• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 25,600

Buy From

Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Olympus E-PL5

  • 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
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.79 vs 3.75 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 0.7 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,183 vs 889 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    13.6 vs 12.2 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 660 vs 360 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 461k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 15 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Olympus E-PL5 advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Less expensive
    $329 vs $499*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • 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
  • Thinner
    38 mm vs 79 mm
    Thinner
  • Lighter weight
    448g vs 829g
    Lighter weight
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    8.1 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    8.0 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen 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
  • 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.

  • Excellent image quality with good color and dynamic range; Great high ISO performance for its class; Extremely speedy performer, with fast and accurate autofocus on stationary subjects; Lightweight, compact and ergonomic design; Touchscreen LCD that tilts all the way forward for taking self portraits; Tons of advanced functions and customizable options.

  • Confusing and frustrating menu system takes hours to master; AF isn't optimal for taking fast-motion action shots; LCD viewfinding suffers under direct sunlight; Mediocre HD video quality; No built-in flash (but a small external flash is included).

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Olympus E-PL5
Nikon D3100
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Touchscreen
  • $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-PL5
Sony A35
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Panasonic GX1

Nikon D5100
Panasonic GX1
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Larger sensor
  • $468
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic GX1
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $468
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • 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-PL5
Sony A57
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Panasonic GF6

Nikon D5100
Panasonic GF6
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Larger sensor
  • $400
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Touchscreen
Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic GF6
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $400
  • 4/3
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
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