose between sacrificing shadows or highlights. By automatically regulating the dynamic range of a scene, such as clouds, it allows you to depict shadow details while preserving highlights. In this way, both shadowy and bright sections are more pleasantly detailed and exposed, to achieve the desired contrast.

Simply choose the appropriate setting — auto, extra high, high, normal, low or off — prior to shooting. For further options in achieving the desired tone, the D300S also allows you to bracket your pictures with varying strength levels, for up to five frames.

ADL bracketing
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Live View

Live View for greater shooting versatility

Live View delivers tremendous creative freedom for a broad spectrum of shooting situations, from still lifes in a studio where precise focus is essential, to outdoor environments where you may not always be able to physically see your subject through the viewfinder. You can also access four information display in Live View mode — information on, information off, Virtual Horizon, and framing guides. The D300S offers two Live View modes — Tripod and Handheld. Just press the dedicated Live View button for instant access.

Note: Information displays shown above are for Tripod mode.

Tripod mode with contrast-detect AF

Tripod mode is designed for shooting still subjects with a precision focus using contrast-detect AF in a stable tripod setup. Because the image sensor itself works for AF detection, you can focus anywhere within the frame. AF performance has been improved in various ways, including a higher AF speed than the D300, and enhanced AF accuracy, both in low-light scenes and with a dot light source.

Handheld mode

In situations where you're unable to look through the viewfinder — such as when shooting from a high or low angle — Handheld mode is an invaluable ally. It's easy to compose your shot using the wide, 170-degree viewing angle, even when holding your D300S over heads in a crowd. This mode employs TTL phase-detection AF, which uses all 51 AF points.

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Quiet Shutter-release mode

Quiet Shutter-release mode

Imagine a scene where silence is essential, a school play, for example, or any situation where you don't want your subject to be aware that you're shooting, such as wildlife photography. Simply select “Q” on the release mode dial to reduce the sound of the camera's mirror-down during shooting. You can lessen the sound of the shutter release, too, by keeping the shutter depressed after shooting, then moving the camera before releasing it.

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AF fine tune

AF fine tune

Professional photographers sometimes require an extra level of ultra-fine AF tuning. This feature allows you to individually fine-tune and register the autofocus position for up to 12 lens models, then apply that compensation whenever the same lens is attached. You can also register adjustments uniformly regardless of the type of lens used.

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White balance fine tuning

White balance fine tuning

The D300S offers various manual settings — including Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Direct Sunlight, Cloudy and Shade that correspond to a diverse range of lighting situations. Use the preset manual option for more precise white balance tuning with the color temperature axis [Amber–Blue] and the color cast axis [Green–Magenta].

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Retouch Menus

Retouch Menus — a variety of in-camera editing features

The D300S's Retouch Menus offer a dynamic range of in-camera editing options for creativity, convenience and just plain fun. Whichever enhancement you decide to try after shooting, the D300S creates a duplicate image, leaving your original shot intact.

NEF (RAW) Processing

Converts NEF (RAW) images to JPEG files while preserving your original file. You can also change the image quality, size, white balance, exposure compensation, Picture Control settings (including fine details), color space and high ISO noise reduction.


Converts the file to a smaller size while maintaining your original file — particularly useful for transmitting images via Eye-Fi card. When using both CF and SD memory cards, you can designate one of the slots to record the resized image.

Note: The value for exposure compensation (–3 to +3) in NEF (RAW) Processing differs from the steps used for conventional exposure compensation.


Brightens shadowy areas, making it ideal for photographs taken in backlit situations.

Red-eye Correction

Corrects red-eye effect caused by the flash. To confirm whether red-eye correction has been effective, simply check the preview image on the LCD monitor before saving it.


Lets you create a copy of the selected area of a photograph to enhance composition via cropping.


Creates a monochrome photograph. Options are: black-and-white, sepia (as in antique photos) or cyanotype (black-and-white with a blue tint). Each gives your picture its own special mood.

Filter Effects

Create filter effects with two options — Skylight (makes the picture less blue), and Warm filter (gives the image a warm, red cast).

Color Balance

Lets you modify the color balance. The effect is displayed in the monitor together with red, green and blue histograms showing the distribution of tones in a copy.

Image Overlay

Places one selected RAW image over another, for a unique composite photograph.

Edit Movie
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