Nikon D100 versus Nikon D300
The Nikon D100 and the Nikon D300 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2002 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D100 has a resolution of 6 megapixel, whereas the D300 provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Nikon D100 vs Nikon D300
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D100 and the Nikon D300. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D100 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D100 and the Nikon D300are of equal size. However, the D300 is markedly heavier (19 percent) than the D100. It is noteworthy in this context that the D300 is splash and dust-proof, while the D100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Nikon D100 (⇒ rgt)||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||no||2002||1,999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D300 (⇒ lft)||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||YES||2007||1,799||discont.||check|
|Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt)||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||no||2003||1,999||discont.||check|
|Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt)||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||no||2003||899||discont.||check|
|Canon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||855 g||620||no||2002||2,999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||YES||2016||1,999||latest||check|
|Nikon D300S (⇒ lft | rgt)||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||YES||2009||1,799||discont.||check|
|Nikon D90 (⇒ lft | rgt)||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||no||2008||1,299||discont.||check|
|Nikon D3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1300 g||4300||YES||2007||4,999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D2Xs (⇒ lft | rgt)||157.5 mm||149.5 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||YES||2006||4,699||discont.||check|
|Nikon D200 (⇒ lft | rgt)||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||YES||2005||1,699||discont.||check|
|Nikon D70s (⇒ lft | rgt)||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||no||2005||899||discont.||check|
|Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt)||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||no||2004||999||discont.||check|
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 D300 was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the D100 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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: Nikon D100 vs Nikon D300
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. 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 D300 is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 12.2MP, the D300 offers a higher resolution than the D100 (6MP), but the D300 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.53μm versus 7.85μm for the D100). Yet, the D300 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 6 months) than the D100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
For most 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon D100 (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||no||-||-||-||-|
|Nikon D300 (⇒ lft)||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||no||22.1||12.0||679||67|
|Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||no||21.1||10.9||571||57|
|Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||no||21.0||10.8||544||55|
|Canon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||no||-||-||-||-|
|Nikon D500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.0||14.0||1324||83|
|Nikon D300S (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.5||12.2||787||70|
|Nikon D90 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||977||73|
|Nikon D3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||no||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
|Nikon D2Xs (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||no||22.2||10.9||489||59|
|Nikon D200 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||no||22.3||11.5||583||64|
|Nikon D70s (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||no||20.4||10.3||529||50|
|Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||no||20.4||10.3||529||50|
Feature comparison: Nikon D100 vs Nikon D300
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D100 and the D300 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D100 and Nikon D300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Nikon D100 (⇒ rgt)||optical||YES||1.8||118||fixed||no||4000||3.0||11||no|
|Nikon D300 (⇒ lft)||optical||YES||3.0||922||fixed||no||8000||6.0||12||no|
|Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||1.8||118||fixed||no||4000||3.0||13||no|
|Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||1.8||118||fixed||no||4000||2.5||13||no|
|Canon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||1.8||114||fixed||no||4000||3.0||12||no|
|Nikon D500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.2||2359||tilting||YES||8000||10.0||no||no|
|Nikon D300S (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||920||fixed||no||8000||7.0||12||no|
|Nikon D90 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||920||fixed||no||4000||4.5||17||no|
|Nikon D3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||922||fixed||no||8000||11.0||no||no|
|Nikon D2Xs (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||2.5||230||fixed||no||8000||5.0||no||no|
|Nikon D200 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||2.5||230||fixed||no||8000||5.0||12||no|
|Nikon D70s (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.0||130||fixed||no||8000||3.0||12||no|
|Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||1.8||130||fixed||no||8000||3.0||11||no|
Both the D100 and the D300 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D100 was replaced by the Nikon D200, while the D300 was followed by the Nikon D300S.
Review summary: Nikon D100 vs Nikon D300
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D100 and the Nikon D300? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Nikon D100:
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 145g or 16 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2002).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D300:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 43%.
- 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 (922k vs 118k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1000 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 6 months of technical progress since the D100 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D300 is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 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 D100 and the D300 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 rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Nikon D100 (⇒ rgt)||-||HiRec||reviewed||reviewed||-||2002||1,999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D300 (⇒ lft)||90/100 HiRec||HiRec||5/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2007||1,799||discont.||check|
|Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||-||reviewed||-||2003||1,999||discont.||check|
|Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||-||reviewed||-||2003||899||discont.||check|
|Canon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||reviewed||-||-||2002||2,999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D500 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||91/100 Gold||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||2016||1,999||latest||check|
|Nikon D300S (⇒ lft | rgt)||90/100 HiRec||82/100 HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2009||1,799||discont.||check|
|Nikon D90 (⇒ lft | rgt)||89/100 HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2008||1,299||discont.||check|
|Nikon D3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||5/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2007||4,999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D2Xs (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||-||reviewed||-||2006||4,699||discont.||check|
|Nikon D200 (⇒ lft | rgt)||91/100 HiRec||HiRec||reviewed||5/5||-||2005||1,699||discont.||check|
|Nikon D70s (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||-||reviewed||5/5||2005||899||discont.||check|
|Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||-||reviewed||-||2004||999||discont.||check|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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