Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of D300S vs 550D

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

D300S
8.7
EOS 550D
8.6
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

D300S
8.1
EOS 550D
6.5
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

D300S
8.7
EOS 550D
8.4
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

D300S
9.4
EOS 550D
9.2
Reviews from nikonrumors.com, techradar.com, reviews.cnet.com, trustedreviews.com and 2 more

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

D300S
9.0
EOS 550D
8.7

Winner
Nikon D300S 

Camera Rocket recommends the Nikon D300S  based on its image quality, focusing, responsiveness and reviews.

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Benchmarks Real world tests of D300S vs EOS 550D

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

D300S
787 ISO
EOS 550D
784 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

D300S
1,700 LPH
EOS 550D
2,100 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D300S
225 ms
EOS 550D
252 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

D300S
53 ms
EOS 550D
96 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

D300S
300 ms
EOS 550D
400 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D300S
7 fps
EOS 550D
3.7 fps

Features Key features of the D300S  vs EOS 550D 

Megapixels Maximum resolution images are captured at

D300S
12.2 MP
EOS 550D
17.9 MP

Max ISO Maximum light sensitivity of the sensor

D300S
6,400 ISO
EOS 550D
12,800 ISO

Focus points How many different points the camera can focus on

Screen size Larger screens make it easier to preview and review photos

D300S
3"

Viewfinder size Large viewfinders are brighter and more comfortable to use

D300S
0.62x
EOS 550D
0.54x

Pixel size How much area of the sensor is dedicated to each pixel

D300S
30.5 microns
EOS 550D
18.5 microns

Reviews Word on the street

D300S  vs EOS 550D 

8.2
7.7
We'd recommend using an external microphone if you're likely to use this features, since the noise of the camera or lens autofocusing can be heard on the movies.
D300S

9.0
9.0
Either card can be used as the primary card; secondary card can be used for overflow or backup storage, or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; images can be copied between cards.
D300S

9.0
8.0
It's the first time I've used this particular lens, and it performs exceptionally well, far better than most standard kit lenses.
D300S

9.0
9.0
The natural trade-off is weight: the D300S weighs nearly a kilogram before you even attach a lens, but for dedicated photographers – particularly those who like to tote their camera everywhere they go – the extra build-quality is reassuring.
D300S

8.2
7.8
Images begin to look "processed" at ISO 800; you can begin to see some sharpness degradation starting at ISO 1,600, but it doesn't become obtrusive until ISO 3,200.
D300S

Overall

8.7 Out of 10
8.4 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

D300S  vs
EOS 550D 
Type CMOS CMOS
Megapixels 12.2 MP 17.9 MP
Resolution 4288 x 2848 5184 x 3456
Size APS-C APS-C
Area 23.6 x 15.8 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
Crop factor 1.5x 1.6x
Pixel size 30.5 microns 18.5 microns
Light sensitivity 200 ISO to 3,200 ISO 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 3,200 ISO to 6,400 ISO 6,400 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Codecs
NEF 14bit
NEF 12bit
TIFF
RAW
NEF
JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes Yes
Tested vertical resolution 1,700 LPH 2,100 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 1,750 LPH 2,100 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection Phase detection
Focus points 51 9
Cross type focus points 15 1
Supports continuous Yes No

shutter

Min 30 s 30 s
Max 1/8000 s 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 147 x 114 x 74 mm 129 x 98 x 62 mm
Thickness 74 mm 62 mm
Weight 938 g 530 g
Is weather sealed Yes No

features

Is a smart camera No No
Includes a GPS No No
Supports HDR No No
Automatic panorama No No
Create realistic 3D images No No
Image stabilization

video

D300S  vs
EOS 550D 
Video 1280 x 720 @ 24 fps 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes Yes
Shoots high speed video No No
External mic jack 3.5mm 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Manual

display

Type LCD LCD
Size 3" 3"
Resolution 920 k dots 1,040 k dots
Has a touch screen No No
Has a flip out screen No No
Supports live view Yes Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Opaque Opaque
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Type Pentaprism Pentamirror
Coverage 100% 95%
Magnification 0.94x 0.87x
Viewfinder size 0.62x 0.54x

performance

Max continuous shooting 7 fps 3.7 fps
Battery life 950 440
Continuous shooting
7 fps, JPEG
3.7 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 225 ms 252 ms
Shutter lag 53 ms 96 ms
Startup delay 300 ms 400 ms
Nikon D300S
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Canon EOS 550D
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