Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (2023)


By Nasim Mansurov 93 Comments
Last Updated On

Nikon has just announced the new Nikon D300s, so I decided to post a quick comparison between the old Nikon D300 and the new Nikon D300s.

Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (1)

Basically, the new D300s is exactly the same camera as the D300 in terms of features, except for the following:

  1. D300s shoots HD movies at 720p resolution, 24 FPS with stereo audio. Maximum length is 5 minutes for 720p and 20 mins for lower video resolutions.
  2. D300s is slightly faster than the D300, shooting 7 FPS in Ch mode (Nikon D300 is 6 FPS). With MB-D10 battery pack, it will shoot 8 FPS.
  3. A new release mode “Q” (quiet shutter-release) is added to the dial right after Ch (continuous high speed).
  4. Dual card slots – the Nikon D300s features dual card slots to work with both CompactFlash and SD (SDHC-compliant) cards. Either card can be used as the primary card. Secondary card can be used for overflow or backup storage, or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images and images can be copied between cards.
  5. Active D-Lighting now has “Auto” and “Extra High” added. “Auto” is something expected, as both D700 and D90 have this mode. The “Extra High” is something new though.
  6. Nikon D300s is slightly heavier than the D300, adding 15 more grams of weight, weighing total 840g total.
  7. Nikon D300s has a dedicated “Lv” (LiveView) and “Info” buttons on the back of the camera.
  8. Nikon D300s has a virtual horizon now (D300 did not).

Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (2)

Along with the new Nikon D300s, Nikon released an entry-level Nikon D3000 (which replaces D60) and two updated lenses – Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 DX and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II. I really don’t care about the 18-200mm lens update, since I sold mine and I’d rather be shooting with quality primes instead, but the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II is definitely a worthy update that everyone has been waiting for. However, the 70-200mm price point left me scratching my head…$2,400 is too darn expensive! That’s $500 over what the current version of 70-200mm f/2.8 is selling for.

Is D300s worth the upgrade? If you already have a D300 and do not care about the video feature (which kind of sucks, since I was expecting full HD at 1080p), it is not worth the upgrade. The sensor of the new D300s is basically identical to the older D300. It is nice that the D300s has dual slots and faster frame rate, but it is nothing extraordinary.

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About Nasim Mansurov

Nasim Mansurov is the author and founder of Photography Life, based out of Denver, Colorado. He is recognized as one of the leading educators in the photography industry, conducting workshops, producing educational videos and frequently writing content for Photography Life. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook. Read more about Nasim here.



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Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (5)


June 13, 2015 10:21 am

This is probably old news as we now have a D7200 as the top Nikon Dx body. I had a D300 which I used for Indy Car races and it worked very well and could track focus in most cases. This sort of use is very demanding – travel by air, lots of banging around in crowds etc. Then I “upgraded” to a D7000 and for two years was frustrated by the less effective focusing and lighter build quality. This year I went FX with a D700 which has the D300 focusing system and it works even better. Now to my point here – I bought another used D300 because it was cheap and in perfect shape and allows me to get 8FPS with the MB-10 pack which can be shared with my D700. Both cameras are very fast and feels like a NIKON. I stayed away from the D7100 because of the limited buffer which was a deal breaker for my sports photography.

Thank You for the wonderful website!


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (6)


November 5, 2012 9:13 am

I am planning to move away from my basic SONY Alpha(200) to a Mid Range Camera. Although there is a wide range of Nikon’s and Canon’s available. Only question i want to be answered is about lens, When Sony provides Carl Zeiss Lens(ofcourse not with the kit)…..what makes Nikon’s and Canon’s a better choice.

Honestly i have had better results with my basic SONY DSLR Kit lens(DT 3.5-5.6/18-70) compared to mid range Canon lens for Portraits.


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (7)


August 24, 2012 2:04 pm

nice compare nasim, i decided to upgrade my D90 to D300s.after read your post and because it have some new feature and many advantage than D300.



Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (8)


Reply to camera

September 12, 2012 11:03 pm

I, too, am considering upgrading from the D90 to the D300s. Have you noticed the improvement in features and autofocus?


