Updated (June 2011): Compare the Olympus PEN E-P3 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Olympus PEN E-P3 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Winner
Olympus PEN E-P3

48

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

39

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-P3

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

Items often bought with the Olympus E-P3 or Panasonic DMC-GF3

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-P3

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Screen type
Has an OLED screen
OLED vs LCD
Help
OLED screens are often brighter and more vibrant than typical LCD screens
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
900 ms vs 1900 ms
Help
2.1x less delay when turning on
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
614k dots vs 460k dots
Help
More than 30% higher resolution screen
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
222 ms vs 312 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when taking photos
External flash
Supports an external flash
Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Color depth
Better color depth
20.8 bits vs 20.6 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.2 more bits of color
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
35 vs 23
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Olympus PEN E-P3 Learn more about
the Olympus E-P3

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF3

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Weight
Lighter
264 g vs 369 g
Help
Around 30% lighter
Size
Slightly smaller
108×67×33 mm vs 122×69×34 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Lowest price
Slightly cheaper
$109.28 vs $499.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $390 cheaper (4.6x less)
Thickness
Slightly thinner
1.3" vs 1.3"
Help
Almost the same
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF3
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 48
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        vs
        39 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
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          Style
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              3D Both can take 3D photos, many cameras like these don't Help
              View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Touch screen Have touch screens Help
              Fewer buttons
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              108 lenses
              Size Fairly small Help
              E-P3122×69×34 mm
              DMC-GF3108×67×33 mm
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Thickness Thin Help
              1.3"
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              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
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              10.1 EV
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              E-P320.8 bits
              DMC-GF320.6 bits
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              E-P312.2 MP
              DMC-GF312 MP
              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
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-P335
              DMC-GF323
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              E-P3614k dots
              DMC-GF3460k dots
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              E-P351.0
              DMC-GF350.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Autofocus Slower contrast detection autofocus Help
              slower focusing
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              E-P3536 ISO
              DMC-GF3459 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $591 body only

              $230 with 14-42mm lens

              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Touch screen Doesn't have a touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $350 body only

              $494 with 14-42mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $373 body only

              $449 with 12-32mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Battery life Has a slightly shorter battery life
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $290 body only

              $381 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              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 PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              $270 with 14-42mm lens

              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Touch screen Doesn't have a touch screen
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 body only

              $440 - $448 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has much better image quality
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor

              Olympus PEN E-P3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Olympus Pen E-P5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $649 - $799 body only

              $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-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $488 with 14-42mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Screen resolution Lower resolution screen
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $849 with 14-42mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $479 - $1,099 body only

              $499 - $999 with 14-42mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $328 body only

              $381 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
              Size Slightly larger
              Thickness Slightly thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $177 body only

              $265 with 14mm lens

              Startup delay Significantly less startup delay
              Color depth Better color depth
              Shutter lag Slightly more shutter lag
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $342 body only

              $630 with 14-45mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $460 - $499 with 12-32mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $264 with 10-30mm lens

              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Autofocus Faster video autofocus
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Lens availability Much fewer lenses available

              appearance

              Olympus PEN E-P3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Olympus PEN E-P3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Olympus PEN E-P3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              discussion

              Olympus PEN E-P3
              PEN E-P3
              Olympus

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              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Lumix DMC-GF3
              Panasonic

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