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Nikon D5 vs Olympus E-M1

The Nikon D5 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and September 2013. The D5 is a DSLR, while the E-M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (D5) and a Four Thirds (E-M1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.7 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 D5
versus
Olympus E-M1
Nikon D5   Olympus E-M1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
20.7 MP – Full Frame sensor 15.9 MP – Four Thirds sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-102,400 (50 - 3,280,000) ISO 200-25,600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.2" LCD – 2359k dots 3.0" LCD – 1037k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
14 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
3780 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
160 x 159 x 92 mm, 1415 g 130 x 94 x 63 mm, 497 g
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Check D5 offers at
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Check E-M1 offers at
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D5 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D5 and the Olympus E-M1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D5 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D5 vs Olympus E-M1
Compare D5 versus E-M1 top
Comparison D5 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 (52 percent) than the Nikon D5. Moreover, the E-M1 is substantially lighter (65 percent) than the D5. 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 (D5) 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 D5 gets 3780 shots out of its EN-EL18a 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 D5 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D5 160 mm 159 mm 92 mm 1415 g 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-M1 130 mm 94 mm 63 mm 497 g 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999ebay.com
4.
 
Nikon D6 160 mm 163 mm 92 mm 1270 g 3580 Y Feb 2020 6,499 amazon.com
5.
 
Nikon D850 146 mm 124 mm 79 mm 1005 g 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 amazon.com
6.
 
Nikon D4S 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1350 g 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D750 141 mm 113 mm 78 mm 750 g 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D610 141 mm 113 mm 82 mm 850 g 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 amazon.com
9.
 
Nikon D4 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D600 141 mm 113 mm 82 mm 850 g 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D3S 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1240 g 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D3X 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1260 g 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 II 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999ebay.com
14.
 
Olympus PEN-F 125 mm 72 mm 37 mm 427 g 330 n Jan 2016 1,199ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 II 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999ebay.com
17.
 
Olympus E-M5 122 mm 89 mm 43 mm 425 g 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299ebay.com
Note: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 78 percent) than the D5, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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 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 D5 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 D5 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D5 and Olympus E-M1 sensor measures

With 20.7MP, the D5 offers a higher resolution than the E-M1 (15.9MP), but the D5 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.44μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D5 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 3 months) than the E-M1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 Nikon D5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.9 x 18.6 inches or 71 x 47.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 22.4 x 14.8 inches or 56.8 x 37.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.6 x 12.4 inches or 47.3 x 31.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-M1 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 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 D5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400, which can be extended to ISO 50-3280000. 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

D5 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 D5 provides substantially higher image quality than the E-M1, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.1 bits higher color depth, 0.4 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D5 Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
2.
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
4.
 
Nikon D6 Full Frame 20.7 5568 37124K/30p25.314.3288695
5.
 
Nikon D850 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
6.
 
Nikon D4S Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489
7.
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
8.
 
Nikon D610 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594
9.
 
Nikon D4 Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589
10.
 
Nikon D600 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094
11.
 
Nikon D3S Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382
12.
 
Nikon D3X Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032none24.713.7199288
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
14.
 
Olympus PEN-F Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
16.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
17.
 
Olympus E-M5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D5 provides a higher video resolution than the E-M1. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D5 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 D5 (0.74x vs 0.72x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D5, the Olympus E-M1, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D5optical Y3.2 / 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0/s n n
2.
 
Olympus E-M12360 n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y3.2 / 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0/s n n
4.
 
Nikon D6optical Y3.2 / 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0/s n n
5.
 
Nikon D850optical Y3.2 / 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0/s n n
6.
 
Nikon D4Soptical Y3.2 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0/s n n
7.
 
Nikon D750optical Y3.2 / 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D610optical Y3.2 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D4optical Y3.2 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0/s n n
10.
 
Nikon D600optical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D3Soptical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0/s n n
12.
 
Nikon D3Xoptical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s n n
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0/s n Y
14.
 
Olympus PEN-F2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
16.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Olympus E-M51440 n3.0 / 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0/s n Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One feature that is present on the D5, 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 D5 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 D5 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or XQD cards, while the E-M1 uses SDXC cards. The D5 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 D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D5Ystereo / monoYYmini3.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-M1Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmono / monoYYmini3.0---
4.
 
Nikon D6Ystereo / monoYYmini3.1Y-Y
5.
 
Nikon D850Ystereo / monoYYmini3.0YYY
6.
 
Nikon D4SYmono / monoYYmini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D750Ystereo / monoYYmini2.0Y--
8.
 
Nikon D610Ymono / monoYYmini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D4Ymono / monoYYmicro2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D600Ymono / monoYYmini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D3SYstereo / ---mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D3XY- / ---mini2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.0Y--
14.
 
Olympus PEN-FYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
17.
 
Olympus E-M5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the D5 has a headphone jack, which is not present on the E-M1 This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

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

Both the D5 and the E-M1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The E-M1 was replaced by the Olympus E-M1 II, while the D5 was followed by the Nikon D6. Further information on the features and operation of the D5 and E-M1 can be found, respectively, in the Nikon D5 Manual (free pdf) or the online Olympus E-M1 Manual.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D5 and the Olympus E-M1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.7 vs 15.9MP) with a 16% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.1 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 1037k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (3780 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the E-M1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • 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 0.72x).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x94mm vs 160x159mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 918g or 65 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 (78 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D5 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 13 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D5 17:13 E-M1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D5 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D5 or the E-M1 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D5....4/589/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-M15/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II....4.5/589/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999ebay.com
4.
 
Nikon D6....4/5..4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2020 6,499 amazon.com
5.
 
Nikon D8504.5/5+ +5/589/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 amazon.com
6.
 
Nikon D4S5/5......4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D7505/5+ +4/590/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D6104/5+ +..87/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 amazon.com
9.
 
Nikon D4........4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D6004/5+ +..87/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D3S5/5....89/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D3X......86/1004/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 II5/5+ +5/585/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999ebay.com
14.
 
Olympus PEN-F....4/582/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-M5 II5/5+ +4.5/581/1005/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +..78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999ebay.com
17.
 
Olympus E-M54/5+ +..80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299ebay.com
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.

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Check D5 offers at
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Check E-M1 offers at
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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 D5 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 D5 Olympus E-M1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 September 2013
    Launch Price USD 6,499 USD 1,399
    Sensor Specs Nikon D5 Olympus E-M1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5588 x 3712 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.44 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 102,400 ISO 200 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 3,280,000 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 TruePIC VII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 88 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1 23.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2343 757
    Screen Specs Nikon D5 Olympus E-M1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.72x 0.74x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 2359k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D5 Olympus E-M1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy400 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 or XQD cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D5 Olympus E-M1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D5 Olympus E-M1
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL18a BLN-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)3780 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 160 x 159 x 92 mm
    (6.3 x 6.3 x 3.6 in)
    130 x 94 x 63 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 1415 g (49.9 oz) 497 g (17.5 oz)
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