This article is to primarily show the key differences between the Nikon D300/D300s and Canon 50D and provide information on high ISO performance above ISO 800. While there is a significant difference in both features and price between these cameras, in this Nikon D300s vs Canon 50D comparison, I will primarily focus on low-light performance between these two cameras.
Major differences between the two cameras
- Sensor Resolution – Nikon D300/D300s is 12.3 Megapixels (4288 x 2848) while Canon 50D is 15.1 Megapixels (4752 x 3168).
- Pixel Pitch – Nikon D300s is 5.49 microns and Canon 50D is 4.7 microns.
- Crop factor – All Nikon APS-C (DX) sensors have a crop factor of 1.5x, while all Canon APS-C sensors have a crop factor of 1.6x.
- Autofocus focus points – Nikon D300/D300s has the same professional autofocus system as in Nikon D3/D3s/D3x with a total of 51 focus points, while the Canon 50D has a much inferior 9 focus point system.
- ISO – Both cameras can handle up to ISO 3200 in native mode. Nikon D300/D300s can be boosted to ISO 6,400, while Canon 50D can go up to ISO 12,800.
- Wireless flash master – Nikon D300/D300s has a built-in flash that can be used as a master flash to control other Nikon flashes, while Canon 50D does not have such feature.
- Exposure compensation – Most Nikon cameras can handle -5 to +5 EV, while Canon 50D can only handle -2 to +2 EV.
- Frames per second – very similar performance between the cameras. Nikon D300 is 6 FPS, Nikon D300s is 7 FPS and Canon 50D is 6.3 FPS. With the MB-D10 battery pack both Nikon D300 and D300s can shoot 8 frames per second.
- Movie mode – Nikon D300s can handle 720p video and Canon 50D has no video support.
- Viewfinder coverage – 100% on Nikon D300/D300s and 95% on Canon 50D (pentaprism on both).
- Weight – Canon 50D is lighter (730g) than Nikon D300/D300s (840g).
- Custom Functions – 25 on Canon 50D and 48 on Nikon D300/D300s.
- Price – Canon 50D is currently selling for $925 at B&H and Nikon D300s is $1,519.
High ISO Comparison
Let’s move on to high ISO tests for both Nikon D300s and Canon 50D. Here is what I photographed for this test: