Nikon 1 J5 vs Panasonic LX15
The Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (labelled Panasonic LX10 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 LX15 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15? 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 Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic LX15. 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 LX15 is available in two color-versions (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX15 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Nikon 1 J5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the J5 nor the LX15 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX15 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 LX15 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.
|1.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||100 mm||60 mm||29 mm||232 g||300||n||Apr 2014||549||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|12.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449||ebay.com|
|17.||YI M1||114 mm||64 mm||34 mm||281 g||450||n||Sep 2016||349||ebay.com|
|Note: 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.
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 LX15 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.
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 LX15. 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 LX15). Moreover, it should be noted that the LX15 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-LX15 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
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.
|1.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|5.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||471||62|
|6.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|9.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||426||53|
|17.||YI M1||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||1030||73|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 LX15 provides a faster frame rate than the J5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 4K/15p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The J5 and the LX15 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 LX15 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon 1200D||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||none||n||3.0 / 1037||Fixed||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic TZ100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony HX80||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|17.||YI M1||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
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 LX15 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 LX15 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.
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-LX15 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon 1200D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic TZ100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Sony HX80||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony HX90V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||YI M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
The LX15 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 features and operation of the J5 and LX15 can be found, respectively, in the Nikon 1 J5 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic LX15 Manual.
So how do things add up? Is the Nikon 1 J5 better than the Panasonic LX15 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
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).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:
- 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 LX15 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon 1 J5 and the Panasonic LX15 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 LX15 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon 1 J4||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Apr 2014||549||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic TZ200||..||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|12.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic TZ100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449||ebay.com|
|17.||YI M1||..||..||..||69/100||..||..||Sep 2016||349||ebay.com|
|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.
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.
- Canon 1D X Mark III vs Panasonic LX15
- Fujifilm X-T200 vs Panasonic LX15
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Nikon W150
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Sony A58
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Sony A7R
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Sony RX100
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Sony RX100 IV
- Nikon D3300 vs Panasonic LX15
- Nikon D780 vs Panasonic LX15
- Nikon Z50 vs Panasonic LX15
- Panasonic GF2 vs Panasonic LX15
Specifications: Nikon 1 J5 vs Panasonic LX15
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||Nikon 1 J5||Panasonic LX15|
|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 LX15|
|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|
|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 LX15|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|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|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon 1 J5||Panasonic LX15|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||60 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon 1 J5||Panasonic LX15|
|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 LX15|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||260 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
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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