Comparison D90 to D300s

Started Sep 18, 2011 | Discussions
cubandane
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Comparison D90 to D300s
Sep 18, 2011

If I upgraded my D90 to a D300s would I be marginally better off, hugely better off or little difference. If 'hugely' what would be the significant changes.

I shoot for HDR a lot of the time and use bracketing in raw most of the time. I shoot mainly landscapes, wildlife, historic buildings etc.

Would welcome your views. Question arises because I cannot find a comparison between the two cameras on this site.
Thanks
Cubandane

LX93
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to cubandane, Sep 18, 2011

D300s new $1,600 nowadays. Before the tsunami, it was down to $1,459.
D300, $750 to $950 used ($1,040 to $1,350 if D300s)

b) Minimal noise at ISO 800; noise becomes a problem at 1,600. At 3,200- forget it.
c) D300 AF is not only faster, but also more accurate and has more focus points
d) D300 frame rate is faster
e) D300 buffer is bigger
f) Vertical grip comes on/off in 5 seconds, doesn't have any parts to lose
g) Lens alignment
i) Dual SD and CF card slots if D300s
j) Better video (if D300s, and if this matters)

k) Easier to hold stable. The weight, in my OPINION, is not a lot more if you are capable of carrying a bag of groceries, but its shape is much more ergonomic. Width: 5.8 inches
height: 4.5 inches
depth: 2.9 inches
weight: 1.82 pounds without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover
a) D300 has 14 bit Raw processing
b) D300 has lossless compressed RAW
c) 9 out of 10 dress size 2 females prefer a D300 guy over a D200 guy.

D90, $550 to $650 used; still available new for $739-ish
a) Video not as good as on D300s, which doesn't have as good video as D7000
b) SD cards

c) Smaller size is a sword that cuts both ways. The weight difference is minimal. The larger D300 is easier to hold stable, (but more girth to pack)
width: 5.2 inches
height: 4.1 inches
depth: 3.0 inches
weight: 22 ounces

d) Stupid “mode” selector easily changed by accident. You ARE buying an SLR for manual controls, & won’t be using “Wedding Mode”, right?
e) Not weather-sealed
f) ISO performance similar to D300 (so I’m told)

g) Poss not as good WB- I once used a D80 alongside a D200, and the D80 came out w/ a blu-ish tint to night pix which those captured by the D200 didn’t have.

h) Max flash-sync speed is only 1/200- not good when you want to use a large aperture on a bright, sunny day.

i) Vertical grip takes 3-4 minutes to take on/off; easy to lose small battery door.

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cubandane
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to LX93, Sep 18, 2011

A mine of information and many thanks for that.
I'll begin saving up my pennies!
Cubandane

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Epitaph_pmr
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to cubandane, Sep 18, 2011

What is it about the D90 that makes you want to upgrade?

If you give us your reasonings we might better be able to tell you whether it would be a worthy upgrade.

If you were buying a DSLR and you had no previous one, the d300s would be much better (unless it was your first DSLR ever). But seeing as you already have a d90, the jump to the d300s is up, but its not as large as you might first think in terms of IQ.

Yeah, the IQ/AF etc are better. But depending on your true uses/purpose for upgrading, it might not be worth spending the dosh. Might be better off getting a d7000, or a d300s update, whenever it comes out.

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cubandane
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to Epitaph_pmr, Sep 18, 2011

I'm thinking differently now. I don't dislike the D90 by any means except the high starting number of the ISO at 200. Probabaly cost too much in the long run and I'd be only marginally better off. Thanks for the heads-up.
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Cubandane

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mrjam
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to cubandane, Sep 22, 2011

cubandane wrote:

I'm thinking differently now. I don't dislike the D90 by any means except the high starting number of the ISO at 200. Probabaly cost too much in the long run and I'd be only marginally better off. Thanks for the heads-up.
--
Cubandane

D300s has the same base ISO. Nothing different there...

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NPPhoto
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to LX93, Sep 22, 2011

LX93 wrote:

c) 9 out of 10 dress size 2 females prefer a D300 guy over a D200 guy.

Total misinformation here. They prefer a D3S guy over anything!! LOL

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PHXAZCRAIG
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to cubandane, Sep 23, 2011

cubandane wrote:

If I upgraded my D90 to a D300s would I be marginally better off, hugely better off or little difference. If 'hugely' what would be the significant changes.

Yes, no, or maybe.

The sensor is basically the same. In 'easy conditions', you'll take the same shot and get the same results.

There are big differences in the body (controls, autofocus, speed, and weight). If you are into climbing a mountain, putting the camera on a small tripod and triggering it with a self-timer, the D300s would be at a disadvantage simply due to the weight.

On the other hand, if you shoot under rapidly changing lighting, subject and weather conditions, and need to make quick changes between modes without looking at the camera or going into a menu, the D300 is going to come out on top.

Think of the D300s as the same sensor with a more-capable body wrapped around it. A car analogy might be... hmm... D90 like a nice Honda Civic 2-door. Gets you to the grocery store, takes you on vacation in comfort, good mileage, reasonable price, etc. The D300s might be more of a Porsche Cayenne SUV. Heavier, more expensive. Also gets you to the store and takes you on vacation, but can go faster, hold more people more comfortably (?), and take you places you couldn't go.

Offhand I'd say you could get images with the D300 you just couldn't get at all with the D90, or get them somewhat easier. But the D90 will get you the same images, if it can get them.

