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.
|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 stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|750 shots per battery charge||1400 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).
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).
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.
|Olympus E-520»||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Nikon Df«||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.6 in||26.8 oz||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D4S« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.6 oz||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D750« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||26.5 oz||1230||Y||Sep 2014||2,299||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||5.7 in||4.8 in||3.2 in||34.6 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D610« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.2 in||30.0 oz||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D4« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.3 oz||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999||-||Nikon D4|
|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-600« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Aug 2009||449||-||Olympus E-600|
|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-P1« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-30« »||5.6 in||4.3 in||3.0 in||24.7 oz||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299||-||Olympus E-30|
|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-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|
|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 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.
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..
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.
|Olympus E-520»||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.4||10.4||548||55||Olympus E-520|
|Nikon Df«||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||-||24.6||13.1||3279||89||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D4S« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D750« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/60p||24.8||14.5||2956||93||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D610« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D4« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89||Nikon D4|
|Olympus E-450« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.5||512||56||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-600« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.5||10.3||541||55||Olympus E-600|
|Olympus E-620« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.3||536||55||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-30« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.4||530||55||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.4||527||56||Olympus E-420|
|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|
|Panasonic L10« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.3||10.8||429||55||Panasonic L10|
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.
|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.
|Olympus E-520»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-520|
|Nikon Df«||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D4S« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D750« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D610« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D4« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||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« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||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.
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).
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.
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.
|Olympus E-520»||87/100||HiRec||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Nikon Df«||-||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Nikon D4S« »||-||-||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||6,499||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D750« »||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||2,299||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||-||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D610« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D4« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999||-||Nikon D4|
|Olympus E-450« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-600« »||-||-||-||-||4.5/5||Aug 2009||449||-||Olympus E-600|
|Olympus E-620« »||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||rev||5/5||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P1« »||Rec||66/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Rec||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-30« »||-||71/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299||-||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||85/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|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|
|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 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.
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Specifications: Olympus E-520 vs Nikon Df
|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 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|
|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|
|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|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.5 shutter flaps/s||5.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BLM-1 power pack||EN-EL14 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||1400 shots per charge|
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)|
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