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Olympus PEN E-PL3 Specs and Scores

Storage & Battery
Olympus PEN E-PL3
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-PL3 receives a score of 42/100 for its general specifications. Launched in 2011 at a price of $460, this mirrorless camera has dimensions of 110 x 64 x 37mm and weighs 313g (0.69lbs). Despite being a decade old, the E-PL3 still holds its own in the market due to its compact size and lightweight design. However, it’s important to note that newer cameras may offer more advanced features, so the E-PL3’s score should be considered in the context of its release date.

Olympus PEN E-PL3 Overview and Optics

The Olympus PEN E-PL3 receives an optics score of 47/100. This camera features a 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and a TruePic VI processor, resulting in a DXOMARK sensor score of 52. With a shooting speed of 5.5 frames per second, the E-PL3 is capable of capturing fast-moving subjects. The Micro Four Thirds sensor size and Micro 4/3 lens mount provide versatility in lens options, while the built-in image stabilization helps reduce camera shake for sharper images. The camera’s aspect ratio is 4:3.

Comparing these specifications to the current market, the Olympus PEN E-PL3 falls short in terms of megapixels and sensor performance. Many modern cameras offer higher megapixel counts and improved sensor technology, providing better image quality and low-light performance. However, the E-PL3’s image stabilization and lens options remain relevant and useful.

Considering the optics, the Olympus PEN E-PL3 may not be the top choice for photographers seeking the highest image quality. However, its versatility in lens options and image stabilization features make it a viable option for those who value these characteristics.

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.
5.5 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-PL3 Video Performance

The Olympus PEN E-PL3 receives a video score of 56 out of 100. This camera offers Full HD video capabilities with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Additionally, it supports a maximum video frame rate of 60fps, ensuring smooth footage in various situations.

However, the E-PL3 lacks built-in time-lapse functionality, which is a feature many modern cameras include. Considering today’s market and the increasing demand for high-quality video, the video capabilities of the Olympus PEN E-PL3 may not meet the expectations of some users.

Taking these specifications into account, the Olympus PEN E-PL3 offers decent video features but falls short in comparison to more advanced cameras currently available. For those seeking exceptional video performance, exploring other options might be a wise decision.

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-PL3 Features and Benefits

The Olympus PEN E-PL3 scores a 36/100 in features, which may seem low compared to modern cameras. The camera comes with a 3-inch screen, but the resolution is only 460,000 dots, making it less sharp than other cameras in the market. The absence of a touchscreen further limits its user-friendliness.

Additionally, the E-PL3 has a flip screen, which is a useful feature for shooting from various angles. However, it lacks GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth capabilities, which are now standard in many cameras for easy geotagging, sharing, and remote control.

Despite these shortcomings, the Olympus PEN E-PL3 still offers decent functionality for its time, but it struggles to compete with the advanced features found in today’s cameras.

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.
460,000 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-PL3 Storage and Battery

The Olympus PEN E-PL3 receives a storage and battery score of 16/100. This camera offers one memory card slot, which accepts SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. In comparison to other cameras in the market, the single memory card slot may limit storage capacity and flexibility. Furthermore, the E-PL3 has a battery life of 300 shots, powered by a BLS-5 battery. This battery life is comparatively lower than other cameras in today’s market.

The camera does not support USB charging, which could inconvenience users who are always on the go. Considering the storage and battery specifications, the Olympus PEN E-PL3 falls short in meeting the standards of modern cameras.

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.
300 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.'
20.9 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.'
10.3 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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