Updated (September, 2012): Compare the Nikon 1 J2 vs Olympus PEN E-PL5

Nikon 1 J1 vs Olympus PEN E-PL3

Winner
Nikon 1 J1

45

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

42

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon 1 J1

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

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
40 lenses
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos

differences

Advantages of the Nikon J1

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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
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 autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
135 vs 35
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
94 ms vs 241 ms
Help
2.6x less delay when taking photos
Color depth
Better color depth
21.5 bits vs 20.9 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Startup delay
Less startup delay
1400 ms vs 2100 ms
Help
More than 30% less delay when turning on
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11 EV vs 10.3 EV
Help
0.7 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
106x61x29 mm vs 109x63x37 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
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
Significantly more lenses available
40 lenses vs 8 lenses
Help
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 2 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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 J1 45
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        42 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
              J1106x61x29 mm
              E-PL3109x63x37 mm
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              J1$214.00
              E-PL3$244.87
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              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
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              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
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              J156.0
              E-PL352.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1372 ISO
              E-PL3499 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $483 with 14-42mm 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-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $449 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
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $125 body only

              $280 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
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $473 body only

              $398 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $239 body only

              $295 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $231 body only

              $355 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              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 J4

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $320 - $375 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 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $399 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $270 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 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $290 with 10-30mm lens

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

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,345 body only

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Lowest price Significantly more expensive
              Continuous shooting Shoots slightly slower
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $550 with 14-42mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly better image quality
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $640 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Color depth Better color depth
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $503 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Lowest price More expensive

              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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