Updated (June, 2011): Compare the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 vs Olympus PEN E-PM1

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Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PM1

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
246 ms shutter lag
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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 | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Startup delay Less startup delay 1300 ms vs 1800 ms
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Around 30% less delay when turning on
Color depth Better color depth 21.4 bits vs 21 bits
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Distinguishes 0.4 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-PM1

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3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
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Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 30fps
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Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag 246 ms vs 434 ms
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More than 40% less delay when taking photos
Battery life Longer battery life 330 shots vs 280 shots
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Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Focus points More focus points 35 vs 11
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Size Smaller 110x64x34 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
Help
More than 30% smaller
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 5.5 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 80% faster continuous shooting
Weight Lighter 263 g vs 362 g
Help
Around 30% lighter
Thickness Thinner 1.3" vs 1.7"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The E-PM1's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Lowest price Cheaper $315.00 vs $500.02
Help
The best price we've seen is $185 cheaper (around 40% less)
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Learn more about
the Olympus E-PM1
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recommendations

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

Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PL2 42
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        43 Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus PEN E-PM1
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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
              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
              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-PM1:10.3 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
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              PEN E-PL2:11
              E-PM1:35
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              PEN E-PL2:21.4 bits
              E-PM1:21 bits
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              PEN E-PL2:55.0
              E-PM1:52.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              PEN E-PL2:573 ISO
              E-PM1:499 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $550 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $419 body only

              $276 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $472 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Color depth Has significantly more color depth
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $438 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

              $649 body only

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $289 body only

              $700 with 17mm lens

              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Panorama Lacks a built in panoramas
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $189 with 10-30mm lens

              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash

              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

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

              Olympus PEN E-PM1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $256 body only

              $279 with 14-42mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly better image quality
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $150 body only

              $300 with 14-42mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Built-in flash Built-in flash
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching

              appearance

              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PM1
              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PM1
              Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PM1

              discussion

              Olympus PEN E-PL2
              PEN E-PL2
              Olympus

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              Olympus PEN E-PM1
              PEN E-PM1
              Olympus

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