Studio scene comparison (RAW)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Nikon D90 (RAW) vs. Nikon D300 (RAW)

Nikon D90
Nikon D300
2.9 MB JPEG (4288 x 2848)
2.9 MB JPEG (4288 x 2848)

Unfortunately, for those people hoping that the D90 would effectively be a half-price D300, the RAW results appear consistent with those from the JPEGs. Although the underlying silicon is likely to be closely related, it's not necessarily safe to assume that it shares the D300's multi-channel read-out, or downstream processing componentry (Nikon's Expeed branding doesn't refer to a specific processor). Most importantly, there is nothing to suggest that the D90 shares the same low-pass filter assembly (which can be more expensive than the sensor itself and would be an obvious place to reduce costs for a camera in this price-bracket), which would explain the difference in per-pixel-sharpness we see here.