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

Olympus PEN E-PL3 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

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Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

42

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

41

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Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
In-camera panoramas
Panorama
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
241 ms shutter lag
Takes 3D photos
3D
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1000 ms startup delay
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-PL3

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
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 337 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when taking photos
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
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
5.5 fps vs 3.2 fps
Help
More than 70% faster continuous shooting
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
35 vs 23
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
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-GF2

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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
Significantly less startup delay
1000 ms vs 2100 ms
Help
2.1x less delay when turning on
Color depth
Better color depth
21.2 bits vs 20.9 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.3 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
Thickness
Thinner
1.3" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF2
vs

recommendations

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

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Olympus PEN E-PL3 42
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    Style
      Color
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        vs
        41 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              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
              Size Fairly small Help
              E-PL3:109x63x37 mm
              DMC-GF2:113x68x33 mm
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              E-PL3:$244.87
              DMC-GF2:$197.00
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) One has boost ISO Help
              E-PL3:12,800 ISO
              DMC-GF2:None
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              10.3 EV
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              E-PL3:12.2 MP
              DMC-GF2:12 MP
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              E-PL3:20.9 bits
              DMC-GF2:21.2 bits
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k 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-PL3:35
              DMC-GF2:23
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              E-PL3:52.0
              DMC-GF2:54.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              E-PL3:499 ISO
              DMC-GF2:506 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $125 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,345 body only

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $429 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $645 with 14-42mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $328 body only

              $290 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              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 significantly higher resolution screen
              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

              $461 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 More expensive
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $485 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Lowest price More expensive

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $350 body only

              $614 with 14-45mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $390 body only

              $339 - $518 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $400 body only

              $533 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Color depth Worse color depth

              appearance

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              discussion

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              PEN E-PL3
              Olympus

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              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Lumix DMC-GF2
              Panasonic

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