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Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7

Portability
88
Imaging
48
Features
52
Overall
49
Olympus PEN E-PL3 front
 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 front
Portability
91
Imaging
36
Features
33
Overall
34

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 Key Specs

Olympus E-PL3
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Display
  • ISO 200 - 12800
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 313g - 110 x 64 x 37mm
  • Revealed September 2011
  • Succeeded the Olympus E-PL2
Panasonic ZS7
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 25-300mm (F3.3-4.9) lens
  • 218g - 103 x 60 x 33mm
  • Launched July 2011
  • Additionally referred to as Lumix DMC-TZ10
  • Refreshed by Panasonic ZS8
Photography Glossary

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 Overview

In this article, we are matching up the Olympus E-PL3 versus Panasonic ZS7, former is a Entry-Level Mirrorless while the other is a Small Sensor Superzoom by competitors Olympus and Panasonic. The image resolution of the E-PL3 (12MP) and the ZS7 (12MP) is fairly comparable but the E-PL3 (Four Thirds) and ZS7 (1/2.3") enjoy different sensor measurements.

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The E-PL3 was revealed 3 months after the ZS7 which means that they are of a similar age. Both the cameras offer different body type with the Olympus E-PL3 being a Rangefinder-style mirrorless camera and the Panasonic ZS7 being a Compact camera.

Before going through a detailed comparison, below is a brief synopsis of how the E-PL3 scores vs the ZS7 in the way of portability, imaging, features and an overall score.

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Reasons to pick Olympus E-PL3 over the Panasonic ZS7

 E-PL3 ZS7 
Manually focus More accurate focus
Display typeTiltingFixed Tilting display

Reasons to pick Panasonic ZS7 over the Olympus E-PL3

 ZS7 E-PL3 

Common features in the Olympus E-PL3 and Panasonic ZS7

 E-PL3 ZS7 
LaunchedSeptember 2011July 2011Same age
Display sizing3"3"Equivalent display measurements
Display resolution460k460kThe same display resolution
Selfie screen Neither offers selfie screen
Touch friendly display Lacking Touch friendly display

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 Physical Comparison

If you're intending to carry around your camera frequently, you are going to need to factor in its weight and measurements. The Olympus E-PL3 offers physical dimensions of 110mm x 64mm x 37mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.5") and a weight of 313 grams (0.69 lbs) while the Panasonic ZS7 has proportions of 103mm x 60mm x 33mm (4.1" x 2.4" x 1.3") with a weight of 218 grams (0.48 lbs).

Check the Olympus E-PL3 versus Panasonic ZS7 in our brand new Camera plus Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Take into consideration, the weight of an ILC will change dependant on the lens you choose at the time. Here is the front view sizing comparison of the E-PL3 vs the ZS7.

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 size comparison

Using size and weight, the portability rating of the E-PL3 and ZS7 is 88 and 91 respectively.

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 top view buttons comparison

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 Sensor Comparison

Usually, it is hard to picture the difference in sensor sizes simply by seeing specs. The picture below should give you a better sense of the sensor dimensions in the E-PL3 and ZS7.

All in all, the two cameras enjoy the same exact MP but different sensor sizes. The E-PL3 contains the larger sensor which will make getting bokeh simpler.

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 sensor size comparison

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 Screen and ViewFinder

Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Portrait photography with Olympus E-PL3
Portrait photography with Panasonic ZS7
60
has manual focus
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
has face detection focus
exports RAW formats
MP count low (12MP)
21
lack of manual focus
cannot use external flash
low MP (12 megapixels)
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW files
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Street Comparison

Olympus E-PL3 Street photography factors
Panasonic ZS7 Street photography factors
84
tilting screen
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
exports RAW formats
61
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition in class (218 grams)
screen does not articulate
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW files
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Sports Comparison

