Nikon D300 vs Canon 7D
The Nikon D300 and the Canon EOS 7D are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and September 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 17.9 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.
|Nikon D300||Canon 7D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 200-3200 (100-6400)||ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots||3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|6 shutter flaps per second||8 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|1000 shots per battery charge||800 shots per battery charge|
|147 x 114 x 74 mm, 925 g||148 x 111 x 74 mm, 860 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D300 vs Canon 7D
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D300 and the Canon 7D 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 width, height and depth measures 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 Canon 7D is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Nikon D300. Moreover, the 7D is markedly lighter (7 percent) than the D300. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D300) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (7D).
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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Nikon D300»||5.8 in||4.5 in||2.9 in||32.6 oz||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799||-||Nikon D300|
|Canon 7D«||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||30.3 oz||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||6.0 in||4.5 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|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 D60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||629||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D90« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D700« »||5.8 in||4.8 in||3.0 in||37.9 oz||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999||-||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D40X« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||520||n||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||32.5 oz||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||6.2 in||5.9 in||3.4 in||44.2 oz||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
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 7D was somewhat cheaper (by 6 percent) than the D300 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.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D300 vs Canon 7D
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 7D is 11 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D300) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the 7D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the D300. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.53μm for the D300). However, it should be noted that the 7D is much more recent (by 2 years) than the D300, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The Nikon D300 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 7D are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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 D300»||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||12.0||679||67||Nikon D300|
|Canon 7D«||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.5||813||66||Canon 60D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||-||21.8||11.4||696||63||Canon 50D|
|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 D60« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.5||11.4||562||65||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D90« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||977||73||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D700« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||-||23.5||12.2||2303||80||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D40X« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.4||11.4||516||63||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.2||10.9||489||59||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.5||583||64||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||-||22.1||10.9||476||59||Nikon D2X|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 7D indeed provides for movie recording, while the D300 does not. The highest resolution format that the 7D can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D300 vs Canon 7D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D300 and the 7D 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), as well as the same magnification (0.63x). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D300, the Canon 7D, and comparable cameras.
|Nikon D300»||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D300|
|Canon 7D«||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.3||Y||n||Canon 60D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.3||Y||n||Canon 50D|
|Nikon D7000« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D60« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D90« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5||Y||n||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D700« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D40X« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||optical||Y||2.5||235||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Nikon D2X|
The Nikon D300 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D300 and the 7D write their files to Compact Flash cards.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D300 vs Canon 7D
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 Nikon D300 and Canon EOS 7D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D300»||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300|
|Canon 7D«||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 50D|
|Nikon D7000« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D60« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D90« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D700« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D40X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D2X|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the D300 and the 7D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D300 was replaced by the Nikon D300S, while the 7D was followed by the Canon 7D Mark II. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Canon websites.
Review summary: Nikon D300 vs Canon 7D
So how do things add up? Is the Nikon D300 better than the Canon 7D or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D300:
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1000 versus 800) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 7D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 21%.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the D300 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 7D emerges as the winner of the match-up (5 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
Do the specifications of the Nikon D300 and the Canon 7D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing.In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D300 and the 7D in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Nikon D300 vs Canon 7D
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Nikon D300»||++||++||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799||-||Nikon D300|
|Canon 7D«||++||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||+||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||++||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||+||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||++||++||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Nikon D7000« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Nikon D300S« »||++||82/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799||-||Nikon D300S|
|Nikon D60« »||80/100||++||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D90« »||++||++||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Nikon D90|
|Nikon D700« »||89/100||++||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2008||2,999||-||Nikon D700|
|Nikon D40X« »||79/100||++||4/5||o||4/5||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D2Xs« »||-||-||-||o||-||Jun 2006||4,699||-||Nikon D2Xs|
|Nikon D80« »||+||++||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||++||++||o||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
|Nikon D2X« »||-||++||-||o||-||Sep 2004||4,999||-||Nikon D2X|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 10D vs Canon 5D Mark IV
- Canon 450D vs Canon 5D
- Canon 5D vs Sony A7
- Canon 70D vs Canon 5DS R
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Fujifilm X-A1
- Fujifilm X10 vs Nikon D800
- Fujifilm XF10 vs Fujifilm X30
- Nikon D300S vs Canon SL2
- Nikon D3300 vs Nikon D3100
- Nikon D7200 vs Panasonic FZ330
- Panasonic G9 vs Pentax K-1
- Sony A6400 vs Canon M100
Specifications: Nikon D300 vs Canon 7D
|Camera Model||Nikon D300||Canon 7D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2007||September 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 1799||USD 1699|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D300||Canon 7D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.8 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.88 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4288 x 2848 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.53 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-3200 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-6400 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED||DIGIC 4 (Dual)|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||67||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||22.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.0||11.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||679||854|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D300||Canon 7D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D300||Canon 7D|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||150 000 actuations||150 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D300||Canon 7D|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||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||Nikon D300||Canon 7D|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL3e power pack||LP-E6 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1000 shots per charge||800 shots per charge|
147 x 114 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in)
148 x 111 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||925 g (32.6 oz)||860 g (30.3 oz)|
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