Nikon D300 vs Nikon D850

This is a full comparison between the cameras Nikon D300 and Nikon D850. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.

Manufacturing

These cameras are both manufactured by Nikon.

Nikon D300 were released 2006 and Nikon D850 was released 2017. That is a 11 years difference. In tech, this period can be of interest since technology is always improving, etc.

Camera Released
Nikon D300 2006
Nikon D850 2017

Type of camera

Both these cameras are DSLR cameras. No difference there.

Sensors / crop factor

These cameras have different sensors. Nikon D300 has a "Nikon DX"-sensor while Nikon D850 has a "Nikon FX"-sensor, and their difference in sensors will also affect the crop factor and experience focal length. See the table below.

Camera Focal length, 50mm f/1.8 **
Nikon D300 75 mm
Nikon DX sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.5
Nikon D850 50 mm
Full-frame sensor
No crop factor/focal length multiplier

** Experienced focal length when using a lens such as a common "50mm f/1.8"

Learn more about crop factor and focal length multiplier here:
Camera selection can affect the focal length (Nikon)

Resolution

Nikon D300 has a 12,3 MP (Megapixels) resolution while Nikon D850 has 46 MP. If we break down this in more detail this is the data behind the numbers:

Camera Megapixels
Nikon D300 12,3 MP
12212224 pixels
4288 x 2848
Nikon D850 46 MP
45441024 pixels
8256 x 5504

Nikon D850 has a 272 % larger resolution than Nikon D300. This could give you more details in the picture but also a possibility to crop more in the pictures, afterward while editing the pictures, if needed that is.

ISO range

Nikon D850 has a larger ISO-range than Nikon D300. Nikon D850 has an ISO range that stretches from 64 to 25600 while Nikon D300 has 200 to 6400.

Camera ISO Range
Nikon D300 200-6400
Nikon D850 64-25600

Autofocus and lens compatibility

Both of these cameras have a built-in autofocus motor. Some lenses, that support autofocus, do not have an autofocus motor of their own but this won't cause any problems with these two cameras.

Here is a complete overview of which lenses work with each camera:
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D300
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D850

Pictures per second

Depending on what you are shooting the FPS, or frames/pictures per second, can definitely be of interest. Nikon D300 can shoot up to 6 pictures per seconds and Nikon D850 can shoot up to 9 pictures per seconds.

Camera FPS (Frames per second)
Nikon D300 6
Nikon D850 9

Ability to record movies

It is becoming more and more popular to record movies with digital cameras.

It is only one of these two cameras that support recording movies and movie clips and that is Nikon D850. Sadly, the Nikon D300 does not support this.

Weight

The weight of the camera can be an extremely important factor, especially if the camera is about to be used, or carried around, for several hours at a time.

Nikon D850 weighs 1005 gr (equal to 2.22 lb) which is 9% heavier than Nikon D300 and its 925 gr (or 2.04 lb).

Camera Weight
Nikon D300 925 gr
2.04 lb
Nikon D850 1005 gr
2.22 lb

Nikon D300 vs Nikon D850 Specs

Below you will find the complete and detailed technical specs for both Nikon D300 and Nikon D850, next to each other. Each category of data is a link to an article covering the subject, giving you a deeper understanding so you can better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the two camera models.

Product
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Name Nikon D300 Nikon D850
Manufacturer Nikon Nikon
Release Date and Price
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Release Year 2006 2017
Release Date 2007-08-23 2017-07-25
MSRP 1799 USD 3299 USD
Buy it today
Camera Type
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Sensor
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Sensor Size APS-C (approx 23.7 x 15.5 mm)
Also known as "DX"
Full Frame (approx 36 x 23.9 mm)
Also known as "FX"
Sensor Type CMOS BSI-CMOS
Resolution 4288 x 2848 pixels 8256 x 5504 pixels
Megapixels 12,3 MP 46 MP
Image Processor EXPEED EXPEED 5
Image
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
ISO Range 200 - 6400 64 - 25600
White Balance Presets 12 14
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Image Stabilization CIPA Rating 0 stops 0 stops
Uncompressed format RAW + TIFF RAW + TIFF
Optics & Focus
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Autofocus Motor Yes Yes
Autofocus Contract Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
LiveView
Contract Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Center
Selective Single Point
Tracking
Single
Continuous
Touch
Face Detection
LiveView
Focus Points 51 151
Lens Mount Nikon F

See Compatible Lenses
Nikon F

See Compatible Lenses
Focal Length Multiplier DX / APS-C (1.5x)
1.5x multiplier
Example:
24 mm becomes 36 mm
50 mm becomes 75 mm
100 mm becomes 150 mm
200 mm becomes 300 mm
FX (Full frame)
No multiplier
Example:
24 mm remains 24 mm
50 mm remains 50 mm
100 mm remains 100 mm
200 mm remains 200 mm
Screen & Viewfinder
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Articulated LCD Fixed Tilting
Screen size 3 3.2
Screen dots 922000 2359000
Touch screen No Yes
Screen type Super Density TFT color LCD with wide-viewing angle TFT LCD
Live view Yes Yes
Viewfinder Type Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder Coverage 100% 100%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.94 (0.63 35mm equiv.) 0.75
Viewfinder Resolution N/A 0
Photography features
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Frames per second 6 fps 9 fps
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds 30 seconds
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000 seconds 1/8000 seconds
Built-in Flash Yes No
Built-in Flash Range 12 meters N/A
External Flash Yes Yes
Self-Timer Yes Yes
Time-lapse Yes Yes
Metering modes Multi
Center Weighted
Average
Multi
Center Weighted
Highlight Weighted
Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
Videography features
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Video recording No Yes
Video format N/A MPEG4
Video resolution N/A 1280 x 720
1920 x 1080
3840 x 2160
Built-in Microphone No Yes
Built-in Speakers No Yes
Storage
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Memory Card Compact Flash
SD/SDHC
XQD
Connectivity
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
HDMI Output Yes Yes
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No Yes
Wireless No Yes
Built-In ( 802.11b/g + NFC + Bluetooth 4.1 LE)
Remote Control Yes (Optional) Yes (wired, wireless, smartphone)
GPS Yes
Optional through GP-1
No
Body & Dimensions
Nikon D300
Nikon D850
Enviromentally sealed Yes Yes
Battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Details Lithium-Ion EN-EL3e rechargeable battery & charger
EN-EL15a lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 1000 shots 1840 shots
Width 147 mm 146 mm
Height 114 mm 124 mm
Depth 74 mm 79 mm
Weight 925 gram 1005 gram