Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7

Olympus PEN E-PL3 front
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 front

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 Key Specs

Olympus E-PL3
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 200 - 12800
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 313g - 110 x 64 x 37mm
  • Introduced September 2011
  • Superseded the Olympus E-PL2
Panasonic FP7
(Full Review)
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3.5" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 35-140mm (F3.5-5.9) lens
  • 147g - 101 x 59 x 18mm
  • Released January 2011
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Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 Overview

Its time to take a closer look at the Olympus E-PL3 versus Panasonic FP7, one being a Entry-Level Mirrorless and the other is a Ultracompact by competitors Olympus and Panasonic. There is a crucial difference among the image resolutions of the E-PL3 (12MP) and FP7 (16MP) and the E-PL3 (Four Thirds) and FP7 (1/2.3") boast totally different sensor sizes.

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The E-PL3 was revealed 9 months later than the FP7 and they are both of a similar generation. Each of the cameras feature different body design with the Olympus E-PL3 being a Rangefinder-style mirrorless camera and the Panasonic FP7 being a Ultracompact camera.

Before we go right into a in-depth comparison, here is a concise view of how the E-PL3 scores vs the FP7 when considering portability, imaging, features and an overall grade.

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Reasons to pick Olympus E-PL3 over the Panasonic FP7

 E-PL3 FP7 
ReleasedSeptember 2011January 2011More recent by 9 months
Focus manually Very exact focus
Display typeTiltingFixed Tilting display
Display resolution460k230kClearer display (+230k dot)

Reasons to pick Panasonic FP7 over the Olympus E-PL3

 FP7 E-PL3 
Display size3.5"3"Larger display (+0.5")
Touch display Easily navigate

Common features in the Olympus E-PL3 and Panasonic FP7

 E-PL3 FP7 
Selfie screen Neither has selfie screen

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 Physical Comparison

For anyone who is intending to lug around your camera regularly, you have to think about its weight and measurements. The Olympus E-PL3 has outer dimensions of 110mm x 64mm x 37mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.5") with a weight of 313 grams (0.69 lbs) and the Panasonic FP7 has proportions of 101mm x 59mm x 18mm (4.0" x 2.3" x 0.7") accompanied by a weight of 147 grams (0.32 lbs).

Examine the Olympus E-PL3 versus Panasonic FP7 in the new Camera and Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Do not forget, the weight of an Interchangeable Lens Camera will change dependant on the lens you choose at the time. Here is a front view physical size comparison of the E-PL3 against the FP7.

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 size comparison

Looking at size and weight, the portability rating of the E-PL3 and FP7 is 88 and 95 respectively.

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 top view buttons comparison

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 Sensor Comparison

Oftentimes, it's difficult to visualise the gap in sensor measurements just by checking out technical specs. The graphic here will give you a clearer sense of the sensor sizes in the E-PL3 and FP7.

As you can tell, each of these cameras come with different resolutions and different sensor measurements. The E-PL3 having a larger sensor will make shooting shallower DOF less difficult and the Panasonic FP7 will produce greater detail because of its extra 4MP. Greater resolution can also make it easier to crop images a good deal more aggressively. The newer E-PL3 will have an advantage with regard to sensor innovation.

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 sensor size comparison

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 Screen and ViewFinder

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Olympus E-PL3 Portrait photography info
Panasonic FP7 Portrait photography info
focusing manually
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
includes face detection autofocus
supports RAW files
low MP (12 megapixels)
decent MP (16 megapixels)
includes face detection focus
focusing manually not possible
manual mode not available
external flash not possible
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files
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Street Comparison

Olympus E-PL3 Street photography information
Panasonic FP7 Street photography information
screen tilts up and down
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
supports RAW files
has image stabilization (Optical)
features focus by touch
no articulating screen
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files
more heavy than average (147g)
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Sports Comparison

