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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 vs Olympus PEN E-PL1

Winner
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

43

Olympus PEN E-PL1

41

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
1000 ms startup delay
Takes 3D photos
3D
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
CMOS Sensor
Sensor type
Better in low light
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN E-PL1.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL1

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Color depth
Better color depth
21.5 bits vs 21.2 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.3 more bits of color
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF2

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
337 ms vs 820 ms
Help
2.4x less delay when taking photos
Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
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 2200 ms
Help
2.2x less delay when turning on
Movie continuous focus
Continuous video focus
Yes vs No
Help
Record movies without worrying about focus
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
460k dots vs 230k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/4000s vs 1/2000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
10.3 EV vs 10.1 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Size
Smaller
113×68×33 mm vs 115×72×42 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
23 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Thickness
Thinner
1.3" vs 1.7"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Weight
Slightly lighter
310 g vs 334 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
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

Snapsort Recommends
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1 41
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        43 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              108 lenses
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Longest exposure Long exposures Help
              60 seconds
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              PEN E-PL1$260.00
              DMC-GF2$177.00
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Built-in flash Each has a built-in flash Help
              External flash not needed
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              PEN E-PL11/2000s
              DMC-GF21/4000s
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              PEN E-PL110.1 EV
              DMC-GF210.3 EV
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              PEN E-PL112.2 MP
              DMC-GF212 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              0
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              PEN E-PL1230k dots
              DMC-GF2460k dots
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              PEN E-PL111
              DMC-GF223
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              PEN E-PL121.5 bits
              DMC-GF221.2 bits
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              PEN E-PL1820 ms
              DMC-GF2337 ms
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              54.0
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Autofocus Slower contrast detection autofocus Help
              slower focusing
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              PEN E-PL13 fps
              DMC-GF23.2 fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              PEN E-PL1487 ISO
              DMC-GF2506 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $217 body only

              $630 with 14-45mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $576 body only

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $644 with 14-42mm lens

              Panorama Creates panoramas in-camera
              Thickness Is thicker
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $160 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $263 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $225 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
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $360 body only

              $350 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Longest exposure Much shorter exposures
              Built-in flash Doesn't have a built-in flash

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 body only

              $440 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $493 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $817 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Lowest price More expensive
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $230 body only

              $375 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Startup delay More startup delay

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 body only

              $494 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
              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
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $916 with 14-42mm lens

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Size Much larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $533 body only

              $623 - $648 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Size Larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $449 - $499 with 12-32mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              External flash No external flash support
              Battery life Shorter battery life

              appearance

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              discussion

              Olympus PEN E-PL1
              PEN E-PL1
              Olympus

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              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Lumix DMC-GF2
              Panasonic

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