Olympus E-500 vs Nikon D5600
The Olympus Evolt E-500 and the Nikon D5600 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2005 and November 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (E-500) and an APS-C (D5600) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 8 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Olympus E-500||Nikon D5600|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Four Thirds lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-400 (100-1600)||ISO 100-25600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 215k dots||3.2" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel touchscreen|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|750 shots per battery charge||970 shots per battery charge|
|130 x 95 x 66 mm, 479 g||124 x 97 x 70 mm, 465 g|
Body comparison: Olympus E-500 vs Nikon D5600
The physical size and weight of the Olympus E-500 and the Nikon D5600 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the E-500 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5600 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Olympus E-500. Moreover, the D5600 is slightly lighter (3 percent) than the E-500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-500 nor the D5600 are weather-sealed.
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 Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-500) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5600).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Olympus E-500»||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Nikon D5600«||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||540||n||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||500||n||Nov 2012||749||-||Nikon D5200|
|Olympus E-450« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-420« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||n||Jan 2006||999||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||5.8 in||3.3 in||2.5 in||22.0 oz||750||n||Sep 2004||799||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10« »||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||n||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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-500 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the D5600, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
Sensor comparison: Olympus E-500 vs Nikon D5600
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-500 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Nikon D5600 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D5600 is 63 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the E-500 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D5600 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the D5600 offers a higher resolution than the E-500 (8MP), but the D5600 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 5.30μm for the E-500). Yet, the D5600 is a much more recent model (by 11 years and 1 month) than the E-500, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D5600 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Olympus Evolt E-500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 400, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D5600 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Olympus E-500»||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Nikon D5600«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.2||13.9||1284||84||Nikon D5200|
|Olympus E-450« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.5||512||56||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.3||536||55||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-420« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.4||527||56||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.4||10.4||548||55||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.1||10.0||494||51||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.2||10.0||442||52||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.3||10.8||429||55||Panasonic L10|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D5600 indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-500 does not. The highest resolution format that the D5600 can use is 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Olympus E-500 vs Nikon D5600
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-500 and the D5600 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-500 and Nikon D5600 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Olympus E-500»||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-500|
|Nikon D5600«||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5200|
|Olympus E-450« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||optical||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||4000||4.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-420« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||Y||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||optical||n||2.5||215||tilting||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||optical||n||1.8||134||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10« »||optical||n||2.5||207||swivel||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L10|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The D5600 has a touchscreen, while the E-500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The D5600 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the E-500 does not have a selfie-screen.
The E-500 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the D5600 uses SDXC cards. The E-500 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D5600 only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-500 vs Nikon D5600
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 Olympus Evolt E-500 and Nikon D5600 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus E-500»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Nikon D5600«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5200|
|Olympus E-450« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-420« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L10|
It is notable that the D5600 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the E-500 does not offer wifi capability.
The D5600 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the E-500 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-500 was succeeded by the Olympus E-510.
Review summary: Olympus E-500 vs Nikon D5600
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-500 or the Nikon D5600 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-500:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2005).
Advantages of the Nikon D5600:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 77%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 215k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (970 versus 750) out of a single battery charge.
- 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.
- More modern: Reflects 11 years and 1 month of technical progress since the E-500 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D5600 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 4 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the E-500 or the D5600 handle or perform in practice. 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: Olympus E-500 vs Nikon D5600
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Olympus E-500»||76/100||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Nikon D5600«||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||HiRec||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Nikon D5200« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2012||749||-||Nikon D5200|
|Olympus E-450« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||rev||5/5||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-420« »||85/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||87/100||HiRec||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||86/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||89/100||HiRec||3.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||-||Rec||rev||3.5/5||-||Jan 2006||999||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||85/100||-||4/5||-||4/5||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||-||Rec||rev||rev||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10« »||85/100||Rec||3.5/5||rev||4/5||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
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Specifications: Olympus E-500 vs Nikon D5600
|Camera Model||Olympus E-500||Nikon D5600|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2005||November 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 699|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.5 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3264 x 2448 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.30 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.55 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-400 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-1600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||TruePic||EXPEED 4|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||215k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Battery Type||BLM-1 power pack||EN-EL14a power pack|
|Battery Life||750 shots per charge||970 shots per charge|
130 x 95 x 66 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 2.6 in)
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||479 g (16.9 oz)||465 g (16.4 oz)|
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