Updated (May, 2013): Compare the Olympus OM-D E-M5 vs Olympus Pen E-P5

Olympus OM-D E-M5 vs Olympus PEN E-P3

Winner
Olympus OM-D E-M5

79

Olympus PEN E-P3

46

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Olympus OM-D E-M5

Great viewfinder
Viewfinder
Digital
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Great battery life
Battery life
500 shots
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-P3

Size
Really small
Mid size (122×69×34 mm)
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
Thickness
Thin
1.3"
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN E-P3.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-M5

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Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.3 EV vs 10.1 EV
Help
4 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
71.0 vs 51.0
Help
Around 40% better image quality
Color depth
Better color depth
22.8 bits vs 20.8 bits
Help
Distinguishes 2 more bits of color
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Digital vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
826 ISO vs 536 ISO
Help
The E-M5 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Battery life
Longer battery life
500 shots vs 330 shots
Help
More than 50% more shots per battery charge
True resolution
Higher true resolution
15.9 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 30% more detail in your photos
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
9 fps vs 3 fps
Help
3x faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
Help
The E-M5's maximum light sensitivity is 8 f-stops better
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Learn more about
the Olympus E-M5

Advantages of the Olympus E-P3

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Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs LIVEMOS
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
222 ms vs 277 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Startup delay
Less startup delay
900 ms vs 1100 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when turning on
Size
Smaller
122×69×34 mm vs 122×89×43 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Thickness
Thinner
1.3" vs 1.7"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Weight
Lighter
369 g vs 425 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Olympus PEN E-P3 Learn more about
the Olympus E-P3
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 79
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        46 Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-P3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Screen type OLED screens Help
              Bright and vivid
              3D Both can take 3D photos, many cameras like these don't Help
              View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
              Image stabilization Good image stabilization Help
              1. Sensor shift
              Touch screen Have touch screens Help
              Less buttons
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              40 lenses
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              35
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              E-M5610k dots
              E-P3614k dots
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              E-M515.9 MP
              E-P312.2 MP
              Autofocus Slower contrast detection autofocus Help
              slower focusing

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $430 - $599 body only

              $544 - $599 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $494 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Screen resolution Has a slightly lower resolution screen
              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $679 - $799 body only

              $1,049 - $1,249 with 17mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a faster max shutter speed
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Olympus PEN E-PL7

              Olympus PEN E-PL7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $499 body only

              $599 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $299 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Screen resolution Has a slightly lower resolution screen

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus OM-D E-M1

              Olympus OM-D E-M1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $750 - $999 body only

              $1,365 - $1,799 with 12-40mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 with 16-50mm lens

              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Fujifilm X-T1

              Fujifilm X-T1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,299 - $1,320 body only

              $1,699 - $1,700 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $574 body only

              $536 - $548 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Weather sealed No weather sealing
              Sony A7

              Sony A7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $990 - $1,698 body only

              $1,298 with 28-70mm lens

              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos

              Olympus PEN E-P3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $700 with 17mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $389 body only

              $400 with 14-42mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen

              appearance

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-P3
              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-P3
              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-P3

              discussion

              Olympus OM-D E-M5
              OM-D E-M5
              Olympus

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              Olympus PEN E-P3
              PEN E-P3
              Olympus

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