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Olympus E-P3 vs Panasonic GF3 vs Sony NEX-5 vs Samsung NX11

Olympus E-P3 vs Panasonic GF3 vs Sony NEX-5 vs Samsung NX11 - Mirrorless cameras tested and compared. We compare the Olympus PEN E-P3, Panasonic Lumix GF3, Samsung NX11, and Sony Alpha NEX-5.

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Category : Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product : PEN E-P3
Price : £449
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Side by Side

All of these cameras fit into the mirrorless compact system camera category and feature Digital SLR sized sensors, but by removing the mirror from the camera, they offer much more compact sizes, and also new lens mounts to match the sensor.

Panasonic and Olympus both use Micro Four Thirds sensors (size 17.3 x 13mm - the same size as used in Four Thirds DSLRs) and Micro Four Thirds lens mounts, meaning you have a choice of Olympus and Panasonic lenses. Samsung and Sony use APS-C sized sensors (size 23.4x15.6mm - the same size as most DSLRs), and Samsung use the NX lens mount with 9 lenses available, and Sony use the E-Mount with 4 lenses available.

In this comparison we compare the four cameras, you can also read the full reviews of each camera here: Olympus PEN E-P3, Samsung NX11, Panasonic Lumix GF3, and Sony NEX-5. You can also view the many other mirrorless camera reviews here.

PEN E-P3
Olympus PEN E-P3
Samsung NX11
Samsung NX11
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Sony NEX-5
Sony NEX-5

Features


Apart from the visual differences between the models, with the Samsung NX11 featuring a DSLR style body and built in electronic viewfinder, these cameras all feature large sensors, and interchangeable lenses. Olympus and Panasonic share the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, meaning you can swap lenses between the cameras, whereas Samsung use the NX mount, and Sony use the E-Mount.

The sensor is exposed when you remove the lens, and you need to be careful not to get any dirt near the sensor:
Olympus PEN E-P3
Olympus PEN E-P3
Samsung NX11
Samsung NX11
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Sony NEX-5
Sony NEX-5

Olympus PEN 3 vs Panasonic Lumix GF3 vs Samsung NX11 vs Sony NEX-5 - How do they compare at a glance? Best features highlighted in green.

Sony NEX-5 Olympus PEN E-P3 Panasonic Lumix GF3 Samsung NX11
14.2mp* 12.3mp 12.3mp 14.6mp*
23.4x15.6mm APS-C 17.3 x 13mm 17.3 x 13mm 23.4x15.6mm APS-C
Lens based IS Anti Shake Sensor Lens based IS Lens based IS
Dust Removal Dust Removal (SSWF) Dust Removal (SSWF) Dust Removal
3inch, 920k dots, tilting, 16:9
3inch Touch, 610k dots, OLED, 3:2 3inch, Touch, 460k, 3:2 3inch AMOLED 614k dots, 4:3?
7fps 3fps 3.8fps 3fps
25 AF points 35 area AF 23 area focusing 15 AF points
Full HD 1920x1080
Full HD 1920x1080 Full HD 1920x1080
720p
Stereo mics Stereo mics Mono Mono
ISO200 - 12800 ISO200 - 12800 ISO160 - 6400 ISO100-3200
Optical VF available. Optional EVF / Optical. N/A (no accessory port or flash hot shoe) 921k dots EVF
Small external flash Built in flash Built in flash Built in flash
330 (CIPA) 330 Shots (CIPA) 340 (14mm lens, CIPA) 400 (CIPA)
Magnesium Alloy Metal Aluminium Plastic
110x58.8x38.2mm 122x69.1x34.3mm 107.7x67.1x32.5mm 123x87x39.8mm
287g 321g 222g (body only) 353g
£479 with 18-55 IS £799 with 14-42 £449 with 14-42 IS £389 with 18-55 IS
* same effective resolution.

The GF3 is the smallest with built in flash, the Sony NEX-5 is the smallest if you ignore the lens, and the NX11 the most Digital SLR like in design. The Olympus PEN E-P3 is the next biggest, out of the cameras, after the NX11.

