Nikon D5100 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

  • APS-C
  • 16 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 43
    Overall
  • 17
    Imaging
  • 47
    Features
  • 72
    Size
  • 1
    Price
  • Four Thirds
  • 20 megapixels
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 48
    Overall
  • 22
    Imaging
  • 85
    Features
  • 74
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D5100 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 D5100 belongs to a Entry-Level DSLR category, the other model, Nikon D5100 is a Pro Mirrorless camera. Nikon D5100 is equipped with a 16.0 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 D5100 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Nikon D5100 Key Features:

  • 16.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Expands to 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 128 x 97 x 79 mm
  • Weight: 560 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D5000. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D5200. 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 D5100 was substituted by Nikon D5200. Be sure to check out some of our other overviews that may also interest you:
Nikon D5100 vs. D5200
Nikon D5200 vs. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Nikon D5100 substituted Nikon D5000. Be sure to check out some of our other overviews that may also interest you:
Nikon D5100 vs. D5000
Nikon D5000 vs. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Why is Nikon D5100 a better choice than Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 vs 226.2 mm2 39% larger pixel area
Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 12 vs 9.1 2.9 better flash range
Battery Life 660 shots vs 350 shots 310 more frames with a single charge
Weight 560 g vs 574 g 14 g lighter
Dxo Dynamic Range 13.6 vs 12.8 Better dynamic range
Viewfinder Magnification 0.52 vs No 0.52 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II over Nikon D5100

Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Sensor Resolution 20.0 MP vs 16.0 MP 20% more pixels
Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Continuous Shooting 15 fps vs 4 fps 11 fps faster
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Number Of Focus Points 121 vs 11 110 more focus points
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots vs 921k dots 11.2% higher resolution screen
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Max Video Resolution 4096 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080 Higher Resolution Video
Headphone Port Yes vs No Has headphone port
Dxo Color Depth 23.7 vs 23.5 Better color depth
Dxo Low Light Iso 1312 vs 1183 Better High ISO performance

Key PROs of Nikon D5100 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Screen Type Fully Articulated | Fully Articulated Help viewing and changing settings easily
Viewfinder Optical (pentamirror) | 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
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Nikon D5100 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP | 20.0 MP Small sensor resolution

Nikon D5100 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 D5100 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II from the front view.

Nikon D5100
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 D5100
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, Nikon D5100 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 14g less than the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. 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 D5100 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 D5100 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 D5100 features a 16.0 MP APS-C 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 D5100 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D5100
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon D5100 has a sensor area 0.6x 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 D5100 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 D5100 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 D5100 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Portrait Photography
62%
71%
Street Photography
74%
99%
Sports Photography
57%
96%
Daily Photography
49%
93%
Landscape Photography
92%
92%

Nikon D5100 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • 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 D5100 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.7 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (128 x 97 x 79 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

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 D5100 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (128 x 97 x 79 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (1)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1183)
  • Small battery life (660 shots)

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 D5100 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (560 g)
  • Big size (128 x 97 x 79 mm)

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 D5100 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.6)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (16 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1183)

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 D5100 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 D5100 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 D5100 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, Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D5100. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D5100 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 D5100 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
General
Brand Nikon Olympus
Model D5100 OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Announced Apr 26, 2011 Sep 19, 2016
Body Type Compact SLR SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 23.6 x 15.7 mm 17.4 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 226.20 mm2
Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP 20.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 5184 x 3888
Max Native ISO 6,400 25,600
Max Boosted ISO 25,600 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 1.5x 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 11 121
Number of Cross Focus Points 1 n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 921k dots 1,037k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror) Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 2,360k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 95% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.52
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 4.0 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 Yes No
Flash Range 12 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 Yes No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 80 80
DxO Color Depth 23.5 23.7
DxO Dynamic Range 13.6 12.8
DxO Low Light ISO 1183 1312
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps) 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 1920 x 1080 4096 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4 MOV, H.264
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port No Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 560 g 574 g
Physical Dimensions 128 x 97 x 79 mm 134 x 91 x 67 mm
Battery Life 660 shots 350 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL14 n/a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots
Storage Slots 1 2

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