• 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 25,600
  • 35mm 858.0mm2
  • 45.7 megapixels
  • ISO 64 - 25,600

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Differences

Olympus E-M1 advantages over Nikon D850

  • Less expensive
    $1299 vs $5197
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Lighter weight
    497g vs 915g
    Lighter weight
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    9.9 fps vs 7.1 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    9.9 fps vs 7.1 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Faster shutter
    1/16000 vs 1/8000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Nikon D850 advantages over Olympus E-M1

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.35 vs 3.75 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Shoot 4K video
    4K (UHD) vs 1080p
    Make sure you have a fast computer
  • Fast startup
    ~0.20 vs 0.8 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Yes vs No
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Better color depth
    26.4 vs 23.0 bits
    Capture richer, more accurate colors
  • Higher effective ISO
    2,660 vs 757 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    14.8 vs 12.7 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1840 vs 350 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Newer
    2 years vs 6 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More dots on screen
    2359k vs 1037k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • More pixels
    45.7 vs 16.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    200 vs 50 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    200 vs 50 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos
  • Higher extended ISO
    102400 vs 25600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Focus peaking
    Both provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Touchscreen
    Both provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Tiltable Screen
    Both provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Both provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • 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

  • 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
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Internal flash
    Neither provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Exceptional rugged, weather-proof, professional build; Lightning fast contrast-detect AF, and phase-detect AF that makes Four Thirds lenses far more responsive; Tons of useful physical controls with immense customizability; Arguably the best image quality of any Micro Four Thirds camera we've tested to date; Large, sharp, high-resolution electronic viewfinder; Advanced Wi-Fi capabilities, including remote control shooting in PASM exposure modes.

  • Bigger and heavier than many other compact system cameras; Most expensive Micro Four Thirds camera on the market to date; Menu system and customization options have a steep learning curve; No optical low-pass filter means greater risk of moire; No built-in flash.

  • Class-leading resolution; Excellent dynamic range; Very good high ISO performance; Very fast AF and burst shooting; Durable weather-sealed body; Improved ergonomics; Touchscreen; Dual card slots; 4K video.

  • Live view/video mode still uses sluggish contrast-detect AF; Viewfinder only tests at ~98% coverage; No 4K at 60p; 30-minute video clip limit; Focus peaking not supported with 4K.

The Competition

Compared to Olympus E-M5

Olympus E-M1
Olympus E-M5
  • $1049
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Fast startup
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
Nikon D850
Olympus E-M5
  • $2997
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Panasonic GH3

Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH3
  • $1049
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $824
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Nikon D850
Panasonic GH3
  • $2997
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $824
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Panasonic GH4

Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH4
  • $1049
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $798
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Nikon D850
Panasonic GH4
  • $2997
  • 35mm
  • Slower slow-motion
  • Larger sensor
  • $798
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Canon 5DS

Olympus E-M1
Canon 5DS
  • $1049
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Less expensive
  • $3499
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
Nikon D850
Canon 5DS
  • $2997
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Shoot 4K video
  • $3499
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Has anti-aliasing filter

Compared to Panasonic GX8

Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GX8
  • $1049
  • 4/3
  • Fast startup
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $998
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Nikon D850
Panasonic GX8
  • $2997
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $998
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
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