Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!
The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models from Semi-Pro DSLR category, introduced by Olympus. We are going to take a closer look at the technical and physical characteristics, features, and performance. The models we are going to assess and compare in this review are E-3 and E-5. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. Thus, Olympus E-3 comes with a 10.0 MP CMOS sensor, while the Olympus E-5 features a 12.0 MP CMOS sensor.
Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Olympus E-3 and Olympus E-5.
Olympus E-3 Key Features:
Olympus E-5 Key Features:
Since Olympus E-3 has been around for some time, it was substituted by Olympus E-5.
|Dxo Low Light Iso||571 vs 519||Better High ISO performance|
|Storage Slots||2 vs 1||Extra storage slot|
|Sensor Resolution||12.0 MP vs 10.0 MP||16.7% more pixels|
|Flash Range||18 vs 13||5 better flash range|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes vs No||Very handy for portraits|
|Screen Size||3″ vs 2.5″||0.5" larger screen|
|Screen Resolution||920k dots vs 230k dots||75% higher resolution screen|
|Weight||800 g vs 890 g||90 g lighter|
|Screen Type||Fully Articulated | Fully Articulated||Help viewing and changing settings easily|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism)||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|Built-In Flash||Yes | Yes||External flash available|
|Image Stabilization||Yes | Yes||Built-in stabilization|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes | Yes||Shoot at tough conditions|
|Touch Screen||No | No||No touch screen|
|Screen Resolution||230k dots | 920k dots||Small screen resolution|
|Sensor Resolution||10.0 MP | 12.0 MP||Small sensor resolution|
|Timelapse Recording||No | No||No timelapse recording|
|Continuous Shooting||5.0 fps | 5.0 fps||Low continuous shooting|
Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Olympus E-3 and Olympus E-5 from the front view.
Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.
After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.
Speaking of weight, Olympus E-5 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 90g less than the Olympus E-3. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.
Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.
Are Olympus E-3 and Olympus E-5 any different in terms of sensor type?
In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Olympus E-3 features a 10.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a TruePic III processor . Olympus E-5, in its turn, comes with a 12.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Olympus E-3 and Olympus E-5 by the size of their sensors.
Olympus E-3 and Olympus E-5 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.
If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.
This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Olympus E-3 and Olympus E-5 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.
|Photography Type||Olympus E-3||Olympus E-5|
Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Olympus E-3 or Olympus E-5, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.
What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Olympus E-3 and Olympus E-5 here is what we can say in conclusion:
According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Olympus E-5 deserves a higher Total Score than the Olympus E-3. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.
For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:
|Olympus E-3||Olympus E-5|
|Announced||Feb 20, 2008||Feb 03, 2011|
|Body Type||Mid-size SLR||Mid-size SLR|
|Sensor Size||Four Thirds||Four Thirds|
|Sensor Dimensions||17.3 x 13 mm||17.3 x 13 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.90 mm2||224.90 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||10.0 MP||12.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||3648 x 2736||4032 x 3024|
|Max Native ISO||3,200||6,400|
|Max Boosted ISO||n/a||n/a|
|Min Native ISO||100||100|
|Lens Mount||Four Thirds||Four Thirds|
|Number of Lenses||45||45|
|Focal Length Multiplier||2x||2x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||11||11|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||n/a||11|
|Screen Type||Fully Articulated||Fully Articulated|
|Screen Resolution||230k dots||920k dots|
|ViewFinder||Optical (pentaprism)||Optical (pentaprism)|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots||0k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||60 s||60 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 s||1/8000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.0 fps||5.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye||Auto, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Fill-in|
|DxO Sensor Scores|
|DxO Sensor Score||56||56|
|DxO Color Depth||21.6||21.6|
|DxO Dynamic Range||10.5||10.5|
|DxO Low Light ISO||571||519|
|Video Resolutions||n/a||1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)|
|Max Video Resolution||1280 x 720|
|Video Formats||n/a||Motion JPEG|
|USB||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|Weight||890 g||800 g|
|Physical Dimensions||142 x 116 x 75 mm||143 x 117 x 75 mm|
|Battery Life||n/a||870 shots|
|Battery Type||n/a||Battery Pack|
|Storage Type||Compact Flash (Type I or II), xD Picture Card||Compact Flash (Type I or II)/SD/SDHC/SDXC|