Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs Olympus E-PL3
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Olympus PEN E-PL3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and June 2011. Both the X-Pro2 and the E-PL3 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (X-Pro2) and a Four Thirds (E-PL3) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Olympus PEN E-PL3? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Olympus E-PL3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-Pro2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, graphite), while the E-PL3 is available in four color-versions (black, silver, red, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL3 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Fujifilm X-Pro2. Moreover, the E-PL3 is substantially lighter (37 percent) than the X-Pro2. It is worth mentioning in this context that the X-Pro2 is splash and dust resistant, while the E-PL3 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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 Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-Pro2) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-PL3). Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|2.||Olympus E-PL3||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|3.||Fujifilm X100V||128 mm||75 mm||53 mm||478 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-Pro3||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||497 g||440||Y||Oct 2019||1,799|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T3||133 mm||93 mm||59 mm||539 g||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499|
|6.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T2||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T1||129 mm||90 mm||47 mm||440 g||350||Y||Jan 2014||1,299|
|10.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699|
|11.||Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|12.||Olympus E-PL5||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||Sep 2012||599|
|13.||Olympus E-P3||122 mm||69 mm||34 mm||369 g||330||n||Jun 2011||799|
|14.||Olympus E-PL2||114 mm||72 mm||42 mm||362 g||280||n||Jan 2011||599|
|15.||Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|16.||Olympus E-PL1||115 mm||72 mm||42 mm||334 g||290||n||Feb 2010||599|
|17.||Sony A6500||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-PL3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 percent) than the X-Pro2, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-PL3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PL3 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the X-Pro2 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-PL3 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 24MP, the X-Pro2 offers a higher resolution than the E-PL3 (12.2MP), but the X-Pro2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 4.29μm for the E-PL3). However, the X-Pro2 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 6 months) than the E-PL3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-Pro2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-Pro2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-PL3 are 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm for good quality, 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X-Pro2 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PL3 are ISO 200 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|12.||Olympus E-PL5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72|
|13.||Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51|
|14.||Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|15.||Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|16.||Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the X-Pro2 provides a higher frame rate than the E-PL3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/60i.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-Pro2 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-PL3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-PL3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Olympus E-PL3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One feature that differentiates the E-PL3 and the X-Pro2 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-PL3 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the X-Pro2 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.The E-PL3 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the X-Pro2 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-Pro2 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X-Pro2 and the E-PL3 write their files to SDXC cards. The X-Pro2 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the E-PL3 only has one slot. The X-Pro2 supports UHS-II cards on its first slot and UHS-I on its second one, while the E-PL3 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Olympus PEN E-PL3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the X-Pro2 has a microphone port, which is missing on the E-PL3. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Fujifilm X-Pro2 (unlike the E-PL3) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The X-Pro2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the E-PL3 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-PL3 was succeeded by the Olympus E-PL5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Olympus websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X-Pro2 better than the Olympus E-PL3 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-Pro2:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12.2MP) with a 43% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 460k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II and UHS-I) SDXC cards.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the E-PL3 launch.
Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL3:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 141x83mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 182g or 37 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (65 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2011).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-Pro2 is the clear winner of the match-up (22 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Olympus E-PL3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-Pro2 or the E-PL3. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.
|1.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|2.||Olympus E-PL3||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|3.||Fujifilm X100V||5/5||+ +||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2020||1,399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-Pro3||4/5||+||85/100||4/5||..||Oct 2019||1,799|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T3||5/5||+ +||88/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2018||1,499|
|6.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T2||5/5||+ +||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T1||5/5||+ +||84/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||1,299|
|10.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||5/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699|
|11.||Nikon D500||5/5||+ +||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|12.||Olympus E-PL5||3/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|13.||Olympus E-P3||..||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799|
|14.||Olympus E-PL2||3/5||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599|
|15.||Olympus E-PM1||..||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|16.||Olympus E-PL1||..||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599|
|17.||Sony A6500||5/5||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs Olympus E-PL3
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 Model||Fujifilm X-Pro2||Olympus E-PL3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2016||June 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 1,699||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro2||Olympus E-PL3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.52 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 12,800 ISO||200 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||X Processor Pro||Truepic VI|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||52|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||20.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||499|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro2||Olympus E-PL3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro2||Olympus E-PL3|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s||5.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||Single UHS-II||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro2||Olympus E-PL3|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro2||Olympus E-PL3|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
141 x 83 x 46 mm
(5.6 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
110 x 64 x 37 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||495 g (17.5 oz)||313 g (11.0 oz)|
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