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Nikon D9300? Rumors Surface of Possible New High-End Nikon APS-C Body

By Anthony Thurston on April 2nd 2014

This is big news. Nikon rumors is reporting that Nikon is gearing up to release a new camera – the D9300. As you can guess from the model number, this would be placed above the D7xxx series cameras, which has lead to speculation that this could be the long fabled D400.

Nikon_D300s_Body

The only information currently available is the name of the camera, so we can’t even really speculate on any specs. But, if this is indeed what Nikon is producing to replace the D300s, it will be HUGE news. I think that most of us had pretty much given up hope that such a camera would ever come out.

The post came out today, April 2nd, so I think it is unlikely this is an April Fools joke… but given how “too good to be true” this is, you never know.  Another odd thing here is the naming, why D9300? NR speculates that it is so it matches up to the other current generation of camera (Nikon D3300, Nikon D5300, etc), which I guess makes sense. But that is still weird.

Is the D9300 A True Replacement for the D300s?

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Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

[via Nikon Rumors]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ironymous

    A new flagship APS-C DSLR. Yawn. This excites me none. Nikon is seriously losing the plot if they think anyone cares. Just fold the D300s replacement into the D7500 or whatever. Who would care? Instead of coming out with a new engine they think a lick of new paint on a new model is enough to create interest.

    The market is slowly but surely moving mirrorless, and the flagship mirrorless are beginning to bite. Nikon doesn’t know how to respond, so it’s just going back to an old playbook for a safe haven, thinking it’s good enough to weather the storm.

    That’s how giants get killed off.

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  2. Timothy

    I have followed a chain since converting to digital in 2003. I stated off with the Fuji S2 since it would take all my Nikon gear at a price that I could accept. When I made the final transition in late 2004, I added a second S2 body. I later upgraded one of my bodies from the S2 to the S3. I then upgraded the S2 to a D200, and later on, the S3 also to a D200. Then I replaced one D200 with a D300 and was happy. As I watched the shutter counts fly up, I realized it was time for a new primary body and started watching for a replacement for the D300; the D300s was not a choice for me since it was the same old technology with video added, so I waited. I finally gave up on the wait and purchased a D7000. I have missed the extra focus points, and I have cringed on how easy it is to change the mode dial on accident, but was overall happy with the camera.

    So, now as I find the shutter counts getting up there, I have decided it’s time to retire the D200, move the D300 to backup, move the D7000 to second position and get a new primary body and have been considering the D7100. But this time, I have more confidence in the long life of the shutter on the Nikon cameras and with 3 bodies, I don’t fear a dead camera during a shoot. So, I think I will wait and see what comes along; if there really is a D9300 coming, I suspect that may be my direction. If there is no announcement by the end of Photokina, I will put the D7100 thought back on the table.

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  3. andré

    Matthew you forgot , the supposedly 9300 wouldnt be complete without a af-on button+ full aperture control while in live view
    cheers.

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  4. Barnar E.

    Looking for a serious aps-c camera, i’ve just buy my first Pentax DSLR, a K-3, with a 60-250 f4 lens, a Sigma 17-50 f2.8, and 3 pancake primes, 15 40 & 70mm.
    Seriously, this is a Canikon killer, it was a long time since i don’t have so much pleasure to take picture with the right tool.

    You should give it a try, you’ll be amaze.

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  5. Wyn

    @MATTHEW SAVILLE : can i ask you some question?
    When is D9300 or D400 come to shop ? Can i waitting for it? I want to buy D7100 but i saw this new. i don’t have to much money for FF or change body late. So pls tell me. Wait or buy D7100 ?

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  6. JT

    Interesting commentary…. Having started my Nikon DSLR journey with the D200 and then have owned or used Nikon’s loaners all the way up to present except for the D4-4s I’m constantly baffled as to why Nikon changes things that work to things that don’t work as well. Examples include changing batteries, focusing systems – putting a DX system into the D600/610 rather than using something that covers the view – and since you’re also talking about the differences between the D600/610 and D7100, here’s a few that haven’t been addressed above. For some unknown reason, they changed the USB port from mini to macro negating using a WU-1b for both cameras. I suppose there’s logic there somewhere and perhaps someone can explain it. Also, D600/610, 700 and 800 have an info button that with one push shows all current settings and a second push brings up a menu that allows changes to certain settings. The D7100, on the other hand, has TWO info buttons, one on either side of the LCD. The one on the right acts as the first push on the other cameras only showing current settings and the one on the left shows the menu and allows changes. Oh, and none of the cameras have exactly the same menu items that can be changed. Let’s not even get into the issues with the DF or what I would call the WFT model. I can’t understand why anyone would buy it at a price so close to that of the D800 which is 4X the camera, in my opinion.

