Nikon D3100 vs D300 – Which Should You Buy?

In this article, we compare the Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D300. These cameras were announced in the same month of August, but 3 years apart. This age difference puts these cameras in different technological generations.

Cameras manufactured within the same technological generation tend to share a lot of common features. Interestingly, the cameras discussed in this article despite belonging to different technological generations as well as categories, have many features in common.

Therefore, this article is designed to distinguish between both cameras despite their many similarities. Although all sections of this article are packed with detailed information, you’ll want to pay attention to the following section mentioned below. They are the sections that will help you make up your mind on which of these cameras to buy.

The ‘comparison overview’ section gives you a summary of the major differences between both cameras. In the ‘what situation is each best for’ section, we focus on what kind of photography these cameras will be more suited for. We discuss the features you can find in one camera and not in the other in the ‘unique features section’. We then reveal the advantages these cameras have over the other in the ‘unique pros’ section.

And to crown it all, we reveal what real-life users feel and think about these cameras close to the end of this article. Now that you know what to expect, let’s get to it.

Table of Contents

Comparison Overview – Nikon D3100 vs D300

The Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D300 are similar in so many ways but still distinct in some areas. The first distinguishing trait between both cameras is their sizes.

The D3100 is a consumer-sized amateur camera. Its body size is similar to its peers within the range of amateur cameras. The D300, in contrast, is larger with a mid-sized body that is a testament to its being a semi-pro camera.

Comparing the Nikon D3100 vs D300 bodies, you’ll discover the D3100 is the lighter of the two.

Furthermore, while it can be obtained in black or red body colors, the D300 is available only in black body color.

The environmental sealing feature which is consistent with semi-pro cameras is found in the Nikon D300, but not in the Nikon D3100.

The D3100 has an ace up its sleeves that puts this camera at a massive advantage: It can record videos, whereas, the D300 cannot. This is a major distinguishing factor between these cameras.

When it comes to processing speed, the Nikon D3100 is supposed to perform better since it has a newer image processor. However, in a twist of events, the D300 performs faster in nearly all features controlled by the processor.

The image quality of both cameras can be said to be on par. These cameras seem to even out themselves when the sensor and imaging, in general, are compared.

Price/Value Ratio – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Which camera offers more value for money?

The D3100 offers more value for money than the D300. The reason behind this is because the price difference between both cameras is massive, with the Nikon D300 being more expensive. Although the D300 possesses more unique features that are praise-worthy, its inability to record video makes it a bit of an over-priced camera.

The Nikon D300 might have a better performance level advantage ratio of 10:7 over the Nikon D3100, its expensive price requires that it should have done better.

Comparison Table – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Nikon D3100 Nikon D300
Announcement Date 19th August 2010 23rd August 2007
Size Dimensions 124 x 96 x 75mm 147 x 114 x 74mm
Weight 505g 925g
Sensor Resolution 14.2 megapixels 12.2 megapixels
Sensor Size 23.1 x 15.4mm 23.6 x 15.8mm
ISO 100 – 3200 (expanded 100 – 12800) 200 – 3200 (expanded 100 – 6400)
Video Recording Yes No
Screen Resolution 230,000 dots 922,000 dots
Continuous Shooting Speed 3 fps 6 fps
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Battery Life 550 shots 1000 shots
Time-Lapse Recording No Yes
Top LCD No Yes
AE Bracketing No Yes
Face Detection Focus Yes No

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What Situation is Each Best For? – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Nikon D3100 Nikon D300
Which of these cameras in focus is better for street photography?  

Certain features make this kind of photography easier but aren’t found in both cameras.
Nevertheless, the Nikon D3100 has a higher resolution than the D300. The face detection focus also makes this camera better for street photography.
Have you wondered how images of sports events are captured, despite fast-moving subjects in the form of athletes?  

Cameras that are used as sports cameras are designed to capture these fast motions.  

Certain features such as shutter speed, focus points, continuous shooting speed, and battery life ensure such cameras are capable of capturing such motions.  

In all the features mentioned above, the Nikon D300 does better which makes for street photography.
Imagine shooting for several hours non-stop. Well, this is what daily photographers go through.  

Hence, many opt for lighter, and sometimes smaller cameras that will make their jobs easier.  

Of the two cameras in these articles, the D3100 is lighter as well as smaller. Hence, it is well-suited for daily photographers.  

