Nikon D5 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

  • Full frame
  • 21 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 50
    Overall
  • 30
    Imaging
  • 63
    Features
  • 65
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Four Thirds
  • 20 megapixels
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 48
    Overall
  • 22
    Imaging
  • 85
    Features
  • 74
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D5 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to make a detailed comparison of two cameras that fall into different categories. While the first model we are looking at, Nikon D5 belongs to a Pro DSLR category, the other model, Nikon D5 is a Pro Mirrorless camera. Nikon D5 is equipped with a 21.0 MP CMOS sensor, while Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II comes with a 20.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - DSLR and MirrorLess. Keeping in mind all the distinctive features of each category, it will be hard to make a detailed comparison of these two models. However, we will do our best to make this review as unbiased and detailed as possible.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Nikon D5 Key Features:

  • 21.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 102400 (Expands to 3280000)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 14.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 4K (UHD) 30p/25p/24p, 1080/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p, 720/60p/50p
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm
  • Weight: 1415 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D4s. Compare

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Key Features:

  • 20.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 25600 (Expands to 64)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 15.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 237 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM, 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 134 x 91 x 67 mm
  • Weight: 574 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Olympus E-M1.

Nikon D5 substituted Nikon D4s. Be sure to check out some of our other overviews that may also interest you:
Nikon D5 vs. D4s
Nikon D4s vs. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Why is Nikon D5 a better choice than Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Sensor Resolution 21.0 MP vs 20.0 MP 4.8% more pixels
Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 vs 226.2 mm2 73.6% larger pixel area
Number Of Focus Points 153 vs 121 32 more focus points
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″ 0.2" larger screen
Screen Resolution 2,359k dots vs 1,037k dots 56% higher resolution screen
Battery Life 3780 shots vs 350 shots 3430 more frames with a single charge
Dxo Color Depth 25.1 vs 23.7 Better color depth
Dxo Low Light Iso 2434 vs 1312 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.72 vs No 0.72 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II over Nikon D5

Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Continuous Shooting 15 fps vs 14 fps 1 fps faster
Flash Range 9.1 vs No 9.1 better flash range
Screen Type Fully Articulated vs Fixed Type Flexible shooting positions
Weight 574 g vs 1415 g 841 g lighter
Max Video Resolution 4096 x 2160 vs 3840 x 2160 Higher Resolution Video
Dxo Dynamic Range 12.8 vs 12.3 Better dynamic range

Key PROs of Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Touch Screen Yes | Yes Easy control of camera functions
Screen Size 3.2″ | 3″ Large display
Screen Resolution 2,359k dots | 1,037k dots High resolution screen
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Electronic Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Headphone Port Yes | Yes Better video control
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Storage Slots 2 slots | 2 slots Extra Storage Slots
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Continuous Shooting 14.0 fps | 15.0 fps Nice continuous shooting
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions

Key CONs of Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Sensor Resolution 21.0 MP | 20.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash

Nikon D5 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II from the front view.

Nikon D5
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D5
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 841g less than the Nikon D5. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D5 features a 21.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor . Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, in its turn, comes with a 20.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and TruePic VIII processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D5
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon D5 has a sensor area 0.3x bigger compared to Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Nikon D5 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Portrait Photography
94%
71%
Street Photography
79%
99%
Sports Photography
100%
96%
Daily Photography
68%
93%
Landscape Photography
97%
92%

Nikon D5 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (21 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm) sensor

Nikon D5 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (3780 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (160 x 158.5 x 92 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.4 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (134 x 91 x 67 mm)

Nikon D5 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (14.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (153)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (99)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2434)
  • Big battery life (3780 shots)
  • Big size (160 x 158.5 x 92 mm)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (15.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (121)

Disadvantages:

  • Small battery life (350 shots)

Nikon D5 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1415 g)
  • Big size (160 x 158.5 x 92 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (574 g)
  • Big size (134 x 91 x 67 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Nikon D5 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.3)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2434)

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (21 MP)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Good Dynamic Range (12.8)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (20 MP)

Comparison of Nikon D5 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D5 or Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D5 deserves a higher Total Score than the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D5 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Nikon D5 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
General
Brand Nikon Olympus
Model D5 OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Announced Jan 05, 2016 Sep 19, 2016
Body Type Large SLR SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 35.8 x 23.9 mm 17.4 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 226.20 mm2
Sensor Resolution 21.0 MP 20.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 5588 x 3712 5184 x 3888
Max Native ISO 102,400 25,600
Max Boosted ISO 3,280,000 n/a
Min Native ISO 100 200
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Micro Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 287 94
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 2x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 153 121
Number of Cross Focus Points 99 n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3.2″ 3″
Screen Resolution 2,359k dots 1,037k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen Yes Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 2,360k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.72
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 14.0 fps 15.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No Yes
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 9.1
Flash Modes Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(2nd curtain), Manual
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted No No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 88 80
DxO Color Depth 25.1 23.7
DxO Dynamic Range 12.3 12.8
DxO Low Light ISO 2434 1312
Video Features
Video Resolutions 4K (UHD) 30p/25p/24p, 1080/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p, 720/60p/50p 4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 237 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM, 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 4096 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264 MOV, H.264
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port Yes Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 3.0 USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof Yes No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 1415 g 574 g
Physical Dimensions 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm 134 x 91 x 67 mm
Battery Life 3780 shots 350 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL18a n/a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type Dual CompactFlash or dual XQD Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots
Storage Slots 2 2

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