• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  •  

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Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Olympus E-PL3

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs tilt-only
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 2.1 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Better color depth
    23.5 vs 20.9 bits
    Capture richer, more accurate colors
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,183 vs 499 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    13.6 vs 10.2 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 660 vs 300 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 460k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    16.2 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 9 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Olympus E-PL3 advantages over Nikon D5100

  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Thinner
    37 mm vs 79 mm
    Thinner
  • Lighter weight
    428g vs 829g
    Lighter weight
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    5.3 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • 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
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • 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
  • 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

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Olympus E-PL3
Nikon D3100
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony A35

Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Olympus E-PL3
Sony A35
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Panasonic GF3X

Nikon D5100
Panasonic GF3X
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Larger sensor
  • $750
  • 4/3
  • Touchscreen
  • Thinner
Olympus E-PL3
Panasonic GF3X
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $750
  • 4/3
  • Touchscreen
  • Internal flash

Compared to Sony A57

Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Olympus E-PL3
Sony A57
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Thinner
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Panasonic GF5

Nikon D5100
Panasonic GF5
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $401
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Touchscreen
Olympus E-PL3
Panasonic GF5
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $401
  • 4/3
  • Touchscreen
  • Fast startup
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