D300 upgrade to D300s

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by joshschutz, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. i remember when i bought my d70 i was able to download the upgrade to the d70s. is there any plans for the d300 to d300s?
  2. I have not heard of any but I have not checked the site. I understand that the software is similar. There are mechanical differences like video and 2 mem cards.
  3. Nope.
    The hardware is different.
  4. dang! i was just being wishful
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    There are three small differences between the D70 and D70s, all are hardware related, e.g. the back LCD is a bit larger, cable release connection. Therefore, none of those can be fixed via firmware.
    The main differences between the D300 and D300s are also hardware related, e.g. SD card slot, some dedicated buttons for the video mode ....
  6. Well, go ahead and be "wishful" Josh.
    There have been other occasions, when Nikon has done an "s" upgrade, they've done a firmware upgrade for the original "s-less" camera too, that added major improvements. The most notable of these was D2Xs. When that came out, the original D2X got a firmware update that gave it the D2Xs improvements to autofocus, better menus, and even some minor new features. As I recall, the same situation happened with D70 to D70s, too, improvements to AF, metering, and flash.
    Of course, you can't give the camera the new features that came with the hardware update (D2Xs also got a new LCD, and an electronic viewfinder mask for the "high speed crop" mode, D70s got a remote jack). But ask any D2X owner how they feel about that D2Xs autofocsu upgrade...
  7. I had to go pull up the release notes for D70 firmware 2.00 and D2X firmware 2.00.
    D2X firmware 2.00, the firmware update released at the time of the D2Xs release, was literally the most ambitious firmware release in Nikon DSLR history. It also market a change in attitude that I sometimes say was the first sign of the "new Nikon". First and most, it gave the camera an AF "overhaul" that you could really feel, every day you used it. It locks faster in any mode (single, multi, closest), doesn't "hunt and miss" as often, and tracks movement better. That's not the kind of thing one develops in the last days of a camera's life cycle. It's a big chunk of code, the development was obviously funded by the R&D budget for the next model. Nikon must have weighed the possibilities very carefully
    • Do what we always do (and what everyone else does) and just put the new code in the new camera, and give people more of a reason to upgrade to a new D2Xs.
    • Adapt the new code to the camera we're discontinuing, too. Gain enormous PR points, showing that Nikon is supporting existing users better than any other camera company.
    They chose the latter. I think that this "new Nikon" attitude is a big part of what's propelled them to take the number one spot away from Canon. And, having gone this far, they totally went for broke with the whole "new Nikon" thing. They gave the camera large scale firmware changes that meant that the actual camera no longer really matched the printed manual. If you know conservative Japanese companies like Nikon, you know that changing a product so that it differs from the printed manual is a "larger than life" issue, bordering on "sacrilege". (And I'm not just talking about the mystical qualities that some Japanese attach to printed words).
    And the 2.00 firmware also gave it both "problematic" improvements (the kind that don't match the manual) and new features:
    • A "D2Xs style" menu overhaul with bigger, anti-aliased fonts, some function name changes, and a different number of items per screen. The screenshots from the camera no longer match the manual. And there are a boatload of new special functions, and this whole new "last function used" cache of 10 frequently changed menu items that was the predecessor to the custom "My Menu" feature on generation 3 cameras.
    • B&W mode. (Yes, the channel mixer, B&W software, or B&W actions produce better conversions, but the B&W mode shows you what you just shot in a basic B&W conversion, and embeds that B&W preview image in the raw files, so you get to see how it looks as B&W right at the scene , and you have a reminder later that you intended that image to be B&W).
    • Image authentication. That's a feature that their main competitor, Canon, offers as a $500 option. Again, a "Big $$$" feature, something that could be an incentive to upgrade to the new D2Xs, instead becomes a reason to like your old D2X even more.
    • Cleaning mode on battery power. Why did I think that neeeded bold face, you ask... This marks the first time Nikon has ever trusted their users to clean a DSLR costing over $2000 without an AC adapter. (D1, D1X, D1H, D100 all required adapters. The $1000 D70 and $1800 D200 could be cleaned on battery from the git-go. I can imagine the consternation at Nikon over this: "users will be cleaning for hours, and draining the battery, and dropping the shutter on the cleaning swab. We will be swamped with repairs". (in reality, search photo.net or dpReview and see how few (if any) reports on this kind of damage you can find). To put it on D2Xs was tramatic. To retrofit it to D2X as part of the 2.00 update must have been like tearing out their own findernails.
    • A change in the "shots remaining" calculation used for compressed NEF that reflected "real world" use instead of absolutely worst case (images that would barely compress). This not only changed manual pages, but changed the specifications for the camera, as far as file sizes and the number of shots you could take.
    • New H0.3 (ISO 1000) and H0.7 (ISO 1250) speeds in addition to the original ISO 1600 H1. Those lower "push" speeds are more useful than H1, which really is beyond the D2X's capabilities.
    • Custom tone curves.
    • The ability to save custom function settings to file, so you could have a "wedding" menu set, a "sports" set, a "seniors" set, etc. You can also copy your settings from camera to camera, to set you main and backup up identically, etc.
    • Increased ability to redefine the "Func" button.
    • Twelve other functions that you have to check the Nikon site for, because I'm not going into them here. ;)
    D70 2.00 gave the D70 all the D70s AF improvements. Not as formidable as D2X 2.00, but still pretty noticeable, and again something that you don't normally do to an "end of life camera". D70 2.00 also got the D70s "tweaks" that deviated from the printed manual.
    • D70s "style": bigger fonts, anti-aliased fonts, different color scheme, and less items per screen than D70 had.
    • A change in the "shots remaining" calculation.
    They also fixed several bugs and added some new "Pict Bridge" functions. Woo hoo! (OK, the last was sarcasm, for those who can't figure out the Pict Bridge is humorous in its own right, and that I don't normally go "Woo hoo!").

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