Updated (September 2012): Compare the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 vs Olympus PEN E-PL5

Olympus PEN E-PL2 vs Olympus PEN E-PL3

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Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

44

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Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
241 ms shutter lag
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN E-PL2.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
1300 ms vs 2100 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when turning on
Color depth
Better color depth
21.4 bits vs 20.9 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.5 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
55.0 vs 52.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
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
Olympus PEN E-PL2 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL2

Advantages of the Olympus E-PL3

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3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
241 ms vs 434 ms
Help
More than 40% less delay when taking photos
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
Slightly more focus points
35 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
5.5 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 80% faster continuous shooting
Size
Smaller
110×64×37 mm vs 115×73×42 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
300 shots vs 280 shots
Help
Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Lowest price
Cheaper
$219.00 vs $653.53
Help
The best price we've seen is $435 cheaper (3x less)
Thickness
Slightly thinner
1.5" vs 1.7"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Weight
Slightly lighter
313 g vs 362 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Learn more about
the Olympus E-PL3
vs

recommendations

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

Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PL2 44
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      Color
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        44 Olympus PEN E-PL3 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
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          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Image stabilization Good image stabilization Help
              1. Sensor shift
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              108 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
              Light sensitivity (boost) One has boost ISO Help
              PEN E-PL2None
              E-PL312,800 ISO
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              PEN E-PL210.2 EV
              E-PL310.3 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
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              PEN E-PL221.4 bits
              E-PL320.9 bits
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              PEN E-PL211
              E-PL335
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              PEN E-PL255.0
              E-PL352.0
              Autofocus Slower contrast detection autofocus Help
              slower focusing
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              PEN E-PL2573 ISO
              E-PL3499 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $260 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Panorama Lacks built-in panoramas
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $496 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has significantly more color depth
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,345 body only

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $299 with 14-42mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $447 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has significantly more color depth
              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $700 with 17mm lens

              Panorama Lacks built-in panoramas
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag

              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Olympus PEN E-PL2.

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3.

              appearance

              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              discussion

              Olympus PEN E-PL2
              PEN E-PL2
              Olympus

              Report a correction
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              PEN E-PL3
              Olympus

              Report a correction

              Showing 3 comments

              Avatar for Nas Nas (1:34 PM, January 07, 2012)
              E-pl3 has 16:9 3'' screen. For actual still shots you need to crop down to 4:3 which effectively gives you a 2.4'' screen with black bars on either side.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:37 PM, November 18, 2011)
              Thanks for pointing that out, we've fixed up the E-PL2 specs!
               
              Imyourmom (7:48 AM, November 18, 2011)
              the e-pl2 does not have an external mic jack. Both e-pl2 and e-pl3 require the sema hot shoe adapter.