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Nikon 1 J5 vs Panasonic LX10

The Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (labelled Panasonic LX15 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2015 and September 2016. The J5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the LX10 is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an one-inch sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.7 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon 1 J5 versus Panasonic LX10
Nikon 1 J5 Panasonic LX10
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Nikon 1 mount lenses 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8
20.7 MP, 1" Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
4K/15p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 160-12,800 ISO 125-12,800 (80 - 25,600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
60 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
250 shots per battery charge260 shots per battery charge
98 x 60 x 32 mm, 231 g 106 x 60 x 42 mm, 310 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10? 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic LX10. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The J5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the LX10 is available in two color-versions (black, silver).

Size Nikon 1 J5 vs Panasonic LX10
Compare J5 versus LX10 top
Comparison J5 or LX10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX10 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Nikon 1 J5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the J5 nor the LX10 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX10 has a lens built in, whereas the J5 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 LX10 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon 1 J5 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 8.1 oz 250 n Apr 2015 399i
 
Panasonic LX10 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 n Sep 2016 699 i
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
 
Canon G5 X 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon G9 X 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon G7 X 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Nikon 1 V3 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 13.4 oz 310 n Mar 2014 799i
 
Nikon 1 J4 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 8.2 oz 300 n Apr 2014 549i
 
Panasonic ZS200 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Feb 2018 799 i
 
Panasonic ZS100 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX100 V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony RX100 IV 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A5000 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony RX100 III 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision 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. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2. The LX10 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.

Nikon 1 J5 and Panasonic LX10 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the J5 offers a slightly higher resolution of 20.7 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the LX10. This megapixels advantage translates into a 2 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the J5 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.37μm versus 2.41μm for the LX10). Moreover, it should be noted that the LX10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the J5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the J5 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The J5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Nikon 1 J5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.

J5 versus LX10 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon 1 J5 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965
 
Panasonic LX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Nikon 1 V3 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.738452
 
Nikon 1 J4 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653
 
Panasonic ZS200 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567

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 LX10 provides a faster frame rate than the J5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 4K/15p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The J5 and the LX10 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon 1 J5 and Panasonic LX10 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon 1 J5none n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
 
Panasonic LX10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Nikon 1 V3optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
 
Nikon 1 J4none n 3.0 1037 Fixed Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
 
Panasonic ZS2002330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS1001166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

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, both cameras under consideration feature an 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 Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic LX10 both have 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 J5 and the LX10 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

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 Nikon 1 J5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon 1 J5-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic LX10-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon 1 V3-stereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon 1 J4-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Panasonic ZS200-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic ZS100-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

The LX10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the J5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the J5 from Nikon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Nikon 1 J5 better than the Panasonic LX10 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon 1 J5:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (60 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2015).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/30p versus 4K/15p).
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the J5 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 5 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX10 comes out slightly ahead of the J5 (7 : 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. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

J5 06:07 LX10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic LX10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the J5 and the LX10 in practical situations. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon 1 J5....4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399i
 
Panasonic LX10+ +81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i
 
Canon G9 X Mark II..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon G9 X+ +..4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Nikon 1 V3..76/1004.5/53/54/5 Mar 2014 799i
 
Nikon 1 J4....4.5/5..4/5 Apr 2014 549i
 
Panasonic ZS200+ +81/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i
 
Panasonic ZS100+ +82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX100 V+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony RX100 III+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.

Nikon 1 J5:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic LX10:
Check Amazon price

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon 1 J5 vs Panasonic LX10

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon 1 J5 Panasonic LX10
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Nikon 1 mount lenses 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8
    Launch Date April 2015 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Nikon 1 J5 Panasonic LX10
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5568 x 3712 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.37 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.79 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/15p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 160 - 12,800 ISO 125 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 479 ..
    Screen Specs Nikon 1 J5 Panasonic LX10
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon 1 J5 Panasonic LX10
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 60 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/16000sup to 1/16000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon 1 J5 Panasonic LX10
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Nikon 1 J5 Panasonic LX10
    Battery Type EN-EL24 DMW-BLH7
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge260 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 98 x 60 x 32 mm
    (3.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    106 x 60 x 42 mm
    (4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 231 g (8.1 oz) 310 g (10.9 oz)

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