- 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
- Released September 2011
- Older Model is Olympus E-PL2
- Read full specs
- Size Comparison
Olympus E-PL3 summary
Olympus E-PL3 is Olympus's Entry-Level Mirrorless camera originally released on September of 2011. The camera comes with a 12MP, CMOS Four Thirds sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4032 x 3024.
Olympus introduced this camera in an effort to update the earlier Olympus E-PL2 (Read Full Comparison)
The E-PL3 is positioned #97 out of 115 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras & over-all #431 out of 1459 for digital cameras in our list. You should try out our Advanced camera search to see camera ratings based on your personal criteria.
The following is a chart of multiple factors used in the rating system.
Olympus E-PL3 family
The Olympus E-PL3 is part of a family of products. You can read the complete range below.
E-PL3 vs E-P720MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2021
E-PL3 vs E-M10 IV20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2020
E-PL3 vs E-PL916MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2018
E-PL3 vs E-M10 III16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2017
E-PL3 vs E-PL816MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2016
E-PL3 vs E-M10 II16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2015
E-PL3 vs E-PL716MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
E-PL3 vs E-PL616MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
E-PL3 vs E-M1016MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
E-PL3 vs E-P516MPFour Thirds9.0 fps2013
E-PL3 vs E-PM216MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2013
E-PL3 vs E-PL516MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2012
E-PL3 vs E-PM112MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
E-PL3 vs E-P312MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
E-PL3 vs E-PL212MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
E-PL3 vs E-PL1s12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
E-PL3 vs E-PL112MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
E-PL3 vs E-P212MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
E-PL3 vs E-P112MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2009
Olympus E-PL3 Gallery
You can check the E-PL3 from different angles in the gallery underneath.
Olympus E-PL3 Pros and Cons
Below is a selection of pluses and minuses of the Olympus E-PL3 based on things that are typically considered essential in a camera.
Olympus E-PL3 Sensor details
The Olympus E-PL3 is run by the Truepic VI processor chip. The specification of the sensor in the Olympus E-PL3 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor has the capability to capture 4032 x 3024 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3. The camera has Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Optical stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization as the latter can cause cropping.Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
The CMOS sensor has 12MP and gives a native ISO range of 200 - 12800. RAW format is saved therefore the user has wider margin for error.
The image below illustrates the E-PL3's sensor dimensions when compared to other common sizes. The E-PL3 sensor has a crop factor of 2.1 and is pointed out in green.World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.
Olympus E-PL3 dimensions
Olympus E-PL3 weighs about 0.69 lbs (313 grams / 11.04 oz) & has outer dimensions of 110mm x 64mm x 37mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.5"). The weight of typical Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 327 grams so the Olympus E-PL3 is very much the same in comparison with other competitors.Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
The following is a photo of the Olympus E-PL3 besides a soda so you're able to get a sense of its scale.
The top view directly below will illustrate the button design on the E-PL3.
Olympus E-PL3 Lens specs
The E-PL3 fits the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses that you can purchase. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the E-PL3.
Olympus E-PL3 Connectivity
The E-PL3 has the following connectivity:
- USB Yes
- HDMI Yes
Digital cameras that incorporate NFC or Bluetooth connectivity are able to be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You can easily transfer photos and at times change settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.
Several applications even allow a Liveview and hit the shutter in case you are not near the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI port, it can easily be attached to an external screen. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery pack through the USB socket.
Olympus E-PL3 Video specs
The max video quality in the Olympus E-PL3 is 1920 x 1080 and you can shoot in AVCHD and Motion JPEG format. 1080p quality offers a decent balance for quality vs file sizes but 1080p is not going to leave you with any room to crop. The camera does not have a microphone or headphone port which means that you have got little control over the sound. It is perhaps a better idea to have a look at a different camera in case you want decent sound for your video clips.
Olympus E-PL3 Weather Sealing
There is no environment sealing on the Olympus E-PL3 so you need to be careful in rainy or dusty conditions.
Olympus E-PL3 Display and Viewfinder
The Olympus E-PL3 comes with a 3 inch tilting display screen supporting a resolution of 460 thousand dots.
Sadly the display screen is not a touch screen.Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
The ViewFinder specs for Olympus E-PL3 are the following:
- ViewFinder Electronic (optional)
For bright outdoor conditions which make the camera displays washed out and hard to see, viewfinders are very valuable.
Olympus E-PL3 Shutter specs
Olympus E-PL3 has the capability to shoot continuously at 6.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.
Olympus E-PL3 Flash and Hot shoe specs
Olympus E-PL3 has external flash support but is without in-built flash. The highest flash sync speed is 1/160 seconds.
Olympus E-PL3 Autofocus specs
Olympus E-PL3 has just Contrast Based AF & lacks Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection focusing is more faster & accurate when compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera comes with Face detect making it valuable for people photography.
The AF system comes with 35 focus points to select from. It also features Tracking AF for moving things. Olympus E-PL3 has the ability to use manual focusing when required for low light conditions or you want to have more precise control on focusing.
Olympus E-PL3 Battery life
The battery pack (BLS-5) on the Olympus E-PL3 is built to last for 300 clicks based on the CIPA benchmarks which is lower when compared to it's competition. The usual Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 339. Samsung NX mini offers the maximum (650) battery life for this type of cameras.
Here is a listing of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras having the best battery life:
E-PL3 vs NX mini650 yesnono
E-PL3 vs K-01540 yesnono
E-PL3 vs NEX-3N480 yesnono
E-PL3 vs NEX-F3470 yesnono
E-PL3 vs A3000470 yesnono
Olympus E-PL3 for specific types of photography
The following bar chart indicates a rundown of the Olympus E-PL3 for specific types of photography. To learn more, browse to the specific section below.
Olympus E-PL3 Portrait photography advice
The Olympus E-PL3 gets a points total of 61 which is nice, and means the camera is a very decent option for portrait photography. Taking portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor specs, RAW support and capability to utilize external lighting.
Street photography with Olympus E-PL3
Coming in at a brilliant points total of 84, the Olympus E-PL3 is a wonderful fit to use in street photography. A decent street photography camera comes with a perfect balance of image quality and portability.
Olympus E-PL3 Sports photography features
A subpar sports photography rating of 45 indicates the Olympus E-PL3 is just not suitable for shooting sports. A camera must have good tracking and continuous shooting for sports photography.
Olympus E-PL3 Travel photography info
Weight is extremely important when selecting a travel camera. All things considered, the Olympus E-PL3 gets a subpar 45 as a travelling camera which is just not suitable to buy for your travels.
Olympus E-PL3 Landscape photography details
For anyone looking to buy a digital camera for landscape photographs, the most vital factor is going to be image quality. The Olympus E-PL3 at it's above average rating of 61 as a landscape camera is a very decent choice compared to its competition.
Olympus E-PL3 as a Vlogging camera
A vlogging camera preferably should come with a articulating screen, mic port and preferably image stabilization. Taking everything into account, the Olympus E-PL3 is just not suitable as a vlog camera as it comes to a subpar score of 34.
Olympus E-PL3 Alternatives
If you are looking for replacements to the E-PL3, here is a number of the highest placed cameras that fall under the category of Entry-Level Mirrorless.
The graph down below shows you an overview of the E-PL3 compared to it's highest scored competitors shown above.
Here are a few more cameras you may see as alternate options. To see a detailed comparison, just click on the "compare" link.