Which New Camera?

The D300?

Or the D90?

After 4 1/2 years with my trusty D70, I am feeling the inexorable pull towards a new DSLR camera body. It's down to the newly released D90 and the (almost) year old D300 - which one to choose?? This is a heavily discussed topic as witnessed on the dpreview.com discussion forums, and a constant topic between me and my friend Mark, who owns a D70s.

Here is a list of general advantages of the D300 over the D90:
- Better build quality and weather sealing
- Higher frames per second
- More focus points (51 vs 11)

A list of general advantages of the D90 over the D300:
- More lightweight, compact camera body
- HD video recording capability
- $500 less than the D300

As a part of my impromptu vacation day, I went to the Best Buy, fully expecting to put my hands on the D90. But I didn't expect that I would put my hands on the D300 - I was totally surprised they had a D300 on display. Heck, they even had a D700 on display (I didn't even pick it up - cannot afford to go there).

So, some comments after handling both cameras:

  • The D300 really isn't that much bigger or heavier than the D90. I am accustomed to big, heavy lenses which probably balance better on the D300 body.
  • The D90 felt a bit "plasticky" to me - perhaps because the grip isn't rubberized like my D70. It felt a little cheap.
  • I felt more at home with the camera controls on the D90 - they are similar to what is on the D70. The camera sales guy (who actually knew how to operate the camera) helped me with the D300 controls.
  • I wouldn't use the HD Video recording functionality on the D90, so that feature won't factor into my decision.
Before I walked into the store, I was leaning towards the D300....and after holding both cameras (they let me put my 24-70mm lens on the D300 body)....I am still leaning towards the D300. My main concern was the size and weight of the D300, and now I know that won't be an issue.

Now, to save up the $ for the darn thing (here's hoping that the prices continues to drop and that Nikon will offer up a Rebate just in time for the holidays......)

Lee –   – (October 3, 2008 at 9:13 PM)  

I think you'll be happier with the more expandable camera. You have such a great eye for photos. I think you'll outgrow the 90 before the 300. Just my 2 cents!

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