Updated (January, 2011): Compare the Olympus PEN E-PL2 vs Sony Alpha DSLR-A380

Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 vs Olympus PEN E-PL1

Winner
Sony Alpha DSLR-A380

40

Olympus PEN E-PL1

33

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A380

Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
600 ms startup delay
Great color depth
Color depth
22.6 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
11.8 EV
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
198 ms shutter lag
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
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 Sony Alpha DSLR-A380.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL1

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Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Size
Smaller
115×72×42 mm vs 128×97×71 mm
Help
2.5x smaller
Movie format
Shoots movies
720p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots HD (720p) video as well as still pictures
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Thickness
Thinner
1.7" vs 2.8"
Help
More than 40% thinner
Weight
Lighter
334 g vs 519 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Lowest price
Cheaper
$260.00 vs $732.30
Help
The best price we've seen is $472 cheaper (2.8x less)
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL1

Advantages of the Sony DSLR-A380

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
198 ms vs 820 ms
Help
4.1x less delay when taking photos
Overall image quality
Better image quality
67.0 vs 54.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
Startup delay
Much less startup delay
600 ms vs 2200 ms
Help
3.7x less delay when turning on
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.8 EV vs 10.1 EV
Help
3.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth
Better color depth
22.6 bits vs 21.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.1 more bits of color
Lens availability
More lenses available
123 lenses vs 40 lenses
Help
More than 3x more lenses available
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Battery life
Longer battery life
500 shots vs 290 shots
Help
More than 70% more shots per battery charge
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Pentamirror vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
14 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
614 ISO vs 487 ISO
Help
The DSLR-A380 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Learn more about
the Sony DSLR-A380
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL1 33
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        40 Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Sony Alpha DSLR-A380
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Common Weaknesses
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              230k dots
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              2.7"
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              PEN E-PL1487 ISO
              DSLR-A380614 ISO
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              PEN E-PL13 fps
              DSLR-A3802.5 fps
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              PEN E-PL110.1 EV
              DSLR-A38011.8 EV
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              PEN E-PL1720p @ 30fps
              DSLR-A380None

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $300 - $547 body only

              $379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $275 body only

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

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $493 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              3D Takes 3D photos
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Olympus PEN E-P1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $389 body only

              $400 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $473 body only

              $674 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Weight Slightly heavier
              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
              3D Takes 3D photos
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              3D Takes 3D photos
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Built-in flash No built-in flash

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Movie format Shoots movies
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

              Entry-level DSLR

              $777 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Size Larger
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

              Pro digicam

              $599 - $798

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Size Significantly larger
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

              Entry-level DSLR

              $845 body only

              $725 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Screen size Significantly larger screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A330

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A330

              Entry-level DSLR

              $377 body only

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Lowest price Cheaper
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality

              appearance

              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A380
              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A380
              Olympus PEN E-PL1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A380

              discussion

              Olympus PEN E-PL1
              PEN E-PL1
              Olympus

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              Sony Alpha DSLR-A380
              Alpha DSLR-A380
              Sony

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