Updated (June 2011): Compare the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Olympus PEN E-PL3 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Winner
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

44

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

39

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
In-camera panoramas
Panorama
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
External flash
External flash
Better lighting
Takes 3D photos
3D
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Touch screen
Touch screen
Fewer buttons
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light

Items often bought with the Olympus E-PL3 or Panasonic DMC-GF3

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-PL3

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
241 ms vs 312 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when taking photos
External flash
Supports an external flash
Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Color depth
Better color depth
20.9 bits vs 20.6 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.3 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
52.0 vs 50.0
Help
Almost the same
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
10.3 EV vs 10.1 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
35 vs 23
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
5.5 fps vs 3.8 fps
Help
More than 40% faster continuous shooting
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Learn more about
the Olympus E-PL3

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF3

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Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Startup delay
Less startup delay
1900 ms vs 2100 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when turning on
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
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
320 shots vs 300 shots
Help
Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Thickness
Thinner
1.3" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Weight
Slightly lighter
264 g vs 313 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF3
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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        39 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              3D Both can take 3D photos, many cameras like these don't Help
              View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              108 lenses
              Size Fairly small Help
              E-PL3110×64×37 mm
              DMC-GF3108×67×33 mm
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              E-PL3$229.99
              DMC-GF3$109.28
              Thickness Thin Help
              E-PL31.5"
              DMC-GF31.3"
              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
              E-PL310.3 EV
              DMC-GF310.1 EV
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              E-PL320.9 bits
              DMC-GF320.6 bits
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              E-PL312.2 MP
              DMC-GF312 MP
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Startup delay Significant startup delay Help
              E-PL32100 ms
              DMC-GF31900 ms
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-PL335
              DMC-GF323
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              E-PL352.0
              DMC-GF350.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Autofocus Slower contrast detection autofocus Help
              slower focusing
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              E-PL3499 ISO
              DMC-GF3459 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $328 body only

              $381 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $177 body only

              $265 with 14mm lens

              Startup delay Has significantly less startup delay
              Light sensitivity (boost) Lacks boost light sensitivity
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Olympus PEN E-PL6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $299 with 14-42mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $253 with 14-42mm lens

              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $264 with 10-30mm lens

              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $290 body only

              $381 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 body only

              $440 - $448 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning 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-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $487 with 14-42mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,345 body only

              $499 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Light sensitivity Worse maximum light sensitivity
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              $270 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Battery life Slightly longer battery life
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $394 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Significantly less startup delay
              Color depth Better color depth
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $350 body only

              $494 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Size Slightly larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $342 body only

              $630 with 14-45mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $373 body only

              $449 with 12-32mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Color depth Better color depth
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $460 - $499 with 12-32mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $390 body only

              $518 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor

              appearance

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              discussion

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              PEN E-PL3
              Olympus

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              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Lumix DMC-GF3
              Panasonic

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