Olympus PEN E-P3
Olympus PEN E-P3
Samsung NX11
Samsung NX11
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Sony NEX-5
Sony NEX-5

Handling


All four cameras feature metal bodies apart from the NX11. However, the Olympus PEN E-P3 feels the most solid with a stylish chrome plate on the top of the camera, it also gives you a choice of grips, from no grip, the small grip shown, or a larger more SLR styled grip. The GF3 has the thinnest strap loops, with the E-P3 featuring the most solid looking - although they do require additional metal loops. The GF3 doesn't feature a rubber grip at the front, instead opting for a large raised metal grip.

The Sony NEX-5 features a large rubberised grip, and the minimal buttons fall neatly under your fingers and thumb, although the lack of buttons also caused some issues as it meant setting some options relied on entering the menu system.

Shutter sound: The quietest is the NX11, followed by the EP3, and the GF3, then the NEX-5 is the loudest.

Olympus E-P3 Back
Olympus PEN E-P3
Samsung NX11 Back
Samsung NX11 Back
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Sony NEX-5
Sony NEX-5

The PEN and NX11 give numerous external controls, buttons, wheels, mode dials and quick access to numerous settings, whereas the NEX-5 and GF3, with their ultra compact bodies, feature an almost minimalistic approach to button layout. The Sony relies on a scroll wheel and two "soft" buttons - this means the use changes depending where you are in the camera's menus, for example to enter the menus you press the top button, but once in there it acts as a back button. The GF3 instead uses a touch screen so that you can still set a lot of the options through the "Quick menu".

Menus: The Sony NEX menus seem the most strangely arranged - the menu system seems unlike any other Sony camera, with the Sony Cybershot range giving quick access to photo options on the preview / live screen, and Sony's Alpha DSLR range giving familiar DSLR styled menus.

Olympus menus are well laid out, but to access the full controls, you have to switch on the "Advanced menus" then it becomes daunting having page after page of options. The Samsung NX11 has clearly laid out menus, but colour coding would help further distinguish the menus.

Panasonic's menus are well laid out and clear to read and easy to use. Both the GF3 and NEX-5 have a virtual mode dial. Press the middle button on both, and then the scroll wheel becomes the mode dial, letting you scroll through the modes.

Olympus PEN E-P3
Olympus PEN E-P3 - 1150mah 7.2v Battery
Samsung NX11
Samsung NX11 - 1300mah 7.4v Battery
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Panasonic Lumix GF3 - 940mah 7.2v Battery
Sony NEX-5
Sony NEX-5 - 1080mah 7.2v Battery

Battery Life - CIPA rating vs actual battery life in use:

Sony NEX-5 PEN E-P3 Panasonic GF3 Samsung NX11
330 (CIPA) 330 (CIPA) 340 (CIPA, 14mm lens) 400 (CIPA)
330 320 310 400+

The battery life of the Samsung NX11 impressed us the most, with it providing the most shots, although this was expected as it has the largest capacity of the batteries. The GF3 was lower than the CIPA rating, and along with the PEN, and NEX-5, they all gave around 310-330 shots. Although the use of different lenses, shooting modes, and the amount of times you switch the camera off and on may alter your battery life.

Speed - we tested the four camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, and shot to shot time with and without flash, and continuous shooting using JPEG, RAW and Flash when available. You can also compare the results to the new Panasonic Lumix G3 as well.


Sony NEX-5
Lumix GF3 NX11 PEN E-P3
Shutter Response 0.1
<0.05 0.1 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.4 0.2* 0.3 0.2
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.4 0.2* 0.3 0.2
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.9 0.9 1.3
0.7
Shot to Shot (without flash) 0.8 0.6 1.0 0.6
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.0 1.3 1.1 2.0
Continuous Shooting
(shots before slow down)
6fps (18 shots) 4fps (13 shots) 3fps (15 shots)
3fps (59 shots)
Continuous Shooting (flash) 2fps N/A 2fps
1.6s
Continuous Shooting (RAW) 7fps (7 shots) 4fps (6 shots) 3fps (5 shots)
3fps (8 shots)

* 14-42mm Olympus M Zuiko 14-42mm II R lens used for both m43rds cameras, tested with the new Samsung Class 10 memory card.

