Updated (June, 2011): Compare the Olympus PEN E-PL2 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

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Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
External flash
External flash
Better lighting
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL1

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Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Color depth Better color depth 21.5 bits vs 20.6 bits
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Distinguishes 0.9 more bits of color
Overall image quality Better image quality 54.0 vs 50.0
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Around 10% better image quality
External flash Supports an external flash Yes vs No
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An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF3

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Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 312 ms vs 820 ms
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2.6x less delay when taking photos
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
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Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Touch screen Has a touch screen Yes vs No
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Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
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Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Movie continuous focus Continuous video focus Yes vs No
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Record movies without worrying about focus
Screen size Larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"
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More than 10% larger screen
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen 460k dots vs 230k dots
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2x higher resolution screen
Startup delay Less startup delay 1900 ms vs 2200 ms
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More than 10% less delay when turning on
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
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The DMC-GF3's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Battery life Longer battery life 320 shots vs 290 shots
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More than 10% more shots per battery charge
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/4000s vs 1/2000s
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2x faster max shutter speed
Size Smaller 107x67x32 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
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More than 30% smaller
Focus points Slightly more focus points 23 vs 11
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Lowest price Cheaper $169.95 vs $425.00
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The best price we've seen is $255 cheaper (2.5x less)
Thickness Thinner 1.3" vs 1.7"
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More than 20% thinner
Weight Lighter 264 g vs 334 g
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More than 20% lighter
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

Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1 40
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        41 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              40 lenses
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              PEN E-PL1:$425.00
              DMC-GF3:$169.95
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              PEN E-PL1:1/2000s
              DMC-GF3:1/4000s
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              0
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              10.1 EV
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              PEN E-PL1:12.2 MP
              DMC-GF3:12 MP
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              PEN E-PL1:3,200 ISO
              DMC-GF3:6,400 ISO
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              PEN E-PL1:11
              DMC-GF3:23
              Startup delay Significant startup delay Help
              PEN E-PL1:2200 ms
              DMC-GF3:1900 ms
              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
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              PEN E-PL1:230k dots
              DMC-GF3:460k dots
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              PEN E-PL1:21.5 bits
              DMC-GF3:20.6 bits
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              PEN E-PL1:54.0
              DMC-GF3:50.0
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              PEN E-PL1:3 fps
              DMC-GF3:3.8 fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              PEN E-PL1:487 ISO
              DMC-GF3:459 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $238 with 14-42mm lens

              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $844 body only

              $249 - $400 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $200 with 10-30mm lens

              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Longest exposure Slightly shorter exposures
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $245 with 14-42mm lens

              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              Light sensitivity (boost) Has boost light sensitivity
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $699 with 20mm lens

              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $510 with 14-42mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Longest exposure Slightly shorter exposures
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $297 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $275 body only

              $309 with 17mm lens

              Screen size Larger screen
              Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $484 with 14-42mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $368 body only

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Lowest price More expensive
              Size Slightly larger
              Panasonic Lumix GF6

              Panasonic Lumix GF6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $469 - $510 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Weight Significantly heavier
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $509 body only

              $450 - $622 with 14-42mm lens

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Size Larger

              appearance

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              discussion

              Olympus PEN E-PL1
              PEN E-PL1
              Olympus

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              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Lumix DMC-GF3
              Panasonic

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