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

Nikon 1 J1

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Nikon 1 J1

45

vs

Olympus PEN E-PM1

43

Olympus PEN E-PM1

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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
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
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

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 246 ms
Help
2.6x less delay when taking photos
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11 EV vs 10.3 EV
Help
0.7 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
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
$228.70 vs $347.35
Help
The best price we've seen is $119 cheaper (more than 30% 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
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
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
40 lenses vs 8 lenses
Help
5x more lenses available
Battery life
Significantly longer battery life
330 shots vs 230 shots
Help
More than 40% 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
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
Help
More than 90% larger sensor
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 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
vs

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
              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
              Thickness Thin Help
              J1:1.2"
              E-PM1:1.3"
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              J1:$228.70
              E-PM1:$347.35
              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
              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
              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
              J1:21.5 bits
              E-PM1:21 bits
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              J1:Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
              E-PM1:Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              J1:56.0
              E-PM1:52.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              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 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $333 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Color depth Has slightly less color depth
              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $410 body only

              $490 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon 1 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $290 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $424 body only

              $286 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $473 body only

              $398 - $527 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
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $133 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
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 - $387 body only

              $410 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

              $1,047 with 10-100mm lens

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

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $235 body only

              $315 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Autofocus Slower video autofocus
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $498 - $578

              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 E-PM1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $485 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-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $493 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
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $243 body only

              $250 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

              $407 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
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              Olympus PEN E-PM1
              PEN E-PM1
              Olympus

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