Nikon D7000 vs Olympus E-M5
The Nikon D7000 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and February 2012. The D7000 is a DSLR, while the E-M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D7000) and a Four Thirds (E-M5) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 16.1 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D7000 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D7000 and the Olympus E-M5 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The E-M5 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D7000 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M5 is notably smaller (22 percent) than the Nikon D7000. Moreover, the E-M5 is substantially lighter (46 percent) than the D7000. 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 (D7000) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M5). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-M5, 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.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon D7000||132 mm||105 mm||77 mm||780 g||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499|
|2.||Olympus E-M5||122 mm||89 mm||43 mm||425 g||360||Y||Feb 2012||1,299|
|3.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|4.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|5.||Nikon D7500||136 mm||104 mm||73 mm||720 g||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299|
|6.||Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|7.||Nikon D7200||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199|
|8.||Nikon D7100||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199|
|9.||Nikon Df||144 mm||110 mm||67 mm||760 g||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749|
|10.||Nikon D300S||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799|
|11.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|12.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|13.||Olympus E-M5 II||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||n||Jan 2014||699|
|16.||Olympus E-M1||130 mm||94 mm||63 mm||497 g||350||Y||Sep 2013||1,399|
|17.||Olympus E-P5||122 mm||69 mm||37 mm||420 g||330||n||May 2013||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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-M5 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the D7000, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D7000 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-M5 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M5 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 D7000 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M5 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 16.1MP, the D7000 offers a slightly higher resolution than the E-M5 (15.9MP), but the D7000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M5) due to its larger sensor. However, the E-M5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the D7000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Nikon D7000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the D7000 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the E-M5 (overall score 9 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 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.
|2.||Olympus E-M5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||22.8||12.3||826||71|
|9.||Nikon Df||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||none||24.6||13.1||3279||89|
|13.||Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72|
|16.||Olympus E-M1||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||757||73|
|17.||Olympus E-P5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.4||895||72|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the E-M5 provides a faster frame rate than the D7000. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M5 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the D7000 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 D7000 has a higher magnification than the one of the E-M5 (0.63x vs 0.58x), 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 D7000 and Olympus E-M5 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Nikon D7000||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|2.||Olympus E-M5||1440||n||3.0 / 610||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||n||Y|
|3.||Canon 60D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.3||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 7D||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n|
|5.||Nikon D7500||optical||Y||3.2 / 922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n|
|6.||Nikon D500||optical||Y||3.2 / 2359||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|7.||Nikon D7200||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon D7100||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon Df||optical||Y||3.2 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||n|
|10.||Nikon D300S||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n|
|11.||Nikon D90||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon D300||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|13.||Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||1440||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Olympus E-M1||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|17.||Olympus E-P5||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/8000s||9.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D7000 has one, while the E-M5 does not. While the built-in flash of the D7000 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Nikon D7000 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D7000 and the E-M5 write their files to SDXC cards. The D7000 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the E-M5 only has one slot. The E-M5 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the D7000 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 D7000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon D7000||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-M5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 60D||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon 7D||Y||mono / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Nikon D7500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Nikon D500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Nikon D7200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Nikon D7100||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Nikon Df||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Nikon D300S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Nikon D90||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon D300||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Olympus E-M1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Olympus E-P5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the D7000 has a microphone port, which is missing on the E-M5. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the D7000 and the E-M5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D7000 was replaced by the Nikon D7100, while the E-M5 was followed by the Olympus E-M5 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D7000 or the Olympus E-M5 – 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.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D7000:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.58x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 610k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1050 versus 360) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).
Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M5:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/24p).
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- 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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x89mm vs 132x105mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 355g or 46 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D7000 emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 12 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D7000 and the Olympus E-M5 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D7000 or the E-M5. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|1.||Nikon D7000||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499|
|2.||Olympus E-M5||4/5||+ +||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||1,299|
|3.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|4.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|5.||Nikon D7500||4.5/5||+ +||4.5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2017||1,299|
|6.||Nikon D500||5/5||+ +||4.7/5||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|7.||Nikon D7200||4/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199|
|8.||Nikon D7100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199|
|9.||Nikon Df||4/5||..||..||81/100||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749|
|10.||Nikon D300S||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799|
|11.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|12.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||..||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|13.||Olympus E-M5 II||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||649|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||4/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699|
|16.||Olympus E-M1||5/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||1,399|
|17.||Olympus E-P5||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2013||999|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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- Kodak AZ901 vs Olympus E-M5
- Nikon D2X vs Nikon D7000
- Nikon D7000 vs Olympus E-3
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- Nikon D7500 vs Olympus E-M5
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Specifications: Nikon D7000 vs Olympus E-M5
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 Model||Nikon D7000||Olympus E-M5|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2010||February 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,499||USD 1,299|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D7000||Olympus E-M5|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||370.52 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 2||TruePic VI|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||80||71|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.5||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.9||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1167||826|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D7000||Olympus E-M5|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||610k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D7000||Olympus E-M5|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||9 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||150 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D7000||Olympus E-M5|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D7000||Olympus E-M5|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1050 shots per charge||360 shots per charge|
132 x 105 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
122 x 89 x 43 mm
(4.8 x 3.5 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||780 g (27.5 oz)||425 g (15.0 oz)|
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