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D90 vs. D300

Steve Brenneis , Aug 29, 2011; 09:24 p.m.

I've been an Olympus shooter since I bought an OM-1 back in 1977. I currently shoot with an E510. For a couple of reasons, I have decided to venture into Nikon territory. I've always had a high opinion of Nikon cameras and Nikkor glass.
I have an opportunity to pick up both a D90 and a D300 for reasonable prices. I can't afford both, so I have to decide on one. The D300 is more expensive, but not out of my budget. I'm looking for suggestions on which I should get. I know a lot of it is very subjective, so I'd appreciate hearing pros and cons of each. I mostly shoot models and portraits. I'm also planning to branch out into small weddings and events.
Thanks in advance for your help.


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John Crowe , Aug 29, 2011; 09:32 p.m.

Can you check them out in person? I prefer the slightly larger D300 in my large hands. The D300 is easier to use with older manual focus lenses if that interests you.

Errol Young - Toronto, ON, CA , Aug 29, 2011; 10:08 p.m.

The 300 is heavier but It is a great body. I have one. It is sturdy, professional grade and could last a long time. but that depends on what you shoot.
I started digital shooting with the D70 which is the equivalent of the D7000 in 2005. It is a great cameraand I know that the 7000 is too.
I was at an event with my 70 (I do event photography mostly) and there was a pro with a D200. He stood up and shot 4 or 5 rapid shots. Just the difference in the sound, speed was impressive.
That being said, I still use the 70 on a mall Santa Clause shoot so it keeps on ticking.
Either would be great but the 300 is something else.

Kent Staubus , Aug 29, 2011; 10:22 p.m.

Either will do what you want, and I think they have the same sensor in them. D300 has better AF for sports etc., uses CF cards instead of SD. Would you be better off buying the D90 and spending the difference on an f2.8 lens for wedding work?

Kent in SD

Steve Brenneis , Aug 29, 2011; 11:42 p.m.

I've been looking, with lust in my heart, at the 135mm f/2 and 105mm f/2 lenses, but the best price I can find is close to what I would be paying for just the D300. I have run across a Sigma 20-70mm f/2.8 that seems nice. It's a little short for portrait work, so I might keep looking around. The difference between what I would pay for each body is not enough to get really killer glass. But saving a bit in order to get better glass is definitely part of my consideration.

William Hutton , Aug 29, 2011; 11:44 p.m.

Get the D300.

Matt Laur , Aug 29, 2011; 11:45 p.m.

The D300's AF system is significantly better. Frame rates are higher, CF cards are better, and more externalized, dedicated controls are better. How much better really depends on your style. If you have any chance at handling them, you'll know immediately. The D300 is a tank, by comparison.

Tony DeFilippo , Aug 30, 2011; 12:01 a.m.

I've used both quite a bit and own a D300, especially at the price points for used D90 vs used D300 I would be looking at a D300 for sure. I will echo John Crowe and say to go handle them both yourself if possible. When I bought my first DSLR (D80) I was convinced I wanted the D60 walking in the store... it only took a moment of holding it and looking through the viewfinder to decide it wasn't for me.

Andy L , Aug 30, 2011; 12:06 a.m.

If you're serious about events, the D300's better AF in lower light would likely be important - but you'd also need budget for good glass.

Jerry Litynski , Aug 30, 2011; 12:17 a.m.

"...to branch out into small weddings..." That means you should be looking at a pair of camera bodies that use the same memory card type (CF or SD) along with a least a pair of Nikon speedlights...the SB-900 units will make your wallet lighter.

For portraits, you can get a new body with more image size (the D3100 or the D7000,) which comes with a warranty. The second-hand D90 or D300 go out the door without no warranty to the second owner on a Nikon USA product.

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