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

Olympus PEN E-PM1

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Olympus PEN E-PM1

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Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PM1

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

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
Help
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
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-PM1

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3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
246 ms vs 434 ms
Help
More than 40% less delay when taking photos
Battery life
Longer battery life
330 shots vs 280 shots
Help
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Focus points
More focus points
35 vs 11
Help
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
Slightly cheaper
$335.84 vs $448.43
Help
The best price we've seen is $113 cheaper (around 30% 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
              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
              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
              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
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              PEN E-PL2:21.4 bits
              E-PM1:21 bits
              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
              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 Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $424 body only

              $286 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              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 E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $485 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

              $407 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
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $133 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Panorama Lacks a built in panoramas
              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Olympus PEN E-P2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $289 body only

              $429 with 17mm lens

              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Panorama Lacks a built in panoramas
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $243 body only

              $323 with 14-42mm lens

              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Panorama Lacks a built in panoramas

              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

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Olympus PEN E-PM1.

              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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