The D300S boasts 12.3 effective megapixels and an extremely high signal-to-noise ratio thanks to Nikon's renowned DX-format CMOS sensor. 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.
With its emphasis on exceptional image quality, the efficiently sized DX-format image sensors have enabled Nikon to develop a celebrated line of powerful, smart D-SLR cameras. In Nikon DX-format D-SLRs, the effective picture angle is equivalent to approx. 1.5x the lens focal length, so a smaller, lighter telephoto lens can be used in place of one with a longer focal length, thereby letting you use lighter, more portable equipment. For photographers who shoot on location with a large amount of equipment, and for those who favor telephoto shooting, the DX-format image sensor provides many significant advantages.
Nikon's revolutionary EXPEED image processing merges speed and beauty to empower the creativity and agility of professional photographers in real-world shooting situations. This, combined with the low-power consumption design of the D300S's image processing engine, delivers a decisive advantage you can't ignore.
Photographers encounter a vast and varied range of subjects, themes and shooting situations. Colors differ. Lighting conditions change. But one constant, defining factor that can make a fundamental difference in any image is rich tonal gradations. To ensure such superb tonal gradations, the D300S employs 16-bit image processing that comprehensively manages every single image. What you get are the finest shadow details and continuous transitions, even in highlights. Colors are accurately reproduced even in transition, contributing to an image depth worthy of a Nikon flagship D-SLR. This technology applies not only to Nikon's NEF (RAW) files, but to JPEG files as well, which often require no post-processing and are ready for immediate printing.
Another huge advantage you can rely on from the D300S is Nikon's proprietary lateral chromatic aberration reduction technology. This function corrects the color fringes or chromatic aberration that would otherwise appear at the edges of a frame, thereby improving image quality throughout the entire frame. Because aberrations are corrected regardless of lens type — whether telephoto, wide-angle, fisheye, non-CPU and other types of NIKKOR lenses — this feature contributes substantially to the sharper images that professionals demand.
Nikon's comprehensive approach to image quality is also reflected in noise control. With a significantly high signal-to-noise ratio, the D300S minimizes noise throughout the multiple stages of image processing, producing consistently clean results and perfectly usable images across the board up to ISO 3200. In special circumstances, the setting can be expanded to Lo 1 (ISO 100 equivalent) and Hi 1 (ISO 6400 equivalent).