Updated (September, 2010): Compare the Nikon D300S vs Nikon D7000

Nikon D300S

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Nikon D300S

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Nikon D90

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Nikon D90

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Reasons to buy the Nikon D300S

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.62x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
7 fps
Focus points
Many focus points
51
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D90

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.63x
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
208 ms shutter lag
Badge
Built-in focus motor
Autofocuses with more lenses
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D300S

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External mic jack Has an external mic jack Yes vs No
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Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Weather sealed Weather sealed Yes vs No
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Sealed to shoot in the rain
Focus points Significantly more focus points 51 vs 11
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Cross type focus points Significantly more cross-type focus points 15 vs 1
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Grab focus in difficult situations
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 7 fps vs 4.5 fps
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Around 60% faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder coverage Significantly better viewfinder coverage 100% vs 96%
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Almost the same
Storage slots Has more storage slots 2 vs 1
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More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/8000s vs 1/4000s
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2x faster max shutter speed
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 950 shots vs 850 shots
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More than 10% more shots per battery charge
Thickness Thinner 2.9" vs 3"
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Almost the same
Nikon D300S Learn more about
the Nikon D300S

Advantages of the Nikon D90

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Overall image quality Better image quality 73.0 vs 70.0
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Almost the same
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 977 ISO vs 787 ISO
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The D90 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.5 EV vs 12.2 EV
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0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth Better color depth 22.7 bits vs 22.5 bits
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Distinguishes 0.2 more bits of color
Size Smaller 132x103x77 mm vs 147x114x74 mm
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Around 20% smaller
Weight Significantly lighter 703 g vs 938 g
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Around 30% lighter
Shutter lag Slightly less shutter lag 208 ms vs 225 ms
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Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder 0.63x vs 0.62x
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Almost the same
Lowest price Cheaper $831.00 vs $1,695.00
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The best price we've seen is $864 cheaper (2x less)
Nikon D90 Learn more about
the Nikon D90
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recommendations

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

Nikon D300S Nikon D300S 69
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      Color
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        69 Nikon D90 Nikon D90
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              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
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.2 MP
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              6,400 ISO
              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
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              720p @ 24fps
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              D300S:70.0
              D90:73.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D300S:787 ISO
              D90:977 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,257 body only

              $1,330 with 18-105mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,097 body only

              $1,394 - $1,397 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 D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $352 - $415 body only

              $495 - $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
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 - $567 body only

              $477 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 D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 body only

              $549 - $697 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 D300

              Nikon D300

              Pro DSLR

              $1,700 body only

              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 - $700 body only

              $450 - $1,199 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor

              Nikon D300S Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D300S.

              Nikon D90 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

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

              appearance

              Nikon D300S Nikon D90
              Nikon D300S Nikon D90
              Nikon D300S Nikon D90

              discussion

              Nikon D300S
              D300S
              Nikon

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              Nikon D90
              D90
              Nikon

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              Showing 16 comments

              mohamed mounir (4:23 PM, June 16, 2013)
              hey i want to know who is better nikon d90 or nikon d5200 ??
               
              Avatar for bazza bazza (5:15 PM, May 27, 2013)
              WTF invented this site i now spend most of my life comparing camera ,even though i own 3 , 2 more than i should .
              i really should get out taking pics more.
               
              seyi (7:01 PM, May 11, 2012)
               i luv d90
               
              Ishaan_8 (11:30 PM, December 05, 2011)
              Hi Alex,can u suggest a camera between d300s and d7000?im vry confused which one should I go for.some say dat d7000 has better image quality,others say its image quality is almost cartoon type colour which is vry weak....
               
              Zahranavazi (3:24 PM, August 13, 2011)
              Hi Alex. I have a dilemma here! my brother wants to buy me a new camera, but i cant decide between Nikon D300s and D90. i must say that it is my first professional DSLR and i'm planning to become a photographer n look at it more professionally than taking some pics around the house. i want to work on portrait, outdoor shooting and fast moving objects or people!!!
              i think now u know what my question is. waiting eagerly for ur reply. thx
               
              Brett Landau (9:29 AM, January 17, 2011)
              Ive read all the recent post's here and still am having a conflicting decision myself. I currently also own the D60, which was my last upgrade from the D40. Ive used SLR'S for the past 6 years have grown a large collection of lenes from wide angle to fisheye and my 300mm. My issue now lies with the next step ive slowly come to appreciate as i mostly take landscape photos on my travels etc a passion for branching into HDR. What do you think will be the best set up for doing so. The braceting or exposure settiing on both i understand is equiped and some what user friendly. Question is do you have any input on which would be better quality and easier to use? do you recommend the D90 or the D300S for this? and in your opinion what is the best all around landscape lens?
               
              RichardP. (4:38 AM, September 25, 2010)
              Hi there Alex, your review is so helpful. I consider myself as an amateur Photographer. Me and my friends will put up a wedding photography business but i need a back up. i consider Nikon D300s due to its capabilities of master and my flash being a slave and the Nikon D90 for being cheap.
               