The Sony NEX-5 clearly has the quickest continuous shooting mode at 7fps, with the GF3 shooting at 4fps, and the EP-3 and NX11 both shooting at 3fps. The GF3 doesn't offer the option to shoot with flash when using the continuous shooting mode, and the EP3 shoots quite slowly with 1.6 seconds between shots with flash on. The NX11, and NEX-5 both shoot at 2fps with flash. Shot to shot time is good with all cameras performing well, although the E-P3 slows to a shot ever 2 seconds with flash on.

The switch on time of all cameras is good, with the NX11 the slowest, although at 1.3 seconds from off to on and taking a photo, it's not exactly slow compared to many other cameras. The Olympus PEN E-P3 is the quickest at switching on and taking a photo, managing this in just 0.7 seconds.

The focus and shutter response speeds of all cameras is good, with the slowest focusing in 0.4 seconds - this is similar to a decent compact camera, with the quicker models shooting at around 0.3 seconds. The Samsung NX11 focuses quickly at 0.3 seconds. However, the Panasonic and Olympus cameras both focus very quickly at 0.2 seconds to focus and take a photo - this is extremely quick and we wish all cameras were this quick.

Performance


Image samples side by side from each camera. Additional samples photos are available in the equipment database for the Olympus PEN E-P3, Samsung NX11, Sony NEX-5 and Panasonic Lumix GF3, where you can also upload your own photos, and add your own reviews.

Olympus PEN E-P3 Lens test images


Panasonic Lumix GF3 Lens test images


Samsung NX11 Lens test images


Sony NEX-5 Lens test images


Lens Test Images: The wide shots show purple fringing in the trees, and how the camera deals with detail in both highlight areas, as well as in shadows. The EP3 has the edge over the GF3 with slightly more detail in the shadow areas. The NX11 has the most detail of the four cameras, and also the lowest purple fringing or chromatic aberration - with the EP3 and GF3 both showing purple fringing in the trees. The NEX-5 shows red and blue chromatic aberrations, as well as low detail towards the sides of the frame. The telephoto shots show good detail from the GF3 and EP3, when using the same lens, the NX11 shows excellent detail, and is sharp right across the frame, and the NEX-5 shows the least detail, with chromatic aberrations, and soft detail along the sides of the frame.

Vignetting was not noticed on the lenses. Some barrel and pincushion distortion was noticed with the Samsung NX11 and Sony NEX-5, although this didn't cause issues in real world shots, but can be seen in the ISO test shots.

The Panasonic Lumix GF3 with the 14mm f/2.5 kit lens is at a disadvantage as it lacks the ability to zoom compared to the others (so we have used the Olympus kit lens for these zoom shots), and it also is at a disadvantage for macro shots compared to the other lenses that allow macro shots to be taken at full telephoto zoom.

Panoramic modes

1/1500 sec | f/3.5 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
Samsung NX11 - 1/1500 sec | f/3.5 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100

Wide - 1/200 sec | f/10.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 200
Sony NEX-5 - Wide - 1/200 sec | f/10.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 200

Samsung and Sony allow both vertical and horizontal panoramic shots. The Panasonic is missing panoramic modes, and although the Olympus does have the feature built in, this is just to aid you for stitching them together later on the computer.

Scene modes: The Olympus features High Key / Low Key scene modes (while other cameras call them "creative filters" or "art modes" when Olympus DSLRs and PEN cameras have had these scene modes or gradation options for years). The Sony features a "Handheld Twilight" mode that will take a number of shots and combine them for a noise free image. Samsung Backlighting mode (switches on flash).