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cubandane
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to PHXAZCRAIG, Sep 23, 2011

Thanks everyone for your replies. I guess I am convinced. I'll hang onto the D90 for awhile longer.
Cheers
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Cubandane

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Tony Beach
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to cubandane, Sep 23, 2011

cubandane wrote:

...what would be the significant changes.

  • D300/D300s v. D90

  • 14 bit and 12 bit RAW with Compressed, Lossless Uncompressed, and Uncompressed v. 12 bit compressed

  • Fully compatible with non-CPU lenses v. no metering and manual only with non-CPU lenses

  • CAM3500 with 51 points 3D tracking v. CAM1000 with 11 points and older tracking technology (believe me, the D300/D300s has a much better AF system)

  • Five Center-weighted metering options (including my favorite, "Average") v. 3 Center-weighted metering options

  • 1005 pixel RGB metering sensor v. 420 pixel RGB metering sensor

  • Up to 9 frames bracketing v. up to 2 frames bracketing

  • 1/8000 shutter speed v. 1/4000 shutter speed

  • 100ms mirror blackout and 45ms shutter lag, shutter rated to 150K v. 120ms mirror blackout and 65ms shutter lag, shutter rated to 100K

  • 1/320 flash sync v. 1/200 flash sync

  • 100% viewfinder v. 96% viewfinder

  • 6 fps (D300s does 7, and both do 8 with MB-D10 and appropriate batteries) v. 4.5 fps

  • CF cards (dual CF and SD cards on the D300s) v. SD cards

  • Larger v. smaller (a difference of about 200 grams)

  • The D300/D300s also has a Flash sync terminal and a 10 pin remote control terminal, AF fine tune, MLU, and built-in interval timing.

For me, the D90 just didn't cut it as there were too many things I like about my D300 that the D90 does not have. I would go so far as to say that the D200 is a better camera than the D90, despite its older sensor, despite both cameras having restricted viewfinders, and despite them having the same AF systems and comparable fps (I believe the D200 has a bigger buffer though). The D7000 OTOH is a camera that would interest me because it seems to have addressed most of the issues I would have with the D90 (especially MLU), and it has an even better sensor.

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cmvsm
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Re: Comparison D90 to D300s
In reply to Tony Beach, Sep 23, 2011

Tony Beach wrote:

cubandane wrote:

...what would be the significant changes.

  • D300/D300s v. D90

  • 14 bit and 12 bit RAW with Compressed, Lossless Uncompressed, and Uncompressed v. 12 bit compressed

  • Fully compatible with non-CPU lenses v. no metering and manual only with non-CPU lenses

  • CAM3500 with 51 points 3D tracking v. CAM1000 with 11 points and older tracking technology (believe me, the D300/D300s has a much better AF system)

  • Five Center-weighted metering options (including my favorite, "Average") v. 3 Center-weighted metering options

  • 1005 pixel RGB metering sensor v. 420 pixel RGB metering sensor

  • Up to 9 frames bracketing v. up to 2 frames bracketing

  • 1/8000 shutter speed v. 1/4000 shutter speed

  • 100ms mirror blackout and 45ms shutter lag, shutter rated to 150K v. 120ms mirror blackout and 65ms shutter lag, shutter rated to 100K

  • 1/320 flash sync v. 1/200 flash sync

  • 100% viewfinder v. 96% viewfinder

  • 6 fps (D300s does 7, and both do 8 with MB-D10 and appropriate batteries) v. 4.5 fps

  • CF cards (dual CF and SD cards on the D300s) v. SD cards

  • Larger v. smaller (a difference of about 200 grams)

  • The D300/D300s also has a Flash sync terminal and a 10 pin remote control terminal, AF fine tune, MLU, and built-in interval timing.

For me, the D90 just didn't cut it as there were too many things I like about my D300 that the D90 does not have. I would go so far as to say that the D200 is a better camera than the D90, despite its older sensor, despite both cameras having restricted viewfinders, and despite them having the same AF systems and comparable fps (I believe the D200 has a bigger buffer though). The D7000 OTOH is a camera that would interest me because it seems to have addressed most of the issues I would have with the D90 (especially MLU), and it has an even better sensor.

The guy primarily shoots landscapes and historical buildings. How did you curtail your response to the OP's needs? If you are speaking about low light performance, the D200 doesn't hold a candle to the D90 or D300s. You might want to quantify your blanket statement before throwing it out there.

IMO, the D90 is all that the OP will need, and then some, based on what he shoots. Save the money and invest in a nice wide angle for your landscapes and city shots. It will make a world of difference.

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Tony Beach
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Speak for yourself
In reply to cmvsm, Sep 23, 2011

cmvsm wrote:

The guy primarily shoots landscapes and historical buildings.

"I shoot mainly landscapes, wildlife, historic buildings etc."

How did you curtail your response to the OP's needs?

It's not up to me to determine which (if any) of the features to omit that the D300/D300s has that the D90 does not. To varying degrees, I consider all of those features I listed as worth noting, and the best part of that post is that I think it was reasonably comprehensive.

You might want to quantify your blanket statement before throwing it out there.

As opposed to your "blanket statement" which ironically omitted that the OP shoots wildlife?

IMO, the D90 is all that the OP will need, and then some, based on what he shoots.

IMO you are wrong, but then I'm only presuming to speak for myself. I would miss the bigger buffer, the extra fps, the 100% viewfinder, and MLU; and I think the OP would like to have the extra bracketing capabilities and perhaps 14 bits too, since HDR was mentioned.

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