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  7. Jeff

    Nikon D200 for life!

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  8. Eddy

    Im still using D300s and its still a great camera. Since waiting for the mythical camera d400 still not surfacing, I decided to upgrade to FX. There will be no way I’d be getting D800 with its amazingly huge file size. There’s even rumors on the upgrade version of D800 series, D800s. Well I guess I’ll be waiting either two from these camera, d9300 or d800s. But what’s more important is, pricing. If it has the price tag is like the DF, I’d rather get a6000 and forget bout FX …

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  9. Kevin

    After the debacle that was the D600/D610 and their sensors issues, I think a lot of people (myself included) are wary of new cameras from Nikon. I could be wrong; I could be the minority.

    I didn’t upgrade to the 7100 bodies when they came out because it wasn’t worth it for me. The incremental step wasn’t worth the extra cash. So, the D9300 (or whatever it’s going to be called) would have to be a huge step up for me to consider ditching my D7000 bodies. And even then, because of the sensor issue above, there is no way in the world I would be the first buyers; I’d wait at least six months.

    Just my $0.02.

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    • Dave

      The d600 issues wouldn’t bother me much if I had them as I clean my sensors about once a week on my D7000.

      Here now we see canons 1dx’s AF completely freezing up which is a bigger issue. Heck go to my blog ( that iv’e had no time to do much with yet lol) and look at the 5d vs D90 showdown and my god those 5dm2 files have some much dust in them that you could plant potatoes in there! isuffusion.com and watch the lil D90 smoke that 5d lmfao

      I just bought a sigma 70-300mm OS (well at xmas) because it was on sale (and still is so they must know it’s junk) and it’s so front and back focused that you can’t even it out, it’s so loud that it actually scares the wildlife away, it can’t focus on a bright red cardinal on pure white snow or a hawk or vulcher flying right over me and just “spazzes out” but i know thats the way it goes, unfortunate yes but never the less just be thankful Nikons actually upgrading our cameras with useful things like the sensor.But its fun watching my Canon friends going “ok why does nijkons bottom of the line dslr have a better sensor than almost all ours??” lol

      Sh*t happens and we need to remember the devastation these japanese companies took… hell if someone wants to give me their d600 or trade it for my D7000 I’ll happily spend 2 minutes and less than $1 a week cleaning it.

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  10. Luci CJ

    While a couple of years ago a D400 made perfect sense, now I no longer see its place on the market: all professionals have gone full-frame, and even enthusiasts who are not tight on their budgets are buying full-frame cameras, like the D600/610 and the Df or the Canon 6D (which has some intentionate limitations, like the 1/180 flash sync time, so it cannot be used professionally).

    The only company offering a pro-grade APS-C camera is Pentax, with its K-3, but I don’t see too much of a reason of buying something sharing the D7100 sensor, with a price close to that of the D610 when rebated. In fact, I think the price will be the major problem of positioning the D9300 on the market: it is most likely it will be higher than the D7100 – which is considered semi-pro… but should it be close to the D610, that would really be an interesting situation.

    The APS-C sensor with its 1.5x crop factor could be nice for sports photographers who cannot afford a D4 and the highest-grade lenses, provided the D9300 features a better focusing system than the D610.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I think there’s a pretty big gap between a $6,000 body with a $6,000 lens, and an ~$1800 D400 and a ~$1,000-$2,000 lens. Considering that sports photography is not soley enjoyed by well-paid pros with $12K to spend, I’d say the D400 has quite a good market if it can hit the right FPS and AF power.

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    • Randy N.

      Spot on with your comment Matt! I can’t afford $5,000 for a D4 and the D9300 would be perfect for my needs.

      Randy

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  11. Nick

    I think it’s true, because there are rumors about the equivalent camera from Canon also (7D Mark II).
    Somehow they are coordinating their releases…

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  12. BILL

    Anything can be seen to replace anything else. For DR and High Dynamic range and pixel count, the D3300 blows the doors clean off the D300s. Not even close. For spray and pray, sure get a D300s, hands down.

    High ISO, color depth, DR, AF speed and accuracy? D7100 over D300s every time. That one’s easy… Spray and pray? Well, go back to 12mp, noise, smaller DR… Get one used on eBay. D300s’ are a bargain.

    Build quality? My heavens, those water soaked dented D7100s are coming in like wildfire, yeah, sure…

    If there is a D9300, will it replace the D300s? Easily, but only if the purchaser cares about the final quality of the image. With a designation as rumored, it will simply be an evolution from other DXxxx cameras.

