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

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Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Olympus E-PL9

  • 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)
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 660 vs 350 shots
    Capture more photos
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video

Olympus E-PL9 advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Less expensive
    $700 vs $900 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Shoot 4K video
    4K (UHD) vs 1080p
    Make sure you have a fast computer
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Yes vs No
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Thinner
    39 mm vs 79 mm
    Thinner
  • Newer
    6 years vs 13 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Lighter weight
    473g 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
    8.6 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    8.6 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos
  • Faster shutter
    1/16000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • 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

  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • 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

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D5100

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Olympus E-PL9

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 Sony A55

Nikon D5100
Sony A55
  • $650
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $734
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Olympus E-PL9
Sony A55
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $734
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony A33

Nikon D5100
Sony A33
  • $650
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Olympus E-PL9
Sony A33
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony A57

Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $650
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Olympus E-PL9
Sony A57
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Shoot 4K video
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Panasonic GX85

Nikon D5100
Panasonic GX85
  • $650
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $598
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Olympus E-PL9
Panasonic GX85
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $598
  • 4/3
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter

Compared to Olympus E-PL8

Nikon D5100
Olympus E-PL8
  • $650
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Larger sensor
  • $599
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Less expensive
Olympus E-PL9
Olympus E-PL8
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Shoot 4K video
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $599
  • 4/3
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