Olympus PEN E-P3 Digital filters


Panasonic Lumix GF3 Digital filters


Samsung NX11 Digital filters


Sony NEX-5 Digital filters


Digital Filters: The E-P3 features the most, followed by the NEX-5. The NX11 does not let you use them when you are taking the photos, instead you must apply them in playback mode. The GF3 has the least with just 6 "Creative control" modes. The E-P3, NX11, NEX-5 and GF3 all feature colour modes as well giving you the ability to change the colour options. All four cameras let you change contrast, saturation, sharpness, while the GF3 also lets you change noise reduction levels, the E-P3 lets you change gradation, and the NX11 lets you change colour tone.

Olympus PEN E-P3 White-balance test images


Panasonic Lumix GF3 White-balance test images


Samsung NX11 White-balance test images


Sony NEX-5 White-balance test images


Auto White Balance: Olympus has the edge here, performing well under tungsten and fluorescent lighting with excellent detail. The Panasonic performs quite well under tungsten and fluorescent. The Sony struggled under tungsten light but was fine under fluorescent. Samsung does really well with excellent AWB under both tungsten and fluorescent lighting.

Olympus PEN E-P3 ISO test images


Panasonic Lumix GF3 ISO test images


Samsung NX11 ISO test images


Sony NEX-5 ISO test images


Noise: ISO3200 from the Samsung shows similar levels of noise as the Olympus PEN E-P3* and the Panasonic Lumix GF3, although the GF3 has stronger noise reduction applied, and shows more image artefacts. The Sony NEX-5 shows the lowest noise levels at this high ISO setting.

* The E-P3 was set to low noise reduction, the standard noise reduction option reduces noise more, but also reduces detail. The E-P3 provides usable ISO6400 with ISO12800 best avoided.

Samsung doesn't give the option to go above ISO3200. The NEX-5 gives very usable ISO6400, with ISO12800 possibly being useful if resized.

The Sony provides the lowest noise details, followed by the E-P3, which is very closely matched / followed by the GF3, with the Samsung NX11 producing the least options and strangely the most noise filled images although this would explain the high levels of detail.

Olympus PEN E-P3 Sample Photos


Panasonic Lumix GF3 Sample Photos


Samsung NX11 Sample Photos


Sony NEX-5 Sample Photos


Sample photos image quality: The landscape shot gave the cameras a challenge, with a bright sky and dark foreground. Most of the cameras performed well without overexposing the bright sky, apart from the Panasonic Lumix GF3, which has blown highlights in the sky. All of the cameras manage to produce pleasing bokeh when using the full zoom of the telephoto lenses (The GF3 shot was taken with the Olympus 14-42mm MK2 lens), although the NX11 and NEX-5 with larger sensors produce more out of focus area. The Olympus gives the warmest results, even with "Warm AWB" switched off, and appears to enhance browns, and the Samsung and Panasonic cameras give the coolest results. Portrait shot - the cameras all produced flash shots without red-eye however, the exposure and colour produced varied quite noticeably on each camera. The NX11 slightly underexposed the shot and shows more noise even at ISO400. The Olympus again gave the warmest results, the Panasonic quite cool results, and the Sony gave a slightly warm version, but the most pleasing image overall.

Olympus PEN E-P3 Panasonic Lumix GF3 Samsung NX11 Sony NEX-5
1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
1/500 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
1/500 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
1/320 sec | f/6.7 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
1/320 sec | f/6.7 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
Normal Shot - 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 18.0 mm | ISO 200
Normal Shot - 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 18.0 mm | ISO 200

All of the models give some option to increase dynamic range, the Olympus E-P3 option is called shadow adjustment, the Panasonic Lumix GF3 has 3 levels of iContrast, the Samsung NX11's version is called Smart Range and the Sony NEX-5 has the most advanced with D-Range Optimiser and true HDR that takes 3 shots and combines them.

