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

Nikon 1 J1

Winner
Nikon 1 J1

45

vs

Olympus PEN E-PL1

38

Olympus PEN E-PL1

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon 1 J1

High-speed framerate
High speed movies
1,200 fps
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
60 fps
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
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
Sensor shift
Interchangeable lenses
Interchangeable lenses
Many lenses to choose from
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos
External flash
External flash
Better lighting
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon J1

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Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 94 ms vs 820 ms
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8.7x less delay when taking photos
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
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
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
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Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Movie continuous focus Continuous video focus Yes vs No
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Record movies without worrying about focus
Screen size Larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"
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More than 10% larger screen
Focus points Significantly more focus points 135 vs 11
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen 460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Startup delay 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
0.9 f-stops more dynamic range
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 106x61x29 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
Help
More than 40% smaller
Thickness Thinner 1.2" vs 1.7"
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Around 30% thinner
Lowest price Cheaper $235.85 vs $549.95
Help
The best price we've seen is $314 cheaper (2.3x less)
Weight Lighter 277 g vs 334 g
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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 Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Lens availability Much more lenses available 40 lenses vs 8 lenses
Help
5x more lenses available
Battery life Longer battery life 290 shots vs 230 shots
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Around 30% 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 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
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
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 45
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        38 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              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
              PEN E-PL1:12.2 MP
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              J1:11 EV
              PEN E-PL1:10.1 EV
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              J1:460k dots
              PEN E-PL1:230k dots
              Battery life Few shots per battery charge Help
              J1:230 shots
              PEN E-PL1:290 shots
              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
              3D Neither camera can take 3D photos Help
              No 3d support
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              J1:Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
              PEN E-PL1:Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              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
              J1:56.0
              PEN E-PL1:54.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              J1:372 ISO
              PEN E-PL1:487 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $236 body only

              $315 - $970 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
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $419 body only

              $278 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
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $657 body only

              $389 - $477 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
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $150 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
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Samsung NX1000

              Samsung NX1000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $328 body only

              $312 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
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $437 with 14-42mm 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
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $339 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

              $199 - $260 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

              $410 body only

              $460 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

              $497 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

              $294 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-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $255 body only

              $279 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen size Larger screen
              Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,260 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Lowest price Significantly more expensive
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $438 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A300

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $650 body only

              Lens availability Much more lenses available
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus
              Movie format Does not take movies

              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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