Ur-Leica Tamron Camera Comparison
Leica 1600mm Soligor Shutter count
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Canon T3 vs Olympus E-P3

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Olympus PEN E-P3 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2011 and June 2011. The T3 is a DSLR, while the E-P3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T3) and a Four Thirds (E-P3) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12.2 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T3 versus Olympus E-P3
Canon T3 Olympus E-P3
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 200-12,800
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 614k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
700 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 122 x 69 x 34 mm, 369 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and the Olympus PEN E-P3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon T3 and the Olympus E-P3. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-P3 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the T3 is only available in black.

Size Canon T3 vs Olympus E-P3
Compare T3 versus E-P3 top
Comparison T3 or E-P3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-P3 is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Canon T3. Moreover, the E-P3 is markedly lighter (25 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the E-P3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T3) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-P3). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-P3, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the T3 gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the E-P3 can take 330 images on a single charge of its BLS-5 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
2.
 
Olympus E-P3 122 mm 69 mm 34 mm 369 g 330 n Jun 2011 799i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Olympus E-PL2 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599i
14.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599i
15.
 
Olympus E-PL1 115 mm 72 mm 42 mm 334 g 290 n Feb 2010 599i
16.
 
Olympus E-P1 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Jun 2009 799i
17.
 
Olympus E-P2 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Nov 2009 799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the E-P3, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

ad

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon T3 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-P3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-P3 is 30 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the T3 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-P3 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon T3 and Olympus E-P3 sensor measures

Even though the T3 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12.2 megapixels. This implies that the T3 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 4.29μm for the E-P3), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the E-P3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the T3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-P3 are ISO 200 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

T3 versus E-P3 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the T3 provides substantially higher image quality than the E-P3, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
2.
 
Olympus E-P3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.810.153651
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355
14.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952
15.
 
Olympus E-PL1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754
16.
 
Olympus E-P1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655
17.
 
Olympus E-P2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the E-P3 provides a better video resolution than the T3. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 720/30p.

ad

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T3 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-P3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-P3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-3. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T3, the Olympus E-P3, and comparable cameras.

scroll hint
Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-P3optional n 3.0 614 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
14.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
15.
 
Olympus E-PL1optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y Y
16.
 
Olympus E-P1none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
17.
 
Olympus E-P2optional n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The E-P3 has a touchscreen, while the T3 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T3 and the E-P3 write their files to SDXC cards. The E-P3 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the T3 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

ad

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and Olympus PEN E-P3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-P3Ystereo---mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo---mini2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo---mini2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-PL1Ystereo---mini2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-P1Ystereo---mini2.0---
17.
 
Olympus E-P2Ystereo---mini2.0---

Both the T3 and the E-P3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3 was replaced by the Canon T5, while the E-P3 was followed by the Olympus E-P5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.

ad

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T3 and the Olympus E-P3? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2011).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-P3:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (614k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x69mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 126g or 25 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (4 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-P3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T3 08:10 E-P3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3 and the Olympus E-P3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the T3 or the E-P3. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
2.
 
Olympus E-P3..83/10074/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 799i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Olympus E-PL23/583/10071/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599i
14.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599i
15.
 
Olympus E-PL1..86/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599i
16.
 
Olympus E-P1..+66/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799i
17.
 
Olympus E-P23/5+69/1004/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon T3:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-P3:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Canon T3 vs Olympus E-P3

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon T3 Olympus E-P3
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 June 2011
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon T3 Olympus E-P3
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 4032 x 3024 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 4.29 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 5.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 TruePic VI
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 51
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 20.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 10.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 536
    Screen Specs Canon T3 Olympus E-P3
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 614k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3 Olympus E-P3
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon T3 Olympus E-P3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3 Olympus E-P3
    Battery Type LP-E10 BLS-5
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge330 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    122 x 69 x 34 mm
    (4.8 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 369 g (13.0 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon T3 vs Olympus E-P3

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.


    If you like it, make sure you share it:

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference by pressing "Crtl" + "D".
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. I appreciate it.