Nikon L840 vs Olympus E-M10 II
The Nikon Coolpix L840 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2015 and August 2015. The L840 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-M10 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (L840) and a Four Thirds (E-M10 II) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon L840||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|22.5-855mm f/3-6.5||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-6400||ISO 200-25600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Tilting touchscreen|
|7.4 shutter flaps per second||8 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|590 shots per battery charge||320 shots per battery charge|
|113 x 78 x 96 mm, 538 g||120 x 83 x 47 mm, 390 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix L840 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon L840 and the Olympus E-M10 II. 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 L840 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the E-M10 II is available in three color-versions (black, silver, brown).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M10 II is notably larger (13 percent) than the Nikon L840. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the L840 nor the E-M10 II are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the L840 has a lens built in, whereas the E-M10 II is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-M10 II and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Nikon L840»||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299||Nikon L840|
|Olympus E-M10 II«||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Canon SX530« »||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429||Canon SX530|
|Canon SX520« »||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399||Canon SX520|
|Canon SX60« »||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549||Canon SX60|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295||Leica X Typ 113|
|Nikon B600« »||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349||Nikon B600|
|Nikon B700« »||125 mm||85 mm||107 mm||565 g||350||n||Feb 2016||499||Nikon B700|
|Nikon B500« »||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299||Nikon B500|
|Nikon P900« »||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599||Nikon P900|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||122 mm||84 mm||50 mm||410 g||330||n||Aug 2017||649||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||n||Jan 2014||699||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Aug 2014||599||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX80« »||122 mm||71 mm||44 mm||426 g||290||n||Apr 2016||799||Panasonic GX80|
|Sony HX80« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349||Sony HX80|
|Sony H400« »||130 mm||95 mm||122 mm||628 g||300||n||Feb 2014||319||Sony H400|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 L840 was launched at a lower price than the E-M10 II, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 L840 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Olympus E-M10 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M10 II is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Even though the E-M10 II has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This implies that the E-M10 II has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 1.33μm for the L840), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the E-M10 II is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the L840, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The Nikon Coolpix L840 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon L840||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Nikon L840|
|Olympus E-M10 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Canon SX530||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX530|
|Canon SX520||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX520|
|Canon SX60||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica X Typ 113|
|Nikon B600||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon B600|
|Nikon B700||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon B700|
|Nikon B500||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Nikon B500|
|Nikon P900||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Nikon P900|
|Olympus E-M10 III||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX80||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71||Panasonic GX80|
|Sony HX80||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX80|
|Sony H400||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony H400|
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 E-M10 II provides a faster frame rate than the L840. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the E-M10 II has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the L840 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon L840, the Olympus E-M10 II, and comparable cameras.
|Nikon L840||none||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon L840|
|Olympus E-M10 II||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Canon SX530||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y||Canon SX530|
|Canon SX520||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y||Canon SX520|
|Canon SX60||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X Typ 113|
|Nikon B600||none||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon B600|
|Nikon B700||921||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||Y||Nikon B700|
|Nikon B500||none||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon B500|
|Nikon P900||921||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon P900|
|Olympus E-M10 III||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.6||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10||1440||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7||optional||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX80||2765||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX80|
|Sony HX80||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX80|
|Sony H400||210||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/2000s||0.7||Y||Y||Sony H400|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The E-M10 II has a touchscreen, while the L840 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
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-M10 II 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 Olympus E-M10 II 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 L840 and the E-M10 II write their files to SDXC cards. The E-M10 II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the L840 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 Coolpix L840 and Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon L840||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon L840|
|Olympus E-M10 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Canon SX530||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX530|
|Canon SX520||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX520|
|Canon SX60||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Typ 113|
|Nikon B600||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon B600|
|Nikon B700||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon B700|
|Nikon B500||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon B500|
|Nikon P900||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon P900|
|Olympus E-M10 III||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX80||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GX80|
|Sony HX80||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX80|
|Sony H400||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony H400|
It is notable that the E-M10 II has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The L840 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Both the L840 and the E-M10 II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The L840 was replaced by the Nikon B500, while the E-M10 II was followed by the Olympus E-M10 III. 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 how do things add up? Is the Nikon L840 better than the Olympus E-M10 II or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix L840:
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the E-M10 II requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x78mm vs 120x83mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (590 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).
Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II:
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (6 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-M10 II is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 6 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon L840 and the Olympus E-M10 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the L840 or the E-M10 II 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D C vs Nikon L840
- Canon XT vs Olympus E-M10 II
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Nikon L840
- Kodak AZ901 vs Nikon L840
- Leica D-LUX 7 vs Nikon L840
- Nikon D750 vs Olympus E-M10 II
- Nikon Df vs Olympus E-M10 II
- Nikon L840 vs Sony A5000
- Olympus E-M10 II vs Olympus E-PM2
- Olympus E-M10 II vs Panasonic GF5
- Olympus E-M10 II vs Pentax Q
- Olympus E-M10 II vs Sony NEX-3N
Specifications: Nikon L840 vs Olympus E-M10 II
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 L840||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||22.5-855mm f/3-6.5||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2015||August 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 299||USD 649|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon L840||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||200-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-25600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||73|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||842|
|Screen Specs||Nikon L840||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon L840||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||7.4 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon L840||Olympus E-M10 II|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Nikon L840||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||590 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
113 x 78 x 96 mm
(4.4 x 3.1 x 3.8 in)
120 x 83 x 47 mm
(4.7 x 3.3 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||538 g (19.0 oz)||390 g (13.8 oz)|
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