Olympus E-330 vs E-P3
The Olympus Evolt E-330 and the Olympus PEN E-P3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2006 and June 2011. The E-330 is a DSLR, while the E-P3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The E-330 has a resolution of 7.4 megapixels, whereas the E-P3 provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Olympus E-330||Olympus E-P3|
|Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 100-400 (100 - 1,600)||ISO 200-12,800|
|Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|2.5 LCD, 215k dots||3.0 LCD, 614k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Fixed touchscreen|
|3 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|750 shots per battery charge||330 shots per battery charge|
|140 x 87 x 72 mm, 637 g||122 x 69 x 34 mm, 369 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus Evolt E-330 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-330 and the Olympus E-P3 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The E-P3 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the E-330 is only available in black.
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 (31 percent) than the Olympus E-330. Moreover, the E-P3 is substantially lighter (42 percent) than the E-330. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-330 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-330) 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.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Olympus E-330||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|Olympus E-P3||122 mm||69 mm||34 mm||369 g||330||n||Jun 2011||799|
|Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Leica Digilux 3||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499|
|Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|Olympus E-PL2||114 mm||72 mm||42 mm||362 g||280||n||Jan 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL3||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL1||115 mm||72 mm||42 mm||334 g||290||n||Feb 2010||599|
|Olympus E-P1||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Jun 2009||799|
|Olympus E-P2||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Nov 2009||799|
|Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|Olympus E-510||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||538 g||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|Olympus E-400||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|Olympus E-500||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|Olympus E-300||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|Panasonic L1||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 E-P3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the E-330, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Technology-wise, the E-P3 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic VI) than the E-330 (TruePic), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-P3 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 7.4 MP of the E-330. This megapixels advantage translates into a 29 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-P3 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 5.51μm for the E-330). However, it should be noted that the E-P3 is much more recent (by 5 years and 5 months) than the E-330, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-P3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-P3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-330 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Olympus Evolt E-330 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 400, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-P3 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.
|Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51|
|Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54|
|Olympus E-P1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55|
|Olympus E-P2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56|
|Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The E-P3 indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-330 does not. The highest resolution format that the E-P3 can use is 1080/60i.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-330 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-330 and Olympus E-P3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The E-P3 has a touchscreen, while the E-330 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The E-330 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the E-P3 uses SDXC cards. The E-330 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the E-P3 only has one slot.
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 Olympus Evolt E-330 and Olympus PEN E-P3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the E-330 and the E-P3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-P3 was replaced by the Olympus E-P5, while the E-330 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus website.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-330 and the Olympus E-P3? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-330:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2006).
Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-P3:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 29%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic VI vs TruePic).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (614k vs 215k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x69mm vs 140x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 268g or 42 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.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 5 months of technical progress since the E-330 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-P3 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 5 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 Olympus E-330 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 E-330 or the E-P3. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Olympus E-330||..||+||o||3.5/5||..||Jan 2006||999|
|Olympus E-P3||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799|
|Canon 350D||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|Leica Digilux 3||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||1,499|
|Nikon D80||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|Olympus E-PL2||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL3||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL1||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599|
|Olympus E-P1||+||66/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799|
|Olympus E-P2||+||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799|
|Olympus E-410||86/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|Olympus E-510||89/100||+ +||3.5/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|Olympus E-400||85/100||..||4/5||..||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|Olympus E-500||76/100||+ +||..||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|Olympus E-300||..||+||o||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|Panasonic L10||85/100||+||3.5/5||o||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|Panasonic L1||85/100||+||..||o||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 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.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D C vs Olympus E-P3
- Fujifilm GFX 100 vs Olympus E-330
- Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Olympus E-P3
- Fujifilm X-A7 vs Olympus E-P3
- Leica M10 vs Olympus E-330
- Leica S3 vs Olympus E-330
- Olympus E-330 vs Olympus E-M10
- Olympus E-330 vs Pentax MX-1
- Olympus E-330 vs Ricoh WG-60
- Olympus E-330 vs Sony HX95
- Olympus E-P3 vs Sigma fp
- Olympus E-P3 vs Sony A850
Specifications: Olympus E-330 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 Model||Olympus E-330||Olympus E-P3|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2006||June 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus E-330||Olympus E-P3|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||7.4 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3136 x 2352 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.51 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 400 ISO||200 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 1,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||TruePic||TruePic VI|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||51|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||20.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||536|
|Screen Specs||Olympus E-330||Olympus E-P3|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||215k dots||614k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-330||Olympus E-P3|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus E-330||Olympus E-P3|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Olympus E-330||Olympus E-P3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
140 x 87 x 72 mm
(5.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 in)
122 x 69 x 34 mm
(4.8 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||637 g (22.5 oz)||369 g (13.0 oz)|
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