Updated (August 2012): Compare the Nikon 1 J2 vs Olympus PEN E-PL2

Nikon 1 J1 vs Olympus PEN E-PL1

Winner
Nikon 1 J1

44

Olympus PEN E-PL1

41

Runner-up

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-PL1

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Lens availability
Many lenses available
108 lenses
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos
External flash
External flash
Better lighting

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-PL1.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon J1

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
94 ms vs 820 ms
Help
8.7x less delay when taking photos
Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
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 3 fps
Help
20x faster continuous shooting
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Movie continuous focus
Continuous video focus
Yes vs No
Help
Record movies without worrying about focus
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
135 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
1400 ms vs 2200 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when turning on
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11 EV vs 10.1 EV
Help
1.8 f-stops more dynamic range
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/16000s vs 1/2000s
Help
8x faster max shutter speed
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
56.0 vs 54.0
Help
Almost the same
Size
Smaller
106×61×30 mm vs 115×72×42 mm
Help
More than 40% smaller
Thickness
Thinner
1.2" vs 1.7"
Help
Around 30% thinner
Weight
Lighter
277 g vs 334 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Nikon 1 J1 Learn more about
the Nikon J1

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL1

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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
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
487 ISO vs 372 ISO
Help
The PEN E-PL1 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
Battery life
Longer battery life
290 shots vs 230 shots
Help
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Longest exposure
Much longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL1
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 44
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        41 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              J1$255.00
              PEN E-PL1$260.00
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              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
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J111 EV
              PEN E-PL110.1 EV
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              J110 MP
              PEN E-PL112.2 MP
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              J1460k dots
              PEN E-PL1230k 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
              21.5 bits
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              J156.0
              PEN E-PL154.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1372 ISO
              PEN E-PL1487 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              $440 with 14-42mm lens

              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              3D Captures 3D images
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $576 body only

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              3D Captures 3D images
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Samsung NX1000

              Samsung NX1000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $370 body only

              $330 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
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $448 - $498

              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
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $400 body only

              $345 with 16mm 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
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $274 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              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
              Pentax Q

              Pentax Q

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $215 body only

              $350 with 5mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $585 body only

              $380 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Slower 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 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $288 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Nikon 1 J4

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $600 with 10-100mm lens

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

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $651 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $389 body only

              $375 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $494 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $817 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Lowest price More expensive
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $160 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Color depth Worse color depth

              appearance

              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PL1
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PL1
              Nikon 1 J1 Olympus PEN E-PL1

              discussion

              Nikon 1 J1
              1 J1
              Nikon

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              Olympus PEN E-PL1
              PEN E-PL1
              Olympus

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