Ever since Nikon released the new Nikon D7000, I have been getting a lot of emails from people who are asking if they should go with the D7000 or with the older Nikon D300s. To make it easier for our readers, I decided to post a quick comparison between the two in this “Nikon D7000 vs D300s” article.
The new Nikon D7000 is a new generation DSLR that sits between D90 and D300s, which can be classified as an “semi-professional DSLR”. It features a brand new sensor from Nikon, which has been specifically engineered for the Nikon D7000 and possibly other upcoming cameras. The Nikon D7000 is the second camera announced this year by Nikon with the new Expeed II processor, allowing faster image and video processing up to 1080p (the previous Expeed processor could not handle more than 720p video).
Here are some differences between Nikon D7000 and D300s:
- The first and the most important difference between the D7000 and D300s is the sensor. Nikon D7000 has a 16.2 Megapixel sensor, while the D300s has a 12.3 Megapixel sensor.
- The new sensor on the D7000 also has different specifications – its ISO range is from 100 too 6400 in native mode and up to 25,600 in expanded or “boost” mode, while D300s goes from ISO 200 to 3200 with a boost to ISO 6400, a difference of one full stop in native and two full stops in expanded mode.
- Base ISO on the Nikon D7000 is 100, while it is 200 for Nikon D300s.
- The new Expeed II processor on the Nikon D7000 is capable of full HD (1920x1080p) @ 24 fps (frames per second), while D300s can only go up to 720p (1280x720p) @ 24 fps. D7000 can also shoot 720p at 30, 25 and 24 fps and 424p at 30 and 25 fps; Nikon D300s only records video at 24 fps.
- Both cameras have magnesium alloy bodies, with the D7000 only having top and back covers made of magnesium alloy, while D300s is fully covered.
- Nikon D7000 comes with a new TTL exposure metering with 2016-pixel RGB sensor, while D300s has the older 1005-pixel RGB sensor.
- Both cameras employ dual slot storage systems for writing, but with different types of cards – Nikon D7000 uses dual SD card slots, while Nikon D300s uses Compact Flash and SD cards.
- Weight-wise, the Nikon D7000 is approximately 140 grams lighter than the D300s.
- Nikon D7000 shoots images at 6 fps, while D300s can shoot at 7 fps and can go up to 8 fps with the MB-D10 battery grip.
- Nikon D7000 can bracket up to 3 frames, while D300s can bracket up to 9 frames.
- Nkon D7000 is slightly smaller than the D300s, measuring 132x105x77mm versus 147x114x74mm of D300s.
- When it comes to AF system and focus points, the Nikon D300s has a superior pro-level AF sensor with 51 focus points and 15 cross-type sensors, while D7000 has 39 focus points and 9 cross-type sensors.
- Nikon D7000 has Scene Modes (such as Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Sunset, etc) to make it easier to take pictures for beginners, while the D300s does not.
- Nikon D7000 has a lot more White Balance options for more accurate WB control than D300s.
- Nikon D7000 is controlled remotely using MC-DC2 cable via the GPS socket, while D300s can be controlled with any Nikon 10-pin remote control unit.
- The price difference between the two cameras is significant – Nikon D7000 is priced at $1,199, while Nikon D300s is priced at $1,699 (although the current price is around $1,459).
So, in summary, which camera is superior? Clearly, it is the Nikon D7000. While Nikon D300s has a better AF system and a little faster frames per second, Nikon D7000 has the lead in the most important features such as sensor, ISO performance and video. The D7000 is also lighter, more compact and cheaper – at this time, it just does not make sense to buy the D300s anymore (unless you shoot action and you need the better AF system on the D300s).
Why did Nikon do this? Doesn’t the D7000 eat up D300s sales? Sure it does, but the wait between the next generation D300 line is short (D400 will most likely be announced early 2011) and Nikon can make plenty of money by selling the D7000 instead of the outdated D300s, which will be phased out as soon as the D400 comes out. D300 might be superior in its AF performance, but is it worth all new features the D7000 offers? I don’t think so…
Nikon D7000 is currently selling for approximately $1,199 for body only, whereas the D300s is selling for $1,459, so there is about a $260 difference.
See my full Nikon D7000 review.
I would use this camera to take more photos of landscape and nature, and also for my Children’s Themed Sessions for my Photography business…. Capturing Life’s Best Photography!
Does anyone knows which Nikon DSLR bodies have fast AF motors?
I suppose that D300/D300S has faster AF motor than D7000.
It’s important for me, since I have older AF Nikkor 300mm F4 IF-ED lens with screwdrive AF operation.
Thank you sir :) One more doubt..Can I take good pics of bird flight easily like D300s? I am using D7000.
The D300s has a slightly better AF system than the D7000, however the D7000 excels in image quality. With the right settings, patience and practice, the D7000 is more than capable of capturing birds in flight:
Thanks a lot sir…try to catch the bird flight and let you know the details :)
Ideally for bird photography, you want a relatively fast aperture lens of sufficient focal length to get you close enough.
The lenses I use mainly for bird photography are the Nikon AF-S 80-200 f/2.8, sometimes with a 1.4x TC, (which gives 112-280mm at f/4) and the Sigma 500mm f/4.5.
The Nikon 300mm f/4 is another good choice and relatively affordable.
How fast was your shutter speed? To satisfactorily freeze the wing motion of a bird in flight, shutter speed would need to be faster than 1/1000 of a second, ideally 1/1600 – 1/2000.
Oh! Thanks sir :) My shutterspeed was lesser than 1/1600. Anyway next time I will check and reply. and kindly suggest me some good lenses for bird photography.
I am using 18_135 lens, 3D tracking and a fast shutterspeeed
Any body please….tell me the exact reason.
