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Nikon D500 vs Olympus E-PL1

The Nikon D500 and the Olympus PEN E-PL1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and February 2010. The D500 is a DSLR, while the E-PL1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D500) and a Four Thirds (E-PL1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.7 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D500   Olympus E-PL1
Nikon D500 Olympus E-PL1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-51200 (50-1640000) ISO 200-3200
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.2" LCD, 2359k dots 2.7" LCD, 230k dots
Tilting touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
1240 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
147 x 115 x 81 mm, 860 g 115 x 72 x 42 mm, 334 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D500 and the Olympus PEN E-PL1? 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 D500 and the Olympus E-PL1. 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-PL1 can be obtained in four different colors (black, blue, yellow, white), while the D500 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D500 vs Olympus E-PL1
Compare D500 versus E-PL1 top
Comparison D500 or E-PL1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL1 is considerably smaller (51 percent) than the Nikon D500. Moreover, the E-PL1 is substantially lighter (61 percent) than the D500. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D500 is splash and dust resistant, while the E-PL1 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 (D500) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-PL1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-PL1, 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 D500 gets 1240 shots out of its EN-EL15 battery, while the E-PL1 can take 290 images on a single charge of its BLS-1 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 D500» 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
 
Olympus E-PL1« 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 11.8 oz 290 n Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
 
Nikon D7500« » 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D5600« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 n Nov 2016 699 i i Nikon D5600
 
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199- i Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D750« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Olympus E-P3« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.0 oz 330 n Jun 2011 799- i Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 12.8 oz 280 n Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-P1« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Jun 2009 799- i Olympus E-P1
 
Olympus E-P2« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-PL1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 70 percent) than the D500, 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.

 

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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D500 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-PL1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PL1 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 D500 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-PL1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Nikon D500 and Olympus E-PL1 sensor measures

With 20.7MP, the D500 offers a higher resolution than the E-PL1 (12.2MP), but the D500 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.22μm versus 4.29μm for the E-PL1). However, the D500 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 11 months) than the E-PL1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.8 x 18.6 inch or 70.7 x 47.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 22.3 x 14.8 inch or 56.6 x 37.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.6 x 12.4 inch or 47.1 x 31.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-PL1 are 20.2 x 15.1 inch or 51.2 x 38.4 cm for good quality, 16.1 x 12.1 inch or 41 x 30.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.4 x 10.1 inch or 34.1 x 25.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-1640000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PL1 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

D500 versus E-PL1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 D500 provides substantially higher image quality than the E-PL1, with an overall score that is 29 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.5 bits higher color depth, 3.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 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 D500» APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
 
Olympus E-PL1« Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754Olympus E-PL1
 
Nikon D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D5600« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684Nikon D5600
 
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D750« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683Nikon D7100
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Olympus E-P3« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.810.153651Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-P1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655Olympus E-P1
 
Olympus E-P2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556Olympus E-P2

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the D500 provides a higher video resolution than the E-PL1. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Olympus is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D500 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-PL1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-PL1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D500, the Olympus E-PL1, and comparable 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 D500»optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Nikon D500
 
Olympus E-PL1«- n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL1
 
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D5600« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5600
 
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D750« »optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7100
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Olympus E-P3« »- n 3.0 614 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-P1« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P1
 
Olympus E-P2« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P2

One feature that is present on the D500, but is missing on the E-PL1 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 Nikon D500 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 D500 writes its imaging data to SDHC or XQD cards, while the E-PL1 uses SDHC cards. The D500 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the E-PL1 only has one slot. The D500 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the E-PL1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

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 D500 and Olympus PEN E-PL1 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 D500»YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
 
Olympus E-PL1«Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL1
 
Nikon D7500« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-YNikon D7500
 
Nikon D5600« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYNikon D5600
 
Nikon D3400« »Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D750« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D7100
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Olympus E-P3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-P1« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P1
 
Olympus E-P2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P2

It is notable that the D500 has a microphone port, which is missing on the E-PL1. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D500 (unlike the E-PL1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The D500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the E-PL1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-PL1 was succeeded by the Olympus E-PL2. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D500 and the Olympus E-PL1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D500:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.7 vs 12.2MP) with a 33% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (29 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (3.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1240 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • 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.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the E-PL1 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-PL1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More compact: Is smaller (115x72mm vs 147x115mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 526g or 61 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 fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (70 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2010).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D500 is the clear winner of the match-up (28 : 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D500 28:08 E-PL1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D500 and the Olympus E-PL1 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D500 or the E-PL1. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 D500»+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
 
Olympus E-PL1«86/10069/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
 
Nikon D7500« »+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D5600« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i i Nikon D5600
 
Nikon D3400« »+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« »+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
 
Nikon D7200« »+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199- i Nikon D7200
 
Nikon D750« »+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Nikon D7100« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
 
Nikon D610« »+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D300S« »+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Olympus E-P3« »83/10074/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 799- i Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« »83/10071/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4/5 Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-P1« »+66/1004/54/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799- i Olympus E-P1
 
Olympus E-P2« »+69/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D500:
Check Amazon price
Olympus E-PL1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D500 vs Olympus E-PL1

    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 D500 Olympus E-PL1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 February 2010
    Launch Price USD 1999 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Nikon D500 Olympus E-PL1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 368.95 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5568 x 3712 pixels 4032 x 3024 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.22 μm 4.29 μm
    Pixel Density 5.60 MP/cm2 5.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO 200-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-1640000 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 Truepic V
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 83 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.0 21.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.0 10.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1324 487
    Screen Specs Nikon D500 Olympus E-PL1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.67x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 2.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 2359k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D500 Olympus E-PL1
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC or XQD cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D500 Olympus E-PL1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon D500 Olympus E-PL1
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-EL15 BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)1240 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 147 x 115 x 81 mm
    (5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2 in)
    115 x 72 x 42 mm
    (4.5 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 860 g (30.3 oz) 334 g (11.8 oz)

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