Nikon D300 vs Nikon D5000

  • APS-C
  • 12 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 40
    Overall
  • 13
    Imaging
  • 46
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 12 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 40
    Overall
  • 13
    Imaging
  • 47
    Features
  • 71
    Size
  • 1
    Price

Nikon D300 vs Nikon D5000: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models introduced by the same brand - Nikon. Although both products are offered by the same brand, they come from different categories. Thus, Nikon, is a camera from Semi-Pro DSLR category, while D5000 is a Entry-Level DSLR camera. The first common feature of Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 that is worth mentioning is sensor. Both cameras feature 12.0 MP CMOS sensors.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000.

Nikon D300 Key Features:

  • 12.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 3200 (Expands to 100 - 6400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 6.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 147 x 114 x 74 mm
  • Weight: 925 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D200. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D300S. Compare

Nikon D5000 Key Features:

  • 12.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 3200 (Expands to 6400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 2.7″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps), 320 x 216 (24 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 127 x 104 x 80 mm
  • Weight: 590 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D60. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D5100. Compare

Since Nikon D300 has been around for some time, it was substituted by Nikon D300S. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D300 vs. D300S
Nikon D300S vs. Nikon D5000

Being a newer model, Nikon D300 substituted Nikon D200. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D300 vs. D200
Nikon D200 vs. Nikon D5000

Why is Nikon D300 a better choice than Nikon D5000

Continuous Shooting 6 fps vs 4 fps 2 fps faster
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Number Of Focus Points 51 vs 11 40 more focus points
Screen Size 3″ vs 2.7″ 0.3" larger screen
Screen Resolution 922k dots vs 230k dots 75.1% higher resolution screen
Battery Life 1000 shots vs 510 shots 490 more frames with a single charge
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) vs Optical (pentamirror) Better framing and control
Viewfinder Magnification 0.63 vs 0.52 0.11 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D5000 over Nikon D300

Wireless Connectivity Eye-Fi Connected vs No Better connectivity
Flash Range 17 vs 12 5 better flash range
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Screen Type Fully Articulated vs Fixed Type Flexible shooting positions
Weight 590 g vs 925 g 335 g lighter
Dxo Color Depth 22.7 vs 22.1 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 12.5 vs 12 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 868 vs 679 Better High ISO performance

Key PROs of Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000

Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentamirror) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Built-In Flash Yes | Yes External flash available
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Battery Life 1000 shots | 510 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Key CONs of Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 922k dots | 230k dots Small screen resolution
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP | 12.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Continuous Shooting 6.0 fps | 4.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D300 vs Nikon D5000: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 from the front view.

Nikon D300
Nikon D5000
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D300
Nikon D5000
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Nikon D5000 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 335g less than the Nikon D300. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 any different in terms of sensor type?

In terms of sensor type and resolution, these models are identical. Both Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 come equipped with the same CMOS that has a resolution of 12.0 MP. Thus, if you are wondering, which option to choose, this is not a factor you should be looking at.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D300
Nikon D5000
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Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Nikon D300 Nikon D5000
Portrait Photography
68%
67%
Street Photography
89%
76%
Sports Photography
92%
72%
Daily Photography
78%
55%
Landscape Photography
89%
85%

Nikon D300 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D5000 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D300 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (1000 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D5000 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (127 x 104 x 80 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Nikon D300 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (51)
  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (6.0 fps)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (679)

Nikon D5000 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (127 x 104 x 80 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (868)
  • Small battery life (510 shots)

Nikon D300 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (925 g)
  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)
  • Video is not available

Nikon D5000 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (590 g)
  • Big size (127 x 104 x 80 mm)

Nikon D300 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.0)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (679)

Nikon D5000 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.5)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (868)

Comparison of Nikon D300 vs Nikon D5000: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D300 or Nikon D5000, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D300 and Nikon D5000 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D5000 deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D300. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D300 vs Nikon D5000 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Nikon D300 Nikon D5000
General
Brand Nikon Nikon
Model D300 D5000
Announced Mar 12, 2008 Jun 12, 2009
Body Type Mid-size SLR Compact SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.6 x 15.8 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 372.88 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4288 x 2848 4288 x 2848
Max Native ISO 3,200 3,200
Max Boosted ISO 6,400 6,400
Min Native ISO 200 200
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F
Number of Lenses 287 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No No
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection No Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 51 11
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3″ 2.7″
Screen Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentamirror)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 95%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.63 0.52
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 6.0 fps 4.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Flash Range 12 17
Flash Modes Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average Yes No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area Yes No
Center Weighted Yes Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 67 72
DxO Color Depth 22.1 22.7
DxO Dynamic Range 12.0 12.5
DxO Low Light ISO 679 868
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps), 320 x 216 (24 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1280 x 720
Video Formats n/a Motion JPEG
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 925 g 590 g
Physical Dimensions 147 x 114 x 74 mm 127 x 104 x 80 mm
Battery Life 1000 shots 510 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL3e EN-EL9a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional Optional
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II) SD/SDHC card
Storage Slots 1 1

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