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Fujifilm X100 versus Panasonic GH3

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and September 2012. The X100 is a fixed lens compact, while the GH3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X100) and a Four Thirds (GH3) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.9 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: Fujifilm X100 vs Panasonic GH3

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X100 and the Panasonic GH3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 side – the X100 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Fujifilm X100 vs Panasonic GH3
Compare X100 versus GH3 top
Compare X100 and GH3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH3 is notably larger (31 percent) than the Fujifilm X100. It is noteworthy in this context that the GH3 is splash and dust-proof, while the X100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X100 has a lens build in, whereas the GH3 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 GH3 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X100 gets 300 shots out of its NP-95 battery, while the GH3 can take 540 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLF19 power pack.

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.

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)
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X100» 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
Panasonic GH3« 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.2 in 19.4 oz 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Fujifilm X100F« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.0 in 16.5 oz 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100T« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.0 in 15.5 oz 330 n Sep 2014 1,299- i Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X100S« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 14.3 oz 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Nikon D3100« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M1« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH4« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.3 in 19.8 oz 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 1,499- i Panasonic GH2
Sony NEX-7« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X100 was launched at a lower price than the GH3, despite having a lens build in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Fujifilm X100 vs Panasonic GH3

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X100 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GH3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GH3 is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the X100 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GH3 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Fujifilm X100 and Panasonic GH3 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GH3 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixel, compared with 12.2 MP of the X100. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 5.53μm for the X100). However, it should be noted that the GH3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the X100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X100 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

X100 versus GH3 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X100» APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173Fujifilm X100
Panasonic GH3« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271Panasonic GH3
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100T« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X100S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X100S
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p----Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Nikon D3100« » APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362Nikon D3000
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M1« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH4« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174Panasonic GH4
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2
Sony NEX-7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681Sony NEX-7

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 GH3 provides a better video resolution than the X100. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X100 vs Panasonic GH3

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the GH3 offers a higher resolution than the one in the X100 (1746k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X100 and Panasonic GH3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
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
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X100»1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Fujifilm X100
Panasonic GH3«1746 n 3.0 614 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Panasonic GH3
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100T« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X100S« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100S
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Nikon D3100« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3000
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M1« »2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 8000 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2
Sony NEX-7« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-7

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GH3 has a touchscreen, while the X100 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Both the X100 and the GH3 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X100»Ystereo---mini2.0---Fujifilm X100
Panasonic GH3«YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Panasonic GH3
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
Fujifilm X100F« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X30« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100T« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X100S« »Ystereomono--micro2.0---Fujifilm X100S
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Nikon D3100« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D3000
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M1« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH4« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
Panasonic LX100« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
Panasonic GH2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GH2
Sony NEX-7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-7

Both the X100 and the GH3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X100 was replaced by the Fujifilm X100S, while the GH3 was followed by the Panasonic GH4.

Review summary: Fujifilm X100 vs Panasonic GH3

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X100 better than the Panasonic GH3 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Fujifilm FinePix X100:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the GH3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (126x75mm vs 133x93mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the GH3).
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1746k vs 1440k dots).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (614k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GH3 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 6 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.

X100 06:16 GH3

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 X100 or the GH3 handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X100»-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
Panasonic GH3«HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100T« »Rec81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299- i Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X100S« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Nikon D3100« »HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
Nikon D3000« »Rec72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
Olympus E-M5 II« »HiRec81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
Olympus E-M1« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH4« »HiRec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Panasonic GH2« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i Panasonic GH2
Sony NEX-7« »HiRec81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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