Updated (August, 2012): Compare the Nikon 1 J2 vs Olympus PEN E-PM1

Nikon 1 J1

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Nikon 1 J1

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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 E-PM1

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
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Capture events too fast for the naked eye and play them back in super-slow motion
Autofocus Faster autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
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Catch candid moments easily
Autofocus Faster video autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
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Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Focus points Significantly more focus points 135 vs 35
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag 94 ms vs 246 ms
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2.6x less delay when taking photos
Dynamic range More dynamic range 11 EV vs 10.3 EV
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0.7 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth Better color depth 21.5 bits vs 21 bits
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Distinguishes 0.5 more bits of color
Overall image quality Better image quality 56.0 vs 52.0
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Around 10% better image quality
Startup delay Less startup delay 1400 ms vs 1800 ms
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More than 20% less delay when turning on
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/16000s vs 1/4000s
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4x faster max shutter speed
Built-in flash Built-in flash Yes vs No
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A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Size Slightly smaller 106x61x29 mm vs 110x64x34 mm
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Around 20% smaller
Thickness Thinner 1.2" vs 1.3"
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More than 10% thinner
Nikon 1 J1 Learn more about
the Nikon J1

Advantages of the Olympus E-PM1

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Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
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Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
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Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Lens availability Much more lenses available 40 lenses vs 8 lenses
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5x more lenses available
Battery life Longer battery life 330 shots vs 230 shots
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More than 40% more shots per battery charge
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 499 ISO vs 372 ISO
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The E-PM1 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
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The E-PM1's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor Yes vs No
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Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
True resolution Higher true resolution 12.2 MP vs 10 MP
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Capture more than 20% more detail in your photos
Sensor size Larger sensor Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm vs Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
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More than 90% larger sensor
External flash Supports an external flash Yes vs No
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An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Longest exposure Longer exposures 60s vs 30s
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2x longer exposures
Weight Slightly lighter 263 g vs 277 g
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Around 10% lighter
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Learn more about
the Olympus E-PM1
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recommendations

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

Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 J1 48
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        47 Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus PEN E-PM1
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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-PM1:110x64x34 mm
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              J1:$198.99
              E-PM1:$238.00
              Thickness Thin Help
              J1:1.2"
              E-PM1:1.3"
              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
              J1:10 MP
              E-PM1:12.2 MP
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J1:11 EV
              E-PM1:10.3 EV
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              J1:21.5 bits
              E-PM1:21 bits
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              J1:56.0
              E-PM1:52.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1:372 ISO
              E-PM1:499 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $304 body only

              $298 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
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $268 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Samsung NX2000

              Samsung NX2000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $285 - $299 with 20-50mm 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
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $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
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $269 - $400 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-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $330 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
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $360 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

              $250 - $450 with 11-2mm lens

              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Nikon 1 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $454 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
              Placeholder

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $597 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Autofocus Slower video autofocus
              Color depth Worse color depth

              Olympus PEN E-PM1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $560 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
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $538 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-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $359 - $399 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Light sensitivity Worse maximum light sensitivity
              Color depth Worse color depth

              appearance

              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PM1
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PM1
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PM1

              discussion

              Nikon 1 J1
              1 J1
              Nikon

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              Olympus PEN E-PM1
              PEN E-PM1
              Olympus

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