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Canon SL1 versus Panasonic FZ300

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (called Canon 100D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (labelled Panasonic FZ330 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2013 and July 2015. The SL1 is a DSLR, while the FZ300 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (SL1) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon SL1 vs Panasonic FZ300

The physical size and weight of the Canon SL1 and the Panasonic FZ300 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions 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 side – the SL1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon SL1 vs Panasonic FZ300
SL1 versus FZ300 top view
SL1 and FZ300 rear side

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ300 is notably larger (14 percent) than the Canon SL1. It is noteworthy in this context that the FZ300 is splash and dust-proof, while the SL1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ300 has a lens build in, whereas the SL1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the SL1 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

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, 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 Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon SL1 (⇒ rgt) 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 no 2013 549discont. check
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft) 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 YES 2015 599 latest check
Canon SL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 no 2017 549 latest check
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 YES 2015 999 latest check
Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 no 2014 449discont. check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 no 2014 549 latest check
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 no 2013 649discont. check
Canon 70D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 YES 2013 1,199discont. check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 no 2013 549 latest check
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 no 2012 599discont. check
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 no 2011 599discont. check
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 no 2009 799discont. check
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 no 2013 599discont. check
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 no 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 no 2011 499discont. check
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 no 2010 499discont. check

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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: Canon SL1 vs Panasonic FZ300

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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SL1 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic FZ300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ300 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the SL1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ300 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon SL1 and Panasonic FZ300 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the SL1 offers a higher resolution than the FZ300 (12MP), but the SL1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ300) due to its larger sensor. However, the FZ300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 3 months) than the SL1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

SL1 versus FZ300 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 review, the SL1 provides substantially higher image quality than the FZ300, with an overall score that is 25 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.5 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 3.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon SL1 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.8 11.3 843 63
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 4K/30p 19.3 11.0 97 38
Canon SL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.6 13.4 1041 79
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.4 12.3 521 63
Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.9 11.3 724 63
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 14.2 4608 3072 1080/60p 19.2 10.8 127 39
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 681 61
Canon 70D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 20.0 5472 3648 1080/30p 22.5 11.6 926 68
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 21.0 11.7 230 54
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.2 827 65
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.5 793 65
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 15.1 4752 3168 1080/20p 21.7 11.5 663 63
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p 21.3 11.5 639 61
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 19.1 10.8 114 37
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 19.4 10.9 132 40
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736 720/60p 19.6 10.8 132 41

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the FZ300 provides a better video resolution than the SL1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison: Canon SL1 vs Panasonic FZ300

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the FZ300 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the SL1 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SL1, the Panasonic FZ300, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon SL1 (⇒ rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.9 9.4 no
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft) 1440 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 12.0 8.8 YES
Canon SL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 9.8 no
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.2 1620 tilting YES 2000 5.9 6.8 YES
Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 922 no 3.0 922 swivel no 2000 6.4 5.5 YES
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon 70D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 8000 7.0 12 no
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 fixed no 4000 2.2 7 YES
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.3 no no
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel no 4000 3.7 13 no
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.4 13 no
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1036 swivel YES 4000 7.0 10.5 no
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1312 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 12.0 9.5 YES
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 2.5 7.2 YES

The FZ300 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the SL1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SL1 was succeeded by the Canon SL2.

Review summary: Canon SL1 vs Panasonic FZ300

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SL1 and the Panasonic FZ300? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (25 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.5 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (3.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x91mm vs 132x92mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2013).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 4.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the SL1 requires a separate lens.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the SL1 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (9 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

SL1 09:09 FZ300

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SL1 and the FZ300 in practical situations. 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon SL1 (⇒ rgt) Rec 78/100 Gold 4/5 4/5 4/5 2013 549discont. check
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft) HiRec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 599 latest check
Canon SL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 78/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2017 549 latest check
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 3.5/5 4/5 2015 999 latest check
Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4/5 - 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 449discont. check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 75/100 4/5 - 4.5/5 2014 549 latest check
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 649discont. check
Canon 70D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 83/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2013 1,199discont. check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 549 latest check
Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4/5 3.5/5 4/5 2012 599discont. check
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2011 599discont. check
Canon T1i (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 74/100 HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2009 799discont. check
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 599discont. check
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 76/100 Silver 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2011 499discont. check
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 73/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2010 499discont. check

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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 make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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