Furthermore, this camera has a thicker body which gives the user a firmer grip. You wouldn’t want your camera falling from your hands now, would you?
Despite not performing as well as the Nikon D3100, some folks will still prefer the Nikon D90 as they want a camera that is sturdy in their hands.

Have you looked at certain landscape pictures and you’re simply overwhelmed by how detailed and life-like they look?  

Well, this is often the case because a well-detailed image is essential in landscape photography.  

A feature that ensures images are well-detailed is the sensor resolution. When both cameras are compared, the Nikon D3100 has a higher sensor resolution.  

Hence, the D3100 will produce well-detailed landscape pictures.
The Nikon D90 doesn’t perform as well as the Nikon D3100.

Check out the hands-on review of the Nikon D300 below.

Common Features – Nikon D3100 vs D300

In this feature, we discuss the common features found in the Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D300. This reveals the similarities between these cameras.

The D3100 and the D300 have the following similarities:

i. Sensor Format and Type

ii. Anti-Aliasing Filter

iii. Sensor Performance

iv. Viewfinder Type

v. Screen Size and Type

vi. Live View

vii. Lens Mount and Available Lenses

viii. Built-in Flash
ix. Hot Shoe (External Flash Shoe)
x. Flash Sync Port
xi. HDMI Port
xii. USB Port
xiii. Storage

Sensor Format and Type

When we compare the sensors used by both cameras, we discover they make use of the same sensor format and type. Both cameras are fitted with an APS-C CMOS sensor.

The sensor of the camera plays a vital role in determining overall image quality. It is responsible for capturing light into the camera necessary for image production.

The sensor format refers to the size category of the sensor. The APS-C format which both cameras employ is regarded as medium-sized; as it is not too big nor too small.

When compared to the 1 inch, four-thirds, medium, and full-frame sensor formats, it is larger than the first two but smaller than the latter two.

The importance of a large sensor will be discussed better later in the article.

The technology used in making the sensor is referred to as the sensor type. For the cameras in focus, they are fitted with the CMOS sensor type. The other option is the CCD sensor type.

Being fitted with this type of sensor gives these cameras two major advantages. Firstly, battery consumption is reduced and saved. Whereas the CCD sensor requires much battery power to function, the CMOS requires little.

Secondly, this sensor type is not as expensive to manufacture when compared to the CCD sensor. Hence, cameras such as the D3100 and the D300 are not as expensive as cameras that employ the CCD sensor.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

Anti-Aliasing Filter

A feature that is associated somewhat with the sensor; albeit different from it is the anti-aliasing filter. Its relationship to the sensor is a result of its proximity to the sensor as well as the effect of its function on the sensor.

The anti-aliasing filter aka low pass filter is found directly before the sensor. Therefore, before the light gets to the sensor, it passes through this filter first.

The job of the AA filter is to prevent the occurrence of moiré in captured images. Moiré is the repeated pattern of lines and dots found on captured images. It is a result of the resolution of these patterns being higher than the camera’s sensor resolution.

Therefore, cameras that possess low sensor resolution are more prone to producing images with moiré. Also, older cameras are susceptible to these occurrences. Newer cameras, on the other hand, have benefitted from improved sensor technology which has reduced such occurrences.

For the low pass filter to perform its job, it reduces the amount of light that gets to the sensor in a bid to blur those repetitive patterns. The product is an image with less sharpness and details. It is to this end that many photographers aren’t satisfied with this feature. 

Sensor Performance

The efficiency of a sensor is determined by the sensor performance. It is a result of tests conducted on the sensor. Three tests are carried out and the aggregate score gives what is known as the sensor performance.

The DXO mark company has been responsible for testing camera sensors and publishing their scores. Their tests on the Nikon D3100 and the D300 revealed that both cameras have a sensor performance of 67. In other words, this means both cameras’ sensors will perform at the same level.

Although the sensor performance scores for both cameras are the same, they didn’t have the same results in the individual tests. There were varying results for the color depth, dynamic range and low light ISO of these cameras. We discuss them briefly.

The D3100 and the D300 have a color depth of 22.5 bits and 22.1 bits respectively. Since the color depth is a measure of the sensor’s ability to detect and capture colors, it can be said that the Nikon D3100 will produce richer colors. However, the results show the difference to be negligible, hence, the difference won’t be noticeable in real-life.

