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Nikon D300 vs Olympus E-P5

The Nikon D300 and the Olympus PEN E-P5 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and May 2013. The D300 is a DSLR, while the E-P5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D300) and a Four Thirds (E-P5) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12.2 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 D300 versus Olympus E-P5
Nikon D300 Olympus E-P5
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-3,200 (100 - 6,400) ISO 200-25,600
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 9 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
1000 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
147 x 114 x 74 mm, 925 g 122 x 69 x 37 mm, 420 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D300 and the Olympus PEN E-P5? 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 D300 and the Olympus E-P5. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-P5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the D300 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D300 vs Olympus E-P5
Compare D300 versus E-P5 top
Comparison D300 or E-P5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-P5 is considerably smaller (50 percent) than the Nikon D300. Moreover, the E-P5 is substantially lighter (55 percent) than the D300. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D300 is splash and dust resistant, while the E-P5 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. 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 (D300) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-P5). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-P5, 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 D300 gets 1000 shots out of its EN-EL3e battery, while the E-P5 can take 330 images on a single charge of its BLN-1 power pack.

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.

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