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

Olympus PEN E-PL3

Winner
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

46

vs

Olympus PEN E-PL2

44

Olympus PEN E-PL2

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
241 ms shutter lag
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL2

Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1300 ms startup delay
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Startup delay Significantly less startup delay 1300 ms vs 2100 ms
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Around 40% less delay when turning on
Color depth Better color depth 21.4 bits vs 20.9 bits
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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
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 573 ISO vs 499 ISO
Help
The PEN E-PL2 has a slight edge (0.2 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
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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Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
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Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
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
Focus points More focus points 35 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
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The E-PL3's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 300 shots vs 280 shots
Help
Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Size Smaller 109x63x37 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 5.5 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 80% faster continuous shooting
Lowest price Cheaper $268.00 vs $449.88
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The best price we've seen is $182 cheaper (more than 40% less)
Weight Lighter 313 g vs 362 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
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
Thickness Thinner 1.5" vs 1.7"
Help
More than 10% thinner
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

Snapsort Recommends
Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PL2 44
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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
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Panorama In-camera panoramas Help
              Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              PEN E-PL2:$449.88
              E-PL3:$268.00
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              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
              PEN E-PL2:10.2 EV
              E-PL3:10.3 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
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Battery life Few shots per battery charge Help
              PEN E-PL2:280 shots
              E-PL3:300 shots
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              PEN E-PL2:11
              E-PL3:35
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              PEN E-PL2:21.4 bits
              E-PL3:20.9 bits
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              PEN E-PL2:55.0
              E-PL3:52.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              PEN E-PL2:573 ISO
              E-PL3:499 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 with 14-42mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously while recording movies
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $406 with 14-42mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $238 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Panorama Lacks a built in panoramas
              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $359 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $304 body only

              $298 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Longest exposure Slightly shorter exposures
              Panorama Lacks a built in panoramas
              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $599 with 17mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Panorama Lacks a built in panoramas

              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $699 body only

              $799 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor

              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

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              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              PEN E-PL3
              Olympus

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              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.