The results for the dynamic range was 11.3 EV for the D3100 and 12.0 EV for the D300. With a difference of 0.7 EV, the Nikon D300 is capable of detecting details within the lightest and darkest points in an image better than the Nikon D3100. It can be argued that the difference won’t be glaring in real-life as well.

The final result which is for the low light ISO reveals a score of 919 and 679 for the D3100 and the D300 correspondingly. Therefore, the Nikon D3100 will be better equipped to shoot in low light conditions.

The DXO mark company refers to the color depth, dynamic range, and low light ISO as DXO portrait, DXO landscape, and DXO sports respectively.

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Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

Viewfinder Type

The viewfinder is simply used to frame and control your shots. When used, you can ensure that your subjects are captured within the frame and not out of it.

The cameras in this article are fitted with an optical viewfinder. The use of this viewfinder type instead of the electronic viewfinder is a plus for these cameras.

With the use of an optical viewfinder, the battery of the camera is preserved. This is because, unlike the electronic viewfinder aka digital viewfinder, the optical viewfinder does not depend on battery power to function.

We compare the viewfinders of these cameras further in the unique pros section.

Screen Size and Type

The screen allows the user to view the camera’s menu controls and settings. It is also used to view images that have been captured. It is used generally for viewing purposes.

The size and type of the screen determine how efficient the screen is and the kind of functions it can perform. Looking at the screens of the Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D300, we discover them to be the same. Both cameras are fitted with a 3 inches LCD non-touch fixed screen.

The 3 inches’ size of these screens is large enough to give users a clear view of the menu and images. During editing, a large screen enables the user to easily detect angles that need editing.

None of the screens of these cameras have the touchscreen feature. Therefore, users of these cameras are limited to operating the camera via buttons. With the touchscreen, users would have interacted and operated the camera the same way they do their smartphones.

During image capture, the touchscreen can be used to set focus points thereby enhancing the image detail and quality. Cameras that have this screen feature are manufactured with fewer buttons which enhances the body design of such cameras.

These cameras also lack an articulating screen as both screens are fixed. An articulating screen is capable of tilting, swiveling, turning, and rotating. It, therefore, offers improved viewing and shooting flexibility.

Photographers that encounter difficult angles, in most cases, turn to this feature to enable them to capture such angles. Vloggers also make use of cameras that have an articulating screen. Therefore, for these set of folks, the absence of this feature might be a big turn off.

The next video shows how the touchscreen is used.

Live View

Live view is a feature that allows the screen to be used as a live viewfinder. In other words, you can frame your shots with your camera’s screen.

Using the live view during image capture allows you to see the focus points used on the screen. You can then make adequate adjustments to improve the autofocus.

The Nikon D3100 and the D300 have the live view feature.

Lens Mount and Available Lenses

The lens mount is a camera part that attaches the lens in use to the camera’s body. In essence, it holds the lens in place. It is found between the camera body and the lens used.

The lens mount used by a camera determines the number and types of lenses a camera can make use of.

The cameras in this comparison are fitted with the Nikon F lens mount which is exclusive to Nikon cameras. This lens mount allows these cameras to make use of 304 native lenses and 101 optical stabilization lenses.

The types and number of native lenses these cameras can make use of are: 33 standard zoom, 20 standard prime, 33 wide-angle zoom, 47 wide-angle prime, 53 telephoto zoom, 43 telephoto prime, 30 super-zoom, 8 wide-angle fisheye prime, 25 macro prime, 11 perspective control prime, and 1 telephoto mirror prime.

One lens that is compatible with both cameras and well recommended is the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

More Common Features – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Built-in Flash

Light is required for the production of a clear image. Hence, shooting in low light conditions is not favorable for quality image production.

A feature that allows users to shoot in low light conditions is the built-in flash. This feature is found in the Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D300. It illuminates the subject about to be captured as well as its surroundings.

This handy feature is helpful even in unprepared cases. Furthermore, a good built-in flash reduces the need to purchase an external flash. Hence, the built-in flash is also economical.

Hot Shoe (External Flash Shoe)

Don’t be alarmed, the hot shoe is not a sort of torturing device. Rather, it is a platform found on the top of cameras that allows users to attach certain accessories to the camera. This feature is found in both cameras under discussion.

