Nikon D3300 vs Panasonic LX15
The Nikon D3300 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (labelled Panasonic LX10 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2014 and September 2016. The D3300 is a DSLR, while the LX15 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D3300) and an one-inch (LX15) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24 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 D3300 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3300 and the Panasonic LX15 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 D3300 can be obtained in three different colors (black, grey, red), 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 considerably smaller (48 percent) than the Nikon D3300. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3300 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 D3300 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D3300 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the D3300 gets 700 shots out of its EN-EL14a battery, while the LX15 can take 260 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLH7 power pack. The power pack in the LX15 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699|
|3.||Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|5.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|6.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Nikon D3500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||415 g||1550||n||Aug 2018||429|
|8.||Nikon D5600||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|9.||Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|10.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||470 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|11.||Nikon D7200||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199|
|12.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|13.||Nikon D3200||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599|
|14.||Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|15.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|16.||Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699|
|17.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|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 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. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3300 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic LX15 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the LX15 is 68 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. 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.
With 24MP, the D3300 offers a higher resolution than the LX15 (20MP), but the D3300 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 2.41μm for the LX15) due to its larger sensor. However, the LX15 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 8 months) than the D3300, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D3300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic LX15 are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D3300 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. 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.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the LX15 provides a better video resolution than the D3300. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D3300 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX15 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D3300, the Panasonic LX15, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|7.||Nikon D3500||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Nikon D7200||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D3200||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Panasonic TZ100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The LX15 has a touchscreen, while the D3300 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The LX15 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D3300 does not have a selfie-screen.
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 LX15 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 LX15 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 D3300 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 D3300 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 D3300||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon 200D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Nikon D3500||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y|
|8.||Nikon D5600||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Nikon D3400||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y|
|10.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Nikon D7200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Nikon D5300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D3200||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic TZ100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the D3300 has a hotshoe, while the LX15 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The LX15 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the D3300 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3300 was succeeded by the Nikon D3400. 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? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3300 or the Panasonic LX15 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3300:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2014).
Reasons to prefer 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 definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 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: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D3300 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (106x60mm vs 124x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D3300).
- 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.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D3300 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LX15 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 12 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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 D3300 and the Panasonic LX15 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D3300 or the LX15 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 expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 D3300||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||..||+ +||..||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699|
|3.||Canon 200D||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|5.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|6.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Nikon D3500||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||429|
|8.||Nikon D5600||4/5||..||4/5||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|9.||Nikon D3400||4/5||+||4/5||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|10.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|11.||Nikon D7200||4/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199|
|12.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|13.||Nikon D3200||5/5||+ +||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599|
|14.||Panasonic TZ200||..||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|15.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|16.||Panasonic TZ100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|17.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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. 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. 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 300D vs Panasonic LX15
- Canon 40D vs Nikon D3300
- Canon G16 vs Nikon D3300
- Canon RP vs Nikon D3300
- Canon SX420 vs Panasonic LX15
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Nikon D3300
- Nikon D300 vs Panasonic LX15
- Nikon D3300 vs Nikon D3400
- Nikon D3300 vs Sony NEX-C3
- Nikon D7000 vs Panasonic LX15
- Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX10 II
- Panasonic LX15 vs Sony ZV-E10
Specifications: Nikon D3300 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 D3300||Panasonic LX15|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||24-72mm f/1.4-2.8|
|Launch Date||January 2014||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D3300||Panasonic LX15|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 4||Venus|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.3||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1385||..|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D3300||Panasonic LX15|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D3300||Panasonic LX15|
|Focus System||Phase-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||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||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|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D3300||Panasonic LX15|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon D3300||Panasonic LX15|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||700 shots per charge||260 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
124 x 98 x 76 mm
(4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
106 x 60 x 42 mm
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||430 g (15.2 oz)||310 g (10.9 oz)|
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