Updated (December 2011): Compare the Nikon D800 vs Nikon D300S

Nikon D800 vs Nikon D300S

Winner
Nikon D800

90

Nikon D300S

64

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D800

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
2,853 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
95.0
Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
Large screen
Screen size
3.2"
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300S

Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
7 fps
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
230 lenses
Thickness
Thin
2.9"
Fastest shutter speed
Fast shutter speed
1/8000 of a second

Items often bought with the D800 or D300S

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D800.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D300S.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D800

Report a correction
Low light performance
Much lower noise at high ISO
2,853 ISO vs 787 ISO
Help
The D800 has excellent image quality: 1.9 f-stops higher ISO than the D300S
Overall image quality
Much better image quality
95.0 vs 70.0
Help
Around 40% better image quality
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
Color depth
Better color depth
25.3 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 2.8 more bits of color
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3.2" vs 3"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
36.2 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture around 3x more detail in your photos
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
14.4 EV vs 12.2 EV
Help
0.6 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.70x vs 0.62x
Help
Around 30% larger viewfinder
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
200 ms vs 300 ms
Help
More than 30% less delay when turning on
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D800's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
209 ms vs 225 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The D800's boost ISO is 4 f-stops better
Nikon D800 Learn more about
the Nikon D800

Advantages of the Nikon D300S

Report a correction
Continuous shooting
Shoots significantly faster
7 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 80% faster continuous shooting
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 171 lenses
Help
More than 30% more lenses available
Size
Smaller
147×114×74 mm vs 146×123×82 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Thickness
Significantly thinner
2.9" vs 3.2"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Lowest price
Cheaper
$1,277.89 vs $2,285.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,007 cheaper (more than 40% less)
Weight
Slightly lighter
938 g vs 1,000 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Nikon D300S Learn more about
the Nikon D300S
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent pro DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D800 Nikon D800 90
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        64 Nikon D300S Nikon D300S
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D800200 ms
              D300S300 ms
              Focus points Many focus points Help
              51
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Built-in focus motor Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Autofocuses with more lenses
              Storage slots Multiple storage slots Help
              2
              Viewfinder coverage Above average viewfinder coverage Help
              100%
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/8000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Weight Heavy Help
              D8001,000 g
              D300S938 g
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D8006,400 ISO
              D300S3,200 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              Compared to recent pro DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Common Weaknesses
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              D80025,600 ISO
              D300S6,400 ISO
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              15
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              D800921k dots
              D300S920k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $1,585 - $1,997 body only

              $2,125 - $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,240 - $2,499 body only

              $2,800 - $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Significantly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,174 - $1,497 body only

              $1,649 - $1,997 with 24-85mm lens

              Weight Is slightly lighter
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $979 - $1,097 body only

              $1,397 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Significantly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $713 - $797 body only

              $948 - $1,097 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly lighter
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $720 with 18-55mm lens

              Size Is slightly smaller
              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Focus points Has slightly fewer focus points
              Nikon D600

              Nikon D600

              Pro DSLR

              $1,357 body only

              $1,780 with 24-85mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon D800 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $2,419 - $2,997 body only

              $3,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Slightly better image quality

              Nikon D300S Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D300

              Nikon D300

              Pro DSLR

              $1,500 body only

              $1,999 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Does not take movies
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $755 with 18-105mm lens

              Overall image quality Slightly better image quality
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Weather sealed No weather sealing

              appearance

              Nikon D800 Nikon D300S
              Nikon D800 Nikon D300S
              Nikon D800 Nikon D300S

              discussion

              Nikon D800
              D800
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D300S
              D300S
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 0 comments