Updated (September 2011): Compare the Nikon 1 J1 vs Olympus PEN E-P3

Nikon 1 J1 vs Olympus PEN E-P2

Tie
Nikon 1 J1

44

Olympus PEN E-P2

42

Tie

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-P2

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Lens availability
Many lenses available
108 lenses
External flash
External flash
Better lighting
Longest exposure
Long exposures
60 seconds

Items often bought with the Nikon J1 or Olympus PEN E-P2

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-P2.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon J1

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
94 ms vs 956 ms
Help
10.2x less delay when taking photos
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
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
60 fps vs 3 fps
Help
20x faster continuous shooting
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
1400 ms vs 2300 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when turning on
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11 EV vs 10.4 EV
Help
1.2 f-stops more dynamic range
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
106×61×30 mm vs 121×70×36 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
Weight
Lighter
277 g vs 355 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Thickness
Thinner
1.2" vs 1.4"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Lowest price
Cheaper
$263.50 vs $699.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $436 cheaper (2.7x less)
Nikon 1 J1 Learn more about
the Nikon J1

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-P2

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
108 lenses vs 20 lenses
Help
Around 5.5x more lenses available
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
505 ISO vs 372 ISO
Help
The PEN E-P2 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
Battery life
Longer battery life
300 shots vs 230 shots
Help
More than 30% more shots per battery charge
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
Olympus PEN E-P2 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-P2
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-P2 Olympus PEN E-P2
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Thickness Thin Help
              J11.2"
              PEN E-P21.4"
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              J110 MP
              PEN E-P212.2 MP
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J111 EV
              PEN E-P210.4 EV
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              J1460k dots
              PEN E-P2230k dots
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              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
              21.5 bits
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              56.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1372 ISO
              PEN E-P2505 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $591 body only

              $230 with 14-42mm lens

              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              3D Captures 3D images
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Autofocus Users slower contrast detection autofocus
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $394 with 14-42mm lens

              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $360 body only

              $481 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

              $109 body only

              $300 with 14-42mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              3D Captures 3D images
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Autofocus Users slower contrast detection autofocus

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J5

              Nikon 1 J5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $497 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Thickness Slightly thicker
              Nikon 1 J4

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $270 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Autofocus Slower video autofocus
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 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 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

              $585 body only

              $450 with 10-30mm lens

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

              Olympus PEN E-P2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,345 body only

              $499 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $642 - $799 body only

              $1,249 with 17mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Weight Heavier
              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $479 - $1,099 body only

              $499 - $999 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Size Larger
              Olympus PEN E-PL7

              Olympus PEN E-PL7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $449 body only

              $549 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Thickness Slightly thicker
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              $270 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              3D Takes 3D photos
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              appearance

              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-P2
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-P2
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-P2

              discussion

              Nikon 1 J1
              1 J1
              Nikon

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              Olympus PEN E-P2
              PEN E-P2
              Olympus

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