Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Olympus OM-D E-M5 vs Sony SLT A57

Sony SLT-A55

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Sony SLT-A55

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Olympus OM-D E-M5

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Olympus OM-D E-M5

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Reasons to buy the Sony SLT-A55

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
In-camera panoramas
Panorama
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus OM-D E-M5

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
 

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
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
Size
Smaller
122x89x43 mm vs 124x92x85 mm
Help
2.1x smaller
Thickness
Significantly thinner
1.7" vs 3.3"
Help
Around 50% thinner
Battery life
Longer battery life
500 shots vs 330 shots
Help
More than 50% more shots per battery charge
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The E-M5's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Focus points
More focus points
35 vs 15
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Weight
Lighter
425 g vs 500 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Learn more about
the Olympus E-M5

Advantages of the Sony SLT-A55

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Autofocus
Faster video autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
921k dots vs 610k dots
Help
More than 50% higher resolution screen
GPS
Has a GPS
Yes vs No
Help
Automatically geotags your photos when traveling
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
123 lenses vs 40 lenses
Help
More than 3x more lenses available
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
Sensor size
Larger sensor
APS-C 23.5x15.6mm vs Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
Help
More than 60% larger sensor
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs LIVEMOS
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
220 ms vs 277 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when taking photos
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
73.0 vs 71.0
Help
Almost the same
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
900 ms vs 1100 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when turning on
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.72x vs 0.44x
Help
More than 2.5x larger viewfinder
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
10 fps vs 9 fps
Help
More than 10% faster continuous shooting
Lowest price
Slightly cheaper
$529.99 vs $649.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $120 cheaper (around 20% less)
Sony SLT-A55 Learn more about
the Sony SLT-A55
vs

recommendations

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

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 50
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        51 Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A55
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          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              External mic jack You can plug a microphone into both of these Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              3D Both can take 3D photos, many cameras like these don't Help
              View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              True resolution Capture very high resolution images Help
              E-M5:15.9 MP
              SLT-A55:16 MP
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Support external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Viewfinder Both have digital viewfinders Help
              Digital
              Common Weaknesses
              Weight Heavy Help
              E-M5:425 g
              SLT-A55:500 g
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $444 - $448 body only

              $598 - $600 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Image stabilization Has better image stabilization
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen size Has a slightly larger screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Viewfinder coverage Significantly less viewfinder coverage
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $310 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Viewfinder coverage Significantly less viewfinder coverage
              Sony A7

              Sony A7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,298 - $2,098 body only

              $1,598 with 28-70mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $599 - $750 body only

              $597 - $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Lens availability Slightly more lenses available
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 body only

              $679 - $1,025 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 body only

              $1,129 - $1,149 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $550 - $600 body only

              $699 - $700 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Weather sealed No weather sealing
              Olympus OM-D E-M1

              Olympus OM-D E-M1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,068 - $1,319 body only

              $1,683 - $2,099 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
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $478 - $529 body only

              $598 - $798 with 14-42mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Weather sealed No weather sealing
              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
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Weather sealed No weather sealing
              Fujifilm X-T1

              Fujifilm X-T1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,199 - $1,299 body only

              $1,599 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization

              Sony SLT-A55 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $398 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Battery life Significantly longer battery life
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony SLT A57

              Sony SLT A57

              Entry-level DSLR

              $605 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Battery life Longer battery life
              GPS No built-in GPS
              Size Slightly larger
              Sony SLT-A37

              Sony SLT-A37

              Entry-level DSLR

              $440 - $479 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Shutter lag Less shutter lag
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Screen size Significantly smaller screen
              Sony SLT-A65

              Sony SLT A65

              Entry-level DSLR

              $704 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Size Slightly larger
              Sony SLT-A77

              Sony SLT A77

              Pro DSLR

              $549 body only

              $1,000 - $1,698 with 16-50mm lens

              Weather sealed Weather sealed
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Size Larger

              appearance

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Sony SLT-A55
              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Sony SLT-A55
              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Sony SLT-A55

              discussion

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

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              Sony SLT-A55
              SLT-A55
              Sony

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