A well-known accessory commonly attached to the hot shoe is an external flash. Since it is commonly used, many refer to the hot shoe as an external flash shoe.

Although the built-in flash might illuminate certain low light conditions, there are some instances where it will not be adequate. This is when you bring in the big gun; the external flash.

An external flash can supply more flash power thereby, and its flexibility allows it to be used in different positions.

Flash Sync Port

Want more flash power than that which an external flash supplies? No problem. With the flash sync port which the D3100 and the D300 sport, you can get more flash power.

The flash sync port allows you to connect to several flashes as well as strobe lights at once. By connecting a cord to the camera, you can light up these flashes when the shutter button is pressed.

This feature is employed mostly by studio and portrait photographers that require a well-above-average flash power.

If you are a studio or portrait photographer and in need of a strobe light, we have a recommendation just for you: The Neewer Battery Powered (700 Full Power Flashes) Outdoor Studio Flash Strobe.


These Nikon cameras are fitted with a mini HDMI port. This port feature is used to connect a camera to a larger screen via an HDMI cable.

The images seen on the camera’s screen are then transmitted to the larger screen thereby providing a cleared and larger view. This can be put into good use when watching movies, editing, etc.

USB Port

Another port feature that allows these cameras to connect to other devices is the USB port (USB 2.0 to be precise). With the use of a USB cable, you can connect these cameras to other devices for syncing and file transfer functions. You can transfer files from the camera to the device and vice versa.


Storage is an important factor to consider when choosing a camera. The Nikon D3100 and the D300 make use of a single storage card slot instead of internal memory storage.

This type of storage allows the cameras to make use of removable storage cards. While the D3100 stores its images on SDXC cards, the Nikon D300 stores its images on compact flash cards like this SanDisk Ultra 16GB Compact Flash Memory Card.

Some cameras are fitted with dual card slots instead of one. This offers more storage space, options, and flexibility. The cameras in this article miss out on these benefits.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

Unique Features – Nikon D3100 vs D300

In what ways do these cameras differ from the other? This section deals with that in detail as we reveal the features found in the Nikon D3100 and not in the Nikon D300 and vice versa.

Nikon D3100 Unique Features

The following are unique features found in the D3100 that are missing in the D300:

i. Video Recording

ii. Face Detection Focus

Video Recording

A major difference between both cameras in comparison is that only the Nikon D3100 can record video. This is a huge advantage as many prefer a camera that can shoot both still images and motion images.

The D3100 records full HD video resolution of 1920 x 1080 at a video frame rate of 24 fps. It can record in the MPEG-4 video format.

Face Detection Focus

A handy feature that portrait and street photographers enjoy in their line of work is the face detection focus. This AF feature automatically detects the face of the individuals within a frame and enhances their focus. The result is a well-detailed and expressive face.

This feature is only found in the Nikon D3100 and not the Nikon D300.

Nikon D300 Unique Features

The following are unique features found in the D300 that are missing in the D3100:

i. Environmental Sealing

ii. Top LCD

iii. Time-Lapse Recording

iv. AE Bracketing

v. AF Micro Adjustment (Fine Tune)

vi. AF Motor in Body

Environmental Sealing

Is there a need to shoot in a wet or dusty environment? With the Nikon D300, you have no worry whatsoever. The camera is designed with an environmental sealing feature that makes it splash and dust resistant.


The top LCD is a small screen that is found on the top of cameras like the D300. It contains basic camera controls and settings that the user can easily access. It is pretty handy, especially when using a tripod stand.

Time-Lapse Recording

The Nikon D300 is fitted with a built-in intervalometer. This feature allows the camera to create time-lapse videos.

A time-lapse video is a short video that is made from capturing a single subject at different time intervals. These individual pictures are now merged to create a video with this feature.

Videos of fast sunrise, sunset, moving traffic in the city, growing plants, etc. are made with this feature.

Enjoy these incredible time-lapse videos.

AE Bracketing

The AE (Auto Exposure) bracketing feature is useful when capturing images in tough lighting conditions and HDR.

This feature automatically adjusts the Nikon D300’s settings to suit the lighting condition of a particular environment. When shooting in HDR mode, it enhances the auto-exposure applied to the three different captured images.

