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Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II

The Nikon D1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 1999 and February 2015. The D1 is a DSLR, while the E-M5 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D1) and a Four Thirds (E-M5 II) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 2.6 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D1   Olympus E-M5 II
Nikon D1 Olympus E-M5 II
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
2.6 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 200-1600 (200-6400) ISO 200-25600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
2.0" LCD, 120k dots 3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
1.5 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
157 x 153 x 85 mm, 1100 g 124 x 85 x 45 mm, 469 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II? 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.

Body comparison: Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D1 and the Olympus E-M5 II 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-M5 II can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D1 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II
Compare D1 versus E-M5 II top
Comparison D1 or E-M5 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M5 II is considerably smaller (56 percent) than the Nikon D1. Moreover, the E-M5 II is substantially lighter (57 percent) than the D1. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D1) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M5 II). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-M5 II, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

As can be seen in the images above, the D1 has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the E-M5 II, Olympus provides the HLD-8 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1» 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz .. Y Jun 1999 5,499- i Nikon D1
 
Olympus E-M5 II« 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 45.9 oz 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D2H« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 37.7 oz 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499- i Nikon D2H
 
Nikon D1H« » 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499- i Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1X« » 6.2 in 6.0 in 3.3 in 38.8 oz 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X
 
Olympus E-M10 II« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 n Aug 2015 649- i Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-M1« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 E-M5 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 80 percent) than the D1, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D1 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-M5 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M5 II is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M5 II offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D1 and Olympus E-M5 II sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-M5 II offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 2.6 MP of the D1. 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 3.76μm versus 11.93μm for the D1). However, it should be noted that the E-M5 II is much more recent (by 15 years and 7 months) than the D1, 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 Olympus E-M5 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-M5 II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1 are 10 x 6.6 inch or 25.4 x 16.7 cm for good quality, 8 x 5.2 inch or 20.3 x 13.3 cm for very good quality, and 6.7 x 4.4 inch or 16.9 x 11.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

Unlike the D1, the E-M5 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (40MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

The Nikon D1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 200-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

D1 versus E-M5 II MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1» APS-C 2.6 2000 1312-----Nikon D1
 
Olympus E-M5 II« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2229081Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.112.067967Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.558364Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.110.947659Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D2H« » APS-C 4.0 2464 1632-18.910.035240Nikon D2H
 
Nikon D1H« » APS-C 2.6 2000 1312-----Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1X« » APS-C 5.9 3008 1960-----Nikon D1X
 
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-M1« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671Olympus E-M5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The E-M5 II indeed provides for movie recording, while the D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the E-M5 II can use is 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M5 II has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D1 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 viewfinder in the E-M5 II offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D1 (96%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the E-M5 II has a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D1 and Olympus E-M5 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1»optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n Nikon D1
 
Olympus E-M5 II«2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »optical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D2H« »optical Y 2.5 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n Nikon D2H
 
Nikon D1H« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0 n n Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1X« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n Nikon D1X
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-M1« »2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »1440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y Olympus E-M5

One feature that is present on the D1, but is missing on the E-M5 II is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The E-M5 II has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D1 does not have a selfie-screen.

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 E-M5 II 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 Olympus E-M5 II 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 D1 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-M5 II uses SDXC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II

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 D1 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1»Y-----FW---Nikon D1
 
Olympus E-M5 II«YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D2H« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2H
 
Nikon D1H« »Y-----FW---Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1X« »Y-----FW---Nikon D1X
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-M1« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-M5

It is notable that the E-M5 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D1 does not offer wifi capability.

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

The E-M5 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the D1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D1 was succeeded by the Nikon D1X. 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.


Review summary: Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D1 better than the Olympus E-M5 II or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Nikon D1:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/8000s) to freeze action.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 1999).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 2.6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 141%.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 96%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.53x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 120k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 1.5 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 (124x85mm vs 157x153mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 631g or 57 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (80 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 15 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D1 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M5 II is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 5 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.

D1 05:21 E-M5 II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D1 and the Olympus E-M5 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D1 and the E-M5 II in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D1»-+ +--- Jun 1999 5,499- i Nikon D1
 
Olympus E-M5 II«+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D300S« »+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3« »-+ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999- i Nikon D3
 
Nikon D300« »+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799- i Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« »---o- Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200« »+ ++ +o5/5- Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« »-+ +-o- Sep 2004 4,999- i Nikon D2X
 
Nikon D2H« »-+ +-o- Jul 2003 3,499- i Nikon D2H
 
Nikon D1H« »-+ +-o- Feb 2001 4,499- i Nikon D1H
 
Nikon D1X« »-+ +-o- Feb 2001 5,999- i Nikon D1X
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »+ +80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 649- i Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-M1« »+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-P5« »+ +78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »+ +80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D1:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-M5 II:
Check Amazon price

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.

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    Specifications: Nikon D1 vs Olympus E-M5 II

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D1 Olympus E-M5 II
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date June 1999 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 5499 USD 1099
    Sensor Specs Nikon D1 Olympus E-M5 II
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 2.6 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 2000 x 1312 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 11.93 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 0.71 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 200-1600 ISO 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 200-6400 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 842
    Screen Specs Nikon D1 Olympus E-M5 II
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 96% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.74x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 120k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D1 Olympus E-M5 II
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/16000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 1.5 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/16000s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D1 Olympus E-M5 II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector Firewire USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D1 Olympus E-M5 II
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-4 power pack BLN-1 power pack
    Body Dimensions 157 x 153 x 85 mm
    (6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
    124 x 85 x 45 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 1100 g (38.8 oz) 469 g (16.5 oz)

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