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
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1400 ms startup delay
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

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 | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon J1

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Autofocus Faster video autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
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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 246 ms
Help
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
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Size Slightly smaller 106x61x29 mm vs 110x64x34 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Thickness Thinner 1.2" vs 1.3"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Lowest price Slightly cheaper $236.87 vs $315.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $78 cheaper (more than 20% less)
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 Significantly longer battery life 330 shots vs 230 shots
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More than 40% more shots per battery charge
Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor Yes vs No
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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-PM1 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
Sensor size Larger sensor Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm vs Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
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More than 90% larger sensor
True resolution Higher true resolution 12.2 MP vs 10 MP
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Capture more than 20% more detail in your photos
Longest exposure Much longer exposures 60s vs 30s
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2x longer exposures
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The E-PM1's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Weight Slightly lighter 263 g vs 277 g
Help
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 45
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        43 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:$236.87
              E-PM1:$315.00
              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
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J1:11 EV
              E-PM1:10.3 EV
              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
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              J1:Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
              E-PM1:Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              J1:21.5 bits
              E-PM1:21 bits
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              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

              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $252 body only

              $315 - $485 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
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $278 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Samsung NX1000

              Samsung NX1000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $328 body only

              $312 with 20-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $150 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 D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $657 body only

              $389 - $477 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has much better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 - $700 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has much better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $350 body only

              $420 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 significantly more shutter lag

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $339 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 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $460 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Size Larger
              Nikon 1 S1

              Nikon 1 S1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 - $260 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

              $397 - $497 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
              Nikon 1 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $294 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

              Olympus PEN E-PM1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $436 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              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
              Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $438 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Weight Heavier
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 with 14-42mm lens

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

              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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