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

Nikon 1 J1 vs Olympus PEN E-PM1

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Nikon 1 J1

44

Olympus PEN E-PM1

42

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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-PM1

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos

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 E-PM1.

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 246 ms
Help
2.6x less delay when taking photos
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
135 vs 35
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11 EV vs 10.3 EV
Help
1.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth
Better color depth
21.5 bits vs 21 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.5 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Better image quality
56.0 vs 52.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Startup delay
Less startup delay
1400 ms vs 1800 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when turning on
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 110×64×34 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Thickness
Slightly thinner
1.2" vs 1.3"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Nikon 1 J1 Learn more about
the Nikon J1

Advantages of the Olympus E-PM1

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3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
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
Battery life
Longer battery life
330 shots vs 230 shots
Help
More than 40% more shots per battery charge
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
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-PM1's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Learn more about
the Olympus E-PM1
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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        42 Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus PEN E-PM1
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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-PM1110×64×34 mm
              Thickness Thin Help
              J11.2"
              E-PM11.3"
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              J1$220.00
              E-PM1$199.00
              Weight Light weight Help
              J1277 g
              E-PM1263 g
              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
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J111 EV
              E-PM110.3 EV
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              J110 MP
              E-PM112.2 MP
              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-PM121 bits
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              J156.0
              E-PM152.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1372 ISO
              E-PM1499 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Color depth Has slightly less color depth
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $448

              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
              Interchangeable lenses Has a built-in lens
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $300 - $547 body only

              $379 - $447 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
              Samsung NX1000

              Samsung NX1000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $370 body only

              $270 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
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $181 body only

              $335 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
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $289 body only

              $400 - $465 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 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $585 body only

              $490 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Color depth Worse color depth
              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

              $600 with 10-100mm lens

              Screen resolution Much 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

              $288 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Nikon 1 J5

              Nikon 1 J5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $497 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Thickness Slightly thicker

              Olympus PEN E-PM1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $417 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

              $260 with 14-42mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly better image quality
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $472 body only

              $673 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-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $389 body only

              $400 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-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $493 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

              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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