Updated (June 2011): Compare the Canon Rebel T3 vs Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

Canon Rebel T3 vs Olympus PEN E-PL2

Winner
Canon Rebel T3

45

Olympus PEN E-PL2

35

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T3

Great battery life
Battery life
700 shots
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL2

Size
Really small
Mid size (115×73×42 mm)
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon Rebel T3.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN E-PL2.

differences

Advantages of the Canon T3

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Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
220 lenses vs 108 lenses
Help
More than 2x more lenses available
Overall image quality
Better image quality
62.0 vs 55.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
300 ms vs 1300 ms
Help
4.3x less delay when turning on
Battery life
Significantly longer battery life
700 shots vs 280 shots
Help
2.5x more shots per battery charge
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
309 ms vs 434 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when taking photos
Color depth
Better color depth
21.9 bits vs 21.4 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.5 more bits of color
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11 EV vs 10.2 EV
Help
1.6 f-stops more dynamic range
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Pentamirror vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
755 ISO vs 573 ISO
Help
The T3 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Lowest price
Cheaper
$332.13 vs $649.38
Help
The best price we've seen is $317 cheaper (around 50% less)
Canon Rebel T3 Learn more about
the Canon T3

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Size
Significantly smaller
115×73×42 mm vs 130×100×78 mm
Help
2.9x smaller
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Thickness
Significantly thinner
1.7" vs 3.1"
Help
Around 50% thinner
Weight
Lighter
362 g vs 459 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Olympus PEN E-PL2 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL2
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent digital cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon Rebel T3 Canon Rebel T3 45
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    Style
      Color
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        vs
        35 Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PL2
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              T311 EV
              PEN E-PL210.2 EV
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              T31
              PEN E-PL20
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              T3309 ms
              PEN E-PL2434 ms
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              T39
              PEN E-PL211
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              3 fps
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              T3230k dots
              PEN E-PL2460k dots
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              720p @ 30fps
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              T362.0
              PEN E-PL255.0

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T2i

              Canon Rebel T2i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $699 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS Rebel T1i

              Canon Rebel T1i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $825 body only

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon Rebel T3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 body only

              $360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $274 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

              Entry-level DSLR

              $845 body only

              $725 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
              Movie format Does not take movies
              Battery life Shorter battery life

              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $260 with 14-42mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Lowest price Cheaper
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Screen size Significantly smaller screen
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $700 with 17mm lens

              Size Slightly smaller
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 body only

              $494 with 14-42mm lens

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching

              appearance

              Canon Rebel T3 Olympus PEN E-PL2
              Canon Rebel T3 Olympus PEN E-PL2
              Canon Rebel T3 Olympus PEN E-PL2

              discussion

              Canon Rebel T3
              Rebel T3
              Canon

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              Olympus PEN E-PL2
              PEN E-PL2
              Olympus

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