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Nikon D3 vs Olympus E-M1

The Nikon D3 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2007 and September 2013. The D3 is a DSLR, while the E-M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (D3) and a Four Thirds (E-M1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12.1 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 D3   VS Olympus E-M1
Nikon D3 Olympus E-M1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-6400 (100-25600) ISO 200-25600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD, 922k dots 3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
11 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
4300 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
160 x 157 x 88 mm, 1300 g 130 x 94 x 63 mm, 497 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3 and the Olympus E-M1. 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 E-M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D3 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3 vs Olympus E-M1
Compare D3 versus E-M1 top
Comparison D3 or E-M1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M1 is considerably smaller (51 percent) than the Nikon D3. Moreover, the E-M1 is substantially lighter (62 percent) than the D3. 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 (D3) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-M1, 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.

Concerning battery life, the D3 gets 4300 shots out of its EN-EL4a battery, while the E-M1 can take 350 images on a single charge of its BLN-1 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D3 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-M1, Olympus provides the HLD-7 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3» 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 45.9 oz 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999iNikon D3
 
Olympus E-M1« 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399iOlympus E-M1
 
Canon 1D Mark III« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 40.7 oz 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499iCanon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499iNikon D5
 
Nikon D4S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499iNikon D4S
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999iNikon D4
 
Nikon D3S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199iNikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 44.4 oz 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999iNikon D3X
 
Nikon D700« » 5.8 in 4.8 in 3.0 in 37.9 oz 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999iNikon D700
 
Nikon D300« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799iNikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699iNikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D2X« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999iNikon D2X
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999iOlympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« » 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 n Jan 2016 1,199 iOlympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099iOlympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999iOlympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299iOlympus E-M5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 72 percent) than the D3, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 D3 features a full frame sensor and the Olympus E-M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M1 is 74 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.0. The sensor in the D3 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D3 and Olympus E-M1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-M1 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12.1 MP of the D3. 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 8.43μm for the D3). However, it should be noted that the E-M1 is much more recent (by 6 years) than the D3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the E-M1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-M1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-M1 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 D3 are 21.3 x 14.2 inch or 54.1 x 36 cm for good quality, 17 x 11.3 inch or 43.2 x 28.8 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.4 inch or 36 x 24 cm for excellent quality prints.

The E-M1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Nikon D3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

D3 versus E-M1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the D3 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the E-M1 (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2229081Nikon D3
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Canon 1D Mark III APS-H 10.1 3888 2592none22.711.7107871Canon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5 Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5
 
Nikon D4S Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D4 Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3S Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032none24.713.7199288Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380Nikon D700
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659Nikon D2X
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
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 cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The E-M1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D3 does not. The highest resolution format that the E-M1 can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the E-M1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D3 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the E-M1 has a higher magnification than the one of the D3 (0.74x vs 0.70x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D3 and Olympus E-M1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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 D3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3
 
Olympus E-M12360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Canon 1D Mark IIIoptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n Nikon D5
 
Nikon D4Soptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D4optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3Soptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3Xoptical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D700optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Nikon D700
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2X
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M51440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y Olympus E-M5

One feature that is present on the D3, but is missing on the E-M1 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 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-M1 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 D3 and the Olympus E-M1 both have 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 D3 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-M1 uses SDXC cards. The D3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the E-M1 only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison

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 D3 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 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
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3Ynonenone--mini2.0---Nikon D3
 
Olympus E-M1YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Canon 1D Mark IIIYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5
 
Nikon D4SYmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D4YmonomonoYYmicro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Nikon D3SYstereonone--mini2.0---Nikon D3S
 
Nikon D3XYnonenone--mini2.0---Nikon D3X
 
Nikon D700Ynonenone--mini2.0---Nikon D700
 
Nikon D300Ynonenone--mini2.0---Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2XsYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D2XYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D2X
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-FYstereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-M5

It is notable that the E-M1 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D3 does not offer wifi capability.

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

Both the D3 and the E-M1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3 was replaced by the Nikon D4, while the E-M1 was followed by the Olympus E-M1 II. 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

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3 or the Olympus E-M1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (4300 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).

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Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 12.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • 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 viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.70x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x94mm vs 160x157mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 803g or 62 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 (72 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the D3 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M1 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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.

D3 09:17 E-M1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3 and the Olympus E-M1 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 D3 and the E-M1 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

This is why expert reviews 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
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D3..+ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999iNikon D3
 
Olympus E-M1+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399iOlympus E-M1
 
Canon 1D Mark III......o.. Feb 2007 4,499iCanon 1D Mark III
 
Nikon D5..89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499iNikon D5
 
Nikon D4S....4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499iNikon D4S
 
Nikon D4....4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999iNikon D4
 
Nikon D3S..89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199iNikon D3S
 
Nikon D3X..86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999iNikon D3X
 
Nikon D70089/100+ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999iNikon D700
 
Nikon D300+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799iNikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs......o.. Jun 2006 4,699iNikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D2X..+ +..o.. Sep 2004 4,999iNikon D2X
 
Olympus E-M1 II+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999iOlympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F..82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199 iOlympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099iOlympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999iOlympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5+ +80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299iOlympus E-M5
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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 D3:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-M1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 D3 vs Olympus E-M1

    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 D3 Olympus E-M1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2007 September 2013
    Launch Price USD 4999 USD 1399
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3 Olympus E-M1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 23.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 860.4 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.1 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4256 x 2832 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.43 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 1.40 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200-6400 ISO 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED TruePIC VII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 81 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.5 23.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.2 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2290 757
    Screen Specs Nikon D3 Olympus E-M1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.74x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3 Olympus E-M1
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy300 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-ShutterYES
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer 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 Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3 Olympus E-M1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D3 Olympus E-M1
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL4a BLN-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)4300 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 160 x 157 x 88 mm
    (6.3 x 6.2 x 3.5 in)
    130 x 94 x 63 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 1300 g (45.9 oz) 497 g (17.5 oz)

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