Nikon D300 vs Nikon D3100

Winner
Nikon D300

63

Nikon D3100

50

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300

High resolution screen
Screen resolution
922k dots
Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.62x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
6 fps
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection

Items often bought with the D300 or D3100

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D300.
Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D300

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Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
922k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 4x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
1.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Viewfinder size
Significantly larger viewfinder
0.62x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 40% larger viewfinder
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Continuous shooting
Shoots significantly faster
6 fps vs 3 fps
Help
2x faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder coverage
Much better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Viewfinder
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Battery life
Longer battery life
1000 shots vs 550 shots
Help
More than 80% more shots per battery charge
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
227 ms vs 279 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
300 ms vs 400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Nikon D300 Learn more about
the Nikon D300

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 24fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 679 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Color depth
Better color depth
22.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.4 more bits of color
Size
Smaller
124×97×74 mm vs 147×114×74 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Weight
Significantly lighter
505 g vs 925 g
Help
Around 50% lighter
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
14.2 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Lowest price
Cheaper
$263.39 vs $1,400.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,137 cheaper (5.3x less)
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D300 Nikon D300 63
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    Style
      Color
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        vs
        50 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              230 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D300300 ms
              D3100400 ms
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              1
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              D3006,400 ISO
              D310012,800 ISO
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D30012.2 MP
              D310014.2 MP
              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
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              67.0
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3"
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              D30022.1 bits
              D310022.5 bits
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D300679 ISO
              D3100919 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $559 body only

              $755 with 18-105mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $640 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $720 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $405 - $497 body only

              $479 - $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $968 - $1,097 body only

              $1,397 with 18-140mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has significantly more color depth
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier

              Nikon D300 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D300S

              Nikon D300S

              Pro DSLR

              $1,250 body only

              $2,550 with 18-200mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Color depth Better color depth

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $312 body only

              $360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder
              Battery life Slightly longer battery life
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Color depth Worse color depth

              appearance

              Nikon D300 Nikon D3100
              Nikon D300 Nikon D3100
              Nikon D300 Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Nikon D300
              D300
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 2 comments

              7mgoulding7 (3:35 PM, August 27, 2011)
              Wtf d300 is obvioisly way better
               
              Chanchinkang (0:26 PM, April 08, 2011)
              D300 has better versatility and has 51 pt auto focus tracking. Speaks alot about its ability in sports or wildlife photograph.