Nikon D300s vs Nikon D90

This is a full comparison between the cameras Nikon D300s and Nikon D90. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.

Manufacturing

These cameras are both manufactured by Nikon.

Nikon D300s were released 2009 and Nikon D90 was released 2008. That is a 1 years difference. In tech, this period can be of interest since technology is always improving, etc.

Camera Released
Nikon D300s 2009
Nikon D90 2008

Type of camera

Both these cameras are DSLR cameras. No difference there.

Sensors / crop factor

Both these cameras have the same sorts of sensor (called "Nikon DX") which means that if you compare these cameras side by side the lenses will also have the same experienced focal length. Neither of the cameras has a Full frame sensor which means that you will get a "crop factor" where the camera's sensor size affect the focal length with a multiplier.

Camera Focal length, 50mm f/1.8 **
Nikon D300s 75 mm
Nikon DX sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.5
Nikon D90 75 mm
Nikon DX sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.5

** 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

Both these cameras have the exact same resolution. Nikon D300s has a 12,3 MP (Megapixels) resolution while Nikon D90 has 12,3 MP. If we break down this in more detail this is the data behind the numbers:

Camera Megapixels
Nikon D300s 12,3 MP
12212224 pixels
4288 x 2848
Nikon D90 12,3 MP
12212224 pixels
4288 x 2848

ISO range

Both of these cameras offer the exact same ISO range. They both have 200 to 6400.

Camera ISO Range
Nikon D300s 200-6400
Nikon D90 200-6400

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 D300s
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D90

Pictures per second

Depending on what you are shooting the FPS, or frames/pictures per second, can definitely be of interest. Nikon D300s can shoot up to 7 pictures per seconds and Nikon D90 can shoot up to 4,5 pictures per seconds.

Camera FPS (Frames per second)
Nikon D300s 7
Nikon D90 4,5

Ability to record movies

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

In this case, both Nikon D300s and Nikon D90 can shoot movies.

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 D300s weighs 938 gr (equal to 2.07 lb) which is 33% heavier than Nikon D90 and its 703 gr (or 1.55 lb).

Camera Weight
Nikon D300s 938 gr
2.07 lb
Nikon D90 703 gr
1.55 lb

Nikon D300s vs Nikon D90 Specs

Below you will find the complete and detailed technical specs for both Nikon D300s and Nikon D90, 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 D300s
Nikon D90
Name Nikon D300s Nikon D90
Manufacturer Nikon Nikon
Release Date and Price
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Release Year 2009 2008
Release Date 2009-07-30 2008-08-27
MSRP 1799 USD 899 USD
Buy it today
Camera Type
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Sensor
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Sensor Size APS-C (approx 23.7 x 15.5 mm)
Also known as "DX"
APS-C (approx 23.7 x 15.5 mm)
Also known as "DX"
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Resolution 4288 x 2848 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
Megapixels 12,3 MP 12,3 MP
Image Processor EXPEED Nikon LSI (Large Scale Integration)
Image
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
ISO Range 200 - 6400 200 - 6400
White Balance Presets 12 12
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Image Stabilization CIPA Rating 0 stops 0 stops
Uncompressed format RAW + TIFF RAW
Optics & Focus
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
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
Selective Single Point
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
LiveView
Focus Points 51 11
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
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
Screen & Viewfinder
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Articulated LCD Fixed Fixed
Screen size 3 3
Screen dots 920000 920000
Touch screen No No
Screen type Super Density TFT color LCD with wide-viewing angle Super Density TFT color LCD with wide-viewing angle
Live view Yes Yes
Viewfinder Type Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder Coverage 100% 96%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.94 (0.63 35mm equiv.) 0.96 (0.64 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder Resolution N/A N/A
Photography features
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Frames per second 7 fps 4,5 fps
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds 30 seconds
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000 seconds 1/4000 seconds
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Built-in Flash Range 12 meters 17 meters
External Flash Yes Yes
Self-Timer Yes Yes
Time-lapse Yes Yes
Metering modes Multi
Center Weighted
Spot
Multi
Center Weighted
Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Videography features
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Video recording Yes Yes
Video format Motion JPEG
MPEG4
Video resolution 1280 x 720
1280 x 720
Built-in Microphone Yes Yes
Built-in Speakers No Yes
Storage
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Memory Card Compact Flash
SD/SDHC
Connectivity
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
HDMI Output Yes Yes
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Wireless Yes
Eye-Fi Connected
Yes
Eye-Fi Connected
Remote Control Yes (Optional, wired or wireless) Yes (Optional ML-L3 or MC-DC2)
GPS Yes
Optional with GP-1
Yes
Optional
Body & Dimensions
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Enviromentally sealed Yes No
Battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Details Lithium-Ion EN-EL3e rechargeable battery & charger
Lithium-Ion EN-EL3e rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 950 shots 850 shots
Width 147 mm 132 mm
Height 114 mm 103 mm
Depth 74 mm 77 mm
Weight 938 gram 703 gram