Sunday, April 24, 2011

Nikon D7000 vs Nikon D300 or should I wait for the Nikon D400?

I was waiting for the Nikon D400 to come out for too long. It has been more than 4 years since I bought my Nikon D300. I love this camera. But it has gotten too old. I wanted something new and the Nikon D400 doesn’t seem to show any signs of coming out. So I got tired of waiting, and just bought the Nikon D7000. I wanted to share some of my feelings of my new Nikon D7000 and do a small comparison with my good and old Nikon D300, so those of you who own the Nikon D300 could have an easier decision regarding purchasing the Nikon D7000. So, before comparing the Nikon D7000 and Nikon D300, I can spare you from reading and tell you that I simply love my new Nikon D7000 and I do recommend you go and buy one. If you own a Nikon D300, you won’t regret it. Although the Nikon D7000 is less pro, it’s newer technology definitely puts it in a better place than Nikon D300 and even Nikon D300s and all for that for less price. OK, so let’s start to see what is so good on the Nikon D7000:

Focus System:

Nikon D300 has 51 focus points from which 15 are cross-type. 51 focus points are a lot, and the Nikon D300 has great focus system. It is fast, accurate and allows you to do continuous and even tracking focus. But, although the Nikon D7000 has less focus points: 39 from which 9 are cross-type, it has very fast and accurate focus system. I think even faster and better than the one of the Nikon D300. You don’t have anything to worry about, all the focus options from the Nikon D300 exist in the Nikon D7000.


That’s one of the things I worried about when I wanted to buy the Nikon D7000. After so much time that I got used to all the fast and easy on-camera controls of the Nikon D300, I worried that I will really miss them on the Nikon D7000. Well, now that I got the Nikon D7000, I can tell you that I don’t miss those buttons much. I mean, it was nice to have these buttons there, but you can easily manage without them on the Nikon D7000. Switching the ISO (I usually choose the ISO manually), White Balance (I almost never change it from Automatic), and metering mode are all all done same as the Nikon D90/D80. But, there is a new button, placed on the focus AF/M selection switch. This new button along with the two front and back wheels allows you to quickly and easily select your desired focus mode. This new cool button, makes it easier to forget those loveable focus switches on the Nikon D300.


The Nikon D7000 has 100% viewfinder coverage. comparing to the 95% viewfinder coverage of the Nikon D300, you can see entirely what you are going to shoot. It’s the first time I am using a 100% coverage viewfinder and I like it. Better image


The Nikon D7000 has better image quality. You have to look at the results and decide for yourself. In my opinion the results are better. Although the Nikon D7000 has 16.2 MP sensor (comparing to the Nikon D300), the image quality is better at all ISO ranges. A sensor containing more pixels, means smaller pixels. Smaller pixels mean more noise at higher ISOs. But the D7000 seems to be dealing better with noise than the D300. The Nikon D7000 has better color depth: 24bit comparing to 22bit. That’s about x2.5 more colors. In addition, the Nikon D7000 has better dynamic range: 14EV comparing to 12EV of the Nikon D300. That’s more 2 f-stops on the D7000.

Continuous Shooting:

The Nikon D300 shoots 7 frames per second. The Nikon D7000 shoots 6 frames per second. That makes the Nikon D300 a bit better when it comes to continuous shooting. There are times when continuous shooting can be a great help, but the difference between 6 to 7 frames per second is not that big. In addition, when you set the Nikon D300 D-Lightning feature, or you set your ISO to be 800 or higher (when high ISO cleaning option is turned on), the processing is too slow, so after about 8 photos, the shooting rate goes down dramatically. The D7000 doesn’t seem to suffer from this issue.

Shutter Noise:

One of the most annoying things of the Nikon D300 is it’s shutter noise. This is really an extreme noise. I don’t know how Nikon released a camera with such a strong shutter noise. Well, on the Nikon D7000 you don’t have to worry about noise. The shutter makes much less noise, even when shooting continuously. If you want even less noise you have a special “quite” mode that will reduce the noise even further.

Memory Slots:

The Nikon D7000 has 2 memory slots. Additional memory slot means more memory. More memory means you can store more photos. This is good when you shoot on RAW mode which takes considerably more space for each photo, or you shoot 1080p video which takes a lot of space. You can also use the 2 slots to function as backup (each photo is stored on 2 cards). Video: Well, I don’t shoot video. But with the Nikon D7000 you can easily shoot 1080p Video with 24 fps. You shoot the video using your good Nikon lenses, so you can get great results with shallow depth of field. The video is shown on the back screen and there is an automatic focusing system that can identify faces. It is working very nice. You can also edit the video on the camera.

Size and Weight:

The Nikon D7000 is smaller in size and lighter in weight than the Nikon D300, but it still has a strong grip and it feels good in your hands. It is not well built as the Nikon D300, but it still has a very satisfying built quality Price: Event today, after more than 4 years that the Nikon D300 exists in the market (I believe Nikon has already stopped producing it), it is sold for about more than $200 than the Nikon D7000.


I own the Nikon D7000 for only 2 days. I have taken with it only 200 photos. It may be a short period for solid opinion, but so far I am very satisfied with it. If you own a Nikon D300 or Nikon D300s I think the Nikon D7000 is a good upgrade choice for a decent price. Since the Nikon D400 is still not on the horizon (with the recent earthquake on Japan, it will probably event take longer), and it seems like it is going to be with the same sensor of the Nikon D7000 but with more focus points and stronger body, I think it is not worth the time and money waiting for the Nikon D400.


  1. Do you have any sample pictures that you've taken with the D7000 on Flickr or somewhere else online that I could view? I was in the same boat like you, but I broke down and picked up a used D200. I decided to get the used camera and continue to wait for the D400 and D800, I hope both cameras come out later this year.


  2. Hi Eric,

    I still didn't get to shoot much with the D7000 (most of the photos I shoot so far family...), but I put a sample photo for.

    I recommend you to go on the Nikon D7000.
    When the Nikon D400 will come out, it will probably be better, but I expect it not to be very different than the Nikon D7000, and the price difference will probably be significant. The D300 was $2000 when it first came out. The Nikon D800 will probably cost more. At worse, if you will really want to replace the D7000 with a D400, you can always sell it (and lose some money of course...).