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

Olympus PEN E-P3 vs Olympus PEN E-PL1

Winner
Olympus PEN E-P3

46

Olympus PEN E-PL1

39

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-P3

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

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN E-P3. Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN E-PL1.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-P3

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
222 ms vs 820 ms
Help
3.7x less delay when taking photos
Screen type
Has an OLED screen
OLED vs LCD
Help
OLED screens are often brighter and more vibrant than typical LCD screens
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
614k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 2.5x higher resolution screen
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
900 ms vs 2200 ms
Help
2.4x less delay when turning on
Screen size
Larger screen
3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Movie continuous focus
Continuous video focus
Yes vs No
Help
Record movies without worrying about focus
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Focus points
More focus points
35 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/4000s vs 1/2000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
330 shots vs 290 shots
Help
More than 10% more shots per battery charge
Size
Slightly smaller
122x69x34 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Thickness
Thinner
1.3" vs 1.7"
Help
Around 20% thinner
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
Help
Distinguishes 0.7 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
54.0 vs 51.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Lowest price
Cheaper
$260.00 vs $1,344.51
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,085 cheaper (5.2x less)
Weight
Slightly lighter
334 g vs 369 g
Help
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 46
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        39 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              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
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              E-P31/4000s
              PEN E-PL11/2000s
              Light sensitivity (boost) One has boost ISO Help
              E-P312,800 ISO
              PEN E-PL1None
              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
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.2 MP
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              E-P320.8 bits
              PEN E-PL121.5 bits
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-P335
              PEN E-PL111
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              E-P351.0
              PEN E-PL154.0
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              E-P3614k dots
              PEN E-PL1230k dots
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              3 fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              E-P3536 ISO
              PEN E-PL1487 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              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

              $470 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has significantly more color depth
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $389 body only

              $390 with 14-42mm lens

              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $430 body only

              $690 with 14-42mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $299 with 14-42mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $555 - $1,099 body only

              $499 - $1,350 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Thickness Is thicker

              Olympus PEN E-P3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $699 - $799 body only

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

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $496 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 E-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $177 body only

              $273 with 14mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              3D Takes 3D photos
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $189 with 10-30mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Lens availability Significantly fewer lenses available

              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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