• APS-C 355.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 25,600

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Differences

Nikon D3100 advantages over Olympus E-M5

  • Less expensive
    $700 vs $1300 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.01 vs 3.75 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 1.1 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    919 vs 826 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 550 vs 360 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 17 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Olympus E-M5 advantages over Nikon D3100

  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • More telephoto lens reach
    100 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Thinner
    43 mm vs 74 mm
    Thinner
  • More dots on screen
    614k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.58x vs 0.53x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    8.9 fps vs 2.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Buy the Olympus E-M5

Review Excerpt

  • Attractive body design; Well-built, weather-sealed body; Excellent image quality; Excellent image stabilization; Very fast autofocus.

  • Exposure compensation dial changes easily; Small buttons; No in-camera chromatic aberration correction; Bundled flash is weak; Video compression artifacts with rapidly-moving subjects.

The Competition

Compared to Olympus E-M1

Nikon D3100
Olympus E-M1
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Olympus E-M5
Olympus E-M1
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Thinner
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony A33

Nikon D3100
Sony A33
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Olympus E-M5
Sony A33
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Pentax K-r

Nikon D3100
Pentax K-r
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Fast startup
Olympus E-M5
Pentax K-r
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Touchscreen
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Nikon D5100

Nikon D3100
Nikon D5100
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D5100
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Touchscreen
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Panasonic G3

Nikon D3100
Panasonic G3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Touchscreen
  • Tiltable Screen
Olympus E-M5
Panasonic G3
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash
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