The EP3 gives sharper JPEG output than the GF3  - probably as much sharpness / detail as you can get from the 12 megapixel sensor. The NX11 has excellent detail throughout the frame and excellent sharpness when used as ISO100. The Sony NEX-5 gives the softest results, with noticeable softness towards the sides of the image.

Lenses Available: There are 21 Micro Four Thirds lenses available from the manufacturers giving you a choice of pancake and zoom lenses: Panasonic: 7-14mm, 8mm, 14mm, 20mm, 14-42mm, 14-45mm, 14-140mm, 25mm, 45-200mm, 100-300mm, 45mm macro, 12.5mm 3D, Olympus: 9-18mm, 12mm, 17mm, 14-42mm, 14-150mm, 40-150mm, 45mm, 75-300mm, Voigtlander: 25mm (excluding other third party lenses, adapted lenses, etc, list from four-thirds.org). Olympus and Panasonic make adapters for other lenses, for the following mounts: Four-Thirds, Olympus OM, Leica M, Leica R, Voigtlander VM, Carl Zeiss ZM, Voigtlander Ai-S, Carl Zeiss ZF, Voigtlander PK-A/R,KA, Carl Zeiss ZK, as well as macro, wide and fisheye adapters for the Olympus kit lens. There are also a wide variety of adapters for all DSLR / SLR lens mounts.

There are 9 Samsung NX Mount lenses available giving you a choice of pancake and zoom lenses: 16mm, 20mm, 30mm, 20-50mm, 18-55mm OIS, 50-200mm, 18-200mm, 60mm Macro OIS lens, 85mm. An adapter is available from Samsung for the Pentax K lens mount.

There are 4 Sony E-Mount lenses with one pancake lens available: 16mm, 18-55mm OSS, 18-200mm OSS, 30mm Macro. An adapter is available from Sony for the Sony Alpha (KM) lens mount. There are also a wide and fish-eye adapter available for the 16mm lens.

Video Quality
Full HD is beginning to be an expected feature on Digital SLRs and Mirrorless cameras and unsurprisingly these cameras all feature Full HD, excluding the Samsung NX11, with just 720p video. The Olympus PEN E-P3 features full manual controls.

Sony NEX-5 Panasonic GF3 Samsung NX11 Olympus E-P3
Full HD Full HD 720p, 30fps Full HD
Stereo Mono Mono Stereo
AVCHD Format / MP4 AVCHD / MJPEG H264 MP4 AVCHD / MJPEG
Example Video. Example Video. Example Video.
Example Video.

Value

The Samsung NX11 offers the best value for money out of the four mirrorless cameras tested here, priced at £389 with 18-55mm kits lens, although there are other mirrorless cameras available that are cheaper, such as the Samsung NX100, Panasonic Lumix GF2, and the original Olympus E-PL1. Next the Sony NEX-5 with 16mm lens is priced at £430 offering good value for money. The Panasonic Lumix GF3 is around £449 with 14mm kit lens also offering good value for money. The Olympus PEN E-P3 is the most expensive at £799 with 14-42mm kit lens, this gives it a higher price than the Panasonic Lumix GH2, and even some Digital SLRs, such as the Nikon D5100 and Canon EOS 600D. Other alternatives worth looking at include the Panasonic Lumix G3 (with built in viewfinder) and the Olympus PEN E-PL2.

Verdict

Olympus PEN E-P3The Olympus PEN E-P3 with extremely fast auto focus and impressive 3 inch touch screen is a great camera to use and provides a massive wealth of options and creative features. The art filters are boosted by the addition of effects that can be applied to the filters. The build quality is by far the best, with a reassuringly solid build, and the ability to remove and change the grip is such a brilliant idea, it makes us wonder why nobody thought of it before. The image quality is excellent and the camera will either give you smooth noise free images left on default settings, or alternatively turn the filter down to low, and you have excellent detail, and slight grain (this was my preference). Built in anti-shake is another excellent feature, especially if you plan on using other lenses. The Olympus PEN 14-42mm collapsible kit lens is clever, helping keep the camera pocket-able, without limiting you to a fixed focus pancake lens. The price however makes it the most expensive option here, and I wonder whether the soon to be available EPL3 (at £550 with faster continuous shooting) will give purchasers of the EP3 second thoughts.