              Avatar for ronniehoh ronniehoh (1:31 PM, July 26, 2010)
              Hi Alex,
              Thanks for replying. Have seen the comparision review. Without doubt, significant differences in features / camera level altogether. I heard very soon there is going to be a replacement model for D90.
              Perhaps I should wait for the new model to launch and your review. On the other hand, hopefully I can get better price for either D90 or D300s if the new model features review is not much different. Ha!ha!
              A friend told me that the 35mm lens which comes with AF motor will focus faster when combine with a camera with built-in motor. Not sure how true & significant is this?
              Once again, thank you so much for your view and advise.

              Regards
               
              Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (2:21 AM, July 26, 2010)
              Hi Ronnie, definitely it looks like the D90 offers a lot of great features compared the D60, see the D90 vs D60.

              I haven't used the 35mm f/1.8 I'm afraid.
               
              Avatar for ronniehoh ronniehoh (4:14 PM, July 24, 2010)
              Hi Alex,
              I owned a Nikon D60 and uses a Tamron 18-270 lens. Very versatile & convenience.
              Started photography about 2 years ago. Thinking of upgrading my camera. Comtemplating either D90 or D300s. From the review, you recommend D90 considering price and a few less features. Frankly, any difference from D60 to D90 and would you advise to upgrade? Also, differences between 50mm f1.8 compare to 35mm f1.8 ? Thanks.
               
              Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (10:22 PM, April 28, 2010)
              Hi Amol, there's no easy answer :) You need to figure out your priorities (budget, what types of pictures you want to take).

              Here are a few general thoughts:
              - I recommended the 50mm f/1.8, the 50mm f/1.4 is also great, I've owned both. I recommend the 50mm f/1.8 because its inexpensive and produces great low light and narrow depth of field shots
              - The 24-70 f/2.8 is probably not a good lens for the D90 or D300s, 24mm is not that wide on a crop body. You generally want 18mm on a crop body. I have the 24-70 f/2.8 and use it on my D700.

              I think some key things to consider are:
              - do you need wide angle? Most people probably need 18mm, 24mm I don't think would cut it for indoor shots (on a DX crop body), or building shots, or large groups
              - do you need zoom? For pictures of kids playing sports, or animals on safari, you need zoom, 100mm won't cut it, 200mm at least
              - do you need low light/wide aperture? To shoot in low light conditions without a flash, and to get beautiful bokeh, you need prime (non zoom) lenses typically that have aperture better than f/1.8. The 50mm f/1.8 is a great starter option, there are good 35mm and 85mm primes too.

              One last thought: do you want one lens that does everything (to save cost, and save hassle of carrying and changing lenses), if so you need something like the 18-200.

              Personally I own a lot of lenses, and I love using them, but I end up lugging this huge camera bag around, and because the lenses are so big/heavy my wife can barely hold the camera and lens!
               
              Avatar for amolsandil amolsandil (3:32 AM, April 28, 2010)
              Thx. Alex,
              Very useful advise. In a way this is my first SLR. I have been using Sony
              CyberShot 505, and have tried Canon Eos Rebel, entry level.
              Do I also need a good 35 mm lens? Also how about 50mm f1.4 ?
              I also saw on the catalogue a 24~70mm f2.8. Is this versatile enough?
              Will appreciate your views on this.
              Amol
               
              Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (6:11 PM, April 27, 2010)
              Hi Amol, you might also consider the 18-200 lens. I'm assuming this is your first SLR (correct me if I am wrong) and I think many people don't appreciate what a pain in the ass switching lenses can be and always having to bring all your lenses with you.

              A lens like the 18-200 would mean you could take a wide variety of shots without changing lenses. Although 105 is decent, its really not that much zoom.

              I recommend to anyone interested in photography to buy the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens. Its cheap, probably $150, and has no zoom, but takes beautiful shots even in low light. The wide aperture lets you blur the background and get professional looking shots. The 50mm f/1.8 is great for portraits and indoor shots.

              Here's a shot I took with my Nikon 50mm f/1.4: http://www.flickr.com/photos/noirs/1430156477/in/set-72157602141799775/ though to be honest, I didn't notice much difference at all upgrading from the f.1/8 to the f1/4.

              Here's one with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8: http://www.flickr.com/photos/noirs/147319847/in/set-72057594136168704/
               
              Avatar for amolsandil amolsandil (3:57 PM, April 27, 2010)
              Thanks Alex.
              I appreciate your advise. I think I will go for D 90 with 18~105 lense as
              standard kit.
              Which other lenses will you recommend for day to day normal photography (
              Land scape, portraits, grand children's and family pics etc.) ?

              Amol Sandil
               
              Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (2:57 PM, April 27, 2010)
              Personally, I'd recommend the D90 for the average user, and the D300s for the professional. The D90 looks to be much better value, and I think its image quality and low light capabilities are just as good as the D300s.

              Go for the D90, and spend the extra $ on some good lenses!
               
              Avatar for amolsandil amolsandil (9:47 AM, April 27, 2010)
              I want to buy pone on of them. But am still confused which one?
              Will D 90 with additional superior lenses be better than d 300s?

              Do I wait for a new upgrade of D 90 ?