Fujifilm X100 vs Nikon D300S
The Fujifilm FinePix X100 and the Nikon D300S are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and July 2009. The X100 is a fixed lens compact, while the D300S is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12.2 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm FinePix X100 and the Nikon D300S? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X100 and the Nikon D300S is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size 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 D300S is considerably larger (79 percent) than the Fujifilm X100. It is noteworthy in this context that the D300S is splash and dust-proof, while the X100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X100 has a lens built in, whereas the D300S is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D300S and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Fujifilm X100||126 mm||75 mm||54 mm||445 g||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199|
|2.||Nikon D300S||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799|
|3.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|4.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|5.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|8.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|9.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||118 mm||66 mm||55 mm||405 g||300||n||Sep 2014||1,195|
|10.||Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|11.||Nikon D7000||132 mm||105 mm||77 mm||780 g||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499|
|12.||Nikon D700||147 mm||123 mm||77 mm||1074 g||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999|
|13.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|14.||Nikon D200||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X100 was launched at a lower price than the D300S, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. 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.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12.2 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the X100 and the D300S have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the X100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the D300S, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Fujifilm FinePix X100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D300S are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|3.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|9.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Nikon D700||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2303||80|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the X100 provides a higher frame rate than the D300S. It can shoot video footage at 720/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X100 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the D300S has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the D300S has a higher magnification than the one of the X100 (0.63x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X100 and Nikon D300S along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|9.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||2764||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
One feature that is present on the D300S, but is missing on the X100 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 Nikon D300S has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X100 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D300S uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. The D300S features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X100 only has one slot.
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 Fujifilm FinePix X100 and Nikon D300S and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the D300S has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The X100 does not feature such a mic input.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D300S (unlike the X100) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the X100 and the D300S have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D300S was replaced by the Nikon D500, while the X100 was followed by the Fujifilm X100S. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X100 and the Nikon D300S? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Fujifilm FinePix X100:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (720/30p versus 720/24p).
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D300S requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (126x75mm vs 147x115mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D300S).
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the D300S).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D300S:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.50x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (950 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2009).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D300S is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 8 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X100 and the Nikon D300S place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X100 and the D300S in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X100||3/5||..||75/100||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199|
|2.||Nikon D300S||5/5||+ +||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799|
|3.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|4.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|5.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|8.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|9.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,195|
|10.||Nikon D500||5/5||+ +||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|11.||Nikon D7000||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499|
|12.||Nikon D700||..||89/100||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2008||2,999|
|13.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|14.||Nikon D200||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||5/5||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Fujifilm X100 vs Nikon D300S
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X100||Nikon D300S|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||35mm f/2.0||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2010||July 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 1,199||USD 1,799|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X100||Nikon D300S|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.8 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.88 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4288 x 2848 pixels||4288 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.53 μm||5.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||720/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor||EXPEED|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||73||70|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.9||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4||12.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1001||787|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X100||Nikon D300S|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X100||Nikon D300S|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X100||Nikon D300S|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X100||Nikon D300S|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||950 shots per charge|
126 x 75 x 54 mm
(5.0 x 3.0 x 2.1 in)
147 x 115 x 81 mm
(5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||445 g (15.7 oz)||938 g (33.1 oz)|
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