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

Buy From

Differences

Sony DSLR-A500 advantages over Olympus E-M5

  • 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 1.1 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1000 vs 360 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Less shutter lag
    0.18 vs 0.28 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)

Olympus E-M5 advantages over Sony DSLR-A500

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • More telephoto lens reach
    100 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Thinner
    43 mm vs 84 mm
    Thinner
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/250 vs 1/160 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Lighter weight
    652g vs 900g
    Lighter weight
  • More dots on screen
    614k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.58x 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
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    8.9 fps vs 4.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    17 vs 5 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

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
  • Tiltable Screen
    Both provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • 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
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • 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
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • 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

  • Attractive body design; Well-built, weather-sealed body; Excellent image quality; Excellent image stabilization; Very fast autofocus.

  • Exposure compensation dial changes easily; Small buttons; No in-camera chromatic aberration correction; Bundled flash is weak; Video compression artifacts with rapidly-moving subjects.

The Competition

Compared to Olympus E-M1

Sony DSLR-A500
Olympus E-M1
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Olympus E-M5
Olympus E-M1
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Fast startup

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
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $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
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $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
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Panasonic G3

Sony DSLR-A500
Panasonic G3
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
Olympus E-M5
Panasonic G3
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Internal flash
  • More viewfinder magnification
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