What lens were you using, what aperture, shutter speed and autofocus settings did you use?
Hi Nikon professional, I bought a ND7000 last month and I am enjoying this wonderful camera a lot. It gives me good pic and I am happy about it…but recently I noticed when I am taking a birds flight, the pic seems to be blured ( wings only). Is this because of the 6fps? or I need a better, fast lens? Please advice…Thanks.
What do you shoot most or do you have any specialties that have particular requirements?
I ask because each of the cameras you are considering have some strengths the other do not. You should decide if you are going to view this purchase as the first step in a potentially very expensive shift in funding requirements. You have AF-S lenses now that are suitable for either the D300 or D7000 but not for the D700 or soon to be announced D600. The least expensive aspect of moving to FX is an FX body, and the real expense is in the lenses.
As a general purpose camera that does everything well the D7000 is currently the best in IQ, features and price. If you are primarily interested in sport, outdoors, the D300s has an advantage in speed and sophistication of the auto -focusing system(which is shared in base system with the D700. A used D300s is a bargain now but still more than the new lower new price for the D7000 at $999.
The D700 is an excellent general purpose Fx camera with the build quality of the D300 but better IQ and low light performance. Used D700’s are about $1800 but the real costs are upgrading to Fx lenses.
A new model that will probably be announced in a couple weeks is rumored to be 24mp FX in the same body type at the D7000, meaning smaller, lighter and an outer shell of a mix of plastic and magnesium. That latter point probably is not important to you since the D7000 style body is plenty rugged without having a 100% metal outer shell.
Thanks for the feedback. I mainly do nature photography (wildlife, landscapes, macro, etc.). I do shoot in low-light occasionally, which I know the D700 is very excellent in. But, I know the other DX bodies I’m looking into shoot well in low-light conditions also, obviously not as good as the D700, but still pretty good. I do have DX AF-S lenses, but not enough that I could sell to have a major spike in my budget for a D700. I would really love a D700, but I’m not thoroughly convinced I should save longer to purchase it, considering the high price of the lenses. I may wait for the new FX camera, but only purchase it if it’s worth it, after I see reviews and pick one up in a store. Between the D7000 and D300, which would you purchase and what type of shooting do you do? But for all three, for me, I guess time will tell.
Sorry for the delay in responding, I have been in 3 countries since I wrote last.
As I mentioned the shift to FX is a major commitment to lenses if you have need for a wide range of focal lengths. The camera body is not the significant factor in comparison. There is a sudden shift towards Fx by a lot of hobbyists who really do not benefit that much from it. Printing very large, and needing very narrow depth of field are the two major advantages.
Narrow DOF is mostly of interest to serious portraiture. That was my main interest in adding a D800 to my bag. Low light is a benefit also but not as significant as most people assume. The D7000 has that covered really well.
Considering the alignment of my lens selection to accommodate FX really cost about $11,000 in addition to the body and I do not do macro or use long lenses. That is probably typical for Fx shooters. That is a big dent in my budget and probably yours as well. So unless the subject or income potential compells it I do not recommend most shooters rush into Fx when there are such good crop cameras out now.
Between the D300s and D7000, for me it was easy, IQ for portraiture and landscapes was the main interest so the D7000 was added about 1 year after it was announced….I was happy with my D90, and still happy with it. In your case the wildlife subjects make the choice a little more confusing. The AF performance of the D300 is really good and for moving darting, small animals or birds would be better. For larger game animals, shore birds or those which fly predictable paths, either one would be fine. For landscape, macro the D7000 has noticeable advantages, the added resolution being one but the incredible dynamic range and vanishing low noise are being even more important. I shoot primarily at low ISO, like I used to with film after seeing how good the D7000 is at 100 ISO even when in low light which under exposes the image. The flexibility of the resulting fine for post processing has to be experienced to believed. Same with the D800, its biggest advantage over other cameras, all other cameras, is the very low read noise at low ISO so there is more recoverable noiseless data captured even if way under exposed.
My suggestion would be to decide first if you are comfortable with the FX cost of ownership and if that is not something you are willingly wanting to take on, I would not even look at a new FX like the D600(?) because, the advantages are not geared towards your specialties, and even a “low cost” FX is still not a savings overall since the realignment of your lens collection will dwarf and camera costs. If you are comfortable with the lens needs, I would hold off any decision until after reviews come out . It will drive D700 prices down on the used market and will give you more options for new or used under $2000.
I hope I did not muddy the water more. Actually Nikon muddied the waters plenty by introducing so many really nice small low cost f/1.8 primes for Dx so the clear advantage of FX in low light is no so much. An 85 1.8G plants more light on each pixel on a D7000 than a 2.8 something else on a D700.
Thank you so much for your respond. No problem on the delay! I think I decided to go with the D300s! I think 12 MP should be enough for landscapes, as I’m shooting with six right now (D40) and I’m not a pro. I will get some good glass and I think I will be happy. I can’t justify the move to FX for myself just yet. Thank you so much for your time! I appreciate it!
I currently have a Nikon D40. It is not enough for my needs, MP size, viewfinder (I’d like it to be 100%), and not having controls on body gets aggrivating sometimes (like metering and DOF preview button). Now, after two years with the D40, I find that I’m fairly experienced, as I shoot everyday, and I’m also all caught up with all the photography “lingo”, I mainly shoot in Manual, A or S, sometimes P. I don’t know if I should grab the D7000, the D300(s) or the D700. I know the D700 is amazing and I truly want it, but I would also be happy with the high-end DX D7000 or D300(s). The D700 is also a little out of my price range, and the FX lenses are too. Which too you think I should get? Thank you so much in advance for your feedback, and great job on the website, I read it all the time!