Panasonic Lumix GF3The Panasonic Lumix GF3 is the smallest with built in flash, and has similar image quality to the EP3, although the EP3 seems able to draw out slightly more detail in images, and the 14mm kit lens (with slightly soft corners) gives the GF3 a disadvantage, one that it makes up for in size. The GF3 lacks the flash hot shoe of the GF2, and in some ways seems like a point and shoot version of a micro four thirds camera. It's also had some features cut from it, most likely in order to minimise the cameras size, and lacks an orientation sensor, and stereo microphones. An excellent camera with a few drawbacks, particularly compared to it's predecessor the GF2. Although if size and the micro four thirds format is of paramount importance to you then the GF3 makes a great choice.

Samsung NX11The Samsung NX11 has the most SLR like body with a built in electronic viewfinder, rubber grips front and back, and numerous controls on the camera's body. Image quality at the lower ISO settings is excellent with great colour and excellent detail straight from the camera. Unfortunately at higher ISO settings, even at just ISO800 there is noticeable noise, and sticking to the lowest ISO settings will give the best results. The NX11 is also the best value for money, undercutting the other cameras, and providing an 18-55mm kit lens with optical image stabilisation. The NX series has a number of lenses available (9 at last count), with more expected, although the lack of third party adapters is disappointing. The panoramic shooting and 30fps (at reduced size) continuous shooting are neat features to have though.

Sony NEX-5The Sony NEX-5 has the smallest body of all the cameras here, thanks to using an external flash, however, it also has the largest lenses of all the mirrorless cameras, with the 18-55mm kit lens making the camera noticeably larger than the pocket friendly alternatives. The NEX series also features the smallest number of lenses - with just 3 currently available in shops, which is ironic considering there are also 3 camera bodies available in shops. Sony has announced a 30mm Macro lens and three more lenses are expected to be announced this year, and hopefully they will be in shops soon! The NEX-5 produces the most DSLR like images, with low noise right up to ISO3200/6400, although images are slightly soft straight from the camera. The price is reasonable at £430 with 16mm lens, or £490 with the 18-55mm lens, although the menu system of the camera made the camera awkward to use at times.

All of these cameras offer Digital SLR-like image quality and the NX11 offers Digital SLR-like handling. However, the cameras all offer much more compact bodies than an equivalent DSLR and the speed in use, focusing in particular, is especially quick. The Micro Four Thirds cameras offer the most lenses, and the support by third parties in the form of adapters makes them an easy choice for anyone with DSLR lenses from any other camera. Unfortunately the NEX-5 and NX11 are supported much less by third parties, with adapters more difficult to find, and lenses particularly short on the NEX mount (currently) with the larger lenses not making the most of the compact body.

Each camera has strengths, and each camera has weaknesses. The NX11 suffers from noise, the E-P3 from the price, the NEX-5 from the lenses (or lack thereof) and confusing menus, and the GF3 from the size restricting its functionality. Which one you choose, therefore will be very much down to your personal preferences and needs, and hopefully this review will help you decide which camera is for you.

The most complete camera, offering both functionality, compact size, image quality, good handling with an abundance of features, and with the fewest number of weaknesses is...

Olympus PEN E-P3

The Olympus PEN E-P3 wins the Editor's Choice award as the most complete mirrorless camera available.
The Olympus PEN E-P3, with ultra fast focusing, the quickest switch on time, a great high resolution touch screen, excellent image quality, built in anti-shake that will work with ANY lens, (isn't this the whole point in having an interchangeable lens camera?) and interchangeable grips, is an obvious choice, as the best PEN series camera yet. In fact, it's one of the best mirrorless cameras this year! Therefore it is to be Highly Recommended, and is our Editor's Choice.

