Canon 300D vs Nikon D90
The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Nikon D90 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and August 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 300D||Nikon D90|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor||12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO 100-1600||ISO 200-3200 (200-6400)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|1.8" LCD, 118k dots||3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||4.5 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||850 shots per battery charge|
|142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g||132 x 103 x 77 mm, 703 g|
Body comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D90
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Nikon D90 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D90 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon 300D. However, the D90 is markedly heavier (8 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D nor the D90 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (300D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D90).
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon 300D»||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D90«||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 40D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7000« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||27.5 oz||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||5.8 in||4.5 in||3.2 in||33.1 oz||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 300D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the D90, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D90
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D90 is 9 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (300D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 12.2MP, the D90 offers a higher resolution than the 300D (6.3MP), but the D90 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.53μm versus 7.38μm for the 300D). Yet, the D90 is a much more recent model (by 5 years) than the 300D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D90 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D90 offers substantially better image quality than the 300D (overall score 18 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 1.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 300D»||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D90«||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||977||73||Nikon D90|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 40D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.3||703||64||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.1||10.9||571||57||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7000« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.5||12.2||787||70||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D90 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 300D does not. The highest resolution format that the D90 can use is 720/24p.
Feature comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D90
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 300D and the D90 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 300D, the Nikon D90, and comparable cameras.
|Canon 300D»||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D90«||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||4.5||Y||n||Nikon D90|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||4000||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 40D« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||6.5||Y||n||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7000« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||7.0||Y||n||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70« »||optical||n||1.8||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70|
One feature that is present on the D90, but is missing on the 300D is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The 300D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D90 uses SDHC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D90
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 300D and Nikon D90 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 300D»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D90«||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D90|
|Canon 77D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 40D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7000« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70|
Both the 300D and the D90 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the D90 was followed by the Nikon D7000.
Review summary: Canon 300D vs Nikon D90
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 300D and the Nikon D90? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 300D:
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D90:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 39%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (18 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.7 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/24p video.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 118k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (850 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the 300D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D90 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 300D and the D90 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Canon 300D vs Nikon D90
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 300D»||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon 300D|
|Nikon D90«||HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Rec||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 40D« »||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||80/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7000« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||HiRec||82/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D5000« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D80« »||Rec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
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Specifications: Canon 300D vs Nikon D90
|Camera Model||Canon 300D||Nikon D90|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2003||August 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 1299|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||23.6 x 15.1 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||4288 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||5.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||200-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||200-6400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55||73|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||22.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||12.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||544||977|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||n/a||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||4.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||BP-511 power pack||EN-EL3e power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||850 shots per charge|
142 x 99 x 72 mm
(5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
132 x 103 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||649 g (22.9 oz)||703 g (24.8 oz)|
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