November 3


Comparing Nikon DSLRs: The Nikon D300s vs. the Nikon D7000

By Dan

November 3, 2010

Nikon D300s Nikon D7000

With the Nikon D7000 DSLR now on the market, I’ve seen quite a number of photographers around the web who can’t decide which camera to buy, the D7000, or the D300s. They’re both great cameras, but as with anything, there are specific reasons why you might want to choose one body over the other.

I own a D300 (non “s” version), I’ve had it for three and a half years, and until a few months ago, it was my main camera body. I’ve used it to shoot everything, adventure sports, landscapes, travel, people, portraits, events, and it has performed incredibly throughout it’s life. I even dropped it once. Over the years, I’ve recommended it to a number of photographers.

The only reason it’s not my main body is that I now have the D700. (I love my wide angle lenses!) I still use it as a second body and occasionally when I want to extend the length of my telephotos. Since it has the Nikon DX sensor, my 200mm lens effectively acts as a 300mm.

I have not gotten my hands on the D7000 yet, but from everything I’ve seen and read, it looks like an awesome camera body. It has a 16.2 MP DX sensor, 1024 HD video capture, high ISO capabilities and durable magnesium alloy construction. It comes in at just over 1lb. 8 oz, as opposed to the D300s, which weighs 1lb. 14 oz. Chase Jarvis posted a great D7000 road test review on his blog.

So, which one should you buy?

My answer is simple. If you’re a pro or action shooter who needs 7 fps (8 fps with MB-D10 grip), an autofocus system that’s slightly better for sports, (it has 51 AF points and 15 cross type sensors) and a few other pro features, like the 10-pin connector, then get the D300s.

Otherwise, then you should seriously consider getting the D7000.

Aside from being lighter, it has a number of brand new technologies built in, which include a higher megapixel sensor, better low light shooting capabilities, higher resolution video and 14-bit RAW capture at 6 fps. (The D300s will only shoot 14-bit RAW at 2.5 fps.)

And, it the D7000 costs about $300 less than the D300s.

The Nikon D7000 is an incredible camera that represents the latest digital imaging and ergonomic technology from Nikon. For most shooters, it will perform exceptionally well and offer everything you need to produce great photographs.

If you’re concerned with the difference in autofocus systems, consider this. Photographers shot stunning action and sports imagery with the F4, F5, F100 and D90s, and every one of those cameras had more primitive autofocus systems than the Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor, which is what Nikon built into the D7000.

About the author

Hi, I'm Dan Bailey, a 25+ year pro outdoor and adventure photographer, and official FUJIFILM X-Photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.

As a top rated blogger and author my goal is to help you become a better, more confident and competent photographer, so that you can have as much fun and creative enjoyment as I do.

  • Nice comparison. I was a little tempted to switch to a D7000 for the better high iso, but I’m too clumsy to want to get rid of what feels like a more rugged body. I’ve dropped my D300s a few times and it has always been fine (my Tamron lenses, not so much).

  • hey dan,
    I want to ask you a question. I have a nikon D300s. Do you recommend to sell this and buy a D7000… I am happy with my nikon d300s but need some pro advice if is it worth to change…
    thank you again

  • I still keep my D300 as a backup, but it’s not my main body anymore. I think that unless you really need the ruggedness and shutter advance speed of the D300s, the D7000 is a great leap forward in low light, sensor and video technology. Thanks for reading.

  • Hello.

    I would appreciate your comments and your opinion: Which–the 300s or the 7000–is better for my type of shooting which is landscapes, still life, natural light portraits? I am a semi to pro photographer. Thank you.

  • David, for a semi-pro photographer, I think that you’ll find the D7000 to be an excellent choice. It will do most of the things the D300 will do, and unless you need the heavier duty chassis and slightly faster, sports oriented autofocus, the D7000 is probably a better bet. In addition, it’s got some newer technology, as well as better video capabilities. I think that you simply cannot go wrong with the D7000 – Dan

  • Dear Dan hello,
    I have bought D7000 some months ago. Excellent camera until two days ago. It denies to Focus in AF mode and as a result it doesn’t fire to take a picture (battery full – all switches to AF). When I tried to turn the ring on the lense, manually, it was ok, it focus, the red lights for focusing appeared and it fired. I have tried everything. I have bought couple of books from Amazon some time ago and I tried to find out if I am doing something wrong. Yesterday, it happened again for a while and all of a sudden it started working again normally. I don’t know what to think. If it happens again, I won’t trust it anymore. Only in AF is the problem. Do you have any other report about this ?
    Thank you, Demetris – Cyprus

  • Demetris, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having an AF issue. I have not had any similar issues with any of my Nikon DSLRs, so I’m afraid that I can’t be of any help here. Hope you get it sorted out!

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