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Canon XC10 versus Panasonic LX100

The Canon XC10 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2015 and September 2014. Both the XC10 and the LX100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (XC10) and a Four Thirds (LX100) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 12.7 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 XC10 vs Panasonic LX100

The physical size and weight of the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic LX100 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the XC10 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon XC10 vs Panasonic LX100
Compare XC10 versus LX100 top
Compare XC10 and LX100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX100 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon XC10. Moreover, the LX100 is substantially lighter (62 percent) than the XC10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XC10 nor the LX100 are weather-sealed.

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 XC10» 4.9 in 4.0 in 4.8 in 36.7 oz .. n Apr 2015 2,499- i
Panasonic LX100« 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- 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. The LX100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 64 percent) than the XC10, 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: Canon XC10 vs Panasonic LX100

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XC10 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic LX100 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the LX100 is 83 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.75 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon XC10 and Panasonic LX100 sensor measures

With 12.7MP, the LX100 offers a higher resolution than the XC10 (12MP), but the LX100 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.21μm versus 3.20μm for the XC10) due to its larger sensor. However, the XC10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the LX100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

XC10 versus LX100 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon XC10» 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----
Panasonic LX100« Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon XC10 vs Panasonic LX100

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the LX100 has an electronic viewfinder (2764k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XC10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon XC10, the Panasonic LX100, and comparable cameras. 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 XC10»- n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 2000 3.8 n Y
Panasonic LX100«2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y

Both the XC10 and the LX100 have zoom lenses build in. The XC10 has a 24-240mm f/2.8-5.6 optic and the LX100 offers a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Panasonic provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Panasonic has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX100 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The LX100 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the XC10 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the XC10 was succeeded by the Canon XC20.

Review summary: Canon XC10 vs Panasonic LX100

So how do things add up? Is the Canon XC10 better than the Panasonic LX100 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon XC10:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1030k vs 921k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the LX100).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100:

  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (115x66mm vs 125x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 647g or 62 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (64 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX100 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 5 points). 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.

XC10 05:09 LX100

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the XC10 and the LX100 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 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). 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
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon XC10»-80/100--- Apr 2015 2,499- i
Panasonic LX100«HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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