Nikon D300S vs Nikon D300

  • APS-C
  • 12 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 40
    Overall
  • 13
    Imaging
  • 57
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 12 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 40
    Overall
  • 13
    Imaging
  • 46
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D300S vs Nikon D300: 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 from Semi-Pro DSLR category, introduced by Nikon. We are going to take a closer look at the technical and physical characteristics, features, and performance. The models we are going to assess and compare in this review are D300S and D300. The first common feature of Nikon D300S and Nikon D300 that is worth mentioning is sensor. Both cameras feature CMOS sensors with a resolution of 12.0 MP.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Nikon D300S and Nikon D300.

Nikon D300S 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
  • 7.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 480 (24 fps), 320 x 240 (24 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 147 x 114 x 74 mm
  • Weight: 938 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D300. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D500. Compare

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

Since Nikon D300S has been around for some time, it was substituted by Nikon D500. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D300S vs. D500
Nikon D500 vs. Nikon D300

Being a newer model, Nikon D300S substituted Nikon D300.

Why is Nikon D300S a better choice than Nikon D300

Wireless Connectivity Eye-Fi Connected vs No Better connectivity
Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Continuous Shooting 7 fps vs 6 fps 1 fps faster
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Dxo Color Depth 22.5 vs 22.1 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 12.2 vs 12 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 787 vs 679 Better High ISO performance

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D300 over Nikon D300S

Screen Resolution 922k dots vs 920k dots 0.2% higher resolution screen
Battery Life 1000 shots vs 950 shots 50 more frames with a single charge
Weight 925 g vs 938 g 13 g lighter

Key PROs of Nikon D300S and Nikon D300

Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism) 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
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions
Battery Life 950 shots | 1000 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Key CONs of Nikon D300S and Nikon D300

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 920k dots | 922k dots Small screen resolution
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP | 12.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Continuous Shooting 7.0 fps | 6.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D300S vs Nikon D300: 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 D300S and Nikon D300 from the front view.

Nikon D300S
Nikon D300
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D300S
Nikon D300
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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 D300 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 13g less than the Nikon D300S. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D300S — 950 shots
Nikon D300 — 1000 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots
Thickness values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D300S — 74 mm
Nikon D300 — 74 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D300S — 938 g
Nikon D300 — 925 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Comparing Nikon D300S and Nikon D300 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 D300S and Nikon D300 any different in terms of sensor type?

In terms of sensor type and resolution, these models are identical. Both Nikon D300S and Nikon D300 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 D300S and Nikon D300 by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D300S
Nikon D300
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Nikon D300S and Nikon D300 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 D300S and Nikon D300 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 D300S and Nikon D300 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 D300S Nikon D300
Portrait Photography
84%
68%
Street Photography
89%
89%
Sports Photography
92%
92%
Daily Photography
56%
78%
Landscape Photography
90%
89%

Nikon D300S for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

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 D300S for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (950 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)
  • 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 D300S 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 (7.0 fps)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (787)

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 D300S 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 (938 g)
  • Big size (147 x 114 x 74 mm)

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 D300S for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.2)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (787)

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)

Comparison of Nikon D300S vs Nikon D300: 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 D300S or Nikon D300, 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 D300S and Nikon D300 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D300 deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D300S. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D300S vs Nikon D300 Table Of Technical Specs

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

Nikon D300S Nikon D300
General
Brand Nikon Nikon
Model D300S D300
Announced Nov 16, 2009 Mar 12, 2008
Body Type Mid-size SLR Mid-size 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 Yes No
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 51 51
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 920k dots 922k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.63 0.63
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 7.0 fps 6.0 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 12
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 No Yes
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No Yes
Center Weighted Yes Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 70 67
DxO Color Depth 22.5 22.1
DxO Dynamic Range 12.2 12.0
DxO Low Light ISO 787 679
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 480 (24 fps), 320 x 240 (24 fps) n/a
Max Video Resolution 1280 x 720
Video Formats Motion JPEG n/a
Microphone Port Yes No
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes No
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 938 g 925 g
Physical Dimensions 147 x 114 x 74 mm 147 x 114 x 74 mm
Battery Life 950 shots 1000 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL3e EN-EL3e
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional Optional
Storage Type Compact Flash Type I/SD/SDHC Compact Flash (Type I or II)
Storage Slots 2 1

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