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (9)


December 9, 2011 9:05 am

What are your thoughts on the D700 versus the D300s for shooting sports photography in crappy lighting conditions? My daughters are figure skaters and it is very difficult to capture those moments as they are moving fast and the rink lighting is so low. I love my basic Nikon D40 for almost everything. I have been shooting some of their competitions with the AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6GVR lens, many of the photographs are blurry, though there are some that turn out nice, but not quite as crisp as I’d like. Last weekend, I upped my ISO to various levels and the noise levels made me cry afterwards. It was horrible.

I’ve heard that the D300s is great for sports photography and the D700 has way better ISO. Ack! Is there one that has both features (other than the D3, which I can not afford)? What would you recommend and is there a lens that you’d recommend with it to zoom in close? Thank you for your help! I’m stumped right now…


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (10)


Reply to Jen

December 9, 2011 9:43 am

One more ?: I am not sure I could afford this lens, but I always hear people talking about investing in glass, so if I instead kept my D40 and bought the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8VRII AF-S lens, would that be enough to take crisp photos of ice skaters in rinks with horrible lighting? I can not use the flash as it can disturb the skaters. Thoughts on that in relation to my aforementioned question??? Thanks again!


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (11)

Shawn Earle

Reply to Jen

March 2, 2015 6:30 pm

I would get the D700 then save the f2.8 lens later. I have the d200 and it’s a nice camera but anything over iso 320 look horrible, with the D700’s full frame sensor i’ve been told iso 1600 photos look clean and sharp. That will get your shutter speeds up a bit, and be tons better if you get the F2.8 lens later. Personally i want a D610 lol


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (12)


November 6, 2011 8:53 pm

Hi Nasim/ everyone

I’ve got my new nikon D300s two weeks ago and I noticed there’s a ticking sound in my D300s body when i shake it gently. Think it sounds like a mirror or a lens. But the camera is turned OFF. i plugged out the battery and lens then wag the body, i really can hear this ticking sound. Been searching for technical reviews and forums about this issue but im not lucky enough to find any. Are you guys aware about this? is this normal for any Nikon DX bodies? i never dropped or slammed it. Appreciate for your advice..


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (13)

Nasim Mansurov


Reply to Raquel

November 13, 2011 11:20 pm

Raquel, my Nikon D700 had the same thing and still produces a ticking sound when I shake it. It works great, so it does not bother me :) Just don’t shake it I guess, LOL :)


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (14)


Reply to Nasim Mansurov

November 15, 2011 12:03 am

Many thanks Nasim. I wouldn’t bother going to Nikon service center then. Cheers!


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (15)


September 22, 2011 4:17 pm

I have just held a D7000 for the first time at our camera club, it is awful – like a basic Canon. I use a D200, which can be in my hand for 3 or 4 hours whilst shooting weddings and wildlife. I wanted a body with a better low light capability, but there is no way I could use the D7000 for more than a few minutes before it became uncomfortable, Neither does it have useful features at hand like the D200/300/700/3/3x. Forget it – it is a flash consumer camera, NOT for a pro that uses it regularly. Why does nobody mention these points, why are you all wrapped in features and specs?



Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (16)


August 7, 2011 9:43 pm

Hi Nasim,

I have a Nikon D300s and I would like to know and understand how depth of field preview button works. Can you give me a walkthrough on this. I tried searching through the internet and I don’t see any guides on how this function works. Even the manual does not explain the functionality. I really want to utilize this camera function but I need some help. Im using a 35mm 1.8G DX lens.

Thanks in advance


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (17)

james pinder

August 5, 2011 10:16 am

i was just wondering if there is any image quality differances between the two cameras??


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (18)

Marcin Kowalski

May 5, 2011 10:53 am

Gosh, it was almost 2 years ago. There is no significant update to Dxxx line since d300. D7000 seems to have quite a lot better sensor. I wonder whether nikon will make D7000 a new top DX line or there will be some D300 replacement.


Nikon D300 vs D300s - Photography Life (19)

nikos petof

March 17, 2011 2:24 am

Hello Nazim,

what is your opinion about the D300S + 200-400 lens setup ?

i work now with D3S + 200-400, mainly for wildlife photos, but i am thinking to get the D300S, I’ve found at good price. My main reason is that with D300S i will have basicly 300-600 lense. Attractive enough, i think. But what about the quality at high ISO 1250, 2500?
Or should i get, for almost same money, the NIKON 85 1.4? Basicly I have 70-200, so i am covered in this range but I heard a lot of very good opinion about this lens.

best regards,




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