AF Micro Adjustment (Fine Tune)

The AF micro-adjustment feature in the Nikon D300 allows the user to adjust each lens for more accurate focusing. This function is known as autofocus fine-tuning.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

AF Motor in Body

This is another AF feature which the D300 has but the Nikon D3100 lacks. This feature enables the Nikon D300 to autofocus with all its available lenses.

Some newer lenses have AF motor in body features. Therefore, even if a camera lacks this feature, one can still perform autofocusing with them.

Unique Pros – Nikon D3100 vs D300

In this section, we discuss the advantages of these cameras have over the other when it comes to features found in both.

Nikon D3100 Unique Pros

Which has a Higher Sensor Resolution D3100 or D300?

The D3100 has a higher sensor resolution than the D300. It has a sensor resolution of 14.2 megapixels. The Nikon D300, on the other hand, has 12.2 megapixels. Hence, the Nikon D3100 has 2.0 more megapixels than the D300.

The difference between the sensor resolutions of these cameras accounts for their different pixel pitch.

The D3100 has a pixel pitch of 5.01µm, while the D300 has a pixel pitch of 5.52µm.

The sensor resolution is an important feature of a camera. It is a measure of the sensor’s ability to efficiently detect and produce details. It is measured in megapixels.

The higher the sensor resolution, the more detailed the images produced by the camera are. An image produced as a result of a high resolution will be larger and take up more storage space. Furthermore, with a high sensor resolution, you can freely print and crop images without the fear of blur or grain.

The pixel pitch is the distance between the center of an individual pixel to the center of the nearest individual pixel.

Which has a Higher ISO Range D3100 or D300? 

The D3100 has a higher ISO range than the D300. It has an ISO range of 100 – 3200 with the option of being expanded to a maximum ISO of 12800. In contrast, the Nikon D300 has an ISO range of 200 – 3200 and can be expanded to a maximum ISO of 6400.

We can see that the D3100 has a higher ISO range since it has a minimum ISO of 100. Furthermore, when expanded, its maximum ISO is twice that of the D300.

The ISO of a camera is its sensor’s sensitivity in making use of the light available in the surrounding. A camera with a high ISO can produce a clear image irrespective of low light conditions.

Cameras have an ISO range that determines the extent to which the sensor can make use of available light. This ISO range can be set during image capture for the production of a clear image.

Which has a More Improved Image Processor D3100 or D300?

The D3100 has a more improved image processor than the D300. Since the Nikon D3100 is newer than the Nikon D300, it makes use of the newer EXPEED 2 while the D300 uses the original EXPEED.

This newer processor offers the Nikon D3100 better noise reduction, faster processing speed, and improved color accuracy.

The image processor of a camera is regarded as the ‘brain of the camera’. This is because it is responsible for the camera’s image processing video, video resolution, image capture, etc.

The Nikon company fits its cameras with processors from the EXPEED series. Newer cameras in most cases are fitted with newer version/upgraded EXPEED processors.

Which is Smaller D3100 or D300?

The D3100 is smaller than the D300. It has a dimension of 124 x 96 x 75mm, while the Nikon D300 measures 147 x 114 x 74mm.

Therefore, the Nikon D3100 is 23mm narrower, 18mm shorter, but 1mm thicker than the D300. In percentage, it is about 29% smaller.

Size is important as it determines how conveniently we can move about with our cameras. How about when going on a trip? A smaller camera can be easily packed into your bag.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

Which is Lighter D3100 or D300?

The Nikon D3100 is lighter than the D300. It weighs 505g, while the Nikon D300 weighs 925g. Hence, the Nikon D3100 is 420g (45%) lighter.

A lighter camera can be carried about easily than a larger one.

Which is Cheaper D3100 or D300?

The D3100 is 67% cheaper than the D300 when we compare the launch prices of both cameras. However, the more discounted of the two is the Nikon D300 due to being in the market for a longer time.

How much do these cameras cost? This is essential because price dictates ultimately if we purchase a camera or not especially when one is on a tight budget.

Which is Newer D3100 or D300?

The D3100 is 3 years newer than the D300. With this 3-year gap the Nikon D3100 benefits from the technological advancements that occurred during that period. This is evident especially in sensor and image processor technology.

Newer cameras are in most cases advanced than older ones. They are fitted with the upgrades discovered due to technological advancements.

Nikon D300 Unique Pros

Which has a Larger Sensor D300 or D3100?

