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Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z

The Olympus PEN E-PL3 and the Pentax 645Z are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2011 and April 2014. The E-PL3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the 645Z is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-PL3) and a medium format (645Z) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 51.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-PL3   Pentax 645Z
Olympus E-PL3 Pentax 645Z
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Micro Four Thirds lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 51.1 MP, Medium Format Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 200-12800 ISO 100-204800
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 460k dots 3.2" LCD, 1037k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
300 shots per battery charge650 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 37 mm, 313 g 156 x 117 x 123 mm, 1550 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus PEN E-PL3 and the Pentax 645Z? 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: Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z

The physical size and weight of the Olympus E-PL3 and the Pentax 645Z are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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-PL3 can be obtained in four different colors (black, silver, red, white), while the 645Z is only available in black.

Size Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z
Compare E-PL3 versus 645Z top
Comparison E-PL3 or 645Z rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645Z is considerably larger (159 percent) than the Olympus E-PL3. Moreover, the 645Z is substantially heavier (395 percent) than the E-PL3. It is noteworthy in this context that the 645Z is splash and dust-proof, 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the E-PL3 gets 300 shots out of its BLS-5 battery, while the 645Z can take 650 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL3» 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Pentax 645Z« 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.8 in 54.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2014 8,499 i i Pentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1D« » 5.9 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 25.6 oz .. Y Jun 2016 8,995 i i Hasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
 
Olympus E-PL5« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus E-P3« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.0 oz 330 n Jun 2011 799- i Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 12.8 oz 280 n Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 330 n Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 11.8 oz 290 n Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-P2« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
 
Panasonic GF5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GF2« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 10.9 oz 300 n Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
 
Pentax 645D« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 93 percent) than the 645Z, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-PL3 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Pentax 645Z a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645Z is 539 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 0.79. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

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

Olympus E-PL3 and Pentax 645Z sensor measures

With 51.1MP, the 645Z offers a higher resolution than the E-PL3 (12.2MP), but the 645Z nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 4.29μm for the E-PL3) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 645Z is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 9 months) than the E-PL3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the 645Z has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Pentax 645Z implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 645Z for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 31 inch or 104.9 x 78.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 24.8 inch or 83.9 x 62.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 20.6 inch or 69.9 x 52.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-PL3 are 20.2 x 15.1 inch or 51.2 x 38.4 cm for good quality, 16.1 x 12.1 inch or 41 x 30.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.4 x 10.1 inch or 34.1 x 25.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Olympus PEN E-PL3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax 645Z are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).

E-PL3 versus 645Z MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 645Z offers substantially better image quality than the E-PL3 (overall score 49 points higher). The advantage is based on 5.1 bits higher color depth, 4.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 3.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL3» Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952Olympus E-PL3
 
Pentax 645Z« Medium Format 51.1 8256 61921080/60i26.014.74505101Pentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1D« » Medium Format 51.3 8272 62001080/25p26.214.84489102Hasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
 
Olympus E-PL5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus E-P3« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.810.153651Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-P2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556Olympus E-P2
 
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GF2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654Panasonic GF2
 
Pentax 645D« » Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440-24.612.6126282Pentax 645D

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

 

Feature comparison: Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 645Z has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-PL3, the Pentax 645Z, and comparable cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL3»- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PL3
 
Pentax 645Z«optical Y 3.2 1037 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Pentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1D« »2360 n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/2000s 2.3 n n Hasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n Leica SL
 
Olympus E-PL5« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus E-P3« »- n 3.0 614 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-P2« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P2
 
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic GF2
 
Pentax 645D« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 1.1 n n Pentax 645D

One feature that differentiates the E-PL3 and the 645Z is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-PL3 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the 645Z has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The E-PL3 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the 645Z does not have a selfie-screen.

The Pentax 645Z 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 E-PL3 and the 645Z write their files to SDXC cards. The 645Z 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 645Z supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the E-PL3 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z

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 PEN E-PL3 and Pentax 645Z and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL3»Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL3
 
Pentax 645Z«YstereomonoY-mini3.0---Pentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1D« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Hasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
 
Olympus E-PL5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus E-P3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-P2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P2
 
Panasonic GF5« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GF2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF2
 
Pentax 645D« »Ystereo----2.0---Pentax 645D

It is notable that the 645Z has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The E-PL3 does not feature such a mic input.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax 645Z (unlike the E-PL3) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The 645Z is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the E-PL3 has been discontinued (but it 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 Olympus and Pentax websites.


Review summary: Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z

So what is the bottom line? Is the Olympus E-PL3 better than the Pentax 645Z or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-PL3:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 1237g or 80 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (93 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2011).

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Reasons to prefer the Pentax 645Z:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 105%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (49 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (5.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (4.4 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (3.2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 460k dots).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • 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: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the E-PL3 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 645Z is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 9 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.

E-PL3 09:19 645Z

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-PL3 and the Pentax 645Z place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the E-PL3 and the 645Z in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL3»+ +72/1004.5/5-4/5 Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Pentax 645Z«--4.5/55/55/5 Apr 2014 8,499 i i Pentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DS« »+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1D« »o81/100--4/5 Jun 2016 8,995 i i Hasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
 
Olympus E-PL5« »+ +-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »-77/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus E-P3« »83/10074/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 799- i Olympus E-P3
 
Olympus E-PL2« »83/10071/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« »86/10071/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« »86/10069/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
 
Olympus E-P2« »+69/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
 
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GF2« »82/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
 
Pentax 645D« »---4.5/5- Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. 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.

Olympus E-PL3:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax 645Z:
Check Amazon price

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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-PL3 vs Pentax 645Z

    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 Olympus E-PL3 Pentax 645Z
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2011 April 2014
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 8499
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-PL3 Pentax 645Z
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 43.8 x 32.8 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 1436.64 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 54.7 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 0.79x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 51.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4032 x 3024 pixels 8256 x 6192 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.29 μm 5.30 μm
    Pixel Density 5.42 MP/cm2 3.56 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 200-12800 ISO 100-204800 ISO
    Image Processor Truepic VI PRIME III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 52 101
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.9 26.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.3 14.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 499 4505
    Screen Specs Olympus E-PL3 Pentax 645Z
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.78x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-PL3 Pentax 645Z
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 5.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-PL3 Pentax 645Z
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus E-PL3 Pentax 645Z
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BLS-5 power pack D-LI90 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)300 shots per charge650 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 37 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.5 in)
    156 x 117 x 123 mm
    (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8 in)
    Camera Weight 313 g (11.0 oz) 1550 g (54.7 oz)

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