Updated (May, 2013): Compare the Olympus Pen E-P5 vs Olympus PEN E-PL2

Olympus PEN E-P3

Winner
Olympus PEN E-P3

50

vs

Olympus PEN E-PL1

41

Olympus PEN E-PL1

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-P3

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
900 ms startup delay
Screen type
OLED Screen
Bright and vivid
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-P3

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Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 222 ms vs 820 ms
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3.7x less delay when taking photos
Screen type Has an OLED screen OLED vs LCD
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OLED screens are often brighter and more vibrant than typical LCD screens
Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen 614k dots vs 230k dots
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More than 2.5x higher resolution screen
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
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Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
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Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Touch screen Has a touch screen Yes vs No
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Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Movie continuous focus Continuous video focus Yes vs No
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Record movies without worrying about focus
Startup delay Significantly less startup delay 900 ms vs 2200 ms
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2.4x less delay when turning on
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
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Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Screen size Larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"
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More than 10% larger screen
Battery life Longer battery life 330 shots vs 290 shots
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More than 10% more shots per battery charge
Focus points More focus points 35 vs 11
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/4000s vs 1/2000s
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2x faster max shutter speed
Size Slightly smaller 122x69x34 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
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Around 20% smaller
Thickness Thinner 1.3" vs 1.7"
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Around 20% thinner
Light sensitivity (boost) Has boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs None
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Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Lowest price Slightly cheaper $390.47 vs $549.95
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The best price we've seen is $159 cheaper (around 30% less)
Olympus PEN E-P3 Learn more about
the Olympus E-P3

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL1

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Color depth Better color depth 21.5 bits vs 20.8 bits
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Distinguishes 0.7 more bits of color
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 54.0 vs 51.0
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Around 10% better image quality
Weight Slightly lighter 334 g vs 369 g
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Around 10% lighter
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL1
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-P3 50
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        41 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Image stabilization Good image stabilization Help
              Sensor shift
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              40 lenses
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Longest exposure Very long exposure times Help
              60 seconds
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              E-P3:1/4000s
              PEN E-PL1:1/2000s
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              10.1 EV
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.2 MP
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-P3:35
              PEN E-PL1:11
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              E-P3:51.0
              PEN E-PL1:54.0
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              E-P3:20.8 bits
              PEN E-PL1:21.5 bits
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              3 fps
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              E-P3:614k dots
              PEN E-PL1:230k dots
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              E-P3:536 ISO
              PEN E-PL1:487 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $285 with 14-42mm lens

              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $975 with 14-150mm lens

              Weight Is slightly lighter
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $255 body only

              $288 with 14-42mm lens

              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $272 with 14-42mm lens

              Weight Is slightly lighter
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag

              Olympus PEN E-P3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $999 body only

              $880 - $1,299 with 17mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Lowest price More expensive
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $576 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $749 with 14-42mm lens

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Movie continuous focus Continuous video focus
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Size Much larger

              appearance

              Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-PL1
              Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-PL1
              Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-PL1

              discussion

              Olympus PEN E-P3
              PEN E-P3
              Olympus

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              Olympus PEN E-PL1
              PEN E-PL1
              Olympus

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