Olympus TG-5 vs E-P3
The Olympus Tough TG-5 and the Olympus PEN E-P3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2017 and June 2011. The TG-5 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-P3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (TG-5) and a Four Thirds (E-P3) sensor. The TG-5 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the E-P3 provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Olympus TG-5||Olympus E-P3|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|25-100mm f/2.0-4.9||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 100-12800||ISO 200-12800|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 460k dots||3.0" LCD, 614k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|20 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Waterproof body (nom)||Not weather sealed|
|340 shots per battery charge||330 shots per battery charge|
|113 x 66 x 32 mm, 250 g||122 x 69 x 34 mm, 369 g|
Body comparison: Olympus TG-5 vs E-P3
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus TG-5 and the Olympus E-P3. 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. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the TG-5 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
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 notably larger (13 percent) than the Olympus TG-5. It is worth mentioning in this context that the TG-5 is splash and dust resistant, while the E-P3 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the TG-5 is water-proof up to 15m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the TG-5 has a lens built in, whereas the E-P3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-P3 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Olympus TG-5»||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||8.8 oz||340||Y||May 2017||449||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-P3«||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.0 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||799||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Canon SX740« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon SX730« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XP130« »||4.3 in||2.8 in||1.1 in||7.3 oz||240||n||Jan 2018||229||Fujifilm XP130|
|Nikon W300« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.1 in||8.1 oz||280||Y||May 2017||389||Nikon W300|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.3 in||9.3 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||499||-||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||11.8 oz||290||n||Feb 2010||599||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-P1« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Panasonic TS7« »||4.6 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||11.3 oz||300||Y||May 2018||449||Panasonic TS7|
|Sony HX99« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||449||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||429||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.2 oz||370||n||Oct 2018||399||Sony WX800|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 TG-5 was launched at a lower price than the E-P3, despite having a lens built in. 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.
Sensor comparison: Olympus TG-5 vs E-P3
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus TG-5 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Olympus E-P3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-P3 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
In terms of chip-set technology, the TG-5 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic VIII) than the E-P3 (TruePic VI), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 12.2MP, the E-P3 offers a higher resolution than the TG-5 (12MP), but the E-P3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 1.53μm for the TG-5) due to its larger sensor. However, the TG-5 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 10 months) than the E-P3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Olympus Tough TG-5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800 The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-P3 are ISO 200 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus TG-5»||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-P3«||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51||Olympus E-P3|
|Canon SX740« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Canon SX740|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon SX730« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XP130« »||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm XP130|
|Nikon W300« »||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Nikon W300|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-P1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56||Olympus E-P2|
|Panasonic TS7« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic TS7|
|Sony HX99« »||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95« »||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony WX800|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the TG-5 provides a higher video resolution than the E-P3. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the E-P3 is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Olympus TG-5 vs E-P3
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The TG-5 and the E-P3 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. 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 Olympus TG-5, the Olympus E-P3, and comparable cameras.
|Olympus TG-5»||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||2000||20.0||Y||Y||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-P3«||-||n||3.0||614||fixed||Y||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P3|
|Canon SX740« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||3200||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||8.2||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon SX730« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||3200||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XP130« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm XP130|
|Nikon W300« »||-||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon W300|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||4000||5.5||n||Y||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||5.5||n||Y||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||2000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-P1« »||-||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||-||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P2|
|Panasonic TS7« »||1170||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1300||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TS7|
|Sony HX99« »||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95« »||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony WX800|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The E-P3 has a touchscreen, while the TG-5 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 TG-5 and the E-P3 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Olympus TG-5 vs E-P3
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 Tough TG-5 and Olympus PEN E-P3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus TG-5»||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-P3«||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Canon SX740« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon SX730« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XP130« »||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm XP130|
|Nikon W300« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon W300|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-P1« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Panasonic TS7« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TS7|
|Sony HX99« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony WX800|
It is notable that the TG-5 offers wifi support, while the E-P3 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The TG-5 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the E-P3 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-P3 was succeeded by the Olympus E-P5.
Review summary: Olympus TG-5 vs E-P3
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus TG-5 and the Olympus E-P3? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus Tough TG-5:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic VIII vs TruePic VI).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the E-P3 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x66mm vs 122x69mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the E-P3).
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Water-proof: Can be used in the rain and for underwater photography (up to 15m).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 10 months of technical progress since the E-P3 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-P3:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (614k vs 460k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2011).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (11 points each). 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the TG-5 or the E-P3 handle or perform in practice. 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: Olympus TG-5 vs E-P3
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Olympus TG-5»||HiRec||-||4/5||rev||4/5||May 2017||449||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-P3«||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Canon SX740« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon SX730« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||399||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XP130« »||rev||-||3.5/5||-||4/5||Jan 2018||229||Fujifilm XP130|
|Nikon W300« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||4/5||May 2017||389||Nikon W300|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||HiRec||72/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Jun 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499||-||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-P1« »||Rec||66/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Rec||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Panasonic TS7« »||Rec||-||-||-||3.5/5||May 2018||449||Panasonic TS7|
|Sony HX99« »||-||-||-||-||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95« »||-||-||-||-||-||Aug 2018||429||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||-||-||-||-||-||Oct 2018||399||Sony WX800|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
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- Nikon D90 vs Sony A99 II
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Specifications: Olympus TG-5 vs Olympus E-P3
|Camera Model||Olympus TG-5||Olympus E-P3|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||25-100mm f/2.0-4.9||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2017||June 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 799|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||17.3 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||200-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic VIII||TruePic VI|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||614k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||20 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (nom)||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Type||LI-92B power pack||BLS-5 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
113 x 66 x 32 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
122 x 69 x 34 mm
(4.8 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||250 g (8.8 oz)||369 g (13.0 oz)|
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