Updated (September, 2010): Compare the Nikon D300 vs Nikon D7000

Nikon D90

Winner
Nikon D90

70

vs

Nikon D300

64

Nikon D300

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Nikon D90

Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.63x
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
208 ms shutter lag
Built-in focus motor
Badge
Autofocuses with more lenses
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.62x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Focus points
Many focus points
51
Cross type focus points
Many cross-type focus points
15
 

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D300

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Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Viewfinder coverage
Significantly better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 96%
Help
Almost the same
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
6 fps vs 4.5 fps
Help
More than 30% faster continuous shooting
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
1000 shots vs 850 shots
Help
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Thickness
Thinner
2.9" vs 3"
Help
Almost the same
Nikon D300 Learn more about
the Nikon D300

Advantages of the Nikon D90

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Movie format
Shoots movies
720p @ 24fps vs None
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Shoots HD (720p) video as well as still pictures
Overall image quality
Better image quality
73.0 vs 67.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Color depth
Better color depth
22.7 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
977 ISO vs 679 ISO
Help
The D90 has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.5 EV vs 12 EV
Help
0.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Size
Smaller
132x103x77 mm vs 147x114x74 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.63x vs 0.62x
Help
Almost the same
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
208 ms vs 227 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Weight
Lighter
703 g vs 925 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Lowest price
Cheaper
$669.95 vs $1,699.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,030 cheaper (2.5x less)
Nikon D90 Learn more about
the Nikon D90
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D300 Nikon D300 64
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        70 Nikon D90 Nikon D90
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              300 ms startup delay
              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
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              1
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.2 MP
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              6,400 ISO
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D300:None
              D90:720p @ 24fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              D300:67.0
              D90:73.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D300:679 ISO
              D90:977 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 body only

              $679 - $1,025 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $309 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $897 - $1,097 body only

              $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $360 - $385 body only

              $429 - $499 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 body only

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 - $899 body only

              $959 - $1,182 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor

              Nikon D300 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D300.

              Nikon D90 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D90.

              appearance

              Nikon D300 Nikon D90
              Nikon D300 Nikon D90
              Nikon D300 Nikon D90

              discussion

              Nikon D300
              D300
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D90
              D90
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 7 comments

              alwyn (7:45 AM, September 24, 2012)
              Shiva, I have owned both the D300 and the D90. The D90 is a stellar camera, which explains why it is still on the market today (well here in South Africa at least). Although the D300 has more AF points I did not find the D90 to be lacking. I worked around this by pressing the shutter in halfway and refocussing with the desired AF point to place it where I want it. The D300 in all of it's majestic powers could not improve the speed of AF when I was shooting birds in flight. The D300 only has a higher per second frame rate (which drops by the way when you select RAW 14 bit) and a tougher body with weather sealing. When I had both I still found myself using the D90 most of the time especially when I knew the light would be poor. The D300 was reserved for days when the weather looked suspect. So, go for the D90 and save for better glass. That is the only thing along with practice that got me better results with my birds in flight shots. I now have a D7000 (which carries a 5 year warranty in SA) and still fondly remember my D90.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:05 AM, August 31, 2010)
              You could be right that having a lower f-stop helps with focusing, I think camera's have the lens wide open for focusing, and definitely more light helps. That lines up with the 'depth of field preview' button, which stops the lens down to the desired f-stop (say f/5.6 or whatever) so you can see the actual depth of field.

              I haven't used that Sigma lens, nor have I read about it. I do own three Sigma lenses myself, 1 of which I don't like at all (a cheap 70-300), I have a 30mm f/1.4 which is ok, and a 28mm f/1.8 which I like.

              Glad you like the site!
               
              shiva (0:20 AM, August 31, 2010)
              Hi,

              In my reading of reviews of various lenses I often found reviewers stating that "....Lens was slow in focusing.." specially for lens which higher f-Stop. It made me infer that may be less light leading to focus issues.

              The SIGMA lens I referred to is being sold at AMAZON ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001PGXEGA/ref=cm_rdp_product ), I believe when you say that you are not familiar you meant you have not used or ?

              Snapsort rocks, its now in my fav's list. Thanks a LOT.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (10:16 PM, August 30, 2010)
              Hi Shiva, glad I could help. To answer your questions:

              1. No, having a lower f-stop does not improve the focus or quality. A lower f-stop does two things: it lets in more light, allowing you to attain a faster shutter speed (to avoid blur for example), and it narrows the depth of field enabling you to blur the background for example. See Snapsort's article on wide aperture lenses.

              2. Yes, I think 3rd party lenses are great value.

              3. I've never heard of a 3rd party lens damaging a camera.

              4. I'm not familiar with that lens, but having a range like that in one lens would be very convenient and would be a great all around lens, I'd definitely recommend that type of focal length range to a new amateur DSLR user.

              5. I'm not sure which of those macro lenses will help you focus better, sorry. Typically the main attribute people look for in a macro lens how large the subject will be in the image compared to real life (which is determined by how close you can focus and the magnification of the lens).
               
              shiva (10:04 PM, August 30, 2010)
              Thanks a lot for the precise reply. I was confused because for now I believed DSLR is a one time buy.
              However with you answer at least I am now clear that D90 will be the body for me.

              Few more questions pertaining to lens
              -Does having a lens with lower f-stop (2.8,..) improve the focus and quality?
              -Should I consider 3rd party lens SIGMA/TAMRON for the same focal length and fstop?
              -Are there any chances that 3rd party lens can damage Camera ?
              -Would you recommend Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF Lens? it kinda gives me a range to start with!

              As I told before that I have interest in Macro and macro of flying Bees/Insects intrigues me and hence made me start thinking about Autofocus capabilities. which of the macro lens you have mentioned will help me focus better.

              I know its too many questions in a single frame.
              Appreciate you for the time and response.


              ) Shiva


               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (4:48 PM, August 30, 2010)
              Hi Shiva,

              Overall I think the D90 would be a great camera for you.

              The D300 (and D300s) are basically the same camera as the D90 but for Pros, and have some subtle advantages including focus points as you mentioned. Yes, the D300(s) will have much better focusing than the D90, partly due to more focus points (allowing you to be more precise about where to focus), and due to having a more advanced focusing system (CAM3500 vs CAM1000). In fact I think the D300(s) have the same focus system as the D700 and D3(s).

              I think the more advanced focus system would be important if you are photographing fast action (say animals, cars, or sports events), or photographing moving subjects in low light (say weddings). You mentioned macro and landscape, which makes me think the D90's focusing might be more than good enough.

              For landscape lenses, I'd suggest a good start would be the Nikon 18-55mm AF-S lens, or if you want a bit wider, consider the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G AF-S or Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S.

              For macro, both the Nikon 60mm f/2.8D and the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G are well regarded.
               
              Shiva (4:09 PM, August 30, 2010)
              Hi,

              I will be new entry into the DSLR segment. I have been trying to learn photography using knowledge from internet/Books and my A620 camera.
              However recently have been facing limitations in my camera hence planning for a DSLR.
              Interest: Macro and Landscape.
              Budget: 1500$(Max) on body.

              I have read your comparision of cameras and seems D90 is recommeded for my budget.
              While reading details about cameras I believe Autofocus-points are something to be concerned about.

              D90 has 11 AF-point(1 cross-type) compared to 51 (15 cross-type). Please let know if having more AF-Points leads to better Auto Focus?
              Also request you to recommend the lens for Nikon for my interest.

              Thanks
              Shiva