Nikon D90 vs Nikon D300S

Nikon D90


Nikon D300S



Reasons to buy the Nikon D90

Has live view
Live view
Preview your photos
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
300 ms startup delay
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
208 ms shutter lag
CMOS Sensor
Sensor type
Better in low light

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300S

Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
7 fps
Focus points
Many focus points
Viewfinder coverage
Great viewfinder coverage


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D300S.
Explore our gallery of 47 sample photos taken by the Nikon D90.


Nikon D90 Competitors

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300

Entry-level DSLR

$474 body only

$459 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Higher resolution movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Viewfinder Doesn't have a pentaprism viewfinder
Canon Rebel T3i

Canon Rebel T3i

Entry-level DSLR

True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
External mic jack Has an external mic jack
Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder
Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000

Entry-level DSLR

$602 body only

External mic jack Has an external mic jack
Weather sealed Weather sealed
Viewfinder size Slightly smaller viewfinder

Nikon D300S Competitors

Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000

Entry-level DSLR

$602 body only

True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
Size Smaller
Continuous shooting Shoots slower
Nikon D300

Nikon D300


$465 body only

Lowest price Significantly cheaper
Battery life Slightly longer battery life
Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
Nikon D7100

Nikon D7100

Entry-level DSLR

$709 body only

$1,097 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Higher resolution movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Continuous shooting Shoots slower


Nikon D90

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Nikon D300S

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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.

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.
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: 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:
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 ?