D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

Started Sep 30, 2009 | Discussions
rito Junior Member • Posts: 44
D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

Please help differentiating the two. I want to buy one out of this two. Thanks a lot!!!

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exit here Senior Member • Posts: 2,143
Re: D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

Both Brilliant ...If you can budget for the D300s then do, if you like a bargain ...well its the D90.

and its not 'vs' ...its 'or'.

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Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 18,582
Re: D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

rito wrote:

Please help differentiating the two. I want to buy one out of this two. Thanks a lot!!!

D300s is bigger, heavier and more expensive than the D90. It also meters with AI lenses, making it easier to use the old Nikon optics. Those are the major differences to me. Since you haven't indicated what kind of photography you want to do, I can't tell if those differences are important ones to you.

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Leonard Migliore

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Marty4650
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 16,046
Help for what?

These are two very different cameras.

Both are excellent choices.
One costs $2700. The other one costs $900.

The more expensive one is better.

Buy whichever one you can afford, and has the features you want.
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MusicDoctorDJ Forum Pro • Posts: 12,400
Re: Help for what?

These are two very different cameras.

Both are excellent choices.
One costs $2700. The other one costs $900.

Actually, the D300s is $1700-$1800 for the body . . .

The D90 is $900-$1000 for the body.

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J. D.
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I do understand its a Jeep thing . . . thats why I bought a Dodge!

Marty4650
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 16,046
true.... I got confused

rito has posted this question in six different forums, with two variations... "D90 or D700?" and "D90 or D300s?"

I must have been thinking D700....

Frankly, if someone needs to ask this question, the shouldn't be buying a D300 or D700 at all. These are very advanced cameras for very advanced users. Even the D90 might be a stretch...

But, if he wants to get into the Nikon system, then the D90 is the best place to start. Since it has the autofocus motor built into the body, and has a lot of features the D40/D60/D3000/D5000 lack.

I also think the idea of buying a camera that will last a lifetime went out when digital came in. Today, cameras are computers that can mount lenses. Buy the best lenses you can afford and the cheapest body that will serve your needs. Because you will be using those lenses for decades, and those bodies will be replaced by better ones every two years or so.
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Hank3152
Hank3152 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,499
Re: D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

The D90 is a great entry level camera. Have you handled either of them? Although you may not see any difference in image quality it's the performance and features that set them apart. The D90 is smaller, lighter and not built as well as the D300s. The D300s has a faster continuous rate and features like AF tune allowing you to calibrate every lens to your camera eliminating front/back focusing issues. Here's a paragraph from the D90 review referring to the D300....the D300s can only be better............

Quote - Picking the images apart to find differences between cameras reveals it's not quite a half-price D300 but that was a camera we described at the time as being best semi-professional digital SLR on the market, setting the bar pretty high. After using and testing the D90 extensively, it's hard to think of a better enthusiast-level camera.

Perhaps it would be wiser, if you had to ask, to get the D90 and invest the difference in better lenses.
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Leswick Veteran Member • Posts: 3,102
Re: D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

For whatever it's worth, pull up and cross compare tests that DPR did on both cameras.....also look at the noise. To me, D90 looked like it edged D300 by a little in ISO's 800-1600. Then again, judging the jpgs may not be too accurate. Take a look at pix from both cameras, check specs, try to handle them at brick and mortar....and enjoy photography. I'd choose D90, I'll probably sound like an echo, and save your cash for some superb glass.

Leswick

spbStan
spbStan Senior Member • Posts: 1,959
Re: Help for what?

Actually they are pretty similar with equal image quality. Both have metal internal frames but the 300 has an external metal case which is why it is heavier. Neither can be considered flimsy or less likely to survive their date of obsolescence. With so many D90s out there now we surely would have heard of any complaints of not holding up.

If you are interesting in lighter weight as a walking around camera the D90 is better, if you are interested in fast action sports, the D300 might be better because of a little faster frame rate in burst mode. The D300 has a little better weather sealing but it is still not considered sealed against the elements like the D3 is. The D300 has more options in fine tuning the camera, used by more advanced users to compensate for lens characteristics. It can also meter on some old lenses the don't on the D90

Both are very good cameras and best of class compared to other brands so cost and weight are the two main considerations.

Determine what your main photographic goals are, such as travel, nature, portrait, closeup, candid/street scenes etc and that will determine which is best for you. Either one is going to give great performance.

