Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of D800 vs D300S

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Nikon D800
10.0
D300S
9.5
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

D300S
9.2
focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Nikon D800
10.0
D300S
10.0
continuous shooting

Reviews

What do the experts think?

D300S
9.4
Reviews from nikonrumors.com, techradar.com, 1001noisycameras.com, imaging-resource.com and 5 more

No winner declared

Too close to call

Benchmarks Real world tests of Nikon D800 vs D300S

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

Nikon D800
2,979 ISO
D300S
787 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Nikon D800
3,100 LPH
D300S
1,700 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Nikon D800
209 ms
D300S
225 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Nikon D800
43 ms
D300S
53 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Nikon D800
200 ms
D300S
300 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Nikon D800
4 fps
D300S
7 fps

Features Key features of the Nikon D800  vs D300S 

Megapixels Maximum resolution images are captured at

Nikon D800
36.2 MP
D300S
12.2 MP

Max ISO Maximum light sensitivity of the sensor

Nikon D800
25,600 ISO
D300S
6,400 ISO

Focus points How many different points the camera can focus on

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

Nikon D800
3.2"
D300S
3"

Viewfinder size Large viewfinders are brighter and more comfortable to use

Nikon D800
0.7x
D300S
0.62x

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

Nikon D800
23.8 microns
D300S
30.5 microns

Reviews Word on the street

Nikon D800  vs D300S 

8.2
8.2
In addition, you can specify a fixed, minimum shutter speed value to ensure sharp pictures - this is generally most useful when you need a high shutter speed to freeze motion.
Nikon D800

10.0
9.0
Otherwise the Nikon D800 is a highly dependable and capable camera that offers a versatile and improved auto focus system, an enhanced viewfinder with 100% frame coverage and a very good movie mode.
Nikon D800

10.0
9.0
ISO 6400 is where noise becomes more noticeable, although yet again it’s perfectly possible to make good images at this setting – especially if you are shooting in Raw and processing out the noise yourself.
Nikon D800

9.0
9.0
For example, in our shots taken a gym that was dimly lit by sodium lamps, chroma noise is clearly visible from around ISO 2500 when the images are viewed at 100% on the computer screen.
Nikon D800

8.6
8.2
And it handles bright, saturated reds, pinks and purples very well, without blowing out any detail.
Nikon D800

Overall

9.0 Out of 10
8.7 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Nikon D800  vs
D300S 
Type CMOS CMOS
Megapixels 36.2 MP 12.2 MP
Resolution 7360 x 4912 4288 x 2848
Size Full frame APS-C
Area 35.9 x 24 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
Crop factor 1.0x 1.5x
Pixel size 23.8 microns 30.5 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO 200 ISO to 3,200 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 6,400 ISO to 25,600 ISO 3,200 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Codecs
NEF 14bit
NEF 12bit
TIFF
RAW
NEF
JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes Yes
Tested vertical resolution 3,100 LPH 1,700 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 3,100 LPH 1,750 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection Phase detection
Focus points 51 51
Cross type focus points 15 15
Supports continuous Yes Yes

shutter

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

form factor

Size 146 x 123 x 82 mm 147 x 114 x 74 mm
Thickness 82 mm 74 mm
Weight 1,000 g 938 g
Is weather sealed Yes Yes

features

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

video

Nikon D800  vs
D300S 
Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps 1280 x 720 @ 24 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes Yes
Shoots high speed video No No
External mic jack 3.5mm 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection

display

Type LCD LCD
Size 3.2" 3"
Resolution 921 k dots 920 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 Pentaprism
Coverage 100% 100%
Magnification 0.7x 0.94x
Viewfinder size 0.7x 0.62x

performance

Max continuous shooting 4 fps 7 fps
Battery life 900 950
Continuous shooting
4 fps @ 7360 x 4912, NEF 14bit, 20 shots
5 fps @ 6144 x 4080, NEF 14bit, 25 shots
6 fps @ 4800 x 3200, NEF 14bit, 29 shots
7 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 209 ms 225 ms
Shutter lag 43 ms 53 ms
Startup delay 200 ms 300 ms
Nikon D800
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Nikon D300S
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