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

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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
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

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
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | 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 337 ms
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Around 30% less delay when taking photos
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 5.5 fps vs 3.2 fps
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More than 70% faster continuous shooting
Focus points Slightly more focus points 35 vs 23
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Set focus accurately within the frame
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
Light sensitivity (boost) Has boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs None
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Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
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
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Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Startup delay Significantly less startup delay 1000 ms vs 2100 ms
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2.1x less delay when turning on
Color depth Better color depth 21.2 bits vs 20.9 bits
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Distinguishes 0.3 more bits of color
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 54.0 vs 52.0
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Almost the same
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
Thickness Thinner 1.3" vs 1.5"
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More than 10% thinner
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF2
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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 45
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        44 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
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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-GF2:113x68x33 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:$285.00
              DMC-GF2:$249.00
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              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
              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
              Battery life Few shots per battery charge Help
              300 shots
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              460k dots
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-PL3:35
              DMC-GF2:23
              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-GF2:54.0
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              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

              $272 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

              $975 with 14-150mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $550 with 14-42mm lens

              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $699 with 20mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 with 10-30mm lens

              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $275 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 Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously recording movies
              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $390 - $856 with 14-42mm lens

              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-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $350 body only

              $315 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Image stabilization No image stabilization

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $576 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

              Pro digicam

              $348 - $370

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Interchangeable lenses Built-in lens only

              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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