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

Olympus PEN E-PL5

Winner
Olympus PEN E-PL5

74

vs

Nikon 1 J1

45

Nikon 1 J1

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL5

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
12.3 EV
Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
600 ms startup delay
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon 1 J1

High-speed framerate
High speed movies
1,200 fps
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
60 fps
Badge
Phase detection video autofocus
fast and accurate
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
94 ms shutter lag
 

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 8 fps
Help
7.5x 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
Less shutter lag
94 ms vs 221 ms
Help
2.4x less delay when taking photos
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs LIVEMOS
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
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
Smaller
106x61x29 mm vs 111x64x38 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Thickness
Thinner
1.2" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Weight
Lighter
277 g vs 325 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Lowest price
Cheaper
$228.49 vs $467.51
Help
The best price we've seen is $239 cheaper (2x less)
Nikon 1 J1 Learn more about
the Nikon J1

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL5

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Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
72.0 vs 56.0
Help
Around 30% better image quality
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.3 EV vs 11 EV
Help
1.3 f-stops more dynamic range
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
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
889 ISO vs 372 ISO
Help
The PEN E-PL5 has excellent image quality 1.3 f-stops higher ISO than the J1
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
40 lenses vs 8 lenses
Help
5x more lenses available
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Color depth
Better color depth
22.8 bits vs 21.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.3 more bits of color
Battery life
Significantly longer battery life
360 shots vs 230 shots
Help
Around 60% more shots per battery charge
Startup delay
Less startup delay
600 ms vs 1400 ms
Help
2.3x less delay when turning on
True resolution
Higher true resolution
15.9 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture around 60% more detail in your photos
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
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
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The PEN E-PL5's maximum light sensitivity is 3 f-stops better
Longest exposure
Much longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL5
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 45
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        74 Olympus PEN E-PL5 Olympus PEN E-PL5
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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
              PEN E-PL5:111x64x38 mm
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              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
              PEN E-PL5:Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $298 - $350 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $235 body only

              $315 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $448 body only

              $598 - $600 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
              Thickness Is thicker
              Samsung NX300

              Samsung NX300

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $399 - $520 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Has a slightly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $309 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 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
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $498

              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Interchangeable lenses Has a built-in lens
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $286 with 14-42mm lens

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

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $324 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

              $149 - $157 with 11-2mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Weight Slightly lighter
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $649 body only

              $490 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Size Larger
              Nikon 1 J4

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $397 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

              $280 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-PL5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $590 body only

              $400 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Sensor type Has a CMOS-family sensor
              Olympus PEN E-PL7

              Olympus PEN E-PL7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $599 body only

              $699 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Size Slightly larger
              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $799 - $800 body only

              $880 - $1,300 with 17mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Built-in flash Built-in flash
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $485 with 14-42mm lens

              Sensor type Has a CMOS-family sensor
              Shutter lag Slightly less shutter lag
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $550 - $600 body only

              $699 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Battery life Shorter battery life

              appearance

              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PL5
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PL5
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PL5

              discussion

              Nikon 1 J1
              1 J1
              Nikon

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              Olympus PEN E-PL5
              PEN E-PL5
              Olympus

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