Sports photography with Olympus E-PL3
Sports photography with Panasonic ZS7
45
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
has tracking autofocus
low fps (6.0 frames/s)
MP count low (12 megapixels)
terrible battery power (300 per charge)
doesn't have phase detect auto focus
28
has image stabilization (Optical)
slow continuous shooting (2.0 fps)
low MP (12MP)
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have phase detect autofocus
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Travel Comparison

Olympus E-PL3 Travel photography advice
Panasonic ZS7 Travel photography advice
44
lack of Time Lapse recording
terrible battery power (300 CIPA)
MP count low (12 megapixels)
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen
63
lighter than competition in class (218 grams)
flash built-in
quite wide (25mm)
long reach (300mm)
does not have Time Lapse mode
low MP (12 megapixels)
display is not selfie friendly
slow maximum aperture (f3.3)
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Landscape Comparison

Landscape photography with Olympus E-PL3
Landscape photography with Panasonic ZS7
61
has manual focus
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen size is good (3 inch)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
exports RAW formats
MP count low (12MP)
terrible battery power (300 per charge)
lack of Time Lapse recording
38
quite wide (25mm)
screen is a good size (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Optical)
lack of manual focus
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
slow maximum aperture (f3.3)
low MP (12 megapixels)
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW files
does not have Time Lapse mode
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Vlogging Comparison

Olympus E-PL3 Vlogging factors
Panasonic ZS7 Vlogging factors
34
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
has face detection focus
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 pixels)
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen
lack of external mic support
30
quite wide (25mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition in class (218g)
slow maximum aperture (f3.3)
display is not selfie friendly
low quality video (1280 x 720 pixels)
does not have mic jack
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Olympus E-PL3 vs Panasonic ZS7 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Olympus E-PL3 and Panasonic ZS7
 Olympus PEN E-PL3Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7
General Information
Manufacturer Olympus Panasonic
Model type Olympus PEN E-PL3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7
Otherwise known as - Lumix DMC-TZ10
Type Entry-Level Mirrorless Small Sensor Superzoom
Revealed 2011-09-20 2011-07-19
Body design Rangefinder-style mirrorless Compact
Sensor Information
Processor Chip Truepic VI Venus Engine HD II
Sensor type CMOS CCD
Sensor size Four Thirds 1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions 17.3 x 13mm 6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor area 224.9mm² 27.7mm²
Sensor resolution 12MP 12MP
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio 4:3 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution 4032 x 3024 4000 x 3000
Highest native ISO 12800 6400
Min native ISO 200 80
RAW support
Autofocusing
Focus manually
AF touch
Continuous AF
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Total focus points 35 11
Lens
Lens mount type Micro Four Thirds fixed lens
Lens zoom range - 25-300mm (12.0x)
Maximum aperture - f/3.3-4.9
Macro focusing range - 3cm
Total lenses 107 -
Focal length multiplier 2.1 5.9
Screen
Range of display Tilting Fixed Type
Display size 3" 3"
Resolution of display 460 thousand dot 460 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch functionality
Display technology HyperCrystal LCD AR(Anti-Reflective) coating -
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type Electronic (optional) None
Features
Slowest shutter speed 60 seconds 60 seconds
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 seconds 1/2000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed 6.0 frames/s 2.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Set WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance no built-in flash 5.30 m
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels) Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Syncro
Hot shoe
AEB
White balance bracketing
Maximum flash sync 1/160 seconds -
Exposure
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps) 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 848 x 480 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution 1920x1080 1280x720
Video file format AVCHD, Motion JPEG AVCHD Lite
Mic input
Headphone input
Connectivity
Wireless None None
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None BuiltIn
Physical
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight 313 gr (0.69 lb) 218 gr (0.48 lb)
Dimensions 110 x 64 x 37mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.5") 103 x 60 x 33mm (4.1" x 2.4" x 1.3")
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
Other
Battery life 300 photos -
Battery format 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
Storage slots 1 1
Retail price $399 $350