Nikon is set to replace its D300 DSLR with the D300s, the key difference of which is the addition of an ‘HD’ movie recording option.

Sitting above the enthusiast-level D90, the 12.3-million-pixel D300s will go on sale on 28 August priced £1499.99, body only.

Touted as the next DX-format ‘flagship’, the D300s (the ‘s’ stands for ‘superior’) features 1280×720 pixel movie recording, with autofocus (contrast-detect AF in ‘Tripod’ mode).

The camera records stereo sound, with the option to add an external stereo microphone (available separately).

The maximum movie-clip length for HD videos is five minutes, according to Nikon.

Combining ‘affordability’ and ‘great speed’, Nikon claims the D300s can record images up to a burst rate of seven frames per second (fps) – one more frame than the D300, a model announced two years ago.

Like the D300, the D300s can shoot at 8fps with a separate battery grip.

Improvements include the addition of dual CF and SD memory card storage, with the ability to choose to record stills on one card and movies on the other card, for example.

The camera’s Live View button aims to make it easy for the photographer to switch between stills and movie recording.

Movie clips can be edited in-camera (including Picture Control adjustment) or by using an external HD display via the camera’s HDMI interface.

The built-in flash is designed to cover lenses as wide as 16mm – an improvement on the 18mm focal length coverage of the D300.

Also on board is a ‘Quiet Shutter-release’ option – allowing the user to manually reduce the sound of the camera’s mirror – aimed at situations when ‘discrete’ photography is required.

The D300s features the same 12.3MP CMOS sensor as its predecessor and includes 51 AF points, plus an Expeed image processing engine .

Its magnesium-alloy body is sealed to help protect against dust and moisture, according to Nikon.

Armoury also includes Scene Recognition, Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System, Active D-Lighting and a 3in LCD screen carrying a resolution of 920,000 dots.

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Nikon D300s image