Nikon D600 vs Nikon D300S

  • Full frame
  • 24 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 49
    Overall
  • 26
    Imaging
  • 52
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 12 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 40
    Overall
  • 13
    Imaging
  • 57
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D600 vs Nikon D300S: 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 D600 and D300S. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. Thus, Nikon D600 comes with a 24.0 MP CMOS sensor, while the Nikon D300S features a 12.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Nikon D600 and Nikon D300S.

Nikon D600 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Expands to 50 - 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.5 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 141 x 113 x 82 mm
  • Weight: 850 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D300S. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D610. Compare

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

Since Nikon D600 has been around for some time, it was substituted by Nikon D610. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D600 vs. D610
Nikon D610 vs. Nikon D300S

Being a newer model, Nikon D600 substituted Nikon D300S.

Why is Nikon D600 a better choice than Nikon D300S

Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP vs 12.0 MP 50% more pixels
Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 vs 372.88 mm2 56.7% larger pixel area
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″ 0.2" larger screen
Screen Resolution 921k dots vs 920k dots 0.1% higher resolution screen
Weight 850 g vs 938 g 88 g lighter
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 vs 1280 x 720 Higher Resolution Video
Headphone Port Yes vs No Has headphone port
Dxo Color Depth 25.1 vs 22.5 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 14.2 vs 12.2 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 2980 vs 787 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.7 vs 0.63 0.07 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D300S over Nikon D600

Continuous Shooting 7 fps vs 5.5 fps 1.5 fps faster
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Number Of Focus Points 51 vs 39 12 more focus points
Battery Life 950 shots vs 900 shots 50 more frames with a single charge

Key PROs of Nikon D600 and Nikon D300S

Screen Size 3.2″ | 3″ Large display
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Storage Slots 2 slots | 2 slots Extra Storage Slots
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 900 shots | 950 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Key CONs of Nikon D600 and Nikon D300S

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 921k dots | 920k dots Small screen resolution
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Continuous Shooting 5.5 fps | 7.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D600 vs Nikon D300S: 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 D600 and Nikon D300S from the front view.

Nikon D600
Nikon D300S
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D600
Nikon D300S
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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 D600 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 88g 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 D600 — 900 shots
Nikon D300S — 950 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots
Thickness values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D600 — 82 mm
Nikon D300S — 74 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D600 — 850 g
Nikon D300S — 938 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Comparing Nikon D600 and Nikon D300S 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 D600 and Nikon D300S any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D600 features a 24.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor . Nikon D300S, in its turn, comes with a 12.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and Expeed processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D600 and Nikon D300S by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D600
Nikon D300S
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon D600 has a sensor area 0.4x bigger compared to Nikon D300S. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D600 and Nikon D300S 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 D600 and Nikon D300S 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 D600 Nikon D300S
Portrait Photography
86%
84%
Street Photography
91%
89%
Sports Photography
82%
92%
Daily Photography
39%
56%
Landscape Photography
98%
90%

Nikon D600 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

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 D600 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (900 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (141 x 113 x 82 mm)
  • 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 D600 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2980)
  • Big size (141 x 113 x 82 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.5 fps)
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (39)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (9)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)

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 D600 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (850 g)
  • Big size (141 x 113 x 82 mm)

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 D600 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (14.2)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2980)

Disadvantages:

  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)

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)

Comparison of Nikon D600 vs Nikon D300S: 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 D600 or Nikon D300S, 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 D600 and Nikon D300S here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D600 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 D600 vs Nikon D300S Table Of Technical Specs

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

Nikon D600 Nikon D300S
General
Brand Nikon Nikon
Model D600 D300S
Announced Nov 13, 2012 Nov 16, 2009
Body Type Mid-size SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 35.9 x 24 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
Sensor Area 861.60 mm2 372.88 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6016 x 4016 4288 x 2848
Max Native ISO 6,400 3,200
Max Boosted ISO 25,600 6,400
Min Native ISO 100 200
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F
Number of Lenses 287 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes No
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 39 51
Number of Cross Focus Points 9 n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3.2″ 3″
Screen Resolution 921k dots 920k 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 0.7 0.63
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.5 fps 7.0 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 Yes No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 94 70
DxO Color Depth 25.1 22.5
DxO Dynamic Range 14.2 12.2
DxO Low Light ISO 2980 787
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps) 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 480 (24 fps), 320 x 240 (24 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 1280 x 720
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264 Motion JPEG
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port Yes No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
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 850 g 938 g
Physical Dimensions 141 x 113 x 82 mm 147 x 114 x 74 mm
Battery Life 900 shots 950 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL15 EN-EL3e
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional Optional
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC x 2 slots Compact Flash Type I/SD/SDHC
Storage Slots 2 2

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