Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

79

vs

Olympus PEN E-PL2

36

Olympus PEN E-PL2

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL2

Size
Really small
Mid size 115x72x42 mm
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 80.0 vs 55.0
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Around 50% better image quality
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 10.2 EV
Help
2.8 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus Faster autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 460k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Supports 24p Supports 24p Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
External mic jack Has an external mic jack Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Lens availability Much more lenses available 205 lenses vs 40 lenses
Help
More than 5x more lenses available
Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Battery life Significantly longer battery life 660 shots vs 280 shots
Help
Around 2.5x more shots per battery charge
Color depth Better color depth 23.5 bits vs 21.4 bits
Help
Distinguishes 2.1 more bits of color
Startup delay Significantly less startup delay 500 ms vs 1300 ms
Help
2.6x less delay when turning on
Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag 273 ms vs 434 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when taking photos
True resolution Higher true resolution 16.1 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 1,183 ISO vs 573 ISO
Help
The D5100 has excellent image quality 1 f-stop higher ISO than the PEN E-PL2
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.6x15.6mm vs Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
Help
More than 60% larger sensor
Viewfinder Has a viewfinder Pentamirror vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Light sensitivity (boost) Has boost ISO 25,600 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 4 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 30% faster continuous shooting
Lowest price Slightly cheaper $370.00 vs $442.09
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The best price we've seen is $72 cheaper (around 20% less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Size Significantly smaller 115x72x42 mm vs 127x96x78 mm
Help
2.7x smaller
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Thickness Significantly thinner 1.7" vs 3.1"
Help
Around 50% thinner
Weight Lighter 362 g vs 560 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Longest exposure Longer exposures 60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Olympus PEN E-PL2 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL2
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent digital cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 79
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        vs

        36 Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PL2
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor type Better sensor types Help
              D5100:CMOS
              PEN E-PL2:NMOS
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              11
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D5100:1
              PEN E-PL2:0
              3D Neither camera can take 3D photos Help
              No 3d support
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $390 - $427 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $276 - $290 body only

              $300 - $390 with 18-55mm lens

              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 - $656 body only

              $477 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Size Slightly smaller
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $480 - $774 body only

              $200 - $617 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 - $647 body only

              $544 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Overall image quality Slightly better image quality
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Shutter lag Slightly more shutter lag
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $575 - $629 body only

              $830 - $976 with 18-105mm lens

              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Battery life Longer battery life
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Movie format Lower resolution movies

              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $525 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $538 with 14-42mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Weight Slightly lighter
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Screen size Smaller screen
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $268 with 14-42mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              3D Takes 3D photos
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously recording movies
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $238 with 14-42mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              3D Takes 3D photos
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Built-in flash No built-in flash

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Olympus PEN E-PL2
              Nikon D5100 Olympus PEN E-PL2
              Nikon D5100 Olympus PEN E-PL2

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

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              Olympus PEN E-PL2
              PEN E-PL2
              Olympus

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