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

Nikon 1 J1

Winner
Nikon 1 J1

50

vs

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

46

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon 1 J1

High-speed framerate
High speed movies
1,200 fps
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
60 fps
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
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Phase detection video autofocus
fast and accurate
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
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 J1

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Continuous shooting Shoots much faster 60 fps vs 5.5 fps
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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
Autofocus Faster video autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Focus points Many more focus points 135 vs 35
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Startup delay Less startup delay 1400 ms vs 2100 ms
Help
More than 30% less delay when turning on
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
0.7 f-stops more dynamic range
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 94 ms vs 241 ms
Help
2.6x less delay when taking photos
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
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 3,200 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
Help
The J1's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Size 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
Lowest price Slightly cheaper $198.00 vs $245.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $47 cheaper (around 20% less)
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
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Lens availability Much more lenses available 40 lenses vs 8 lenses
Help
5x more lenses available
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
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
Battery life Longer battery life 300 shots vs 230 shots
Help
More than 30% more shots per battery charge
Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
True resolution Higher true resolution 12.2 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture more than 20% more detail in your photos
Sensor size Larger sensor Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm vs Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
Help
More than 90% larger sensor
External flash Supports an external flash Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Longest exposure Longer exposures 60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
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 50
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        46 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Size Fairly small Help
              J1:106x61x29 mm
              E-PL3:109x63x37 mm
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              J1:$198.00
              E-PL3:$245.00
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              J1:3,200 ISO
              E-PL3:1,600 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              J1:10 MP
              E-PL3:12.2 MP
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J1:11 EV
              E-PL3:10.3 EV
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Battery life Few shots per battery charge Help
              J1:230 shots
              E-PL3:300 shots
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              J1:21.5 bits
              E-PL3:20.9 bits
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              J1:Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
              E-PL3:Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              J1:56.0
              E-PL3:52.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1:372 ISO
              E-PL3:499 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 S1

              Nikon 1 S1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $265 with 11-2mm lens

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $320 body only

              $450 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
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $399 with 14-42mm, 40-150mm lenses

              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
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $360 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
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Samsung NX2000

              Samsung NX2000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $310 - $429 with 20-50mm lens

              Screen size Has a much larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $490 body only

              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
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $582 body only

              $598 with 16-50mm 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
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $585 with 10-100mm 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 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $315 body only

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Size Larger
              Nikon 1 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $326 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $548

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Continuous shooting Shoots much slower
              High-speed framerate Doesn't record high-speed movies

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $484 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously recording movies
              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $775 body only

              $575 - $856 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots slightly slower
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $238 with 14-42mm lens

              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $425 with 14-42mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly better image quality
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $297 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Significantly less startup delay
              Color depth Better color depth
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos

              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 Lite E-PL3
              Olympus

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