The Nikon D300’s sensor is 5% larger than the D3100’s. It measures 23.6 x 15.8mm while the latter has a sensor measurement of 23.1 x 15.4mm.

Both sensors, however, have a format factor of 1.5 and 3:2 native aspect ratio.

A larger sensor improves the color depth, dynamic range, low light ISO and depth of field control. Apart from this, due to its larger surface area, a larger sensor captures in more light. This generally enhances the image quality of the captured image.

The video below discusses more on the benefits of a larger sensor.

Which has a Higher Screen Resolution D3100 or D300?

The D300 has a higher screen resolution than the D3100. It has a screen resolution of the 922,000 dots, in contrast to the 230,000 dots of the Nikon D3100.

The screen resolution refers to the number of detail a camera screen can effectively display. With a higher screen resolution, the images displayed are better-detailed.

Which has a Faster Continuous Shooting Speed D3100 or D300?

The D300 has a faster continuous shooting speed than the D3100. The Nikon D300 and the Nikon D3100 have a continuous shooting speed of 6 fps and 3 fps. Therefore, the D300 will capture 3 more shots in 1 second than the D3100 when in burst mode.

Both cameras can shoot in burst mode which allows the user to capture several images non-stop within for some time.

The continuous shooting speed enables the camera to capture more shots while in this mode. It is the number of images a camera can capture per second while shooting in burst mode.

Which has a Better Viewfinder D300 or D3100?

The D300 has a better viewfinder than the D3100. It is made from a better material, it has more coverage and higher magnification.

The Nikon D300’s viewfinder is made from a pentaprism material instead of a pentamirror which the Nikon D3100’s viewfinder is made from. This material allows more light to pass through into the viewfinder. Hence, the image transmitted is brighter and clearer.

The D300 also has a wider coverage when compared to that of the D3100. The Nikon D300’s viewfinder has a coverage of 100% while the Nikon D3100 manages 95%: It, therefore, captures more field of view.

Lastly, these viewfinders have a magnification of 0.63x for the D300 and 0.53x for the D3100. The image transmitted will be larger in the Nikon D300.

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Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

Which has More Focus Points D300 or D3100?

The D300 has more focus points than the D3100. The Nikon D300 and the Nikon D3100 have focus points of 51 and 11 respectively. While the cross-type focus points are 15 and 1 for the D300 and the D3100 correspondingly.

Focus points are points within the frame of capture that the photographer can place emphasis on and focus on. Proper use of these focus points enhances the image detail and quality.

Which has a Longer Battery Life D300 or D3100?

The D300 has a longer battery life than the D3100. It is fitted with a 1500mAh EN-EL3e battery that enables the camera to capture 1000 shots after being fully charged. On the other hand, the Nikon D3100 uses a 1000mAh EN-El14 battery that is responsible for the 500 shots this camera can capture after a full charge.

Consequently, the D300 will capture 500 shots more and shoot for twice the period which the D3100 will.

The longer the battery life of a camera, the longer we get to shoot. This is why the battery life of a camera is a huge deal. How do the cameras in this article fair in this regard?

Which has a Faster Startup Delay D300 or D3100?

The D300 has a faster startup delay than the D3100. The Nikon D300 and the Nikon D3100 have a startup delay of 300ms vs 400ms respectively. The D300 is therefore faster by 100ms.

Startup delay refers to the period between when the power button is pressed and when the camera is fully operational.

Which has a Longer Shutter Life Expectancy D300 or D3100?

The D300 has a longer shutter life expectancy than the D3100. It has a shutter life expectancy of 150,000 actuations, while the Nikon D3100 has a shutter life of 100,000 actuations. This means the Nikon D300 has 50,000 more actuations.

Shutter life expectancy refers to the estimated period given before the shutter mechanism develops a fault.

Which has a Faster Shutter Speed D300 or D3100?

The D300 has a faster shutter speed than the D3100. It has a shutter speed of 1/8000s. The Nikon D3100, on the other hand, has a shutter speed of 1/4000s.

The shutter speed is how fast a camera can capture an image. It is essential when capturing fast-moving subjects such as wildlife and sports athletes.

The faster the shutter speed, the better equipped it is to capture such subjects. Furthermore, a fast shutter speed reduces the occurrence of blurred images.

Which has Less Shutter Lag D300 or D3100?