    If Nikon was interested in making an obvious D300s replacement, they’d call it… a D400!

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    • Matthew Saville

      There is a chance that they’re trying not to confuse a pro-style D400 with the consumer-style D600, that’s my guess.

      In past years, Nikon has changed their “digit naming organization” quite a lot. 2-digit’s used to be for beginners, then three digits were for semi-pro bodies, and 1 digit was for flagships only.

      Then it was 4-digits for consumer, 3 digits for semi-pro, and 1-digit for flagships.

      Possibly they are aiming to have 4-digits represent all DX bodies, 3-digits represent all non-flagship FX bodies, and 1-digits again for flagships. (And the Df is off in its little corner being the hipstercam that it is…) ;-)

      =Matt=

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    • Randy N.

      Bill,
      You are comparing technologies. I love these people that use sayings like “spray and pray”. Have you ever shot sports? Do you want to see a pitcher in the windup and releasing the ball? A batter swinging? A player sliding into 2nd and the SS applying the tag? If you can shoot that with one shot and get it perfect then you have room to talk. If not, please quit with your negative connotations.

      The 300S as far as I can tell is the best camera out there right now to shoot baseball, soccer and other outdoor activities where FPS DOES make a difference.
      Tracking and quality are very acceptable for an older camera. The reason everyone is excited about the idea about a D9300 is the hope that with the newer technology available, the camera will have great DR, good low light/low noise sensitivity and also provide the FPS that us sports photographers want and need.

      If you want to go to the Botanic Gardens and shoot flowers, then you may have a point, that is not what I primarily use my D300S for. That is why I have a D800!

      Personally, I don’t care what they call the camera, what type of memory cards it uses. I want a sturdily built crop camera that is between 16-24mp and has good image quality and 8-9 FPS. THAT is what the D9300 is supposed to be.

      Putting down the D300S has nothing to do with the D9300.

      Randy

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  13. Matthew Saville

    Next, let’s consider reasons why people think there is NOT a need for such a camera as a D400 / D9300:

    1.) Okay, there really is just one argument, and IMO it’s kinda shallow to begin with: “Any serious pro who wants such a flagship-style camera body should just buy a D800 or another full-frame camera; nobody who cares about image quality would bother with a DX camera!”

    ….IMO, these people have not taken the D7100 or the D5300 sensor out for a spin. Quite honestly, for things like telephoto sports photography in decent lighting, where DOF and high ISO are not a major concern, I see ZERO need for full-frame sensors anymore. The D5300 / D7100 sensor is truly incredible, and it really does deserve a pro-grade camera body.

    In conclusion, I think there is a very strong argument in favor of a D400 / D9300. Here’s what I think it would offer:

    * 24 MP sensor with no AA filter
    * ISO 100-12800 natively with clean, usable 3200 / 6400 depending on your pickiness.
    * 6-7 FPS without a vertical grip at full 24 MP, 8-9 FPS either with a vertical grip at full 24 MP, or maybe in 2x crop mode ~16 MP
    * A far larger buffer than the D7100, D600, or D800.
    * CF and SD dual card slots
    * 51 point AF, as identical as possible to the D800
    * General control layout, feature set, and overall quality as the D800.
    * Inevitably heftier form factor a la D300s / D800
    * 1080p video @ 60 FPS

    Would I buy one? Absolutely. It would compliment my D700’s perfectly, and eliminate my need for the absurdly high-res and moderately sluggish D800, for wedding photography. It would also double as a rugged adventure / landscape camera, for when I don’t feel like I absolutely have to pack super light (with my D5300, which is un-sealed etc.)

    …That is, if I don’t buy a Pentax K-3 first!!!
    =Matt=

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    • Dave

      For me the 2 big things would be:
      1. bigger buffer
      2. Bigger bracketing range to get in 7-9 images instead of 3

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    • Randy N.

      Hi Matt,
      I agree with you 100%. I shoot a lot of sports. There is a market for a cropped sensor camera with high FPS, low noise at higher ISO’s and a good Buffer.