Sports photography with Olympus E-PL3
Sports photography with Panasonic FP7
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
includes tracking autofocus
continuous shooting slow (6.0 fps)
low MP (12 megapixels)
terrible battery pack (300 shots)
lacks phase detect autofocus
has image stabilization (Optical)
decent MP (16MP)
includes tracking autofocus
good battery power (240 per charge)
slow frames per second (4.0 fps)
no shutter priority mode
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
lack of phase detect auto focus
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Travel Comparison

Travel photography with Olympus E-PL3
Travel photography with Panasonic FP7
doesn't have Timelapse recording
terrible battery pack (300 shots)
low MP (12MP)
does not posses selfie friendly screen
good battery power (240 shots)
features focus by touch
decent MP (16 megapixels)
built-in flash
missing Timelapse function
more heavy than average (147g)
screen is not selfie friendly
wide angle not fantastic (35mm)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
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Landscape Comparison

Olympus E-PL3 Landscape photography highlights
Panasonic FP7 Landscape photography highlights
focusing manually
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen size is good (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
supports RAW files
low MP (12MP)
terrible battery pack (300 per charge)
doesn't have Timelapse recording
very good size screen (3.5 inches)
has image stabilization (Optical)
decent MP (16MP)
good battery power (240 CIPA)
focusing manually not possible
can't switch lenses (fixed lens mount)
wide angle not fantastic (35mm)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
manual mode not available
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files
missing Timelapse function
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Vlogging Comparison

Vlogging with Olympus E-PL3
Vlogging with Panasonic FP7
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes face detection autofocus
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
does not posses selfie friendly screen
doesn't have external microphone support
has touchscreen
has image stabilization (Optical)
includes face detection focus
wide angle not fantastic (35mm)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
screen is not selfie friendly
video res low (1280 x 720 pxls)
missing external microphone socket
more heavy than average (147g)
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Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic FP7 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Olympus E-PL3 and Panasonic FP7
 Olympus PEN E-PL3Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7
General Information
Brand Name Olympus Panasonic
Model type Olympus PEN E-PL3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7
Category Entry-Level Mirrorless Ultracompact
Introduced 2011-09-20 2011-01-05
Physical type Rangefinder-style mirrorless Ultracompact
Sensor Information
Chip Truepic VI Venus Engine IV
Sensor type CMOS CCD
Sensor size Four Thirds 1/2.3"
Sensor measurements 17.3 x 13mm 6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor area 224.9mm² 27.7mm²
Sensor resolution 12 megapixel 16 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio 4:3 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution 4032 x 3024 4608 x 3456
Highest native ISO 12800 6400
Min native ISO 200 100
RAW support
Focus manually
Touch focus
AF continuous
AF single
Tracking AF
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points 35 11
Lens mount type Micro Four Thirds fixed lens
Lens zoom range - 35-140mm (4.0x)
Max aperture - f/3.5-5.9
Macro focusing range - 10cm
Amount of lenses 107 -
Crop factor 2.1 5.9
Screen type Tilting Fixed Type
Screen sizing 3" 3.5"
Screen resolution 460k dots 230k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Screen tech HyperCrystal LCD AR(Anti-Reflective) coating TFT Touch Screen LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Electronic (optional) None
Lowest shutter speed 60 secs 60 secs
Highest shutter speed 1/4000 secs 1/1600 secs
Continuous shooting rate 6.0 frames per sec 4.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation Yes -
Set WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance no built-in flash 4.90 m
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels) Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction
External flash
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize 1/160 secs -
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps) 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution 1920x1080 1280x720
Video file format AVCHD, Motion JPEG Motion JPEG
Microphone port
Headphone port
Wireless None None
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None None
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight 313 grams (0.69 pounds) 147 grams (0.32 pounds)
Physical dimensions 110 x 64 x 37mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.5") 101 x 59 x 18mm (4.0" x 2.3" x 0.7")
DXO scores
DXO All around rating 52 not tested
DXO Color Depth rating 20.9 not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating 10.3 not tested
DXO Low light rating 499 not tested
Battery life 300 photos 240 photos
Style of battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery ID BLS-5 -
Self timer Yes (2 or 12 sec) Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Card slots Single Single
Launch pricing $399 $227