Updated (June 2011): Compare the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 vs Olympus PEN E-PL2

Olympus PEN E-PL3 vs Olympus PEN E-PL1

Winner
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

44

Olympus PEN E-PL1

40

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

In-camera panoramas
Panorama
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
Takes 3D photos
3D
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
241 ms shutter lag
CMOS Sensor
Sensor type
Better in low light
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL1

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

Items often bought with the E-PL3 or PEN E-PL1

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN E-PL1.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-PL3

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
241 ms vs 820 ms
Help
3.4x less delay when taking photos
Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Movie continuous focus
Continuous video focus
Yes vs No
Help
Record movies without worrying about focus
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
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
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/4000s vs 1/2000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
35 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
10.3 EV vs 10.1 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
5.5 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 80% faster continuous shooting
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
2100 ms vs 2200 ms
Help
Almost the same
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The E-PL3's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Size
Smaller
110×64×37 mm vs 115×72×42 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Thickness
Slightly thinner
1.5" vs 1.7"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Weight
Slightly lighter
313 g vs 334 g
Help
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
Help
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 44
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        40 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Image stabilization Good image stabilization Help
              1. Sensor shift
              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
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              E-PL3$229.00
              PEN E-PL1$246.51
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              E-PL31/4000s
              PEN E-PL11/2000s
              Light sensitivity (boost) One has boost ISO Help
              E-PL312,800 ISO
              PEN E-PL1None
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              E-PL310.3 EV
              PEN E-PL110.1 EV
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Startup delay Significant startup delay Help
              E-PL32100 ms
              PEN E-PL12200 ms
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.2 MP
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              E-PL3460k dots
              PEN E-PL1230k dots
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              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
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-PL335
              PEN E-PL111
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              E-PL320.9 bits
              PEN E-PL121.5 bits
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              E-PL352.0
              PEN E-PL154.0
              Autofocus Slower contrast detection autofocus Help
              slower focusing
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              E-PL3499 ISO
              PEN E-PL1487 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $482 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-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              $270 with 14-42mm lens

              Olympus PEN E-PL7

              Olympus PEN E-PL7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $499 body only

              $599 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $499 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              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-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $379 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Has significantly less startup delay
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $452 - $1,099 body only

              $499 - $999 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

              Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Size Larger
              Thickness Thicker

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $410 body only

              $322 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Startup delay More startup delay

              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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