Marty4650 wrote:

These are two very different cameras.

Both are excellent choices.
One costs $2700. The other one costs $900.

The more expensive one is better.

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Stan
St Petersburg Russia

ShadowDiver
ShadowDiver Contributing Member • Posts: 523
Maybe better D90 for you as you asked this...

Hi,

your question and the way you asked it let me assume that you have not that much expirience in photography currently.
If this is right, then I would recommend the D90 to you and not the D300s!

Why? Because the D300s (and the one without "s") migth be too complicated to start with. The results/images/imagequality is nearly the same, but you pay a lot more, carry a lot more weight, and the many more buttons and options (menu) will confuse "starters". For example, the AF-system is really really great and one of the biggest differences to the D90! BUT - for beginners, it could be too complicated with all the options & buttons. If you start with D90 and shoot for ie a year ot two, you will slowly reach the limits of the D90 in the future (or not and than you start of thinking of "upgrading" to whatever then replaces the next level (today D300) to get ie the better AF etc.

But starting with such a body directly can be successfull, but can be a pain, too as it might confuse starters.

Chris

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Jeff Rutsch Contributing Member • Posts: 507
Re: D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

They're very similar, but the D300 is larger, heavier, more expensive, and the image quality is not quite as good. D90 is the obvious choice.

Sy Stepanov New Member • Posts: 7
Re: D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

D300s is built like a tank, D90 not as good. D90 Image quality definitely beats D300s, High Iso performance is better on the D90, so if you are out in the boonies and need a tank get the d300s, if not D90 all the way!!

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iamlearning New Member • Posts: 21
Re: D90 vs D300s?? Please help!!!

hi all. hoping you can help me......i have a d80 and 4 kids. i love the pics i get.....i love the pics i get of the kids playing sports outside on a clear sunny day....however, if the kids play indoor sports such as soccer and basketball.....they are horrible!!!! i will be up front and honest i only shoot auto or sport mode.....would love to learn manual just not right now....when kids get older.

my husband bought me the d90 for christmas and although i am excited i was thinking the d300s would be better for what i want....i of course dont want to waste money, but i do want to make sure i am buying what i really need. i want to make sure i can still get the beautiful still pics that my d80 gives me and get those indoor sport pics....you know those crazy gym lights.....i get either really dark pics or really blurry. i have tried some manual stuff that the camera store told me to do but nothing really made anything worth keeping. i would like to know what you all think i should do. d90 or d300s??? and why???
ask me any questions you want and thank you for any insight.....

Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 18,582
It's not the camera

iamlearning wrote:

hi all. hoping you can help me......i have a d80 and 4 kids. i love the pics i get.....i love the pics i get of the kids playing sports outside on a clear sunny day....however, if the kids play indoor sports such as soccer and basketball.....they are horrible!!!! i will be up front and honest i only shoot auto or sport mode.....would love to learn manual just not right now....when kids get older.

my husband bought me the d90 for christmas and although i am excited i was thinking the d300s would be better for what i want....i of course dont want to waste money, but i do want to make sure i am buying what i really need. i want to make sure i can still get the beautiful still pics that my d80 gives me and get those indoor sport pics....you know those crazy gym lights.....i get either really dark pics or really blurry. i have tried some manual stuff that the camera store told me to do but nothing really made anything worth keeping. i would like to know what you all think i should do. d90 or d300s??? and why???
ask me any questions you want and thank you for any insight.....

The D90 and the D300s have the same sensor so either will work well at high ISO settings. The D300s has better autofocus than the D90 but I doubt that that's the problem. The problem is that it's dark in the gym and the players are moving fast. That means you need a very fast (large aperture) lens and shoot at a high shutter speed. The D90 or D300s will let you use ISO 1600 but I suspect that your lens (Do you have a kit lens that goes to f/5.6 at the long end? I bet you do.) is the limitation.

What works are lenses like the 200mm f/2, 85mm f/1.4 or 300mm f/2.8. All these lenses are hideously expensive (well, the 85 is just horribly expensive but then again, you have to be relatively near the action).

Indoor sports is one of the most expensive things to shoot. I believe that bird photography beats it for expense (hideously expensive lenses plus a hideously expensive tripod), but either one does your budget in.

