Olympus OM-D E-M5 II vs Nikon D5500

  • Four Thirds
  • 16 megapixels
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 49
    Overall
  • 20
    Imaging
  • 83
    Features
  • 78
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 49
    Overall
  • 24
    Imaging
  • 64
    Features
  • 73
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II vs Nikon D5500: 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, Olympus OM-D E-M5 II belongs to a Semi-Pro Mirrorless category, the other model, Olympus OM-D E-M5 II is a Entry-Level DSLR camera. Olympus OM-D E-M5 II is equipped with a 16.0 MP CMOS sensor, while Nikon D5500 comes with a 24.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - MirrorLess and DSLR. 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Key Features:

  • 16.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 25600 (Expands to 100)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 640 x 480 (30p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 124 x 85 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 469 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Olympus E-M5.

Nikon D5500 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 124 x 97 x 70 mm
  • Weight: 420 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D5300. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D5600. Compare

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II substituted Olympus E-M5.

Why is Olympus OM-D E-M5 II a better choice than Nikon D5500

Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Continuous Shooting 10 fps vs 5 fps 5 fps faster
Max Shutter Speed 1/16000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Number Of Focus Points 81 vs 39 42 more focus points
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Viewfinder Magnification 0.74 vs 0.55 0.19 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D5500 over Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP vs 16.0 MP 33.3% more pixels
Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 vs 224.9 mm2 38.7% larger pixel area
Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 12 vs No 12 better flash range
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″ 0.2" larger screen
Battery Life 820 shots vs 310 shots 510 more frames with a single charge
Weight 420 g vs 469 g 49 g lighter
Dxo Color Depth 24.1 vs 23 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 14 vs 12.4 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 1438 vs 896 Better High ISO performance

Key PROs of Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500

Touch Screen Yes | Yes Easy control of camera functions
Screen Size 3″ | 3.2″ Large display
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots | 1,037k dots High resolution screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated | Fully Articulated Help viewing and changing settings easily
Viewfinder Electronic | Optical (pentamirror) 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500

Headphone Port No | No No headphone port

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II vs Nikon D5500: 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500 from the front view.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
Nikon D5500
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
Nikon D5500
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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 D5500 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 49g less than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500 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. Olympus OM-D E-M5 II features a 16.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a TruePic VII processor . Nikon D5500, in its turn, comes with a 24.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500 by the size of their sensors.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
Nikon D5500
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon D5500 is equipped with a sensor that is 0.6x larger than the one featured in Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. Compared to the cameras with smaller sensor area, the ones with larger sensors ensure more control on the blurry background and depth of field if you shoot in the same aperture and focal length. Thus, the first model has a significant advantage here.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Nikon D5500
Portrait Photography
70%
83%
Street Photography
100%
99%
Sports Photography
94%
55%
Daily Photography
93%
42%
Landscape Photography
85%
96%

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/16000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Nikon D5500 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (124 x 85 x 45 mm)

Nikon D5500 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (820 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (124 x 97 x 70 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/16000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (81)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (896)
  • Small battery life (310 shots)

Nikon D5500 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

No Significant Advantages

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (39)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (9)
  • Small battery life (820 shots)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Daily Photography

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (469 g)
  • Big size (124 x 85 x 45 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Nikon D5500 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (420 g)
  • Big size (124 x 97 x 70 mm)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Good Dynamic Range (12.4)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (16 MP)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (896)

Nikon D5500 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (14.0)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • No Environmental Sealing

Comparison of Olympus OM-D E-M5 II vs Nikon D5500: 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, Olympus OM-D E-M5 II or Nikon D5500, 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 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and Nikon D5500 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D5500 deserves a higher Total Score than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II vs Nikon D5500 Table Of Technical Specs

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

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Nikon D5500
General
Brand Olympus Nikon
Model OM-D E-M5 II D5500
Announced Feb 06, 2015 Jan 06, 2015
Body Type SLR-style mirrorless Compact SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Four Thirds APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 17.3 x 13 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Area 224.90 mm2 366.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP 24.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 6000 x 4000
Max Native ISO 25,600 25,600
Max Boosted ISO n/a n/a
Min Native ISO 200 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds Nikon F
Number of Lenses 94 287
Focal Length Multiplier 2x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch Yes 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 No Yes
Number of Focus Points 81 39
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a 9
Screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3″ 3.2″
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots 1,037k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen Yes Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Optical (pentamirror)
ViewFinder Resolution 2,360k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 95%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.74 0.55
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 60 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/16000 s 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps 5.0 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 Yes No
Built-in Flash No Yes
Flash Range 0 12
Flash Modes Auto, redeye, fill, redeye slow sync, slow sync, 2nd-curtain slow sync, manual Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
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 Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 73 84
DxO Color Depth 23.0 24.1
DxO Dynamic Range 12.4 14.0
DxO Low Light ISO 896 1438
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 640 x 480 (30p) 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 469 g 420 g
Physical Dimensions 124 x 85 x 45 mm 124 x 97 x 70 mm
Battery Life 310 shots 820 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model BLN-1 EN-EL14,EN-EL14a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1 1

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