Updated (September, 2012): Compare the Olympus PEN E-PL5 vs Olympus PEN E-PL2

Olympus PEN E-PL3

Winner
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

45

vs

Olympus PEN E-PL1

41

Olympus PEN E-PL1

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-PL1

Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-PL3

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Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 241 ms vs 820 ms
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3.4x less delay when taking photos
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Movie continuous focus Continuous video focus Yes vs No
Help
Record movies without worrying about focus
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Screen size Larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen 460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Focus points More focus points 35 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/4000s vs 1/2000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 5.5 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 80% faster continuous shooting
Size Smaller 109x63x37 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Dynamic range More dynamic range 10.3 EV vs 10.1 EV
Help
0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The E-PL3's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 2100 ms vs 2200 ms
Help
Almost the same
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 300 shots vs 290 shots
Help
Almost the same
Lowest price Cheaper $285.00 vs $549.95
Help
The best price we've seen is $265 cheaper (around 50% less)
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
Weight Slightly lighter 313 g vs 334 g
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Around 10% lighter
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Learn more about
the Olympus E-PL3

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL1

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Color depth Better color depth 21.5 bits vs 20.9 bits
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Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 54.0 vs 52.0
Help
Almost the same
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-PL1 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL1
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Olympus PEN E-PL3 45
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        41 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1
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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
              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
              E-PL3:1/4000s
              PEN E-PL1:1/2000s
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              E-PL3:10.3 EV
              PEN E-PL1:10.1 EV
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.2 MP
              Startup delay Significant startup delay Help
              E-PL3:2100 ms
              PEN E-PL1:2200 ms
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              E-PL3:460k dots
              PEN E-PL1:230k dots
              Battery life Few shots per battery charge Help
              E-PL3:300 shots
              PEN E-PL1:290 shots
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-PL3:35
              PEN E-PL1:11
              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
              E-PL3:52.0
              PEN E-PL1:54.0
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              E-PL3:20.9 bits
              PEN E-PL1:21.5 bits
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              E-PL3:499 ISO
              PEN E-PL1:487 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $484 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-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $575 - $856 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $975 with 14-150mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $322 body only

              $315 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
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 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 Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

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

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $255 body only

              $294 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen size Larger screen
              Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $699 with 20mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen size Larger screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Color depth Worse color depth

              appearance

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Olympus PEN E-PL1
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Olympus PEN E-PL1
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Olympus PEN E-PL1

              discussion

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              PEN E-PL3
              Olympus

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              Olympus PEN E-PL1
              PEN E-PL1
              Olympus

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