Leica T vs Panasonic FZ300
The Leica T (Typ 701) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (labelled Panasonic FZ330 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2014 and July 2015. The T Typ 701 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the FZ300 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T Typ 701) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica T (Typ 701) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica T and the Panasonic FZ300. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The T Typ 701 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the FZ300 is only available in black.
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 (31 percent) than the Leica T. It is noteworthy in this context that the FZ300 is splash and dust-proof, while the T Typ 701 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 built in, whereas the T Typ 701 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The power pack in the T Typ 701 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|Leica T||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850|
|Panasonic FZ300||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695|
|Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|Olympus E-M10 II||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649|
|Panasonic G7||125 mm||86 mm||77 mm||410 g||350||n||May 2015||649|
|Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 FZ300 was launched at a lower price than the T Typ 701, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica T 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, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the T Typ 701 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ300 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 16.2MP, the T Typ 701 offers a higher resolution than the FZ300 (12MP), but the T Typ 701 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ300) due to its larger sensor. However, the FZ300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the T Typ 701, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica T implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T Typ 701 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.7 x 16.4 inches or 62.8 x 41.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.8 x 13.1 inches or 50.2 x 33.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.5 x 10.9 inches or 41.9 x 27.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ300 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica T (Typ 701) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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. Of the two cameras under review, the T Typ 701 provides substantially higher image quality than the FZ300, with an overall score that is 37 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.7 bits higher color depth, 1.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 3.5 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.
| DXO |
|Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|Olympus E-M10 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|Panasonic G7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
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 FZ300 provides a better video resolution than the T Typ 701. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ300 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the T Typ 701 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the T Typ 701 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica T, the Panasonic FZ300, and comparable cameras.
|Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Olympus E-M10 II||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the FZ300 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Panasonic FZ300 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T Typ 701 and the FZ300 write their files to SDXC cards. The FZ300 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the T Typ 701 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica T (Typ 701) and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-M10 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the FZ300 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The T Typ 701 does not feature such a mic input.
The FZ300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the T Typ 701 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T Typ 701 was succeeded by the Leica TL. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica T and the Panasonic FZ300? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Leica T (Typ 701):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.2 vs 12MP) with a 19% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (37 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.7 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.7 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (3.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1300k vs 1040k dots).
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 132x92mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2014).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the T Typ 701 necessitates an extra lens.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 2 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ300 emerges as the winner of the match-up (14 : 12 points). 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica T and the Panasonic FZ300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
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 T Typ 701 or the FZ300 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Leica T||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850|
|Panasonic FZ300||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|Canon M3||o||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|Canon M10||..||..||..||o||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon 100D||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|Leica TL2||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|Leica TL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695|
|Leica X Vario||..||..||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Leica X2||..||..||3/5||..||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|Nikon D5500||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|Olympus E-M10 II||+ +||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||649|
|Panasonic G7||+ +||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic FZ100||+||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Sony HX400V||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring 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, 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Leica T vs Panasonic FZ300
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Leica T||Panasonic FZ300|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica T mount lenses||25-600mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||April 2014||July 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1,850||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Leica T||Panasonic FZ300|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||370.52 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.2 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4944 x 3278 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.79 μm||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.37 MP/cm2||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,500 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||75||38|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.0||19.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.7||11.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1082||97|
|Screen Specs||Leica T||Panasonic FZ300|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.7inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1300k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica T||Panasonic FZ300|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica T||Panasonic FZ300|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica T||Panasonic FZ300|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
134 x 69 x 33 mm
(5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
132 x 92 x 117 mm
(5.2 x 3.6 x 4.6 in)
|Camera Weight||384 g (13.5 oz)||691 g (24.4 oz)|
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