• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 25,600

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Differences

Sony DSLR-A500 advantages over Olympus E-M5 II

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.55 vs 3.75 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 0.8 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1000 vs 310 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos

Olympus E-M5 II advantages over Sony DSLR-A500

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs tilt-only
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • High resolution composite
    Yes vs No
    Combine multiple shots to form a super hi-res version
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Higher effective ISO
    908 vs 772 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Thinner
    44 mm vs 84 mm
    Thinner
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/250 vs 1/160 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Newer
    4 years vs 9 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
    1037k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.74x vs 0.53x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    16.1 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    10.4 fps vs 4.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    18 vs 5 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/16000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • 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
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • 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

  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • 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

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Buy the Olympus E-M5 II

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent handling in a compact, weather-sealed body; Crisp, roomy electronic viewfinder; Image quality that can take the fight to APS-C DSLRs; Unique high-res mode lets it bat far above its weight for static scenes; Extremely fast 10 fps burst shooting, Excellent video feature set

  • Control dials are easily bumped; Below-average battery life at default settings; Buffer depths for raw shooters are a bit limited; 16-megapixel sensor resolution feels dated; Weak bundled flash strobe

The Competition

Compared to Sony DSLR-A380

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • More pixels
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
Olympus E-M5 II
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $899
  • 4/3
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Lens selection
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • More dots on screen
  • More pixels
Olympus E-M5 II
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $899
  • 4/3
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Lens selection
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony DSLR-A560

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Less shutter lag
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • More cross-type AF points
Olympus E-M5 II
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $899
  • 4/3
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Lens selection
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Olympus E-M10 II

Sony DSLR-A500
Olympus E-M10 II
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $516
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M10 II
  • $899
  • 4/3
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • High resolution composite
  • $516
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash

Compared to Panasonic GX85

Sony DSLR-A500
Panasonic GX85
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $598
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Olympus E-M5 II
Panasonic GX85
  • $899
  • 4/3
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • High resolution composite
  • $598
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Shoot 4K video
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