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Canon SL2 versus Panasonic ZS100

The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (called Canon 200D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (labelled Panasonic TZ100 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2017 and January 2016. The SL2 is a DSLR, while the ZS100 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (SL2) and an one-inch (ZS100) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 20 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 SL2 vs Panasonic ZS100

The physical size and weight of the Canon SL2 and the Panasonic ZS100 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. 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 – the SL2 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon SL2 vs Panasonic ZS100
Compare SL2 versus ZS100 top
Compare SL2 and ZS100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic ZS100 is considerably smaller (36 percent) than the Canon SL2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL2 nor the ZS100 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the ZS100 has a lens build in, whereas the SL2 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 SL2 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SL2 gets 650 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the ZS100 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack.

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
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)
Canon SL2» 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Panasonic ZS100« 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699- i
Canon T7« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon T7i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499 i i
Panasonic ZS200« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic LX10« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i

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 SL2 vs Panasonic ZS100

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units 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 Canon SL2 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic ZS100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the ZS100 is 65 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon SL2 and Panasonic ZS100 sensor measures

With 24MP, the SL2 offers a higher resolution than the ZS100 (20MP), but the SL2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 2.41μm for the ZS100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the SL2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the ZS100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

SL2 versus ZS100 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the SL2 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the ZS100 (overall score 9 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon SL2» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Panasonic ZS100« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
Canon T7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p----
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
Panasonic ZS200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic LX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the ZS100 provides a better video resolution than the SL2. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon SL2 vs Panasonic ZS100

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the ZS100 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k dots), while the SL2 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SL2 and Panasonic ZS100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon SL2»optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Panasonic ZS100«1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Panasonic ZS200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y

The SL2 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the ZS100 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the ZS100 was succeeded by the Panasonic ZS200.

Review summary: Canon SL2 vs Panasonic ZS100

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SL2 or the Panasonic ZS100 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel SL2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (650 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 5 months after the ZS100).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the SL2 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 122x93mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the SL2).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SL2 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 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.

SL2 10:08 ZS100

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SL2 and the ZS100 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 why expert reviews 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.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon SL2»HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Panasonic ZS100«HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Canon T7« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Nikon D3400« »Rec76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499 i i
Panasonic ZS200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic LX10« »HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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