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

Olympus PEN E-PL3 vs Olympus PEN E-PL1

Winner
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

42

Olympus PEN E-PL1

39

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
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

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
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 size
Larger screen
3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
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
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
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
Size
Smaller
109x63x37 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
2100 ms vs 2200 ms
Help
Almost the same
Lowest price
Cheaper
$244.87 vs $549.95
Help
The best price we've seen is $305 cheaper (2.2x less)
Thickness
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 42
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      Color
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        39 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
              Sensor shift
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              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
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              12.2 MP
              Startup delay Significant startup delay Help
              E-PL32100 ms
              PEN E-PL12200 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-PL3460k dots
              PEN E-PL1230k dots
              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
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              E-PL352.0
              PEN E-PL154.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              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

              $483 with 14-42mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,345 body only

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $640 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $503 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-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $299 body only

              $390 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $125 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag

              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

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $342 body only

              $614 with 14-45mm 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

              Report a correction
              Olympus PEN E-PL1
              PEN E-PL1
              Olympus

              Report a correction

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