      Hope this is not just another one of those rumors.
      Randy

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  14. Matthew Saville

    Let’s consider the reasoning behind why Nikon would even NEED to introduce an update to the D300s, instead of just considering the D7100 to be that update:

    1.) The D7100 doesn’t come close to having the same buffer size and overall shooting power as the D300s. Of course when I say “doesn’t come close”, let me clarify that most people still won’t notice the difference, not unless they like to blast away at 8 FPS for 3-5 seconds straight. Which is often considered downright poor shooting technique, but every now and then is indeed useful for crazy action sequences. Of course I’m sure there are plenty of folks who are thinking “is the difference between 6/7 FPS and 8 FPS really that important? Is a huge buffer really that critical for the types of people who would buy a crop-sensor camera?” Indeed, for most people. But the D400 (D9300?) was never intended for “most people”…

    2.) The D7100’s autofocus system, although killer, does seem to leave a little bit to be desired for fast-action shooting. Once again, most users are going to find the D7100 to be more than adequate in this respect. I guess that’s why “most users” tend to shrug off D400 hopefuls as whiners who need to shut up. ;-)

    3.) Some weirdos are still of the mindset that SD cards are for noobs and that a pro camera needs to be CF in order to be legit. I don’t buy into this nonsense, as someone who has shot plenty of professional work using SD cards, however I understand the mentality. And joking aside, there are a few actual advantages to CF. I think. Speed and capacity, probably, but even then SD is catching up fast.

    4.) War-ready construction, weather sealing, and overall feel.
    Again the D7100 is no slouch when it comes to being robust and capable, but it is still decidedly intended to be more compact than the D300 etc. series of cameras. Some find this to be an advantage, however others (especially anyone with big hands) may find this to be an annoyance. For those who like a meatier camera feel, and pro-grade construction / weather sealing, the D400 (D9300?) was a desirable notion.

    =Matt=

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    • Wilson Wong U S

      You forgot one thing. the control mechanism on the D300/s is the very similar as the D800 (i.e. Semi Pro handling). Throw the D7100 into the mix and one can see certain short cuts are gone plus the unnecessary consumer feature such as scene mode being added on.

      So no, D7100 or D7200 or even D7300 won’t cut it in that department.

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    • Wyn

      @MATTHEW SAVILLE : can i ask you some question?
      When is D9300 or D400 come to shop ? Can i waitting for it? I want to buy D7100 but i saw this new. i don’t have to much money for FF or change body late. So pls tell me. Wait or buy D7100 ?

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    • Bacon

      It’s not a matter of “CF in order to be legit”, its what the industry uses. If you ever want to be a sports photographer or journalist you’ll eventually want to work on a team. That team will have a photo editor with a super high speed CF card reader and a stack of cards from 4-6 photogs. He has to download like 40 gigs of pictures, edit and get them up during or within the hour of the event ending. He’s not going to fumble around with different formats, so if you don’t fit in the team’s workflow then they won’t hire you. Plus journalists will already own at least 10 CF cards, it wouldn’t make sense for them to carry 2 types of cards. If you only work on your own then yeah format doesn’t matter

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    • Matthew Saville

      Wilson Wong, I was including “control mechanism” as you call it, (Semi Pro handling) in my #4 point, the construction and overall feel. ;-)

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    • Matthew Saville

      Wyn, it just depends what you shoot. The D7100 has a 80-90% chance of being exactly what you need. Refer to my points in my main comments here to determine if you truly need any of the features I’m describing as the main differences.

      Personally, considering how long the D7100 has been around, I’d say it’s a tried-and-true camera that you couldn’t go wrong buying used and then selling later when (if) a D9300 is announced. That’s what I’d do…

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    • Matthew Saville

      @ Bacon,

      Ironically the opposite is rapidly becoming true. All computers have built-in SD readers now, and SD card speed / capacity is almost on par with CF. Dollar for dollar, I think it might be even better!

      In other words, I own 15-20 CF cards, but it was no problem to pony up for a few high-speed SD cards when I needed to start using a camera that only took SD. And because of my computers’ built in SD readers, my workflow actually became easier.

      I’m sure there are plenty of reasons to use one format over another, but my point is simply that some of these reasons are actually false, or becoming less and less real every year…

      =Matt=

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    • Wyn

      I think D7100 is good for me now. But i really hate this build. Mic on top. It make me worry about rain or water :). If D9300 on stock in 2-3 month , i will wait for it. But i don’t know when it will be sold.
      P/S: nikon 35 1.8G DX and 35 f2 D. what is the best?

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    • Brian Young

      The reign of the Compact Flash card is over. SD isn’t catching up, they have already surpassed CF. The new U3 standard blows the UDMA 7 standard out of the water. The CF Association has no plans on working on an updated CF card. UDMA 7 is it…game over. The CF association has already announced they are moving to the XQD format (which has currently also been surpassed by SD). If anything this camera will have a single CF slot to support those who are denial (like the D4). If you’re hoping for a dual CF card camera to be released you’re going to be disappointed.

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