Read our full reviews for more information:

Olympus PEN E-P3 Review.
Samsung NX11 Review.
Panasonic Lumix GF3 Review.
Sony NEX-5 Review.



Olympus PEN E-P3
FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL
Samsung NX11
FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL


for the full list of pros and cons, see our review. for the full list of pros and cons, see our review.
   
Sony NEX-5
FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL
Panasonic Lumix GF3
FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL
   
for the full list of pros and cons, see our review. for the full list of pros and cons, see our review.

Olympus PEN E-P3 Specifications

ManufacturerOlympus
Image Sensor
CCD pixels12.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4032
Pixels (H)3042
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor SizeMicro / Four Thirds
Sensor Size (width)17.3mm
Sensor Size (height)13mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution614k dots
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Touch AF
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity200 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-3
Viewfinder
Viewfinder ResolutionNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting3fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
Video FPSNo Data
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeBLS-1 Lithium Ion
CIPA Rating330
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight321g
Width122mm
Height69.1mm
Depth34.3mm

View Full Product Details

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Photographs taken using the PEN E-P3

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Comments


StrayCat e2
10 14.9k 2 Canada
17 Aug 2011 9:19PM
Another good one Josh, thanks.

Denny

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ianrobinson e2
4 1.1k 8 United Kingdom
17 Aug 2011 9:44PM
looks a great camera and before i got to the end result i knew the olympus would win as it dominates the rest of them.
A great read thx.

Ian.
18 Aug 2011 12:56AM
I'm curious why you didn't choose the Panasonic G3 (or GH2, but that's more a video specialist camera), as it would be a far more appropriate comparison with the others than the GF3, which is Panasonic's low-end model. I don't know if the G3 would have beaten the E-P3, but it would have given it a better run for its money.
joshwa e2
4 603 United Kingdom
18 Aug 2011 10:06AM

Quote: I'm curious why you didn't choose the Panasonic G3 (or GH2, but that's more a video specialist camera), as it would be a far more appropriate comparison with the others than the GF3, which is Panasonic's low-end model. I don't know if the G3 would have beaten the E-P3, but it would have given it a better run for its money.

Have a look at our G3 review - it scores very highly
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/panasonic-lumix-g3-micro-four-thirds-review-16736

We had the G3 at the beginning of July, so it was a timing thing.
frosti7 3 1
20 Aug 2011 5:52PM
Sad

Feel bad about so much effort going into a useless comparison,
Next week NEX-5N is being announced (with new sensor) and a month after that NX200
20 Aug 2011 5:58PM
However, if one factors in the correct info about the NEX (customisable menu access and controls, and cheap adaptors to fit ANY lens from ebay by return post) then this camera must clearly come out well ahead of the 'girlycam'.......
This was a great showdown!! I'd been on a few other popular review sites like cdnet, dpreview and you guys by far made my investment decision the most practical. The solid & helpful advice from the editor at cdnet to go out and "feel" the camera for yourself and after doing just that...in addition to finding your showdown page amongst the 4 cameras made me a comfortable consumer of the Olympus EP3.

This was also the best choice with the sales rep at Samy's here in L.A.,CA as I'd originally been admiring the Nex5 & Nex5n as the Lumix wasn't a choice until I read somewhere on your page that the Ep3 can interchange with that of the Lumix Lenses....this is a plus.

The filter features within the camera was also a great pitch for me. The BW's are the best I've seen taken with any camera without uploading and editing in a computer. The low-lighting is superb. Video is awesome! I'm happy. I wasn't thrilled about dishing out almost a grand (total cost after the 3 year warranty) but I dont plan on buying another digital camera for a loooong time! I've owned several point & shoots since 1998 ...and Olympus has always been my choice due to the sole fact that they know cameras...it's their business to know. Sony, Samsung & Panasonic are into electronics they should concentrate on one thing and make it best.

Overall I'm a happy camper because of this review...ask the right questions ...get the right answers!
Thanks again!!

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