Nikon 1 V2 vs Olympus E-1
The Nikon 1 V2 and the Olympus E-1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2012 and June 2003. The V2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the E-1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (V2) and a Four Thirds (E-1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 4.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon 1 V2 and the Olympus E-1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon 1 V2 and the Olympus E-1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The V2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the E-1 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-1 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Nikon 1 V2. Moreover, the E-1 is substantially heavier (165 percent) than the V2. It is noteworthy in this context that the E-1 is splash and dust-proof, while the V2 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Nikon 1 V2||109 mm||82 mm||46 mm||278 g||310||n||Oct 2012||799|
|2.||Olympus E-1||141 mm||104 mm||81 mm||738 g||750||Y||Jun 2003||1,699|
|3.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|4.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|5.||Leica Digilux 3||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799|
|7.||Nikon 1 J4||100 mm||60 mm||29 mm||232 g||300||n||Apr 2014||549|
|8.||Nikon 1 V1||113 mm||76 mm||44 mm||383 g||350||n||Sep 2011||799|
|9.||Olympus E-5||142 mm||117 mm||75 mm||873 g||750||Y||Sep 2010||1,699|
|10.||Olympus E-3||142 mm||116 mm||75 mm||876 g||750||Y||Oct 2007||1,699|
|11.||Olympus E-330||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|12.||Olympus E-300||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|13.||Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|14.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|16.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The V2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 53 percent) than the E-1, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon 1 V2 features an one-inch sensor and the Olympus E-1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-1 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the V2 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-1 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon 1 V2 offers a higher resolution of 14.2 megapixels, compared with 4.9 MP of the Olympus E-1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.86μm versus 6.78μm for the E-1). However, it should be noted that the V2 is much more recent (by 9 years and 4 months) than the E-1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon 1 V2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the V2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 15.4 inches or 58.5 x 39 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 12.3 inches or 46.8 x 31.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-1 are 12.8 x 9.6 inches or 32.5 x 24.4 cm for good quality, 10.2 x 7.7 inches or 26 x 19.5 cm for very good quality, and 8.5 x 6.4 inches or 21.7 x 16.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The V2 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Nikon 1 V2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon 1 V2||1-inch||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||20.2||10.8||403||50|
|2.||Olympus E-1||Four Thirds||4.9||2560||1920||none||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|5.||Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
|7.||Nikon 1 J4||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||426||53|
|8.||Nikon 1 V1||1-inch||10.0||3872||2592||1080/60i||21.3||11||346||54|
|9.||Olympus E-5||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.6||10.5||519||56|
|10.||Olympus E-3||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.6||10.5||571||56|
|11.||Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|14.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The V2 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-1 does not. The highest resolution format that the V2 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the V2 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the E-1 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon 1 V2, the Olympus E-1, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Nikon 1 V2||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||15.0||Y||n|
|2.||Olympus E-1||optical||Y||1.8 / 134||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|3.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|5.||Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5 / 207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
|7.||Nikon 1 J4||none||n||3.0 / 1037||Fixed||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon 1 V1||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||n||n|
|9.||Olympus E-5||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Olympus E-3||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Olympus E-330||optical||n||2.5 / 215||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|12.||Olympus E-300||optical||n||1.8 / 134||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic GF6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic GF5||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|16.||Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The V2 has one, while the E-1 does not. While the built-in flash of the V2 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the V2 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon 1 V2 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The V2 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-1 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-1 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the V2 only has one slot.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon 1 V2 and Olympus E-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon 1 V2||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Nikon 1 J4||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Nikon 1 V1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Olympus E-5||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-3||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus E-330||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Olympus E-300||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GF6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Panasonic GF5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Ricoh GR||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the E-1 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The V2 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Olympus E-1 (unlike the V2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the V2 and the E-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-1 was replaced by the Olympus E-3, while the V2 was followed by the Nikon 1 V3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon 1 V2 better than the Olympus E-1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon 1 V2:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 4.9MP) with a 73% higher linear resolution.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 134k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (15 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x82mm vs 141x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 460g or 62 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (53 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 9 years and 4 months of technical progress since the E-1 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-1:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 310) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2003).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V2 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon 1 V2 and the Olympus E-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the V2 or the E-1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon 1 V2||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2012||799|
|2.||Olympus E-1||..||..||..||+||o||..||Jun 2003||1,699|
|3.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|4.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|5.||Leica Digilux 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||1,499|
|6.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799|
|7.||Nikon 1 J4||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Apr 2014||549|
|8.||Nikon 1 V1||..||+||..||69/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||799|
|9.||Olympus E-5||4/5||..||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,699|
|10.||Olympus E-3||..||88/100||..||+ +||o||4/5||Oct 2007||1,699|
|11.||Olympus E-330||..||..||..||+||o||..||Jan 2006||999|
|12.||Olympus E-300||..||..||..||+||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|13.||Panasonic GF6||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|14.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|16.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1300D vs Nikon 1 V2
- Canon G9 X vs Nikon 1 V2
- Canon T5i vs Nikon 1 V2
- Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Nikon 1 V2
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Olympus E-1
- Nikon 1 V2 vs Panasonic S1H
- Nikon 1 V2 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Nikon W150 vs Olympus E-1
- Olympus E-1 vs Olympus PEN-F
- Olympus E-1 vs Panasonic G80
- Olympus E-1 vs Pentax K-1
- Olympus E-1 vs Sony HX90V
Specifications: Nikon 1 V2 vs Olympus E-1
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon 1 V2||Olympus E-1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon 1 mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2012||June 2003|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 1,699|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon 1 V2||Olympus E-1|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||14.2 Megapixels||4.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3072 pixels||2560 x 1920 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.86 μm||6.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||12.19 MP/cm2||2.19 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 3||TruePic|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||50||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.2||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||403||..|
|Screen Specs||Nikon 1 V2||Olympus E-1|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||1.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||134k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon 1 V2||Olympus E-1|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||15 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon 1 V2||Olympus E-1|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon 1 V2||Olympus E-1|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||310 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
109 x 82 x 46 mm
(4.3 x 3.2 x 1.8 in)
141 x 104 x 81 mm
(5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||278 g (9.8 oz)||738 g (26.0 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.