Nikon B500 vs Panasonic FZ100
The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and July 2010. Both the B500 and the FZ100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 14 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon B500||Panasonic FZ100|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|22.5-900mm f/3-6.5||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 80-6400||ISO 100-1600 (100-6400)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|7.4 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|600 shots per battery charge||410 shots per battery charge|
|114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g||124 x 82 x 92 mm, 540 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100? 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 B500 and the Panasonic FZ100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the FZ100 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 FZ100 is notably larger (14 percent) than the Nikon B500. However, the FZ100 is slightly lighter (0 percent) than the B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the FZ100 are weather-sealed.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Nikon B500»||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299||Nikon B500|
|Panasonic FZ100«||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic FZ100|
|Canon SX40« »||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429||Canon SX40|
|Canon SX30« »||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429||Canon SX30|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X70« »||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799||Fujifilm X70|
|Nikon B600« »||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349||Nikon B600|
|Nikon D5600« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon B700« »||125 mm||85 mm||107 mm||565 g||350||n||Feb 2016||499||Nikon B700|
|Nikon P900« »||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599||Nikon P900|
|Nikon L840« »||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299||Nikon L840|
|Panasonic FZ82« »||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399||Panasonic FZ82|
|Panasonic FZ200« »||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic G3« »||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599||Panasonic G3|
|Sony HX80« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349||Sony HX80|
|Sony H200« »||123 mm||83 mm||87 mm||530 g||240||n||Jan 2013||249||Sony H200|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The B500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the FZ100, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
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.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the B500 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 14 MP of the FZ100. This megapixels advantage translates into a 7 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the B500 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 1.41μm for the FZ100). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the B500 is much more recent (by 5 years and 6 months) than the FZ100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 Nikon B500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the B500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ100 are 21.6 x 16.2 inch or 54.9 x 41.1 cm for good quality, 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.4 x 10.8 inch or 36.6 x 27.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
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. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon B500||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Nikon B500|
|Panasonic FZ100||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ100|
|Canon SX40||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX40|
|Canon SX30||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX30|
|Fujifilm X100F||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X70||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X70|
|Nikon B600||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon B600|
|Nikon D5600||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon B700||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon B700|
|Nikon P900||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Nikon P900|
|Nikon L840||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Nikon L840|
|Panasonic FZ82||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ82|
|Panasonic FZ200||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.1||10.8||114||37||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56||Panasonic G3|
|Sony HX80||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX80|
|Sony H200||1/2.3||15.2||5184||2930||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony H200|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ100 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon B500 and Panasonic FZ100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon B500||none||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon B500|
|Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ100|
|Canon SX40||202||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||1/3200s||10.3||Y||Y||Canon SX40|
|Canon SX30||202||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.6||Y||Y||Canon SX30|
|Fujifilm X100F||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X70||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X70|
|Nikon B600||none||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon B600|
|Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon B700||921||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||Y||Nikon B700|
|Nikon P900||921||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon P900|
|Nikon L840||none||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon L840|
|Panasonic FZ82||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ82|
|Panasonic FZ200||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic G3|
|Sony HX80||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX80|
|Sony H200||none||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y||Sony H200|
Both the B500 and the FZ100 have zoom lenses built in. The B500 has a 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 optic and the FZ100 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Panasonic. The FZ100 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the B500 and the FZ100 write their files to SDXC 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 Nikon Coolpix B500 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon B500||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon B500|
|Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ100|
|Canon SX40||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX40|
|Canon SX30||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX30|
|Fujifilm X100F||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X70||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X70|
|Nikon B600||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon B600|
|Nikon D5600||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon B700||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon B700|
|Nikon P900||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon P900|
|Nikon L840||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon L840|
|Panasonic FZ82||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FZ82|
|Panasonic FZ200||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic G3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G3|
|Sony HX80||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX80|
|Sony H200||-||mono||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Sony H200|
It is notable that the B500 offers wifi support, while the FZ100 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the B500 and the FZ100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ100 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ150, while the B500 was followed by the Nikon B600. 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon B500 and the Panasonic FZ100? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B500:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 14MP) with a 7% higher linear resolution.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More compact: Is smaller (114x78mm vs 124x82mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 410) on a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 6 months of technical progress since the FZ100 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100:
- 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 (11 vs 7.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3).
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2010).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the B500 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 7 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 B500 and the Panasonic FZ100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the B500 or the FZ100 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon G1 X Mark III vs Nikon B500
- Canon RP vs Nikon B500
- Canon SL1 vs Nikon B500
- Canon T6 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Leica X Vario vs Nikon B500
- Nikon B500 vs Olympus E-330
- Nikon B500 vs Olympus E-M5
- Nikon B500 vs Panasonic FZ150
- Nikon B500 vs Pentax MX-1
- Nikon B500 vs Ricoh WG-6
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony A6400
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony A99 II
Specifications: Nikon B500 vs Panasonic FZ100
|Camera Model||Nikon B500||Panasonic FZ100|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||22.5-900mm f/3-6.5||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|Launch Date||January 2016||July 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 299||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon B500||Panasonic FZ100|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||14 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4320 x 3240 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||1.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||49.86 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||80-6400 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-6400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Nikon B500||Panasonic FZ100|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon B500||Panasonic FZ100|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||7.4 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|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||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon B500||Panasonic FZ100|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Nikon B500||Panasonic FZ100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||600 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
114 x 78 x 95 mm
(4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
124 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||541 g (19.1 oz)||540 g (19.0 oz)|