The D300 has less shutter lag than the D3100. The Nikon D300 and the Nikon D3100 have a shutter lag of 227ms and 279ms respectively. Therefore, with the D300, you can resume shooting faster after capturing an image.

Shutter lag refers to the interval between when the shutter is pressed for image capture and the actual time the image is saved.

Unique Cons – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Nikon D3100 Unique Cons

i. No top LCD.

ii. It cannot create time-lapse videos.

iii. It is not resistant to splash and dust.

iv. No AE bracketing.

v. It cannot fine-tune its autofocus.

vi. It does not autofocus with all Nikon lenses.

Nikon D300 Unique Cons

i. It cannot record videos.

ii. It cannot automatically detect and focus on faces within a frame.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

Common Pros – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Nikon D3100 Nikon D300
Uses Phase Detection Autofocus System There are two autofocus systems a camera can make use of. These are the contrast-detection autofocus system and phase detection autofocus system.  

The Nikon D3100 employs the latter AF system. This enables the camera to attain fast and precise autofocusing.  
The AF system can also perform subject tracking, continuous focusing, and other focusing functions.  

Hence, this camera is good for capturing wildlife and sports photography.
Same as Nikon D300
Supports RAW Format Some cameras can shoot in both RAW and JPEG formats. What is the difference?  

The former format produces better image quality than the latter. One can easily edit RAW formats than JPEG formats.  

Since they produce better images, they also take up more storage space. Therefore, shooting in this format requires enough storage capacity.  

The Nikon D3100 captures images in JPEG as well as RAW formats.
Same as Nikon D300

Common Cons – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Nikon D3100 Nikon D300
No Wi-Fi There is a growing need in the society for wireless connection between devices for faster and easier sharing of files.  

The foremost feature that is used for wireless connection is Wi-Fi.  

When fitted in a camera, it allows one to connect wirelessly to other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Files can then be shared from the camera to these devices and vice versa.  

When your camera is connected to a Wi-Fi printer, you can print out images wirelessly.

The most exciting function of this feature is directly sharing your files to your social media platforms.  

All these and more cannot be done with the Nikon D3100 as it is not fitted with the Wi-Fi feature.
Same as Nikon D300
No Built-in Image Stabilization It is common to see some images being blurred. When there is a sudden subject motion a blur is bound to occur.  

Blurry images are common with cameras with slow shutter speed. Such cameras cannot capture fast-moving subjects.  

A feature that helps a camera overcome blurry images is the image stabilization feature. As its name implies, this feature stabilizes the camera during image capture.  

The D3100 lacks this feature but with the aid of any of the 101 optical stabilization at its disposal, one can still perform this function.
Same as Nikon D300
Lacks built-in GPS The GPS (Global Positioning System) enables one to acquire the precise location of a device.  

When this feature is fitted into cameras, it opens one to the geotagging function.  

The geotagging function allows the photographer to tag captured images with the location where the image was captured.  

The Nikon D3100 cannot geotag as it does not have the GPS feature.
Same as Nikon D300
No Microphone Port Cameras that record videos are fitted with built-in microphones for audio recording.  

Experience has shown however that these microphones are limited in the quality of audio they produce.  

Therefore, certain cameras are equipped with a microphone port. This feature enables the user to connect an external microphone to the camera.  

External microphones are capable of recording quality audio that built-in microphones cannot.  

Although the D3100 can record videos, it does not have a microphone port.
The Nikon D300 does not have a microphone port.  

This is primarily because it does not record video. Hence, there isn’t a need for audio recording; not to talk of an external microphone.
No Panorama A panoramic photo is composed of several pictures stitched together by the panorama feature.  

This feature, however, is not found in the Nikon D3100.
Same as Nikon D300
No UHS Card Support The D3100 cannot read, write, and transfer files at ultra-high-speeds because it does not support UHS cards.  

With these cards, one can transfer files as fast at 104MB/s.
Same as Nikon D300
Bluetooth Absent Another feature that enables a wireless connection is Bluetooth.   Bluetooth is a feature we’ve become familiar with over the years thanks to our mobile phones.  

With the Bluetooth feature in a camera, you can wirelessly connect to another Bluetooth device.  

This ensures easy transfer of files from the camera to the device and vice versa. It also enables pairing and syncing.   

