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Olympus PEN E-P3 Specs and Scores

Storage & Battery
Olympus PEN E-P3
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
June 30, 2011
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Olympus PEN E-P3 scores a 45/100 in our evaluation. This mirrorless camera, announced on June 30, 2011, and released the same year, initially retailed for $1000. Measuring 122 x 69 x 34mm and weighing 369g (0.81lbs), the E-P3 offers a compact and lightweight design.

In today’s market, the Olympus PEN E-P3’s specifications may not stand out compared to newer models. However, its compact size and weight make it a suitable choice for casual photographers seeking a user-friendly and portable camera.

Olympus PEN E-P3 Overview and Optics

The Olympus PEN E-P3 optics receive a score of 45 out of 100. This camera is equipped with a 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and a TruePic VI processor. The sensor size is Micro Four Thirds, which is smaller than the APS-C sensors found in many current mirrorless cameras. Despite its smaller size, the sensor has a DXOMARK score of 51, which is decent for its class.

This camera has a Micro 4/3 lens mount, offering compatibility with a wide range of lenses. The E-P3 also includes image stabilization, a useful feature for reducing camera shake and improving image quality. Its shooting speed is 3 frames per second, which is slower than many modern cameras but still sufficient for casual photography. The aspect ratio is the standard 4:3.

Comparing the Olympus PEN E-P3’s optics to today’s market, it is evident that the camera has fallen behind in terms of sensor size and performance. However, the wide lens compatibility and image stabilization features still make it a viable option for those looking for a compact and affordable camera.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
12.3 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
4032 x 3024 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
13 x 17.3 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Micro Four Thirds
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
3 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Micro 4/3
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
TruePic VI
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
60 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.

Olympus PEN E-P3 Video Performance

The Olympus PEN E-P3 has a video score of 56 out of 100. It offers a maximum video resolution of Full HD (1920 x 1080) and a maximum video frame rate of 60fps. Unfortunately, this camera lacks built-in time-lapse functionality.

When comparing the E-P3’s video capabilities to other cameras in today’s market, it falls short. Full HD resolution is now considered standard, with many modern cameras offering 4K video resolution. Additionally, a 60fps frame rate is typical, but not exceptional. The absence of time-lapse functionality further limits the camera’s video versatility.

The Olympus PEN E-P3 has acceptable video features for casual users, but it does not stand out among competitors. Those seeking advanced video capabilities may want to consider other options.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Olympus PEN E-P3 Features and Benefits

The Olympus PEN E-P3 receives a feature score of 52 out of 100. This camera comes with a 3-inch touchscreen, providing an interactive experience for users. However, it does not include a flip screen, GPS, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth capabilities. With a screen resolution of 614,000 dots, the image quality on the display is decent but not exceptional.

Comparing the E-P3’s features to today’s market, it falls short in terms of connectivity and flexibility. Most modern cameras offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options for easy sharing and remote control, as well as flip screens for versatile shooting angles. The lack of GPS is also a drawback for those who wish to geotag their photos.

Taking these factors into account, the Olympus PEN E-P3 may not be the best choice for those seeking advanced features and connectivity. However, it remains a solid option for users who prioritize simplicity and a straightforward shooting experience.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
614,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Olympus PEN E-P3 Storage and Battery

The Olympus PEN E-P3 receives a storage and battery score of 21/100. It has one memory card slot, accepting SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. The battery life lasts for 330 shots, using a BLS-5 battery type. USB charging is not available for this camera.

Comparing these specifications with today’s market, the E-P3 falls short in terms of battery life and charging options. Many modern cameras offer longer battery life and USB charging capabilities. However, the memory card compatibility is still relevant and useful.

The E-P3’s storage and battery performance is less competitive in the current market, but its memory card compatibility remains valuable.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
330 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
20.8 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
10.1 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
User Scores
B&H photo video
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