Updated (September, 2012): Compare the Olympus PEN E-PL5 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Olympus PEN E-PL3

Winner
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

42

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Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

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

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-PL3

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Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
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Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 241 ms vs 312 ms
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More than 20% less delay when taking photos
External flash Supports an external flash Yes vs No
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An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 52.0 vs 50.0
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Almost the same
Color depth Better color depth 20.9 bits vs 20.6 bits
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Distinguishes 0.3 more bits of color
Dynamic range More dynamic range 10.3 EV vs 10.1 EV
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0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Focus points Slightly more focus points 35 vs 23
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 5.5 fps vs 3.8 fps
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More than 40% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
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The E-PL3's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
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
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Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 1900 ms vs 2100 ms
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Around 10% less delay when turning on
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 320 shots vs 300 shots
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Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Built-in flash Built-in flash Yes vs No
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A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Weight Lighter 264 g vs 313 g
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Around 20% lighter
Thickness Thinner 1.3" vs 1.5"
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More than 10% thinner
Size Slightly smaller 107x67x32 mm vs 109x63x37 mm
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Around 10% smaller
Lowest price Slightly cheaper $149.99 vs $275.95
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The best price we've seen is $126 cheaper (around 50% less)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF3
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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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        38 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              3D Both can take 3D photos, many cameras like these don't Help
              View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              40 lenses
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Size Fairly small Help
              E-PL3:109x63x37 mm
              DMC-GF3:107x67x32 mm
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Longest exposure Very long exposure times Help
              60 seconds
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              E-PL3:$275.95
              DMC-GF3:$149.99
              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-PL3:10.3 EV
              DMC-GF3:10.1 EV
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              E-PL3:12.2 MP
              DMC-GF3:12 MP
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              E-PL3:20.9 bits
              DMC-GF3:20.6 bits
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Startup delay Significant startup delay Help
              E-PL3:2100 ms
              DMC-GF3:1900 ms
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-PL3:35
              DMC-GF3:23
              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
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              E-PL3:52.0
              DMC-GF3:50.0
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              E-PL3:499 ISO
              DMC-GF3:459 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 body only

              $299 - $799 with 14mm lens

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

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $189 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

              $236 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
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $472 with 14-42mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $320 body only

              $450 - $509 with 14-42mm lens

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $398 body only

              $570 with 14-42mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $438 with 14-42mm lens

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

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $649 body only

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots slightly slower
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Color depth Better color depth
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Movie format Lower resolution movies

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $290 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Shutter lag Less shutter lag
              Size Slightly larger
              Thickness Thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $390 body only

              $428 - $518 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $584 body only

              $614 with 14-45mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Color depth Better color depth
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $461 body only

              $545 - $748 with 12-32mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              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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