PW

Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df

The Olympus E-520 and the Nikon Df are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2008 and November 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (E-520) and a full frame (Df) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 16.2 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.


Headline Specifications
Olympus E-520   Nikon Df
Olympus E-520 Nikon Df
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Four Thirds lenses Nikon F mount lenses
10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 16.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-12800 (50-204800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD, 215k dots 3.2" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 5.5 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
750 shots per battery charge1400 shots per battery charge
136 x 92 x 68 mm, 535 g 144 x 110 x 67 mm, 760 g

Body comparison: Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-520 and the Nikon Df is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the E-520 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Olympus E-520 and Nikon Df
Compare E-520 versus Df top
Compare E-520 or Df rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon Df is notably larger (27 percent) than the Olympus E-520. Moreover, the Df is substantially heavier (42 percent) than the E-520. It is noteworthy in this context that the Df is splash and dust-proof, while the E-520 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 Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-520) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (Df).

Concerning battery life, the E-520 gets 750 shots out of its BLM-1 battery, while the Df can take 1400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14 power pack.

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, 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
Olympus E-520» 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 18.9 oz 750 n May 2008 699- i Olympus E-520
Nikon Df« 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Nikon D4S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499- i Nikon D4S
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 D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
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 D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
Olympus E-450« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.9 oz 500 n Aug 2009 449- i Olympus E-600
Olympus E-620« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.4 oz 500 n Feb 2009 699- i Olympus E-620
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
Olympus E-30« » 5.6 in 4.3 in 3.0 in 24.7 oz 750 n Nov 2008 1,299- i Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2008 599- i Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« » 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 19.0 oz 750 n Mar 2007 799- i Olympus E-510
Panasonic L10« » 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10

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 E-520 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 75 percent) than the Df, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 Olympus E-520 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Nikon Df a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the Df is 282 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the E-520 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the Df offers a 3:2 aspect.

Olympus E-520 and Nikon Df sensor measures

With 16.2MP, the Df offers a higher resolution than the E-520 (10MP), but the Df nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 7.29μm versus 4.74μm for the E-520) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the Df is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 5 months) than the E-520, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Olympus E-520 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Df are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800..

E-520 versus Df MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 consideration, the Df offers substantially better image quality than the E-520 (overall score 34 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.2 bits higher color depth, 2.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Olympus E-520» Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.410.454855Olympus E-520
Nikon Df« Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
Nikon D4S« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489Nikon D4S
Nikon D750« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693Nikon D750
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.510.354155Olympus E-600
Olympus E-620« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.353655Olympus E-620
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
Olympus E-30« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.453055Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.452756Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.110.049451Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.210.044252Olympus E-510
Panasonic L10« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955Panasonic L10
Both the E-520 and the Df offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-520 and the Df 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-520 and Nikon Df in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Olympus E-520»optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y Y Olympus E-520
Nikon Df«optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n Nikon Df
Nikon D4S« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D4S
Nikon D750« »optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 4000 6.0 Y n Nikon D750
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D4
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y Y Olympus E-600
Olympus E-620« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y Y Olympus E-620
Olympus E-P1« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P2
Olympus E-30« »optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Olympus E-420
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
Panasonic L10« »optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic L10

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The E-520 has one, while the Df does not. While the built-in flash of the E-520 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The E-520 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the Df uses SDXC cards. The E-520 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the Df only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df

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 E-520 and Nikon Df 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
Olympus E-520»Y-----2.0---Olympus E-520
Nikon Df«Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
Nikon D4S« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D4S
Nikon D750« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Nikon D750
Nikon D810« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
Olympus E-450« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-600
Olympus E-620« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-620
Olympus E-P1« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P2
Olympus E-30« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-510
Panasonic L10« »Y-----2.0---Panasonic L10

The Df is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the E-520 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the E-520 from Olympus.


Review summary: Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-520 or the Nikon Df – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-520:

  • More compact: Is smaller (136x92mm vs 144x110mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 225g or 30 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (75 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2008).

ilogo

Advantages of the Nikon Df:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.2 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 30%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (34 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check 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 (921k vs 215k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.5 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1400 versus 750) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 5 months of technical progress since the E-520 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Df is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

E-520 07:12 Df

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 handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-520 or the Df. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Olympus E-520»87/100HiRec4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699- i Olympus E-520
Nikon Df«-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Nikon D4S« »--4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499- i Nikon D4S
Nikon D750« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
Nikon D610« »HiRec87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« »----4.5/5 Aug 2009 449- i Olympus E-600
Olympus E-620« »88/10072/1004.5/5rev5/5 Feb 2009 699- i Olympus E-620
Olympus E-P1« »Rec66/1004/54/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799- i Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »Rec69/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
Olympus E-30« »-71/1004.5/5-4/5 Nov 2008 1,299- i Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« »85/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2008 599- i Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« »86/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« »89/100HiRec3.5/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 799- i Olympus E-510
Panasonic L10« »85/100Rec3.5/5rev4/5 Aug 2007 599- i 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 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.

 

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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

~

    Specifications: Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Olympus E-520 Nikon Df
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Four Thirds lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date May 2008 November 2013
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 2749
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 36.0 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 860.4 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0 1.0
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 16.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 4928 x 3280 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.74 μm 7.29 μm
    Pixel Density 4.44 MP/cm2 1.88 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 50-204800 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic III EXPEED 3
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 215k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 5.5 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or XD cards SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BLM-1 power pack EN-EL14 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge1400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 136 x 92 x 68 mm
    (5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    144 x 110 x 67 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 535 g (18.9 oz) 760 g (26.8 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here  »   »