Updated (September 2012): Compare the Nikon 1 J1 vs Olympus PEN E-PL5

Olympus PEN E-PL3 vs Nikon 1 J1

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Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

44

Nikon 1 J1

44

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Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
In-camera panoramas
Panorama
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
Takes 3D photos
3D
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Many lenses available
Lens availability
108 lenses
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon 1 J1

High-speed framerate
High speed movies
1,200 fps
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
60 fps
Badge
Phase detection video autofocus
fast and accurate
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
94 ms shutter lag

Items often bought with the Olympus E-PL3 or Nikon J1

galleries

Explore our gallery of 46 sample photos taken by the Nikon 1 J1.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon J1

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High-speed framerate
Records high-speed movies
1,200 fps vs None
Help
Capture events too fast for the naked eye and play them back in super-slow motion
Autofocus
Faster video autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
60 fps vs 5.5 fps
Help
Around 11x faster continuous shooting
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
94 ms vs 241 ms
Help
2.6x less delay when taking photos
Startup delay
Less startup delay
1400 ms vs 2100 ms
Help
More than 30% less delay when turning on
Focus points
More focus points
135 vs 35
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Color depth
Better color depth
21.5 bits vs 20.9 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11 EV vs 10.3 EV
Help
1.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Better image quality
56.0 vs 52.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/16000s vs 1/4000s
Help
4x faster max shutter speed
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Size
Slightly smaller
106×61×30 mm vs 110×64×37 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Thickness
Thinner
1.2" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Weight
Slightly lighter
277 g vs 313 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Nikon 1 J1 Learn more about
the Nikon J1

Advantages of the Olympus E-PL3

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
108 lenses vs 20 lenses
Help
Around 5.5x more lenses available
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
499 ISO vs 372 ISO
Help
The E-PL3 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
External flash
Supports an external flash
Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Battery life
Longer battery life
300 shots vs 230 shots
Help
More than 30% more shots per battery charge
True resolution
Higher true resolution
12.2 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture more than 20% more detail in your photos
Longest exposure
Much longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The E-PL3's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Learn more about
the Olympus E-PL3
vs

recommendations

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

Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 J1 44
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        44 Olympus PEN E-PL3 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Size Fairly small Help
              J1106×61×30 mm
              E-PL3110×64×37 mm
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              J1$263.50
              E-PL3$229.99
              Thickness Thin Help
              J11.2"
              E-PL31.5"
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              J110 MP
              E-PL312.2 MP
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J111 EV
              E-PL310.3 EV
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              J121.5 bits
              E-PL320.9 bits
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              J156.0
              E-PL352.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1372 ISO
              E-PL3499 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $585 body only

              $450 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $290 body only

              $381 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $605 body only

              $803 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $394 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 body only

              $440 - $448 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $109 body only

              $300 with 14-42mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J5

              Nikon 1 J5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $497 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Thickness Slightly thicker
              Nikon 1 J4

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $270 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Autofocus Slower video autofocus
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon 1 S1

              Nikon 1 S1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $149 with 11-2mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Weight Slightly lighter
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $487 with 14-42mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

              Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Size Larger
              Thickness Thicker
              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,345 body only

              $499 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Light sensitivity Worse maximum light sensitivity
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              $270 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Battery life Slightly longer battery life
              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $299 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen

              appearance

              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              discussion

              Nikon 1 J1
              1 J1
              Nikon

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              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              PEN E-PL3
              Olympus

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