Olympus OM-D E-M5 vs Olympus E-520

Winner
Olympus OM-D E-M5

51

Olympus E-520

29

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Olympus OM-D E-M5

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies
OLED Screen
Screen type
Bright and vivid
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus E-520

Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
135 ms shutter lag
Battery life
Great battery life
650 shots
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
Viewfinder
Great viewfinder
Pentamirror

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-M5

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Screen type
Has an OLED screen
OLED vs LCD
Help
OLED screens are often brighter and more vibrant than typical LCD screens
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 60fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
71.0 vs 55.0
Help
Around 30% better image quality
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.3 EV vs 10.4 EV
Help
1.9 f-stops more dynamic range
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Viewfinder coverage
Much better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Screen size
Larger screen
3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
610k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 2.5x higher resolution screen
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
Size
Smaller
122x89x43 mm vs 136x92x68 mm
Help
Around 50% smaller
Color depth
Better color depth
22.8 bits vs 21.4 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.4 more bits of color
True resolution
Higher true resolution
15.9 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture around 60% more detail in your photos
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
Help
The E-M5's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
9 fps vs 3.5 fps
Help
More than 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Startup delay
Less startup delay
1100 ms vs 1400 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when turning on
Thickness
Thinner
1.7" vs 2.7"
Help
Around 40% thinner
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
826 ISO vs 548 ISO
Help
The E-M5 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Weight
Lighter
425 g vs 552 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Learn more about
the Olympus E-M5

Advantages of the Olympus E-520

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Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
135 ms vs 277 ms
Help
2.1x less delay when taking photos
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
NMOS vs LIVEMOS
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
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
Battery life
Longer battery life
650 shots vs 500 shots
Help
30% more shots per battery charge
Viewfinder
Has an optical viewfinder
Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Olympus E-520 Learn more about
the Olympus E-520
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent digital cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 51
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        29 Olympus E-520 Olympus E-520
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Interchangeable lenses Interchangeable lenses Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Battery life Great battery life Help
              E-M5:500 shots
              E-520:650 shots
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Viewfinder Viewfinders Help
              E-M5:Digital
              E-520:Pentamirror
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              Common Weaknesses
              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

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $302 - $557 body only

              $379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Longest exposure Slightly shorter exposures
              Thickness Is thicker

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $475 - $700 body only

              $600 - $800 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus OM-D E-M1

              Olympus OM-D E-M1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,030 - $1,399 body only

              $1,565 - $2,199 with 12-40mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $649 - $698 with 16-50mm lens

              Focus points Many more focus points
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Fujifilm X-T1

              Fujifilm X-T1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,199 - $1,200 body only

              $1,599 - $1,600 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,499 body only

              $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Size Much larger

              Olympus E-520 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus E-620

              Olympus E-620

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,295 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Size Slightly smaller
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Olympus E-510

              Olympus E-510

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,699 with 14-42mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Screen size Smaller screen
              Olympus E-420

              Olympus E-420

              Entry-level DSLR

              $999 body only

              $325 with 14-42mm lens

              Size Smaller
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Olympus E-3

              Olympus E-3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $829 body only

              $3,599 with 12-60mm lens

              Weather sealed Weather sealed
              Viewfinder coverage Much better viewfinder coverage
              Size Larger
              Screen size Smaller screen
              Nikon D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Lens availability Much more lenses available
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots

              appearance

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-520
              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-520
              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-520

              discussion

              Olympus OM-D E-M5
              OM-D E-M5
              Olympus

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              Olympus E-520
              E-520
              Olympus

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