This is another wireless connection feature that is absent in the Nikon D3100.
Same as Nikon D300
No NFC The NFC (Near Field Connection) simplifies pairing with supported smartphones. It also allows for the sharing of files between the camera and your smartphones.  

The D3100 does not have this feature.
Same as Nikon D300
Headphone Port Absent With the headphone port, one can connect a headphone to your camera.  

The headphone aids audio monitoring during video shoots.  

The Nikon D3100 lacks the headphone port.
Same as Nikon D300

Check out these other interesting comparison articles below:

Nikon D5100 vs Canon 1200D – Which Should You Choose?

Nikon D5300 vs Canon 7D – Which Should You Buy?

Nikon D90 vs Canon 700D – In-depth Comparison

Nikon D3100 vs Canon 1000D – Which Should You Go For?

Nikon D3100 vs Canon 450D – Which Is Better For You?

Nikon D3200 vs Canon 650D – Extensive Comparison

General Feeling Among Users – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Nikon D3100 Nikon D300
Many users of the Nikon D3100 commended its cheap price. Those who were on a tight budget were thrilled to have made such a purchase. A good number of folks who purchased the Nikon D300 felt they paid too much for it after they used it.
The battery life of the camera did not impress many. This sentiment was chiefly among those who had made use of other DSLR cameras rather than new DSLR users. Users of the D300 praised the camera for its battery longevity.

Nikon D3100 vs D300 – FAQs

How do I reset my Nikon D300 to factory settings?

You can reset your Nikon D300 to factory settings using the two button reset method.

This method requires you to hold down two buttons at the same time for about two seconds. On Nikon DSLR cameras, these buttons have a green dot close to them to serve as reference.

In the D300, the two buttons you need to reset the camera back to factory settings are the Qual and Exposure compensation buttons.

When these buttons are pressed down, your Nikon D300 will reset to factory settings.

How do you change the f stop on a Nikon D300?

The steps below will guide you on how to change the f stop on the Nikon D300:

i. Turn on the camera.

ii. Press the mode button.

iii. Rotate the main command dial to set the exposure mode to “A” (aperture priority). You can also use manual mode “M” but Aperture priority mode is much easier. And Manual mode is preferable when you want to change shutter speed as well as aperture.

iv. Then select the aperture (f stop) of your choice.

How do you change the shutter speed on a Nikon D300?

The steps below will guide you on how to change the shutter speed on the Nikon D300:

i. Turn on the camera.

ii. Press the mode button.

iii. Rotate the main command dial to set the exposure mode to “S” (shutter priority). You can also use manual mode “M” but shutter priority mode is much easier. And Manual mode is preferable when you want to change aperture as well as the shutter speed.

iv. Then select the shutter speed of your choice.

Which lenses are compatible with the Nikon D300?

The following is a list of some lenses that are compatible with the Nikon D300:

Wide Angle lenses

Nikon AF 14mm f/2.8D ED

Nikon AF DX 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Wide Angle Fisheye lenses

Nikon AF DX 10.5mm f/2.8G ED fisheye

Sigma EX 10mm f/2.8 DC HSM fisheye

Normal lenses

Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR II

Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

Telephoto lenses

Nikon AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D VR

Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED VR

Superzoom lenses

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR

Macro lenses

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR

Sigma EX 150mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM APO Macro

Click Here to Get the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens Now!

Is the Nikon D300 waterproof?

The Nikon D300 is not waterproof. Hence, it cannot be used underwater, and neither will it survive any sort of full immersion without getting damaged.

However, the D300 is weather sealed. This means its internal parts are protected from dust, humidity, and moisture. Hence, you can use the Nikon D300 in rainy, snowy, and dusty conditions.

Although the D300 is not waterproof, you can still use it underwater provided you are using an underwater housing. They are usually waterproof and pressure-proof which makes it capable of protecting your camera.

Conclusion – Nikon D3100 vs D300

Nikon D3100 Nikon D300
The Nikon D3100 is a camera that amateur photographers will enjoy thanks to its simplistic design and features. Despite being over a decade old, the Nikon D300 is still a wonderful camera that will suit beginners and enthusiast photographers in this day and age.
Click Here to Get the Nikon D3100 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D300 Now!

Victor is a student of mass communication with special focus on digital media. He has an insatiable craving for knowledge. When he is not learning new things, he is busy writing about them.