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Leonard Migliore

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iamlearning New Member • Posts: 21
Re: It's not the camera

love the information....do you think i will notice a difference between the d80 and d90 - if even just in quality of the photos??? also, what does it mean that it iha better autofocus....is that not what i need???

thank you so much for the information......nice to get some real feed back.,..the store i went to was no help.

iamlearning New Member • Posts: 21
Re: It's not the camera

oh and the lense is the nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G if-ed

Sammy Yousef
Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,657
D300s has not "sports mode"

The D300s does not even have a sports mode. You'd need to learn to use shutter priority at the very least. That's probably a good thing to do anyway, but unless you're willing to do it, stick with the D90. The D300s is a pro body and assumes you know your stuff.

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Sammy

Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 18,582
Re: It's not the camera

iamlearning wrote:

love the information....do you think i will notice a difference between the d80 and d90 - if even just in quality of the photos??? also, what does it mean that it iha better autofocus....is that not what i need???

thank you so much for the information......nice to get some real feed back.,..the store i went to was no help.

The D90 was a good upgrade to the D80 but I don't think you would see dramatic differences in the pictures. The D80 is a very good camera. The D90 has more pixels, somewhat less noise and also adds video.

The D300 (which is what I use) has a 51-point autofocus, which is very good at tracking moving subjects when set up properly. Yes, that's a big help in sports shooting. The D90 has an 11-point autofocus that's not quite as good. But your problem is that your indoor photos are dark and blurred and that's not autofocus, it's that you don't have enough lens.

Your subsequent post indicates that you're using a 70-300, which is a nice lens but far too slow. Unfortunately, improvements in this area are very costly because now you're running into Nikon's professional optics. Some successful lenses for this type of shooting are the 70-200 f/2.8 ($2400) and the 300 f/2.8 ($5300).

If you aren't prepared to lay down heavy bread for lenses like those, you could try setting the ISO to 3200 and use aperture priority at f/5.6, then seeing what the shutter speed is. If it's less than 1/250, the gym's too dark and you're doomed. Personally, once I need ISO 3200 I think I'm doomed even if the exposure is OK.

The D90 and D300 use the same sensor, so you won't get any benefit there. With enough light and the same lens, the D300 can grab and hold focus better than the D90.

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Leonard Migliore

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GordonBGood Veteran Member • Posts: 6,312
Re: It's not the camera

iamlearning wrote:

love the information....do you think i will notice a difference between the d80 and d90 - if even just in quality of the photos???

Yes, you will notice somewhat of a difference using the D90 in the quality of photos, and in particular for your indoor gym use in that you will be better able to use high ISO sensitivities and still get reasonable image quality, which will allow you to increase shutter speeds and better "freeze" the action. For most sports, one needs at least a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second or so to get reasonablly clear shots of moving players, and you may need to "pan" your camera to follow the players movement even at that. In combination with your zoom lens at about f/5.6 and a maximum reasonable quality ISO of ISO 3200 (ISO 6400 when viewed at reduced sizes), you should be able to make things work down to a Light Value of about 5.6 times 5.6 times 200 divided by 32 (or 64) and log base 2 of the result is about 11 to 12 LV. It should be possible with a fairly well lit gym. Professional sports photographers would likely be using a f/2.8 lens for this situation, with a gain in low light ability of two stops in LV, but at a cost of a couple of thousand dollars for the lens (or more).

The main problems of sports photography in lowish lighting is that of being able to freeze the players movement without blurring, and these extra two stops of low light range would make the difference between for instance using ISO 1600 rather than ISO 6400, raising the shutter speed to 1/800 rather than 1/200, etc.

also, what does it mean that it iha better autofocus....is that not what i need???

What is meant by better Auto Focus (AF) of the Nikon D300s is that it has something called 3D motion tracking which once locked on a subject attempts to keep that subject in focus as it moves around the frame and fore and back. According to the reports I've read, it works quite well. However, your D90 does have Continuous Focus, and even a form of 3D tracking focus, although it has only 11 focus zones instead of the 51 point of the D300s. Although you will have to learn to live within this limitation, I don't think you are going to have problems with AF if you learn some tricks, such as pre-focussing on a zone and anticipating the action to move into that focus zone, etc.

Hope this helps, GordonBGood

iamlearning New Member • Posts: 21
Re: D300s has not "sports mode"

ok, i understand. i just not quite sure if i cant learn the specs......i have 4 kids under 5 and just no time to learn something new.....wouldnt the d300s give me better results with better auto focus and the fact that it has 3d tracking??

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